Sara's toolbox


Hello again, World!


So, check it out: it took me almost 10 attempts to grok how to make a Jekyll-Github pages site again. I’d done it once before, but went 18 months never updating it, so, y’know: clean slate! (I know, I know: dead links.) Fool that I can sometimes be, I totally thought this time it would be easier. Jekyll gem, all this extra experience under my belt, blah blah blah… 

I can hear you laughing from here.

I tried 4 times to start over again using Jekyll’s own documentation and for reasons I don’t fully understand myself, I’d hit a brick wall after running jekyll new name-of-my-new-site.

Instead of boring you with how spectacularly stumped I can get, I’ll tell you what finally worked for me.

Before doing anything at or at the command line, I opened up a bunch of Github Pages tutorials and read through them. (I can, fairly, be accused of sometimes jumping too soon and trying to start a thing before reading all the instructions. ahem)

I had tried (and failed) so many times to start from scratch, so the first step in this Smashing Magazine tutorial where you fork a ready-made Jekyll repo and just edit the _config.yml is what really helped everything fall into place for me.

Heather is the theme I wanted to use and now that I got the whole fork-then-edit thing, starting over with Heather was a snap. Hooray!

If you have a peek at the repo for this site, you’ll notice that it doesn’t say it’s forked from the Heather repo, anymore. And that’s because in the spirit of “I don’t know, try it out!” I wanted to learn how to kill the commit history on a forked repo. (There’s no real need for me to keep it in this instance.)

Stack Overflow to the rescue! How do I remove the old history from a git repository? Way down at the bottom, I found what I was after.

Here’s what I did locally:

  • Fork the Heather theme to my repo
  • Rename the newly-forked repo to (Settings > Repository name)
  • Clone the repo (via SSH because I don’t want to have to enter my user/pass every. single. time) to my machine: git clone
  • cd into my new folder: cd
  • Delete the .git directory, re-initialize the folder as a git folder, add a remote server back
    sudo rm -r .git && git init && git remote add origin
  • Edit this blog post, make a new commit (which will show all the Jekyll & theme files as new/untracked) and push!


And that’s… that. See you soon!