Alberto Grespan

Deploying Jekyll with Mina and rbenv

— October 5, 2014

The purpose of this post is to show how to deploy a Jekyll site using Mina and it will not show how to serve the site with NGINX or Apache or install any dependencies like Ruby or rbenv on the server.

Even though we are not focusing in the things we mentioned above we’ll need a running machine them installed:

Installing Mina

As Mina is just a gem we will use the gem command to install it or just add it to your Gemfile and bundle it.

$ gem install mina

After Mina is installed we need to run the init command, this will create a config/deploy.rb with the default instructions which are very complete and a good base to work with.

$ mina init

Getting everything ready

The first thing after installing Mina will be to exclude vendor folder from our Jekyll project build.

# _config.yml
exclude: ['vendor']

After you’ve done that let’s move onto the config/deploy.rb file and modify a couple of things.

As we’ll be using rbenv to do our deployment the first thing we need to require 'mina/rbenv' module, then load rbenv in the :environment task.

for some weird reason rbenv was not getting loaded in the terminal session because the RBENV_ROOT variable was not getting exported and the rbenv command was giving me errors. My solution was to explicitly export that variable in the :environment task.

We use the :environment task to do this because this task will be invoked before our :deploy task helping us to get everything loaded prior needing it.

Our :environment task will look like this:

set :rbenv_path, "/usr/local/rbenv"

task :environment do
  queue %{export RBENV_ROOT=#{rbenv_path}}
  invoke :'rbenv:load'

Now let’s add the domain, deploy directory, repo, branch and deploy user variables. One important thing here is that we are deploy from a git repo so we need to require 'mina/git' to have this feature.

set :term_mode, nil
set :domain, # can be an IP address
set :deploy_to, '/home/deployer/jekyll'
set :server_dir, '/var/www/site'
set :repository, '[email protected]:albertogg/bleh.git'
set :branch, 'master'
set :user, 'deployer'   # Username in the server.

Our final and most important thing will be the :deploy task, this task will do everything for us, clone our repo in our desired directory, bundle our project gems, and build our blog. As we are using bundler we need to require 'mina/bunlder' module also.

As there is no much to explain let’s see the whole deploy.rb file:

require 'mina/git'
require 'mina/bundler'
require 'mina/rbenv'

# give me normal output
set :term_mode, nil

# server ip or domain
set :domain,

# deploy directory
set :deploy_to, '/home/deployer/jekyll'
# apache or nginx serve directory
set :server_dir, '/var/www/site'

# repo and branch
set :repository, '[email protected]:albertogg/jekyll-site.git'
set :branch, 'master'

# Optional settings:
set :user, 'deployer'   # Username in the server.

# Set rbenv path.
set :rbenv_path, "/usr/local/rbenv"

# This task is the environment that is loaded for most commands, such as
# `mina deploy` or `mina rake`.
task :environment do
  queue %{export RBENV_ROOT=#{rbenv_path}}
  invoke :'rbenv:load'

# Put any custom mkdir's in here for when `mina setup` is ran.
desc "Deploys the current version to the server."
task :deploy => :environment do
  deploy do
    # clone the repo
    invoke :'git:clone'
    # install project dependencies
    invoke :'bundle:install'
    # build the jekyll site and drop the _site into the server_dir
    queue %{bundle exec jekyll build -s #{deploy_to} -d #{server_dir}}


It’s pretty easy I think. We just need to do two more things and we are done. Let’s setup Mina on the server by running:

$ mina setup

After this if everything worked we are just left with the final task, deploy:

$ mina deploy

That’s it! very easy don’t you think?

Mina is very nice and easy to setup, I hope you find it a good light solution for deploying your site, I did, It also works great for bigger sites done with Rails and Sinatra.

Thanks for reading!