Here's how to set up a static wiki or blog using ikiwiki with no hosting fees. Everything is hosted on github, both the git repository and the web site. Your laptop is used to generate and publish changes to it.

This is possible because github now supports github pages.

Note that github limits free accounts to 100 MB of git storage. It's unlikely that a small wiki or blog will outgrow this, but we are keeping two copies of the website in git (source and the compiled site), and all historical versions too. So it could happen. If it does, you can pay github for more space, or you can migrate your site elsewhere.

Github Setup

  • Go to github and sign up for an account, if you haven't already.
  • Be sure to add your laptop's ssh key to it so you can push to github.
  • Create a repository on github named $, substituting your username. This repository will be used to publish your compiled website.
  • Create a repository on github named $YOU (or anything else you like). This repository will be used to publish the source of your website. This is actually optional.

Local Setup

  • On your laptop, create two empty git repositories to correspond to the github repositories:
    YOU=your github username here
    mkdir ~/$
    cd ~/$
    git init
    git remote add origin$YOU/$
    mkdir ~/$YOU
    cd ~/$YOU
    git init
    git remote add origin$YOU/$YOU.git
  • Add some wiki pages, such as an index.mdwn, to ~/$YOU, and check them in and commit them to git. You need something to push to github. Run git push origin master to push the source pages to github.

Publishing to Github

  • Now build your wiki with a command such as:
    ikiwiki ~/$YOU ~/$ --refresh
  • Each time you build the wiki you will need to commit the changes to git, and push the compiled pages to github:
    cd ~/
    git add .
    git commit -a -m update
    git push origin master

Your wiki will show up at http://$ within ten minutes after the first push, and changes you push to it from then on should show up immediately.


You can follow the instructions in laptop wiki with git to set up an editable version of your wiki on your laptop. Then you can use the web interface for editing. You'll still need to follow the instructions above to publish your changes to github.

It would also be possible to teach ikiwiki to push compiled pages to github itself via a plugin, as was done with the amazon s3 plugin. Not done yet!