Automatic page publication from Pelican to GitHub Pages

Posté le Sun 21 February 2021 dans pelican

I want to automatically generate and publish the website when I push a modification to the master branch of the GitHub repository.

The script already includes a task to help publishing to gh-pages. To use it, we need to install invoke. The gp-pages task also need the ghp-import package. Finally, while we do not need it for the publication task, the livereload package is useful for development, to allow calling invoke livereload.

Here is my requirements.txt file, will all those dependencies, and a few others I use for my site:


On GitHub, the master branch contains the sources of the site, and the gh-pages branch contains the published website. There are other ways to do it, for instance by publishing a subdirectory as the website, but I prefer to work with different branches. The ghp-import package makes it easy to manage the gh-pages branch.

I tweaked a little bit the file. First, I set the name of the branch where to publish:

    'github_pages_branch': 'gh-pages',

I also changed some options passed to the ghp-import script:

def gh_pages(c):
    """Publish to GitHub Pages"""
    preview(c)'ghp-import -n -b {github_pages_branch} '
          '-m {commit_message} '

I added the -n option to create the .nojekyll file. This tells GitHub to not invoke Jekyll on the generated contents. I removed the -p option, as I need to include credentials to publish the pages.

Finally, here is the GitHub Actions configurations:

name: Publish Website
  branches: [ master ]
  runs-on: ubuntu-latest
  - uses: actions/checkout@v2
      submodules: true
  - name: Set up Python
    uses: actions/setup-python@v1
      python-version: '3.8'
  - name: Install dependencies
    run: pip install -r requirements.txt
  - name: Build docs
    run: invoke gh-pages
  - name: Publish docs
    run: git push -f "https://${GITHUB_ACTOR}:${{secrets.TOKEN}}${GITHUB_REPOSITORY}.git" gh-pages:gh-pages

The action run when I push to master branch.

The checkout action tells to checkout submodules as well, as I use submodules for the Flex theme, and for pelican-plugins.

I install Python packages from the requirements.txt file.

I call the invoke task to create the (local) gh-pages branch with the published contents.

Finally, I force push the gh-pages branch to GitHub, using the required credentials.