Auto build and deploy GitHub pages with Travis-CI
19 Sep 2014
So you have an existing Jekyll GitHub pages project but you also have some preliminary build steps and/or tests that you need to run before pushing to GitHub to deploy. Now you’re tired of running these steps manually and keeping the built artifacts in your repository. One answer (and the answer illustrated here) is to use Travis-CI to automate the build and deploy steps and retire the automatic Jekyll build that GitHub would perform.
First checkout the GitHub pages project to a new
git checkout -b deploy
git push -u origin deploy
Enable Travis-CI on your GitHub pages project.
deploy to be the default branch in the GitHub web interface. This will be the branch that you do most of your work in or make future branches from, so it makes sense for it to be the default. You will no longer manually make changes to the
Add the SSH key entries to
.gitignore as illustrated here
Generate a private/public key pair without passphrase in the repo directory
ssh-keygen -t rsa -C "[email protected]" -f deploy_key -N ''
Add the public key (
deploy_key.pub) to the GitHub repository as a ‘Deploy Key’ through the web interface. We are using deploy keys so that we can make them specific to a single repository. An alternative approach could use ‘Personal access tokens’ but they would then allow access to all repositories associated with the given account - this might be preferable in an organization context, using special GitHub accounts created specifically for Travis-CI to work with multiple repositories. The use of ‘Personal access tokens’ (and my starting point for this approach) is illustrated in Evan Sosenko’s article, “Automatic publishing to GitHub Pages with Travis CI”.
Install the travis gem
gem install travis
Login to travis with your GitHub credentials
Encrypt the SSH key to generate
travis encrypt-file deploy_key
This will ouput a command that can be used to decrypt the file again during a Travis build. This command has already been added to
deploy.sh, however you will need to make a note of the unique encryption label that Travis assigns as this will be added as an environment variable in
.travis.yml later. The encryption label can be seen in the command in 2 different variables
deploy.sh file as given here and mark it executable
chmod +x deploy.sh
.travis.yml to the branch as given here
build task to your
Rakefile that at least calls
jekyll build but should also perform the additional build and test steps that you wanted Travis-CI to do in the first place.
Commit your changes to the
deploy branch but don’t push them yet
git add -A .
git commit -m "adding travis auto build and deploy support"
Switch back to the
master branch that GitHub will use for the source of your GitHub pages site
git checkout master
Delete all the existing files and create a
.nojekyll file to let GitHub know that it does not need to run Jekyll again.
.travis.yml file to the
master branch as given here to prevent Travis-CI building the master branch when it changes. After all there is nothing for Travis-CI to do in the master branch
master branch and push both branches back to GitHub
git add -A .
git commit -m "Prepare master branch as a deployment target"
git push --all
This will trigger Travis-CI to do its first deployment from the