Getting Started

Geekblog is a simple Hugo theme for personal blogs. It is intentionally designed as a fast and lean theme and may not fit the requirements of complex projects. If a more feature-complete theme is required there are a lot of got alternatives out there. This post helps you to get started with the Geekblog theme, including initial setup and basic configuration.

Build Status Hugo Version GitHub release GitHub contributors License: MIT


  • Clean and simple design
  • Light and mobile-friendly
  • Easy customization
  • Zero initial configuration
  • Handy shortcodes
  • Simple sticky posts
  • Content tags
  • Multiple authors
  • Supports Atom and JSON feeds

Setup requirements

You need a recent version of Hugo for local builds and previews of sites that use Geekblog. As we are using webpack as pre-processor, the normal version of Hugo is sufficient. If you prefer the extended version of Hugo anyway this will work as well. For comprehensive Hugo documentation, see

If you want to use the theme from a cloned branch instead of a release tarball you’ll need to install webpack locally and run the default pipeline once to create all required assets.

# install required packages from package.json
npm install

# run the build script to build required assets
npm run build

Using the theme

To prepare your new site environment just a few steps are required:

  1. Create a new empty Hugo site.

    hugo new site demosite
  2. Switch to the root of the new site.

    cd demosite
  3. Install the Geekblog theme from a release bundle (recommended) or form Git branch.

  4. Create the minimal required Hugo configuration config.toml. For all configuration options see here.

    baseURL = "http://localhost"
    title = "Geekblog"
    theme = "hugo-geekblog"
    pluralizeListTitles = false
    # Geekblog required configuration
    pygmentsUseClasses = true
    pygmentsCodeFences = true
    disablePathToLower = true
    # Needed for mermaid shortcodes
        unsafe = true
        startLevel = 1
        endLevel = 9
      author = "authors"
      tag = "tags"
        suffixes = ["xml"]
        name = "Atom"
        mediaType = "application/atom+xml"
        baseName = "feed"
        isPlainText = false
        rel = "alternate"
        isHTML = false
        noUgly = true
        permalinkable = false
      home = ["HTML", "ATOM"]
      page = ["HTML"]
      section = ["HTML"]
      taxonomy = ["HTML"]
      term = ["HTML", "ATOM"]
  5. Test your site.

    hugo server -D

    If you want to add some demo data you could use the content from the Hugo basic example:

    curl -L | tar -xz --exclude "config*" --exclude "LICENSE" --exclude "README*" --strip-components=1

Option 1: Download pre-build release bundle

Download and extract the latest release bundle into the theme directory.

mkdir -p themes/hugo-geekblog/
curl -L | tar -xz -C themes/hugo-geekblog/ --strip-components=1

Option 2: Clone the GitHub repository

Keep in mind this method is not recommended and needs some extra steps to get it working. If you want to use the Theme as submodule keep in mind that your build process need to run the described steps as well.

Clone the Geekblog git repository.

git clone themes/hugo-geekblog

Build required theme assets e.g. CSS files and SVG sprites.

npm install
npm run build



There are several ways to deploy your site with this theme on Netlify. Regardless of which solution you choose, the main goal is to ensure that the prebuilt theme release tarball is used or to run the required commands to prepare the theme assets before running the Hugo build command.

Here are some possible solutions:

Use a Makefile:

Add a Makefile to your repository to bundle the required steps.

THEME := hugo-geekblog
BASEDIR := docs
.PHONY: doc
doc: doc-assets doc-build
.PHONY: doc-assets
   mkdir -p $(THEMEDIR)/$(THEME)/ ; \
   curl -sSL "$(THEME)/releases/download/${THEME_VERSION}/$(THEME).tar.gz" | tar -xz -C $(THEMEDIR)/$(THEME)/ --strip-components=1
.PHONY: doc-build
        cd $(BASEDIR); hugo
.PHONY: clean
   rm -rf $(THEMEDIR) && \
   rm -rf $(BASEDIR)/public

This Makefile can be used in your netlify.toml, take a look at the Netlify example for more information:

publish = "docs/public"
command = "make doc"

Chain required commands:

Chain all required commands to prepare the theme and build your site on the command option in your netlify.toml like this:

publish = "docs/public"
command = "command1 && command 2 && command3 && hugo"


As deploying Hugo sites on subdirectories is not as robust as on subdomains, we do not recommend this. If you have a choice, using a domain/subdomain should always be the preferred solution!

If you want to deploy your side to a subdirectory of your domain, some extra steps are required:

  • Configure your Hugo base URL e.g. baseURL = http://localhost/demo/.
  • Don’t use relativeURLs: false nor canonifyURLs: true as is can cause unwanted side effects!

There are two ways to get Markdown links or images working:

  • Use the absolute path including your subdirectory e.g. [testlink](/demo/example-site)
  • Overwrite the HTML base in your site configuration with geekblogOverwriteHTMLBase = true and use the relative path e.g. [testlink](example-site)

But there is another special case if you use geekblogOverwriteHTMLBase = true. If you use anchors in your Markdown links you have to ensure to always include the page path. As an example [testlink](#some-anchor) will resolve to http://localhost/demo/#some-anchor and not automatically include the current page!

Known Limitations

Minify HTML results in spacing issues

Using hugo --minify without further configuration or using other minify tools that also minify HTML files might result in spacing issues in the theme and is not supported.

After some testing we decided to not spend effort to fix this issue for now as the benefit is very low. There are some parts of the theme where spaces between HTML elements matters but were stripped by minify tools. Some of these issues are related to gohugoio/hugo#6892. While recommendation like “don’t depend on whitespace in your layout” sounds reasonable, it seems to be not that straight forward especially for something like embedded icons into the text flow.

If you still want to use Hugo’s minify flag you should at least exclude HTML file in your site configuration:

  disableHTML = true

Whats next?

There are a lot more things to discover. To get the most out of the Theme we have collected interesting posts covering more advanced topics: