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Copy your docs directly to the gh-pages branch.

Project description

As part of [gunicorn][gunicorn], [Benoit Chesneau][benoit] and I have been starting to look at how to host documentation. There’s the obvious method of using [GitHub’s post-receive hook][github-post] to trigger doc builds and rsync to a webserver, but we ended up wanting to try out github’s hosting to make the whole interface a bit more robust.

[GitHub Pages][gh-pages] is a pretty awesome service that GitHub provides for hosting project documentation. The only thing is that it requires a gh-pages branch that is the site’s document root. This means that keeping documentation sources in the branch with code is a bit difficult. And it really turns into a head scratcher for things like [Sphinx][sphinx] that want to access documentation sources and code sources at the same time.

Then I stumbled across an interesting looking package called [github-tools][github-tools] that looked almost like what I wanted. It was a tad complicated and more involved than I wanted but it gave me an idear. Why not just write a script that can copy a directory to the gh-pages branch of the repository. This saves me from even having to think about the branch and everything becomes magical.

This is what ghp-import was written for.

[gunicorn]: “Gunicorn” [benoit]: “Benoît Chesneau” [github-post]: “GitHub Post-Receive Hook” [gh-pages]: “GitHub Pages” [sphinx]: “Sphinx Documentation” [github-tools]: “github-tools”

Big Fat Warning

This will DESTROY your gh-pages branch. If you love it, you’ll want to take backups before playing with this. This script assumes that gh-pages is 100% derivative. You should never edit files in your gh-pages branch by hand if you’re using this script because you will lose your work.


Usage: ghp-import [OPTIONS] DIRECTORY

-n Include a .nojekyll file in the branch.
-c CNAME Write a CNAME file with the given CNAME.
-m MESG The commit message to use on the target branch.
-p Push the branch to origin/{branch} after committing.
-f Force the push to the repository
-r REMOTE The name of the remote to push to. [origin]
-b BRANCH Name of the branch to write to. [gh-pages]
-s Use the shell when invoking Git. [False]
-l Follow symlinks when adding files. [False]
-h, --help show this help message and exit

Its pretty simple. Inside your repository just run ghp-import $DOCS_DIR where $DOCS_DIR is the path to the built documentation. This will write a commit to your gh-pages branch with the current documents in it.

If you specify -p it will also attempt to push the gh-pages branch to GitHub. By default it’ll just run git push origin gh-pages. You can specify a different remote using the -r flag.

You can specify a different branch with -b. This is useful for user and organization page, which are served from the master branch.

Some Windows users report needing to pass Git commands through the shell which can be accomplished by passing -s.

The -l option will cause the import to follow symlinks for users that have odd configurations that include symlinking outside of their documentation directory.


ghp-import is distributed under the Tumbolia Public License. See the LICENSE file for more information.

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