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Manage multiple versions of your MkDocs-powered documentation

Project description

mike is a Python utility to easily deploy multiple versions of your MkDocs-powered docs to a Git branch, suitable for deploying to Github via gh-pages.

Why Use mike?

mike is built around the idea that once you’ve generated your docs for a particular version, you should never need to touch that version again. This means you never have to worry about breaking changes in MkDocs, since your old docs (built with an old version of MkDocs) are already generated and sitting in your gh-pages branch.

While mike is flexible, it’s optimized around putting your docs in a <major>.<minor> directory, with optional aliases (e.g. latest or dev) to particularly notable versions. This makes it easy to make permalinks to whatever version of the documentation you want to direct people to.


Like most Python projects, mike uses setuptools, so installation is what you might expect:

pip install mike


Building Your Docs

Before your first build, you’ll probably want to add the version selector to your MkDocs config. Simply run the following command in the directory with your mkdocs.yml file to install the extra CSS and JS files to your docs:

mike install-extras

mike is designed to produce one version of your docs at a time. That way, you can easily deploy a new version without touching any older versions of your docs; this can be especially important if your old docs are no longer buildable with the newest version of MkDocs (or if they weren’t built with MkDocs at all!). To deploy the current version of your docs, simply run:

mike deploy [version]

Where [version] is the current version of your project, represented however you like (I recommend using [major].[minor] and excluding the patch number). You can also pass aliases to the deploy command to host a particularly-relevant version of your docs somewhere special (e.g. latest):

mike deploy [version] [alias]...

If you’d like to specify a title for this version that doesn’t match the version string, you can pass -t TITLE/--title=TITLE as well. If version already exists, this command will also update all of the pre-existing aliases for it.

Finally, to push your docs to a remote branch, simply add -p/--push to your command.

Viewing Your Docs

To test that your docs have been built as expected, you can serve them locally from a dev server:

mike serve

By default, this serves the docs on http://localhost:8000, but you can change this with -a/--dev-addr.

Deleting Docs

Sometimes you need to delete an old version of your docs, either because you made a mistake or you’re pruning unsupported versions. You can do this via the delete subcommand:

mike delete [version-or-alias]...

If version-or-alias is a version, this will delete the version and all its aliases from the branch; if it’s an alias, it will only delete that alias.

If you’d like to completely wipe the contents of your docs branch, just run mike delete --all. Like deploy above, you can specify -p/--push to push this commit as well.

Listing Docs

If you ever need to see the list of all currently-deployed doc versions, you can run:

mike list

Setting the Default Version

With all the versions of docs you have, you may want to set a default version so that people going to the root of your site are redirected to the latest version of the docs:

mike set-default [version-or-alias]

Like deploy and delete above, you can specify -p/--push to` push this commit as well.

Changing a Version’s Title

As you update your docs, you may want to change the title of a particular version. For example, your 1.0 docs might have the title 1.0.0, and when you release a new patch, you want to update the title to 1.0.1. You can do this with the retitle command:

mike retitle [version-or-alias] [title]

As with other commands that change your docs, you can specify -p/--push to push this commit.

Adding a New Version Alias

Sometimes, you might need to add a new alias for a version without rebuilding your documentation. You can use the alias command for this:

mike alias [version-or-alias] [alias]...

Once again, you can specify -p/--push to push this commit.

More Details

For more details on the available options (e.g. specifying which branch to push to), consult the --help command for mike.

Staying in Sync

mike will do its best to stay in-sync with your remote repository and will automatically update your local branch to match the remote’s if possible (note that mike won’t automatically git fetch anything). If your local branch has diverged from your remote, mike will leave it as-is and ask you what to do. To ignore the remote’s state, just pass --ignore; to update to the remote’s state, pass --rebase.

For Theme Authors

If you’d like to provide support for mike in your theme, you just need to fetch versions.json and build a version selector. versions.json looks like this:

  {"version": "1.0", "title": "1.0.1", "aliases": ["latest"]},
  {"version": "0.9", "title": "0.9", "aliases": []}

To see an example of how to work with this, check the `mike/themes/mkdocs <mike/themes/mkdocs>`__ directory.


This project is licensed under the BSD 3-clause license.

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