Running Jekyll Serve From Command Line

When working with a Jekyll site locally, it’s useful to use the command jekyll serve to be able to view the site locally. However this ties up a terminal window. How to not keep a terminal window busy?

There are two methods.

First up, we can simply add an ampersand to the end of the command:

jekyll serve &

Which gives us output similar to the below:

$ jekyll serve &
[1] 76710
ben@desktop ~/git/ master  Configuration file: /Users/ben/git/
            Source: /Users/ben/git/
       Destination: /Users/ben/git/
 Incremental build: disabled. Enable with --incremental
       Jekyll Feed: Generating feed for posts
                    done in 5.473 seconds.
 Auto-regeneration: enabled for '/Users/ben/git/'
    Server address:
  Server running... press ctrl-c to stop.

What this does is tell the process to go to the background. We can then do other things in this terminal window.

So how do we stop the process when we want?

When it ran, see output above, the first lines it gave us said [1] 76710 That number, 76710 (it’ll be different on your machine) is the process ID.

Entering kill 76710 (replace the process ID with your process ID) will kill the process.

What if we’ve forgotten what the process number is?

The command

ps -ax | grep jekyll

will give the process number to us.

Sounds good. But wait, there is a catch.

If we close the terminal window, we stop that process. If we want the process to keep running even if we close the terminal window, this next command is for you.

Our second method is:

nohup jekyll serve

The nohup command will run the command you give it in the background.

Written on January 27, 2020