Madness - Instant Markdown Server
Screenshots (click to zoom)
Table of Contents
- Design Intentions
- Feature Highlights
- Directory Conventions
- Configuration File
- Images and Static Files
- Automatic H1
- Table of Contents Generation
- Hidden Directories
- Controlling Sort Order
- Displaying Additional File Types
- Basic Authentication
- Customizing Theme
- Forcing HTTPS Connection
- Docker Image
$ gem install madness
$ alias madness='docker run --rm -it -v $PWD:/docs -p 3000:3000 dannyben/madness'
Madness was designed in order to provide easy browsing, viewing and searching for local, markdown based documentation directories.
- Easy to use.
- Built-in full text search.
- Compatible with how markdown files are displayed on GitHub and GitHub pages.
- Configure with a configuration file or command arguments.
- Fully customizable theme.
- Automatic generation of navigation sidebar.
- Automatic generation of Table of Contents (site-wide and inline).
- Can optionally show additional file types in the navigation menu (e.g. PDF files).
Go to any directory that contains markdown files and run:
And open http://localhost:3000 in your browser.
For more options, run:
$ madness --help
Madness expects to be executed in a documentation directory.
A documentation directory contains only markdown files (
sub directories that contain more markdown files.
The server will consider the file
README.md in any directory
as the main file describing this directory, where
index.md has priority.
The navigation sidebar will show all the sub directories and files in the same directory as the viewed file.
./ ├── README.md ├── File.md ├── Another File.md ├── Folder │ ├── File.md │ └── image.png └── Another Folder ├── README.md └── File.md
All the command line arguments can also be configured through a
configuration file. Create a file named
.madness.yml in your
documentation directory, and modify any of the settings below.
# .madness.yml # path to the documentation root path: . # server port port: 3000 # server listen address bind: 0.0.0.0 # enable sidebar sidebar: true # add H1 title to files that do not have one auto_h1: true # append navigation to directory READMEs auto_nav: true # enable syntax highlighter for code snippets highlighter: true # enable line numbers for code snippets line_numbers: true # enable the copy to clipboard icon for code snippets copy_code: true # generate a table of contents file with this name, for example: # toc: Table of Contents toc: ~ # path to theme folder, for example: # theme: _theme theme: ~ # open the server URL in the browser open: false # provide user:password for basic authentication, for example: # auth: admin:s3cr3t auth: false # if auth is enabled, specify auth realm name auth_zone: Madness # show files with these extensions in the navigation and search, for example: # expose_extensions: pdf,docx,xlsx,txt expose_extensions: ~ # exclude directories that match these regular expressions # note that this is an array exclude: ['^[a-z_\-0-9]+$']
For convenience, you can generate a template config file by running:
$ madness create config
Madness comes with a full text search page.
Images and Static Files
You can put images and other asset files anywhere in your documentation folder.
When linking to other pages or images in your documentation folder, simply use the URL relative to the markdown file.
For example, if you have a folder named
subfolder that contains a
README.md and a
nice-picture.png, showing it in your
README is done by
If you wish to link to images or pages in a different folder, simply specify the path relative to the homepage:
If your markdown document does not start with a level 1 heading, it will be automatically added based on the file name.
Table of Contents Generation
To generate a Table of Contents file for the entire site (for the directories
and files), run
madness --toc FILENAME
If you have long markdown documents, and you wish to add an inline Table of
Contents for them, simply add an HTML comment
<!-- TOC --> where you want
the Table of Contents to be generated. The inserted list will only consider
H2 and H3 headings.
Directories that are made only of lowercase letters, underscoes, dash and/or
/^[a-z_\-0-9]+$/) will not be displayed in the navigation. In
other words, directories must have at least one uppercase letter or a space
to be recognized as a documentation directory.
This can be configured by using the
exclude configuration option:
# do not ignore any directory exclude: ~ # ignore only specific directories exclude: [assets, public] # ignore using regular expressions exclude: ['^public$', 'assets']
Controlling Sort Order
To control the sort order of the automatically generated navigation elements, simply prefix your files and directories with digits followed by a dot and a space, just like you would create an ordered list in Markdown. The numbers will be omitted when they are displayed.
./ ├── 1. Some file or folder └── 2. Another file or folder
Displaying Additional File Types
If you wish the navigation and search features to also show other documents
and files (for example, PDF files), you may configure the
option in the configuration file to contain a comma delimited list of
The default value of this option is
~, which is
null in YAML).
To add basic authentication, use the
--auth user:password command line argument or the equivalent
auth configuration option.
If you wish to avoid storing the basic authentication credentials in the configuration file, you may use ERB tags to load the credentials from environment variables:
auth: <%= ENV['BASIC_AUTH'] %>
There are two ways to change how Madness looks.
Option 1: Change CSS and HTML (Slim)
In order to have complete control over the CSS and generated HTML, you can override the views and styles. Views are provided as Slim templates, and CSS is provided as SCSS.
Madness comes with a command that copies the default theme to a folder of your choice, where you can customize it to your taste. Run:
$ madness create theme my_theme
my_theme is the folder that will be created.
To use the created theme, simply run Madness with the
$ madness --theme my_theme
Note that the generated theme contains the SCSS files in the
subfolder, and the rendered CSS files in the
If you wish to use the SCSS files, you will need to render them yourself
to the location of your theme styles (e.g.
public/css) - you can use
any tool to do so, or if you do not have a preference, use
Option 2: Change CSS only
If you are looking to implement a smaller CSS change, follow these steps:
- Create a directory named
cssin your root documentation directory.
- Copy the main.css file to it.
- Update it as you see fit.
Note that this functionality is not guaranteed to stay as is in future versions of madness.
Forcing HTTPS Connection
To have Madness redirect HTTP traffic to HTTPS, set this environment variable:
$ export MADNESS_FORCE_SSL=1
Madness server is also available as a docker image.
This command will start the server on localhost:3000, with the current directory as the markdown documentation folder
$ docker run --rm -it -v $PWD:/docs -p 3000:3000 dannyben/madness
You may create an alias for convenience:
$ alias madness='docker run --rm -it -v $PWD:/docs -p 3000:3000 dannyben/madness' $ medness --help
For more information about the docker image, see: