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A simple Rails blog engine powered by Markdown.
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A simple Rails blog engine powered by Markdown.

Postmarkdown is compatible with Rails 3 only and the gem is hosted on

Build Status


  • Markdown files for blog posts
  • No database
  • RSS Feed
  • Customizable Routes
  • Built-in minimal theme (optional)
  • HTML5
  • Rails engine (so you can override models, views, controllers, etc)
  • Easily customized


Simply add Postmarkdown to your Gemfile and bundle it up:

gem 'postmarkdown'

Then, run the generator to setup Postmarkdown for your application:

$ rails generate postmarkdown:install

The above command performs the following actions:

  • Create the directory app/posts/. This directory is where your markdown files will live.
  • Generate an example post using today's date, eg. app/posts/2011-01-01-example-post.markdown.
  • Add some routes. By default the routes are setup underneath the path /posts/*, to customize these routes check out the Customizing Routes section below.


Generate a new Post

Here's an example of how to generate a new post using a slug and publish date:

$ rails generate postmarkdown:post test-post --date=2011-01-01

The above command will create the file app/posts/2011-01-01-test-post.markdown, which you can edit and add content to.

View the Post

Open http://localhost:3000/posts in your browser and you should be able to navigate to your new post. The URL for your new post is http://localhost:3000/posts/2011/01/01/test-post.

Overriding Files

The easiest way to customize the Postmarkdown functionality or appearance is by using the override generator. This generator can copy files from the Postmarkdown core and place them into your Rails app. For example:

$ rails generate postmarkdown:override --all        # overrides all of the things
$ rails generate postmarkdown:override --controller # overrides `app/controllers/posts_controller.rb`
$ rails generate postmarkdown:override --model      # overrides `app/models/post.rb`
$ rails generate postmarkdown:override --views      # overrides all files in directory `app/views/posts/`
$ rails generate postmarkdown:override --theme      # overrides the layout and stylesheet

RSS Feed

Postmarkdown comes prepared with a fully functional RSS feed.

You can take advantage of the built-in feed by adding the feed link to your HTML head tag. For example, simply add the following to your default layout:

  <!-- include your stylesheets and javascript here... -->
  <%= yield :head %>

To customize the feed title, add the following to an initializer (config/initializers/postmarkdown.rb):

Postmarkdown::Config.options[:feed_title] = 'Custom Blog Title Goes Here'

To link to the feed in your app, simply use the route helper: <%= link_to 'RSS Feed', posts_feed_path %>

Customizing the layout

By default, Postmarkdown will use your application's default layout, but if you wish to use a specific custom layout, you can set the following configuration in an initializer (config/initializers/postmarkdown.rb):

Postmarkdown::Config.options[:layout] = 'layout_name'

Built-in Theme

Postmarkdown comes with minimal built-in theme for your convenience.

Postmarkdown::Config.options[:layout] = 'postmarkdown'

Syntax Highlighting

Postmarkdown supports fenced code blocks which allows you to add syntax highlighting with an optional language identifier. For example, to syntax highlight Ruby code:

require 'some_gem'
class RubyClass
  def some_method
    puts "string"

This will add CSS classes to the HTML, but you still need to a stylesheet to visually highlight the code. Postmarkdown ships with a GitHub-like set of styles.

In your app/assets/stylesheets/application.css, include the CSS file:

 *= require postmarkdown/syntax/github

Or if you're using SCSS:

@import "postmarkdown/syntax/github";

Postmarkdown adds highlighting to your code using Rouge. See the demo page for supported languages and styles.

Customizing Routes

By default Postmarkdown will setup all routes to go through the /posts/* path. For example:                      # lists all posts                 # lists all posts from 2011              # lists all posts from January 2011           # lists all posts from the 1st of January 2011 # show the specified post

You can change the default route path by modifying the 'postmarkdown' line in routes.rb. For example:

postmarkdown :as => :blog

This will produce the following routes:                      # lists all posts                 # lists all posts from 2011              # lists all posts from January 2011           # lists all posts from the 1st of January 2011 # show the specified post

You can also customize the posts#show route via the :permalink_format option:

postmarkdown :as => :blog, :permalink_format => :day   # URL:
postmarkdown :as => :blog, :permalink_format => :month # URL:
postmarkdown :as => :blog, :permalink_format => :year  # URL:
postmarkdown :as => :blog, :permalink_format => :slug  # URL:

What about mapping Postmarkdown to root? We got you covered:

postmarkdown :as => ''
root :to => 'posts#index'

Previewing Future-dated Posts

By default, Postmarkdown will only show posts that are dated on or before today. If you're writing a post to be published sometime in the future, you won't be able to view it in the browser.

To override this behaviour, add the following to an initializer (config/initializers/postmarkdown.rb):

Postmarkdown::Config.options[:allow_preview] = true

With the :allow_preview option set, you'll be able to view individual posts by their URL but they will remain hidden from the index and feed until the post date.

Example Directory Structure

├── app
│   ├── controllers
│   ├── helpers
│   ├── mailers
│   ├── models
│   ├── posts (where your markdown files live)
│   │   ├── 2011-04-01-example-1.markdown
│   │   ├── 2011-04-02-example-2.markdown
│   │   ├── 2011-04-03-example-3.markdown
│   │   ├── 2011-04-04-example-4.markdown
│   └── views
│       └── posts (overridable)
│           ├── _feed_link.html.haml
│           ├── _post.html.haml
│           ├── feed.xml.builder
│           ├── index.html.haml
│           └── show.html.haml


  • Generated routes should show example usage
  • Support more file formats, eg. textile
  • Built-in theme should have a link to the RSS Feed
  • Generator tests


rake appraisal:install
rake # run the tests


MIT License. Copyright 2011 Ennova.

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