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Shinmun is a small file based blog engine. Write posts in your favorite editor, track them with git and deploy to Heroku. Small, fast and simple.
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Shinmun - a git-based blog engine

Shinmun is a small git-based blog engine. Write posts in your favorite editor, git-push it and serve your blog straight from a repository.



Install the gems:

$ gem sources -a
$ gem install rack BlueCloth rubypants coderay georgi-git_store georgi-kontrol georgi-shinmun

Create a sample blog:

$ shinmun init myblog

This will create a directory with all necessary files. Now start the web server:

$ cd myblog
$ rackup

Browse to the following url:


Voilà, your first blog is up and running!

Writing Posts

Posts can be created by using the shinmun command inside your blog folder:

shinmun post 'The title of the post'

Shinmun will then create a post file in the right place, for example in posts/2008/9/ and open it with $EDITOR.

Post Format

Each blog post is just a text file with a YAML header and a body. The YAML header is surrounded with 2 lines of 3 dashes. This format is compatible with [Jekyll][13] and [Github Pages][14].

The YAML header has following attributes:

  • title: mandatory
  • date: posts need one, pages not
  • category: a post belongs to one category
  • tags: a comma separated list of tags

Example post:

date: 2008-09-05
category: Ruby
tags: bluecloth, markdown
title: BlueCloth, a Markdown library
This is the summary, which is by definition the first paragraph of the
article. The summary shows up in category listings or the index listing.

Syntax highlighting

Thanks to the fantastic highlighting library CodeRay, highlighted code blocks can be embedded easily in Markdown. For Textile support you have to require coderay/for_redcloth. These languages are supported: C, Diff, Javascript, Scheme, CSS, HTML, XML, Java, JSON, RHTML, YAML, Delphi

To activate CodeRay for a code block, you have to declare the language in lower case:


def method_missing(id, *args, &block)
  puts "#{id} was called with #{args.inspect}"

Note that the declaration MUST be followed by a blank line!

Directory layout

+ assets
  + print.css
  + styles.css
+ pages
+ posts
  + 2007
  + 2008
    + 9
+ templates
  + 404.rhtml
  + archive.rhtml
  + category.rhtml
  + category.rxml
  + _comments.rhtml
  + _comment_form.rhtml
  + index.rhtml
  + index.rxml
  + index.rhtml
  + layout.rhtml
  + page.rhtml
  + post.rhtml  

Blog configuation

In you can set the properties of your blog:

blog.config = {
  :language => 'en',
  :title => "Blog Title",
  :author => "The Author",
  :categories => ["Ruby", "Javascript"],
  :description => "Blog description"


Layout and templates are rendered by ERB. The layout is defined in templates/layout.rhtml. The content will be provided in the variable @content. A minimal example:

    <title><%= @blog.title %></title>
    <%= stylesheet_link_tag 'style' %>
     <%= @content %>

The attributes of a post are accessible via the @post variable:

<div class="article">

  <h1><%= @post.title %></h1>

  <div class="date">
    <%= human_date %>

  <%= @post.body_html %>



Commenting System

Comments are stored as flat files and encoded as YAML objects. Each post has a corresponding comment file located at comments/<path to post>. So administration of comments is possible by editing the YAML file, which can be done on your local machine, as you can just pull the comments from your live server.


Shinmun can server the blog straight from the git repository. So on your webserver initialize a new git repo like:

$ cd /var/www
$ mkdir myblog
$ cd myblog
$ git init

Now on your local machine, you add a new remote repository and push your blog to your server:

$ cd ~/myblog
$ git remote add live ssh://
$ git push live

On your production server, you just need the rackup file to run the blog:

$ git checkout

Now you can run just a pure ruby server or something like Phusion Passenger. Anytime you want to publish a post on your blog, you just write, commit and finally push a post by:

$ git commit -a -m 'new post'
$ git push live

Phusion Passenger

Shinmun is compatible with Phusion Passenger. Install Phusion Passenger as described in my blog post.

Assuming that you are on a Debian or Ubuntu system, you can create a file named /etc/apache2/sites-available/blog:

<VirtualHost *:80>
    DocumentRoot /var/www/blog/public

Enable the new virtual host:

$ a2ensite myapp

After restarting Apache your blog should run on Apache on your desired domain:

$ /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

GitHub Project

Download or fork the package at my github repository

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