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Configure Hugo
How to configure your Hugo site.
getting started
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Configuration File

Hugo uses the hugo.toml, hugo.yaml, or hugo.json (if found in the site root) as the default site configuration file.

The user can choose to override that default with one or more site config files using the command-line --config switch.


hugo --config debugconfig.toml
hugo --config a.toml,b.toml,c.toml

{{% note %}} Multiple site config files can be specified as a comma-separated string to the --config switch. {{% /note %}}

hugo.toml vs config.toml

In Hugo 0.110.0 we changed the default config base filename to hugo, e.g. hugo.toml. We will still look for config.toml etc., but we recommend you eventually rename it (but you need to wait if you want to support older Hugo versions). The main reason we're doing this is to make it easier for code editors and build tools to identify this as a Hugo configuration file and project.

{{< new-in "0.110.0" >}}

Configuration Directory

In addition to using a single site config file, one can use the configDir directory (default to config/) to maintain easier organization and environment specific settings.

  • Each file represents a configuration root object, such as params.toml for [Params], menu(s).toml for [Menu], languages.toml for [Languages] etc...
  • Each file's content must be top-level, for example:

{{< code-toggle file="hugo" >}} [Params] foo = "bar" {{< /code-toggle >}}

{{< code-toggle file="params" >}} foo = "bar" {{< /code-toggle >}}

  • Each directory holds a group of files containing settings unique to an environment.
  • Files can be localized to become language specific.
├── config
│   ├── _default
│   │   ├── hugo.toml
│   │   ├── languages.toml
│   │   ├── menus.en.toml
│   │   ├── menus.zh.toml
│   │   └── params.toml
│   ├── production
│   │   ├── hugo.toml
│   │   └── params.toml
│   └── staging
│       ├── hugo.toml
│       └── params.toml

Considering the structure above, when running hugo --environment staging, Hugo will use every setting from config/_default and merge staging's on top of those.

Let's take an example to understand this better. Let's say you are using Google Analytics for your website. This requires you to specify googleAnalytics = "G-XXXXXXXX" in hugo.toml. Now consider the following scenario:

  • You don't want the Analytics code to be loaded in development i.e. in your localhost
  • You want to use separate googleAnalytics IDs for your production & staging environments (say):
    • G-PPPPPPPP for production
    • G-SSSSSSSS for staging

This is how you need to configure your hugo.toml files considering the above scenario:

  1. In _default/hugo.toml you don't need to mention googleAnalytics parameter at all. This ensures that no Google Analytics code is loaded in your development server i.e. when you run hugo server. This works since, by default Hugo sets Environment=development when you run hugo server which uses the config files from _default folder

  2. In production/hugo.toml you just need to have one line:

    googleAnalytics = "G-PPPPPPPP"

    You don't need to mention all other parameters like title, baseURL, theme etc. again in this config file. You need to mention only those parameters which are different or new for the production environment. This is due to the fact that Hugo is going to merge this on top of _default/hugo.toml. Now when you run hugo (build command), by default hugo sets Environment=production, so the G-PPPPPPPP analytics code will be there in your production website

  3. Similarly in staging/hugo.toml you just need to have one line:

    googleAnalytics = "G-SSSSSSSS"

    Now you need to tell Hugo that you are using the staging environment. So your build command should be hugo --environment staging which will load the G-SSSSSSSS analytics code in your staging website

{{% note %}} Default environments are development with hugo server and production with hugo. {{%/ note %}}

Merge Configuration from Themes

The configuration value for _merge can be one of:

none : No merge.

shallow : Only add values for new keys.

deep : Add values for new keys, merge existing.

Note that you don't need to be so verbose as in the default setup below; a _merge value higher up will be inherited if not set.

{{< code-toggle config="mergeStrategy" skipHeader=true />}}

All Configuration Settings

The following is the full list of Hugo-defined variables. Users may choose to override those values in their site config file(s).


Default value: "archetypes"

The directory where Hugo finds archetype files (content templates). {{% module-mounts-note %}}


Default value: "assets"

The directory where Hugo finds asset files used in Hugo Pipes. {{% module-mounts-note %}}


The absolute URL (protocol, host, path, and trailing slash) of your published site (e.g.,


See Configure Build

buildDrafts (false)

Default value: false

Include drafts when building.


Default value: false

Include content already expired.


Default value: false

Include content with publishdate in the future.


See Configure File Caches


Pass down default configuration values (front matter) to pages in the content tree. The options in site config is the same as in page front matter, see Front Matter Cascade.


Default value: false

Enable to turn relative URLs into absolute.


Default value: false

When building, removes files from destination not found in static directories.


Default value: "content"

The directory from where Hugo reads content files. {{% module-mounts-note %}}


Default value: ""

Copyright notice for your site, typically displayed in the footer.


Default value: "data"

The directory from where Hugo reads data files. {{% module-mounts-note %}}


Default value: "en"

Content without language indicator will default to this language.


Default value: false

Render the default content language in subdir, e.g. content/en/. The site root / will then redirect to /en/.


Default value: false

Will disable generation of alias redirects. Note that even if disableAliases is set, the aliases themselves are preserved on the page. The motivation with this is to be able to generate 301 redirects in an .htaccess, a Netlify _redirects file or similar using a custom output format.


Default value: false

Hugo will, by default, inject a generator meta tag in the HTML head on the home page only. You can turn it off, but we would really appreciate if you don't, as this is a good way to watch Hugo's popularity on the rise.


Default value: []

Enable disabling of all pages of the specified Kinds. Allowed values in this list: "page", "home", "section", "taxonomy", "term", "RSS", "sitemap", "robotsTXT", "404".


Default value: false

Disable automatic live reloading of browser window.


Default value: false

Do not convert the url/path to lowercase.


Default value: false

Enable Emoji emoticons support for page content; see the Emoji Cheat Sheet.


Default value: false

Enable .GitInfo object for each page (if the Hugo site is versioned by Git). This will then update the Lastmod parameter for each page using the last git commit date for that content file.


Default value: false

Enable inline shortcode support. See Inline Shortcodes.


Default value: false

Show a placeholder instead of the default value or an empty string if a translation is missing.


Default value: false

Enable generation of robots.txt file.


See Front matter Configuration.


Default value: ""

Google Analytics tracking ID.


Default value: false

If true, auto-detect Chinese/Japanese/Korean Languages in the content. This will make .Summary and .WordCount behave correctly for CJK languages.


See Image Processing Config.


Default value: ""

A language tag as defined by RFC 5646. This value is used to populate:


See Configure Languages.


See Disable a Language


See Configure Markup.


See Configure Media Types.


See Menus.


See Configure Minify


Module config see Module Config.


Default value: ""

The editor to use when creating new content.


Default value: false

Don't sync permission mode of files.


Default value: false

Don't sync modification time of files.


See Configure Output Formats.


Default value: 10

Default number of elements per page in pagination.


Default value: "page"

The path element used during pagination (


See Content Management.


Default value: true

Pluralize titles in lists.


Default value: "public"

The directory to where Hugo will write the final static site (the HTML files etc.).


See Related Content.


Default value: false

Enable this to make all relative URLs relative to content root. Note that this does not affect absolute URLs.


Default value: "ERROR"

When using ref or relref to resolve page links and a link cannot be resolved, it will be logged with this log level. Valid values are ERROR (default) or WARNING. Any ERROR will fail the build (exit -1).


URL to be used as a placeholder when a page reference cannot be found in ref or relref. Is used as-is.


Default value: false

Removes non-spacing marks from composite characters in content paths.

content/post/hügó.md -->


Default value: -1 (unlimited)

Maximum number of items in the RSS feed.


See Menus.


See Security Policy


Default sitemap configuration.


Default value: 70

The length of text in words to show in a .Summary.


See Configure Taxonomies.


: See Module Config for how to import a theme.


Default value: "themes"

The directory where Hugo reads the themes from.


Default value: "30s"

Timeout for generating page contents, specified as a duration or in milliseconds. Note: this is used to bail out of recursive content generation. You might need to raise this limit if your pages are slow to generate (e.g., because they require large image processing or depend on remote contents).


The time zone (or location), e.g. Europe/Oslo, used to parse front matter dates without such information and in the time function. The list of valid values may be system dependent, but should include UTC, Local, and any location in the IANA Time Zone database.


Site title.


Default value: "AP"

See Configure Title Case


Default value: false

When enabled, creates URL of the form /filename.html instead of /filename/.


Default value: false

Watch filesystem for changes and recreate as needed.

{{% note %}} If you are developing your site on a *nix machine, here is a handy shortcut for finding a configuration option from the command line:

cd ~/sites/yourhugosite
hugo config | grep emoji

which shows output like

enableemoji: true

{{% /note %}}

Configure Build

The build configuration section contains global build-related configuration options.

{{< code-toggle file="hugo" >}} [build] useResourceCacheWhen="fallback" writeStats = false noJSConfigInAssets = false [[build.cachebusters]] source = "assets/watching/hugo_stats\.json" target = "styles\.css" [[build.cachebusters]] source = "(postcss|tailwind)\.config\.js" target = "css" [[build.cachebusters]] source = "assets/.\.(js|ts|jsx|tsx)" target = "js" [[build.cachebusters]] source = "assets/.\.(.*)$" target = "$1" {{< /code-toggle >}}

useResourceCacheWhen : When to use the cached resources in /resources/_gen for PostCSS and ToCSS. Valid values are never, always and fallback. The last value means that the cache will be tried if PostCSS/extended version is not available.

writeStats : When enabled, a file named hugo_stats.json will be written to your project root with some aggregated data about the build, e.g. list of HTML entities published to be used to do CSS pruning. If you're only using this for the production build, you should consider placing it below config/production. It's also worth mentioning that, due to the nature of the partial server builds, new HTML entities will be added when you add or change them while the server is running, but the old values will not be removed until you restart the server or run a regular hugo build.

Note that the prime use case for this is purging of unused CSS; it is built for speed and there may be false positives (e.g., detection of HTML elements that are not HTML elements).

noJSConfigInAssets : Turn off writing a jsconfig.json into your /assets folder with mapping of imports from running js.Build. This file is intended to help with intellisense/navigation inside code editors such as VS Code. Note that if you do not use js.Build, no file will be written.

cachebusters : See Configure Cache Busters

Configure Cache Busters

{{< new-in "0.112.0" >}}

The build.cachebusters configuration option was added to support development using Tailwind 3.x's JIT compiler where a build config may look like this:

{{< code-toggle file="hugo" >}} [build] writeStats = true [[build.cachebusters]] source = "assets/watching/hugo_stats\.json" target = "styles\.css" [[build.cachebusters]] source = "(postcss|tailwind)\.config\.js" target = "css" [[build.cachebusters]] source = "assets/.\.(js|ts|jsx|tsx)" target = "js" [[build.cachebusters]] source = "assets/.\.(.*)$" target = "$1" {{< /code-toggle >}}

Some key points in the above are writeStats = true, which writes a hugo_stats.json file on each build with HTML classes etc. that's used in the rendered output. Changes to this file will trigger a rebuild of the styles.css file. You also need to add hugo_stats.json to Hugo's server watcher. See Hugo Starter Tailwind Basic for a running example.

source : A regexp matching file(s) relative to one of the virtual component directories in Hugo, typically assets/....

target : A regexp matching the keys in the resource cache that should be expired when source changes. You can use the matching regexp groups from source in the expression, e.g. $1.

Configure Server

This is only relevant when running hugo server, and it allows to set HTTP headers during development, which allows you to test out your Content Security Policy and similar. The configuration format matches Netlify's with slightly more powerful Glob matching:

{{< code-toggle file="hugo" >}} [server] [[server.headers]] for = "/**"

[server.headers.values] X-Frame-Options = "DENY" X-XSS-Protection = "1; mode=block" X-Content-Type-Options = "nosniff" Referrer-Policy = "strict-origin-when-cross-origin" Content-Security-Policy = "script-src localhost:1313" {{< /code-toggle >}}

Since this is "development only", it may make sense to put it below the development environment:

{{< code-toggle file="config/development/server">}} [[headers]] for = "/**"

[headers.values] X-Frame-Options = "DENY" X-XSS-Protection = "1; mode=block" X-Content-Type-Options = "nosniff" Referrer-Policy = "strict-origin-when-cross-origin" Content-Security-Policy = "script-src localhost:1313" {{< /code-toggle >}}

You can also specify simple redirects rules for the server. The syntax is again similar to Netlify's.

Note that a status code of 200 will trigger a URL rewrite, which is what you want in SPA situations, e.g:

{{< code-toggle file="config/development/server">}} [[redirects]] from = "/myspa/**" to = "/myspa/" status = 200 force = false {{< /code-toggle >}}

Setting force=true will make a redirect even if there is existing content in the path. Note that before Hugo 0.76 force was the default behavior, but this is inline with how Netlify does it.

404 Server Error Page {#_404-server-error-page}

{{< new-in "0.103.0" >}}

Hugo will, by default, render all 404 errors when running hugo server with the 404.html template. Note that if you have already added one or more redirects to your Server Config, you need to add the 404 redirect explicitly, e.g:

{{< code-toggle file="config/development/server" copy=false >}} [[redirects]] from = "/**" to = "/404.html" status = 404 {{< /code-toggle >}}

Configure Title Case

Set titleCaseStyle to specify the title style used by the title template function and the automatic section titles in Hugo.

By default, Hugo adheres to the capitalization rules in the Associated Press (AP) Stylebook. Set titleCaseStyle to chicago if you would prefer to follow the Chicago Manual of Style, or set if to go to use Go's convention of capitalizing every word.

Configuration Environment Variables

HUGO_NUMWORKERMULTIPLIER : Can be set to increase or reduce the number of workers used in parallel processing in Hugo. If not set, the number of logical CPUs will be used.

Configuration Lookup Order

Similar to the template lookup order, Hugo has a default set of rules for searching for a configuration file in the root of your website's source directory as a default behavior:

  1. ./hugo.toml
  2. ./hugo.yaml
  3. ./hugo.json

In your configuration file, you can direct Hugo as to how you want your website rendered, control your website's menus, and arbitrarily define site-wide parameters specific to your project.

Example Configuration

The following is a typical example of a configuration file. The values nested under params: will populate the .Site.Params variable for use in templates:

{{< code-toggle file="hugo" >}} baseURL: "" title: "My Hugo Site" permalinks: posts: /:year/:month/:title/ params: Subtitle: "Hugo is Absurdly Fast!" AuthorName: "Jon Doe" GitHubUser: "spf13" ListOfFoo: - "foo1" - "foo2" SidebarRecentLimit: 5 {{< /code-toggle >}}

Configure with Environment Variables

In addition to the 3 config options already mentioned, configuration key-values can be defined through operating system environment variables.

For example, the following command will effectively set a website's title on Unix-like systems:

$ env HUGO_TITLE="Some Title" hugo

This is really useful if you use a service such as Netlify to deploy your site. Look at the Hugo docs Netlify configuration file for an example.

{{% note %}} Names must be prefixed with HUGO_ and the configuration key must be set in uppercase when setting operating system environment variables.

To set config params, prefix the name with HUGO_PARAMS_ {{% /note %}}

If you are using snake_cased variable names, the above will not work. Hugo determines the delimiter to use by the first character after HUGO. This allows you to define environment variables on the form HUGOxPARAMSxAPI_KEY=abcdefgh, using any allowed delimiter.

{{< todo >}} Test and document setting params via JSON env var. {{< /todo >}}

Ignore Content and Data Files when Rendering

Note: This works, but we recommend you use the newer and more powerful includeFiles and excludeFiles mount options.

To exclude specific files from the content, data, and i18n directories when rendering your site, set ignoreFiles to one or more regular expressions to match against the absolute file path.

To ignore files ending with .foo or .boo:

{{< code-toggle copy=false file="hugo" >}} ignoreFiles = ['.foo$', '.boo$'] {{< /code-toggle >}}

To ignore a file using the absolute file path:

{{< code-toggle copy=false file="hugo" >}} ignoreFiles = ['^/home/user/project/content/$'] {{< /code-toggle >}}

Configure Front Matter

Configure Dates

Dates are important in Hugo, and you can configure how Hugo assigns dates to your content pages. You do this by adding a frontmatter section to your hugo.toml.

The default configuration is:

{{< code-toggle file="hugo" >}} [frontmatter] date = ["date", "publishDate", "lastmod"] lastmod = [":git", "lastmod", "date", "publishDate"] publishDate = ["publishDate", "date"] expiryDate = ["expiryDate"] {{< /code-toggle >}}

If you, as an example, have a non-standard date parameter in some of your content, you can override the setting for date:

{{< code-toggle file="hugo" >}} [frontmatter] date = ["myDate", ":default"] {{< /code-toggle >}}

The :default is a shortcut to the default settings. The above will set .Date to the date value in myDate if present, if not we will look in date,publishDate, lastmod and pick the first valid date.

In the list to the right, values starting with ":" are date handlers with a special meaning (see below). The others are just names of date parameters (case insensitive) in your front matter configuration. Also note that Hugo have some built-in aliases to the above: lastmod => modified, publishDate => pubdate, published and expiryDate => unpublishdate. With that, as an example, using pubDate as a date in front matter, will, by default, be assigned to .PublishDate.

The special date handlers are:

:fileModTime : Fetches the date from the content file's last modification timestamp.

An example:

{{< code-toggle file="hugo" >}} [frontmatter] lastmod = ["lastmod", ":fileModTime", ":default"] {{< /code-toggle >}}

The above will try first to extract the value for .Lastmod starting with the lastmod front matter parameter, then the content file's modification timestamp. The last, :default should not be needed here, but Hugo will finally look for a valid date in :git, date and then publishDate.

:filename : Fetches the date from the content file's filename. For example, will extract the date 2018-02-22. Also, if slug is not set, mypage will be used as the value for .Slug.

An example:

{{< code-toggle file="hugo" >}} [frontmatter] date = [":filename", ":default"] {{< /code-toggle >}}

The above will try first to extract the value for .Date from the filename, then it will look in front matter parameters date, publishDate and lastly lastmod.

:git : This is the Git author date for the last revision of this content file. This will only be set if --enableGitInfo is set or enableGitInfo = true is set in site config.

Configure Additional Output Formats

Hugo v0.20 introduced the ability to render your content to multiple output formats (e.g., to JSON, AMP html, or CSV). See Output Formats for information on how to add these values to your Hugo project's configuration file.

Configure Minify

Default configuration:

{{< code-toggle config="minify" />}}

Configure File Caches

Since Hugo 0.52 you can configure more than just the cacheDir. This is the default configuration:

{{< code-toggle file="hugo" >}} [caches] [caches.getjson] dir = ":cacheDir/:project" maxAge = -1 [caches.getcsv] dir = ":cacheDir/:project" maxAge = -1 [caches.getresource] dir = ":cacheDir/:project" maxAge = -1 [caches.images] dir = ":resourceDir/_gen" maxAge = -1 [caches.assets] dir = ":resourceDir/_gen" maxAge = -1 [caches.modules] dir = ":cacheDir/modules" maxAge = -1 {{< /code-toggle >}}

You can override any of these cache settings in your own hugo.toml.

The keywords explained

:cacheDir : This is the value of the cacheDir config option if set (can also be set via OS env variable HUGO_CACHEDIR). It will fall back to /opt/build/cache/hugo_cache/ on Netlify, or a hugo_cache directory below the OS temp dir for the others. This means that if you run your builds on Netlify, all caches configured with :cacheDir will be saved and restored on the next build. For other CI vendors, please read their documentation. For an CircleCI example, see this configuration.

:project : The base directory name of the current Hugo project. This means that, in its default setting, every project will have separated file caches, which means that when you do hugo --gc you will not touch files related to other Hugo projects running on the same PC.

:resourceDir : This is the value of the resourceDir config option.

maxAge : This is the duration before a cache entry will be evicted, -1 means forever and 0 effectively turns that particular cache off. Uses Go's time.Duration, so valid values are "10s" (10 seconds), "10m" (10 minutes) and "10h" (10 hours).

dir : The absolute path to where the files for this cache will be stored. Allowed starting placeholders are :cacheDir and :resourceDir (see above).

Configuration Format Specs