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Socrates is a simple static site generator. It's geared towards blogs. You write your posts in your favorite plain text to HTML language (e.g. Markdown, textile, reStructuredText) and save them as text files on your harddrive. Socrates then takes them, and creates a full HTML site for you. For free, you will get a home page which lists latest posts, single post pages, category pages, archive pages, an about page and an atom feed.


  • Familiar Django and Jinja2 templates
  • Simple install via pip
  • Markdown, reStructuredText, Textile support
  • YAML configuration
  • Atom feed
  • Github pages compatible
  • Real HTML punctuation


First, you need to create a new blog:

$ socrates -i blog

This will create a blog directory with a simple blog structure:


The posts directory is where you will place your posts files. Anything prefixed with _ or . will be ignored. layout is your basic theme or a template. config.yaml is a site-wide configuration file. Don't forget to update the about file with relevant information.

You can also create a new blog in the current working directory:

$ socrates -i

When you are ready to generate your site, you run:

$ socrates -g blog

Or, :

$ socrates -g

for current directory.

This will place all the generated files in blog/deploy. You can then take that directory and upload it to your server.


First, set up your virtual environment and pip install Socrates.

virtualenv env --no-site-packages
source env/bin/activate
pip install socrates

Or, to get the latest code, you can install from Github or Bitbucket.

pip install -e git://

The next step is to install your templates. At the moment, you can choose between Django templates and Jinja2 templates. The default theme uses Django.


Socrates supports Django templates and Jinja2 templates. You can specify which templating engine you wish to use in the config.yaml file. There are two basic themes in the themes directory to get you started.

Text to HTML

Socrates will attemp to convert your text files into HTML using a text processor. You should specify the name of the text processor in config.yaml. It should be all lowercase. Currently supported processors:

  • Markdown
  • Textile
  • reStructuredText
  • HTML (unmodified text)


You can start a simple development server to aid you in development.:

$ socrates -r blog

Or, :

$ socrates -r

for current directory.

During development and/or composing a layout theme, it might be useful to always re-generate all posts, without caching. To do so, you can run the following option: :

$ socrates -c


The documentation is contained within the docs directory and is written in reStructuredText using Sphinx. The documentation is easily read in a standard text editor. However, you can build an HTML version like so:

$ pip install sphinx
$ cd docs/
$ make html
$ open _build/html/index.html

Or, you can view the online version of the latest documentation.


Socrates is licensed under the terms of the 3-clause BSD license.


All contributions are welcome. Please do ask if a feature is wanted before starting work to avoid wasting your time.

Bugs & Issues

Please report all bugs on Github. Mailing list. You can also come visit us in #socrates on freenode.


Socrates was originally written by Honza Pokorny. For a complete list of authors, please see the AUTHORS file.

In the wild


socrates is a static site generator written in Python







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