Port of the classic Octopress theme to Hugo
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Hugo-Octopress is a port of the classic Octopress theme to Hugo.

For a demo website using the vanilla theme please visit http://hugo-octopress-test.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com/.

My personal website runs a modified version of the theme (mainly modified index): https://parsiya.net.




Hugo-Octopress can be configured by modifying the parameters in the configuration file. A working config file sample-config.toml is provided. Some miscellaneous parameters are explained below:

baseurl = "http://example.com"
disablePathToLower = false
languageCode = "en-us"
title = "Site title"
theme = "hugo-octopress"

# Disqus shortcode
# Disable comments for any individual post by adding "comments: false" in its frontmatter
disqusShortname = "Your disqus shortname"

# Number of blog posts in each pagination page
paginate = 6

# Configures post URLs
post = "/blog/:year-:month-:day-:title/"

# Make tags and categories work
# As of Hugo v0.33 these are not needed anymore
# [indexes]
#   tag = "tags"
#   category = "categories"


  # If false, all of blog post will appear on front page (and in pagination)
  truncate = true

  # Author's name (appears in meta tags and under posts)
  author = "Author's name"

  # This text appears in site header under website title
  subtitle = "Subtitle appears under website title"

  # Search engine URL
  searchEngineURL = "https://www.google.com/search"

  # Text of the "Continue Reading" label. → == right arrow, but it gets messed up in the string so it was added to index.html manually
  continueReadingText = "Would you like to know more?"

  # Google analytics code - remove if you do not have/want Google Analytics - needs JavaScript
  googleAnalytics = "UA-XXXXX-X"

  # Optional piwik tracking
  #  URL = "https://stats.example.com"
  #  ID = "42"

  # Switch to true to enable RSS icon link
  rss = true

  # Set to true to use a text label for RSS instead of an icon
  # This is overwritten by the "rss" setting
  textrss = false

  # Website's default description
  defaultDescription = ""

  # Populate this with your own search keywords - these will appear in meta tags
  # defaultKeywords = ["keyword1" , "keyword2" , "keyword3" , "keyword4"]

  # Set to true to hide ReadingTime on posts
  disableReadingTime = false

  # Set to true to disable downloading of remote Google fonts
  disableGoogleFonts = false

  # Remove or Set to false to use local fonts
  remoteFonts = false

  # Remove or set to false to use FontAwesome CDN, otherwise the theme uses ForkAwesome local fonts.
  # fontAwesome = false

Code highlight

The theme now supports the built-in Chroma highlighter. However, Chroma does not support the pygments solarized dark style. It's added to the CSS instead and must be enabled with pygmentsuseclasses = true in the config file. To use the Chroma highlighter, you need to disable Pygments with pygmentsUseClassic=false.

The following options control code highlighting:

# Highlight shortcode and code fences (```) will be treated similarly
pygmentscodefences = true

# Use CSS for highlighting
pygmentsuseclasses = true

# pygments options can be added here (and in the highlight shortcode in the markdown file)
# Hugo supports these pygments options: style, encoding, noclasses, hl_lines, linenos
# for example: pygmentsoptions = "linenos=true"

For more information see Syntax Highlighting in Hugo's documentation.

Markdown options

Blackfriday is Hugo's markdown engine. For a list of options see Configure Blackfriday rendering. Blackfriday options can be set as follows:

  hrefTargetBlank = true # open the external links in a new window
  fractions = false

CSS override

You can override the built-in CSS and use your own. Just put your own CSS files in the static directory of your website (the one in the theme directory also works but is not recommended for obvious reasons) and modify the customCSS parameter. The path should be relative to the static folder. These CSS files will be added through the header partial after the built-in CSS file.

For example, if your custom CSS files are static/css/custom.css and static/css/custom2.css then customCSS will look like this:

  customCSS = ["css/custom.css","css/custom2.css"]

Navigation menu

Links in the navigation menu (everything other than Google search and RSS icon) can be configured here. Navigation menu is generated using the layouts/partials/navigation.html template.

By default navigation menu links will open in the same window. You can change this behavior by setting the navigationNewWindow parameter to true. Links to root ("/") will always open in the same window. Currently Hugo does not support adding custom attributes to menus.

Links are sorted according to weight from left to right. For example a link with weight of -10 will be to the left of links with weights 0 or 10. Links can be added to the config file like this:

  Name = "Blog"
  URL = "/"
  weight = -10

  Name = "The other guy from Wham!"
  URL = "https://www.google.com/search?q=andrew+ridgeley"
  weight = -5

  Name = "This theme - add link"
  URL = "https://www.github.com"

  # If set to true, navigation menu links will open in a new window with the exception of links to root ("/")
  # If this item does not exist or is set to false, then navigation menu links will open in the same window
  navigationNewWindow = true

Search engine can also be customized:

  searchEngineURL = "https://www.google.com/search"


Sidebar has four parts. From top to bottom it has:

  • Sidebar header and text (optional).
  • Social network icons (optional): Icons and links to Github, Bitbucket and more.
  • Sidebar menu (optional): Links in sidebar (I use them for internal category pages but you can have external links).
  • Recent posts: Displays last X (default is 5) posts.

The sidebar is generated using the partial template at layouts/partials/sidebar.html.

Sidebar text

Sidebar text has two parts and both can be configured. Both values are passed to markdownify so you can use markdown (e.g. add links or new lines).

  • Sidebar header appears first in an <h1> tag. It can be configured through the sidebarHeader parameter.
  • Sidebar text appears under the header and can be configured by modifying sidebarText.

New lines can be added with </br> or in markdown format (two spaces at the end of line or one empty line in between). When adding two new lines, remember to remove the indentation at the start of the new line otherwise the it will be treated as a codeblock.

sidebarHeader = "Sidebar Header"

sidebarText = """Here's a [link to google](https://www.google.com)
Second line
Third line
This line has two spaces in the end to create a new line using markdown  
Forth line

Social network icons

Sidebar social network icons are configured as follows:

  github = "https://github.com/parsiya/"
  bitbucket = "https://bitbucket.org/parsiya/"
  gitlab = ""
  twitter = "https://twitter.com/cryptogangsta/"
  keybase = "https://keybase.io/parsiya/"
  stackoverflow = ""
  linkedin = ""
  googleplus = ""
  youtube = ""
  facebook = ""
  instagram = ""

Icon sequence can be configured in layouts/partials/sidebar.html (look for <li class="sidebar-nav-item">). Add a </br> tag to create a new line.

Code to display links (and the idea to use these icons) is from Hyde-x.

Icons are from http://fontawesome.io by Dave Gandy. To use icons with square dark backgrounds add -square. For example <i class="fa fa-twitter-square fa-3x"></i>. Size can be from 1 to 5 use fa-lg to make them adaptive.

Sidebar menu

This menu can be enabled by setting sidebarMenuEnabled to true. It has two parts:

  • A header that appears inside the <h1> tag on top. It can be set by sidebarMenuHeader. This part only supports text.
  • A series of links. They can be configured similar to navigation menu items by using the [[menu.sidebar]] tag. Set sidebarNewWindow to true to open these links in a new window
  Name = "Google"
  URL = "https://www.google.com"
  weight = 0

  Name = "Hugo"
  URL = "/categories/hugo/"
  weight = 1

Recent posts

Last x posts can be displayed in the sidebar. This number is controlled by sidebarRecentLimit. To hide this section either remove sidebarRecentLimit from the config file or set it to zero.


Creating shortcodes in Hugo was surprisingly easy (and one of the reasons I switched to it). I used two plugins in Octopress that I re-created in Hugo using shortcodes. They add captions to code blocks and images. These shortcodes are located at layouts/shortcodes/.

I have created a repository for all of my Hugo shortcodes at https://github.com/parsiya/Hugo-Shortcodes.

Code caption

This shortcode adds a caption to codeblocks. The codeblock is wrapped in a <figure> tag and caption is added using <figcaption>. It has two parameters, title which is the caption of the code block and lang which is the language that is passed to the Hugo's highlight function along with linenos=true to enable line numbers.

Shortcode usage (and source) is as follows (please note that parameters are named and not positional):

{{< codecaption lang="html" title="Code caption shortcode" >}}
<figure class="code">
    <span>{{ .Get "title" }}</span>
  <div class="codewrapper">
    {{ highlight .Inner (.Get "lang") "linenos=true" }}
{{< /codecaption >}}

And will look like:


If the code inside the tag overflows, a horizontal sidebar will be added to the table. It took me a while to achieve this as the highlight function created tables that were out of my control. The output from highlight is wrapped in <div class="codewrapper"> and the scroll bar will be added for the whole div. The following in the CSS file (starting from line 2225) enables this behavior:

div.codewrapper {
    overflow-x: auto;
    overflow-y: hidden;
    background-color: #002B36;

Image caption

This shortcode adds captions to pictures. Due to the way the original CSS file was organized, this shortcode does not use <figure> and <figcaption>. Alt tag is also set to title.

Usage is as follows (please note that parameters are named and not positional):

{{< imgcap title="Sample caption" src="/images/2016/thetheme/1.png" >}}

Will result in:

<span class="caption-wrapper">
  <img class="caption" src="/images/2016/thetheme/1.png" title="Sample caption" alt="Sample caption">
  <span class="caption-text">Sample caption</span>

Atom snippets for shortcodes

In order to read about creating Atom snippets please see Atom's Snippets package.

Open your snippets file (File > Open Your Snippets) and paste the following:

    'prefix': 'codecap'
    'body': """
    {{< codecaption title="$1" lang="$2"  >}}
    {{< /codecaption >}}
    'prefix': 'imgcap'
    'body': '{{< imgcap title="$1" src="/images/2016/$2" >}}'

My original mistake was to repeat '.source.gfm' before the imgcap snippet, seems like cson keys should not be repeated.

You can trigger the shortcodes by entering imgcap and codecap respectively and then pressing enter. You can change these keywords by modifying the prefix tag. After inserting the shortcode, the cursor will go to the first location which is designated by $1. After entering the first parameter you can go to $2 and then $3 using tab.

Hugo page summary bug

Hugo will use first 70 words of the post if it does not have a summary divider. The result is usually not pretty and contains raw HTML. To avoid this, always use the summary divider <!--more--> to designate summary.

Hugo currently does not display reference style links in post summary. Because it takes everything before the summary divider and passes it to the Markdown engine (currently BlackFriday) and if your reference style links are at the bottom of the page (they usually are), they are not included. As a result your reference style links will be treated as unformatted text. You can read more about this bug here.

Reference style links look like this:

This is a link to [Example][example-link].

More stuff here.

Usually at the end of the markdown file.
[example-link]: https://www.example.com

There are two workarounds:

  1. Do not use reference style links in summary. Use normal links like [Example](https://www.example.com).
  2. Put the reference links before the summary divider.

License page

License page will be located at baseurl/license/. Markdown code for the license page can be anywhere in the content directory, however the type of the markdown file should be set to license in frontmatter. For example:

title: "License"
type: license

License text

License page template is located at: layouts/license/single.html.

Table of contents

The theme supports adding Table of Contents (ToC) to pages. This is done in layouts/post/single.html. The ToC does not appear in the summary but is on top of the actual page. Currently ToC is only accessible in the templates and there is no way to access it inside the page using shortcodes. This is a limitation of BlackFriday (Hugo's markdown engine).

There two ways to enable the ToC:

  1. Each post/page can have a variable named toc in its frontmatter. This needs to be set to true.

    title: "title"
    date: 2016-04-01T20:22:37-04:00
    draft: false
    toc: true
  2. Global setting is available in the config file, tableOfContents under [Params] needs to be set to true.

      tableOfContents = true

The toc variable in frontmatter has priority. If it is set to false then tableOfContents in the config file is ignored. You skip it in the config file and set it for individual pages or enable it for all pages and disable it for specific pages in their frontmatter.

Not Found or 404.html

The 404.html page has two optional parameters and both support markdown:

  • notFoundHeader: 404 page title
  • notFoundText: 404 page text

If they are not set in the config file, a default page is generated.

For extensive customization you can modify the template at layouts/404.html

Taxonomy pages

The theme can create pages that list all taxonomies (categories and tags) and their count. The taxonomy pages are at baseURL/tags/ and baseURL/categories. They will be generated by generateTaxonomyList = true. By default items are sorted by count. sortTaxonomyAlphabetical = true changes the sort to alphabetical.

For example:

  generateTaxonomyList = true

  # Alphabetical sort
  # sortTaxonomyAlphabetical = true

To revert back to ByCount sort, remove sortTaxonomyAlphabetical or set it to false.

Note: As of Hugo 0.33, indexes has been removed. If your taxonomy pages are not rendered, please update to the latest version of Hugo. Templates are now at:

  • /layouts/category/category.html
  • /layouts/tag/tag.html

Individual pages

Individual pages can be created in two ways:

  • Create a new content file in content/page.
  • Set the type of page to page in frontmatter. E.g. type: page.

The template to individual page is at Hugo-Octopress/layouts/page/single.html. It can be overridden by a file in the website's layouts/page/single.html.


Hugo supports Disqus. Note that previously Disqus short name was [params]/disqusShortname but it stopped working. It's most likely because my custom variable had the same name as Hugo's internal variable for Disqus. Disqus shortname is now directly in the config file (similar to baseurl for example):

disqusShortname = "whatever"

The disqus partial is at layouts/partials/disqus.html. By default it does not add Disqus when you are testing on localhost using the test server. This can be disabled (e.g. if you want to test Disqus locally) by commenting the if and return lines in the partial above.

Twitter Card

Twitter card support can be enabled in the config file under Params:

  # Twitter card config
  # Enable with this.
  twitterCardEnabled = true
  # Don't include the @.
  # twitterCardSite = 
  twitterCardDomain = "parsiya.net"
  # Don't include the @.
  twitterCardAuthor = "CryptoGangsta"

After Twitter card is enabled, you can add summary images to your posts via front matter through twitterImage:

twitterImage: 02-fuzzer-crash.png

Note: Image URL should be relative to the page, otherwise the final URL will not be correct. In short, image URL should be part of the page bundle. In this case, both index.md and 02-fuzzer-crash.png are in the same root directory. If the image is in a subdirectory of page bundle, it can be added like this:

twitterImage: images/02-fuzzer-crash.png

The template can be modified at Hugo-Octopress/partials/custom_twitter_card.html.


If you discover any issues/bugs or want new features please use the Github issue tracker. Please keep in my mind that development has not been my day job for quite a while and I may be slow in fixing things (don't be surprised if I ask you about details).

The css is a mess. The CSS file is screen.css taken directly from the classic Octopress theme. I found it easier to just modify the templates to generate HTML code similar to Octopress' output and use the existing CSS file. It's bulky (around 53KBs and 2300 lines) and it probably has code for elements that are never used (also duplicates). It also contains the highlight code (contributes to size).


Ported by

Ported by Parsia Hakimian:

Theme license

Open sourced under the MIT license.