Jekyll is a Ruby Gem, and can be installed on most systems.


Before you start, make sure your system has the following:

  • Ruby version 2.2.5 or above, including all development headers (ruby installation can be checked by running ruby -v)
  • RubyGems (which you can check by running gem -v)
  • GCC and Make (in case your system doesn’t have them installed, which you can check by running gcc -v,g++ -v and make -v in your system’s command line interface)

Install on macOS

We only cover macOS High Sierra 10.13 here, which comes with Ruby 2.3.3, older systems will need to install a more recent Ruby version via Homebrew.

First, you need to install the command-line tools to be able to compile native extensions, open a terminal and run:

xcode-select --install

Set up Ruby included with the OS

Check your Ruby version meet our requirements:

ruby -v

Great, let’s install Jekyll. We also need Bundler to help us handle plugins and themes:

gem install bundler jekyll

That’s it, you’re ready to go, either by installing our default minimal blog theme with jekyll new jekyll-website or by starting from scratch:

mkdir jekyll-website
cd jekyll-website

# Create a Gemfile
bundle init

# Add Jekyll
bundle add jekyll

# Install gems
bundle install

Great, from there you can now either use a theme or create your own layouts.

Install a newer Ruby version via Homebrew

If you wish to install the latest version of Ruby and get faster builds, we recommend to do it via Homebrew a handy package manager for macOS.

/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"
brew install ruby
ruby -v
ruby 2.5.1p57 (2018-03-29 revision 63029) [x86_64-darwin17]

Yay! Now you have a shiny Ruby on your system!

Install multiple Ruby versions with rbenv

Developers often use rbenv to manage multiple Ruby versions. This can be useful if you want to run the same Ruby version used by GitHub Pages or Netlify for instance.

# Install rbenv and ruby-build
brew install rbenv

# Setup rbenv integration to your shell
rbenv init

# Check your install
curl -fsSL | bash

Restart your terminal for changes to take effect. Now we can install the Ruby version of our choice, let’s go with Ruby 2.5.1 here:

rbenv install 2.5.1
rbenv global 2.5.1
ruby -v
ruby 2.5.1p57 (2018-03-29 revision 63029) [x86_64-darwin17]

That’s it! Head over rbenv command references to learn how to use different versions of Ruby in your projects.

Problems installing Jekyll?

Check out the troubleshooting page or ask for help on our forum.

Install on Ubuntu Linux

Before we install Jekyll, we need to make sure we have all the required dependencies.

sudo apt-get install ruby ruby-dev build-essential

It is best to avoid installing Ruby Gems as the root user. Therefore, we need to set up a gem installation directory for your user account. The following commands will add environment variables to your ~/.bashrc file to configure the gem installation path. Run them now:

echo '# Install Ruby Gems to ~/gems' >> ~/.bashrc
echo 'export GEM_HOME=$HOME/gems' >> ~/.bashrc
echo 'export PATH=$HOME/gems/bin:$PATH' >> ~/.bashrc
source ~/.bashrc

Finally, install Jekyll:

gem install jekyll bundler

That’s it! You’re ready to start using Jekyll.

Upgrade Jekyll

Before you start developing with Jekyll, you may want to check that you’re up to date with the latest version. To find the currently installed version of Jekyll, run one of these commands:

jekyll --version
gem list jekyll

You can use RubyGems to find the current version of Jekyll. Another way to check if you have the latest version is to run the command gem outdated. This will provide a list of all the gems on your system that need to be updated. If you aren’t running the latest version, run this command:

bundle update jekyll

Alternatively, if you don’t have Bundler installed run:

gem update jekyll

To upgrade to latest Rubygems, run:

gem update --system

Refer to our upgrading section to upgrade from Jekyll 2.x or 1.x.


In order to install a pre-release, make sure you have all the requirements installed properly and run:

gem install jekyll --pre

This will install the latest pre-release. If you want a particular pre-release, use the -v switch to indicate the version you’d like to install:

gem install jekyll -v '2.0.0.alpha.1'

If you’d like to install a development version of Jekyll, the process is a bit more involved. This gives you the advantage of having the latest and greatest, but may be unstable.

git clone git://
cd jekyll
bundle exec rake build
ls pkg/*.gem | head -n 1 | xargs gem install -l

Now that you’ve got everything up-to-date and installed, let’s get to work!