Build the docs


To run the docs site locally and edit the docs, you'll need:

  • A text editor, such as Visual Studio Code.

  • Command-line tools for Xcode on macOS.

    $ xcode-select --install

    Xcode is many gigabytes. Install the command-line tools unless you actually need the full Xcode.

  • Node.js LTS (16) using NVM : nvm install 16.14.0

  • Homebrew on macOS or Linux.

  • Hugo: brew install hugo installs the latest version.

  • Go: brew install go installs the latest version.

  • Python (version 3.10 or earlier): You need python to be available somewhere in your shell path.

    Recent versions of macOS have only a python3 executable, as does the Homebrew install. You can use pyenv to manage multiple versions of python on your system. Make sure to point to Python version 3.10 or earlier.

  • A GitHub account.

  • Git client: The system Git binary is out of date, but works. If you like, you can use Homebrew to get a newer version (brew install git).

Configure Hugo

By default, Hugo uses the operating system's temporary directory to cache modules, which can cause some problems. You can avoid those problems by telling Hugo to put its cache elsewhere.

Add a line similar to the following to your .bashrc or .zshrc file:

export HUGO_CACHEDIR=~/.hugo-cache

Create the folder with mkdir ~/.hugo-cache, then start a new terminal session.

Fork the repository

  1. To make the commands in this section work correctly when you paste them, set an environment variable to store your GitHub username. (Replace your-github-id in the following command with your own GitHub ID.)

    export GITHUB_ID=your-github-id
  2. Fork the yugabyte-db GitHub repository.

  3. Create a local clone of your fork:

    git clone$GITHUB_ID/yugabyte-db.git
  4. Identify your fork as origin and the original YB repository as upstream:

    cd yugabyte-db/
    git remote set-url origin$GITHUB_ID/yugabyte-db.git
    git remote add upstream
  5. Make sure that your local repository is still current with the upstream Yugabyte repository:

    cd docs/
    git checkout master
    git pull upstream master

Refer to Edit an existing page to create a new branch, commit your changes, and create a pull request.

Build the docs site

The YugabyteDB documentation is written in Markdown, and processed by Hugo (a static site generator) into an HTML site.

To get the docs site running in a live-reload server on your local machine, run the following commands:

cd yugabyte-db/docs  # Make sure this is YOUR fork.
npm ci               # Only necessary the first time you clone the repo.
hugo mod get -u      # Installs Hugo as a dependency of the site.
hugo mod clean       # Only necessary the first time you clone the repo.
npm start            # Do this every time to build the docs and launch the live-reload server.

The live-reload server runs at http://localhost:1313/ unless port 1313 is already in use. Check the output from the npm start command to verify the port.

When you're done, type Ctrl-C stop the server.

Optional: Run builds more quickly

If you are only working in preview or stable, you can start the live-reload server more quickly using the following:

npm run fast

This builds only the preview and stable directories, and does not generate syntax diagrams.

Optional: Run a full build

The live-reload server is the quickest way to get the docs running locally. If you want to run the build exactly the same way the CI pipeline does for a deployment, do the following:

cd yugabyte-db/docs
npm run build

When the build is done, the yugabyte-db/docs/public folder contains a full HTML site, exactly the same as what's deployed on the live website at


  • Make sure the GUI installer for the command-line tools finishes with a dialog box telling you the install succeeded. If not, run it again.

  • If you get an error about missing command-line tools, make sure xcode-select is pointing to the right directory, and that the directory contains a usr/bin subdirectory. Run xcode-select -p to find the path to the tools. Re-run xcode-select --install.

  • If the live-reload server (npm start) is returning a Hugo error — say, about shortcodes — re-run hugo mod clean, followed by npm start. Also, be sure you've followed the instructions on this page to configure Hugo.

  • Make sure your tools are up-to-date. Run brew update periodically, and if it reports anything out of date, run brew upgrade.

  • If you get an error about missing modules, try running npm install.

Next steps

Need to edit an existing page? Start editing it now. (Optional: set up your editor.)

Adding a new page? Use the overview of sections to find the appropriate location.