Minimalist is a Jekyll theme inspired by the Minimal theme

The Minimalist theme

Minimalist is a Jekyll theme, inspired by the Minimal theme from GitHub. You can preview the theme to see what it looks like, or even use it today.



The simplest way is to use a Docker container. For Docker installation instructions, please refer to the offical Docker docs. After successful installation, simply execute:


Other Methods

To use the Minimalist theme:

  1. Add the following line to your Gemfile
gem "jekyll-remote-theme"

then run bundle install to install the plugin.

  1. Add the following to your site's _config.yml to activate the plugin:
  - jekyll-remote-theme

Note: If you are using a Jekyll version less than 3.5.0, use the gems key instead of plugins.

  1. Add the following line to your config.yml to use the theme
remote_theme: BDHU/minimalist

then running bundle exec jekyll serve for local deployment. Here is a demo using this theme.

An example _config.yml file can be found here. More info can be found at Jekyll Remote Theme.


Configuration variables

Minimalist will respect the following variables, if set in your site's _config.yml:

title: [The title of your site]
description: [A short description of your site's purpose]

Additionally, you may choose to set the following optional variables:

google_analytics: [Your Google Analytics tracking ID]

Choose light, dark, or automatically adjusting theme based on system theme:

color-scheme: auto/light/dark

Specify logo for the website:

logo: /assets/img/<logo_file>

Enable favicon by putting a favicon.ico in the repo's root directory and add the following line in config.yml:

favicon: true

Customizing Sidebar

You can define a list of platforms that are linked from the sidebar in _config.yml:

  - name: Google Scholar
    icon: <svg xmlns="" aria-hidden="true" role="img" style="vertical-align:-0.125em;" width="1em" height="1em" preserveAspectRatio="xMidYMid meet" viewBox="0 0 24 24"><path d="M5.242 13.769L0 9.5L12 0l12 9.5l-5.242 4.269C17.548 11.249 14.978 9.5 12 9.5c-2.977 0-5.548 1.748-6.758 4.269zM12 10a7 7 0 1 0 0 14a7 7 0 0 0 0-14z" fill="currentColor"/></svg>
  - name: GitHub
    icon: <i class="fa-brands fa-github"></i>
  - ...

For further customization of the sidebar, go to sidebar.html in this repo and modify it however you like. The link-mobile.html customizes the sidebar's look on mobile devices. This example uses fonts from font awesome and Iconify. Feel free to explore/find other sources.


If you'd like to add your own custom styles:

  1. Create a file called /assets/css/style.scss in your site

  2. Add the following content to the top of the file, exactly as shown:

    @import "{{ site.theme }}";
  3. Add any custom CSS (or Sass, including imports) you'd like immediately after the @import line

Note: If you'd like to change the theme's Sass variables, you must set new values before the @import line in your stylesheet.


If you'd like to change the theme's HTML layout:

  1. For some changes such as a custom favicon, you can add custom files in your local _includes folder. The files provided with the theme provide a starting point and are included by the original layout template.
  2. For more extensive changes, copy the original template from the theme's repository
    (Pro-tip: click "raw" to make copying easier)
  3. Create a file called /_layouts/default.html in your site
  4. Paste the default layout content copied in the first step
  5. Customize the layout as you'd like

For example, this repository shows how customizations are made on the original theme.

Customizing Google Analytics code

Google has released several iterations to their Google Analytics code over the years since this theme was first created. If you would like to take advantage of the latest code, paste it into _includes/head-custom-google-analytics.html in your Jekyll site.

Previewing the theme locally

If you'd like to preview the theme locally (for example, in the process of proposing a change):

  1. Clone down the theme's repository (git clone
  2. cd into the theme's directory
  3. Run script/bootstrap to install the necessary dependencies
  4. Run bundle exec jekyll serve to start the preview server
  5. Visit localhost:4000 in your browser to preview the theme

Running tests

The theme contains a minimal test suite, to ensure a site with the theme would build successfully. To run the tests, simply run script/cibuild. You'll need to run script/bootstrap once before the test script will work.


Special thanks to @godalming123 for adding dark mode support. Also thank @solvaholic, @tildehacker, and other contributors for making multiple bug fixes and improvements. All contributions are welcome.