The following are some common issues and questions that have arisen when building your textbook with Jekyll.

How can I update my fork of the repository?

Sometimes this repository will get updates that you want to incorporate into a pre-existing course. If you want to pull in new changes, take the following steps:

  1. Add this repository as a “remote” on your local git repo:

    git remote add template
  2. Pull in the latest changes from the remote repository into your local gh-pages branch:

    git pull template master
  3. Resolve any merge conflicts that may arise. Make sure that you don’t over-write any important files (e.g. anything in your content/ directory or in _config.yml)
  4. If there are lots of merge conflicts you can try to “cherry pick” only the commit that you want to deploy to your textbook. git has a special command for this. First, go to the base repository for the textbook template and look up the “commits” page at the following URL:

    Find the commit that you want to implement on your copy of the repository. Click the button with its hash (there’s one on the right of each row). Finally, copy the long commit hash that’s listed on the resulting page. This is a unique hash for this commit.

    Now, use git cherry-pick to make these changes to your repo:

    git cherry-pick <COMMIT-HASH>
  5. If you’d like to update a specific file with the latest version from jupyter-book:

    git checkout template/master <path-to-file>
  6. Push changes to your github repository once you’re happy with the content:

    git push

Which files do I need to update?

These sections help give you an idea for which files you should manually upgrade, vs. which you can automatically update with the latest version from jupyter-book

These sections assume that the jupyter-book repository is added as a “remote” repository called template to your local copy.

Files that you shouldn’t need to change to upgrade

These are files you shouldn’t need to update unless there is a major change to jupyter-book.

  • contents/ - these are files unique to your book, so you shouldn’t need to change them.
  • _data/toc.yml - the Table of Contents structure will not change unless there is a major version change in jupyter-book.
  • - is unique for your site.
  • Any other folders/files that are unique to your book.

Files that you might want to check

You can check the diff with the latest jupyter-book file with:

git diff master...template/master
  • _config.yml - occasionally, there are new fields added to jupyter-book’s configuration file. You should check that the newer version of jupyter-book hasn’t added or removed something.

Files that you should force-update

You can grab the latest version of these files with:

git checkout template/master <path-to-file>
  • scripts/ - these are scripts for building and cleaning the book. You should just pull in the latest contents of this folder (unless you know what you’re doing and have modified these scripts yourself).
  • Makefile - the Makefile is tuned to whatever is inside scripts/. You should update it to the latest version as well.
  • assets - these are assets used by jupyter-book. You should update to grab the newest ones, unless you have modified or added your own assets.
  • _sass - the SASS defines the styling of the site. You should also just grab the latest version unless you know what you’re doing.
  • _includes and _layouts. These are template files, and should be auto-updated.

Why isn’t my math showing up properly?

This site uses MathJax to render all math, with $ denoting inline math, and $$ denoting multi-line math blocks. Make sure that all of your math is wrapped in these characters.

Another tip is to make sure that your math isn’t being escaped improperly. Jekyll strips escape characters, so you should make sure to add two escape characters when needed. This is done automatically for many escape characters in, and if you notice something that should be included in this script, please open an issue at the textbook template issues page

What if I have an issue or question?

If you’ve got questions, concerns, or suggestions, please open an issue at at the jupyter book issues page