Autodeploy with travis

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TL;DR: After a day fighting with travis, my blog get auto-deployed with Travis using Nikola !

A bit of automation

One of the annoying things when I want to post a blog post like this one, is that I never remember hom to deploy my blog. So, why not completly automatize with a script ?

Well, that one step, but you know what is really good at runnign scripts ? Travis.

Travis have the nice ability to run script in the category after_success , or encrypting file, whice allow a nice deployment setup.

A description of the process.

The first step is to create an ssh key with empty pass passphrase; I like to add it (encrypted) to .travis folder in my repository. Travis have nice doc for that.

Copy the public key to the target github repository deploy key in setting.

In my particular setup the tricky bit where :

To get IPython and nikola master:

  • - pip install -e git+
  • - pip install -e git+

Get the correct layout of folders:

  • blog (gh/carreau/blog)
    • posts (gh/carreau/posts)
    • output (gh/carreau/

I had to soft link posts, as this is the repo which trigger travis build, and is by default cloned into ~/posts by travis. carreau/ is clone via https to allow pull request to build (and not push) as the ssh key can only be decrypted on master branch.

Then run nikola build.

In the after_success step (you might want to run unit-test like non-broken link on your blog) you want to check that you are not in a PR, and on master branch before trying to decrypt the ssh key and push the built website:

The following snippet works well.

if [[ $TRAVIS_PULL_REQUEST == false && $TRAVIS_BRANCH == 'master' ]];

Travis CL tool gave you the instruction to decrypt the ssh key, you now "just" have to add it to the keyring.

eval `ssh-agent -s`
chmod 600 .travis/travis_rsa
ssh-add .travis/travis_rsa
cd ../blog/output

And add an ssh remote, which user is git:

git remote add ghpages ssh://

Push, and you are done (don't forget to commit though) !

Extra tips

When testing, do not push on master, push on another branch and open the PR manually to see the diff. Travis env might defier a bit from yours.


Nikola read metadata file from .meta file, which is annoying. I should patch it to read metadata from notebook Metadata. ALso need a JS extension to make that easy.

Closing thoughts

PR and comments welcommed as usual.