CLI usage

Zola only has 4 commands: init, build, serve and check.

You can view the help of the whole program by running zola --help and the command help by running zola <cmd> --help.

🔗 init

Creates the directory structure used by Zola at the given directory after asking a few basic configuration questions. Any choices made during those prompts can easily be changed by modifying the config.toml.

$ zola init my_site
$ zola init

If the my_site folder already exists, Zola will only populate it if it does not contain non-hidden files (dotfiles are ignored). If no my_site argument is passed, Zola will try to populate the current directory.

You can initialize a git repository and a Zola site directly from within a new folder:

$ git init
$ zola init

🔗 build

This will build the whole site in the public directory after deleting it.

$ zola build

You can override the config base_url by passing a new URL to the base-url flag.

$ zola build --base-url $DEPLOY_URL

This is useful for example when you want to deploy previews of a site to a dynamic URL, such as Netlify deploy previews.

You can override the default output directory 'public' by passing a other value to the output-dir flag.

$ zola build --output-dir $DOCUMENT_ROOT

You can also point to another config file than config.toml like so - the position of the config option is important:

$ zola --config config.staging.toml build

By defaults, drafts are not loaded. If you wish to include them, pass the --drafts flag.

🔗 serve

This will build and serve the site using a local server. You can also specify the interface/port combination to use if you want something different than the default (127.0.0.1:1111).

You can also specify different addresses for the interface and base_url using -u/--base-url, for example if you are running zola in a Docker container.

Use the --open flag to automatically open the locally hosted instance in your web browser.

In the event you don't want zola to run a local webserver, you can use the --watch-only flag.

Before starting, it will delete the public directory to ensure it starts from a clean slate.

$ zola serve
$ zola serve --port 2000
$ zola serve --interface 0.0.0.0
$ zola serve --interface 0.0.0.0 --port 2000
$ zola serve --interface 0.0.0.0 --base-url 127.0.0.1
$ zola serve --interface 0.0.0.0 --port 2000 --output-dir www/public
$ zola serve --watch-only
$ zola serve --open

The serve command will watch all your content and will provide live reload, without hard refresh if possible.

Zola does a best-effort to live reload but some changes cannot be handled automatically. If you fail to see your change or get a weird error, try to restart zola serve.

You can also point to another config file than config.toml like so - the position of the config option is important:

$ zola --config config.staging.toml serve

By defaults, drafts are not loaded. If you wish to include them, pass the --drafts flag.

🔗 check

The check subcommand will try to build all pages just like the build command would, but without writing any of the results to disk. Additionally, it will also check all external links present in Markdown files by trying to fetch them (links present in the template files will not be checked).

By defaults, drafts are not loaded. If you wish to include them, pass the --drafts flag.

🔗 Colored output

Any of the three commands will emit colored output if your terminal supports it.

Note: coloring is automatically disabled when the output is redirected to a pipe or a file (ie. when the standard output is not a TTY).

You can disable this behavior by exporting one of the two following environment variables:

  • NO_COLOR (the value does not matter)
  • CLICOLOR=0

Should you want to force the use of colors, you can set the following environment variable:

  • CLICOLOR_FORCE=1