NIKOLA(1) User Commands NIKOLA(1)

Nikola - A Static Site and Blog Generator

Create an empty site (with a setup wizard):

nikola init mysite

(You can create a site with demo files in it with nikola init --demo mysite)

Create a post (inside the mysite directory):

nikola new_post

Build the site:

nikola build

Start the test server and open a browser:

nikola serve -b

Nikola is a static website and blog generator. The very short explanation is that it takes some texts you wrote, and uses them to create a folder full of HTML files. If you upload that folder to a server, you will have a rather full-featured website, done with little effort.

Its original goal is to create blogs, but it supports most kind of sites, and can be used as a CMS, as long as what you present to the user is your own content instead of something the user generates.

Nikola can do:

  • A blog
  • Your company's site
  • Your personal site
  • A software project's site
  • A book's site

Since Nikola-based sites don't run any code on the server, there is no way to process user input in forms.

Nikola can't do:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • An Issue tracker
  • Anything with forms, really (except for comments!)

Keep in mind that "static" doesn't mean boring. You can have animations, slides or whatever fancy CSS/HTML5 thingie you like. It only means all that HTML is generated already before being uploaded. On the other hand, Nikola sites will tend to be content-heavy. What Nikola is good at is at putting what you write out there.

The most basic commands needed to get by are:

get a list of commands, or help for a command
print version number
initialize new site
build a site
create a new post
create a new page
show site and deployment status
check for dangling links or unknown files
deploy the site using the DEPLOY_COMMANDS setting
deploy the site to GitHub Pages
start development web server
start development web server with automated rebuilds and reloads
manage plugins from the Plugins Index (
manage themes from the Themes Index (

Use nikola help to get a list of all commands.

Issue Tracker:

Nikola 8.3.1