GitHub Pages and Actions

Since your content is already on GitHub, you can easily host it as a github-pages website. This is a service where GitHub hosts your static files as if they were a standalone website.

There are two ways to quickly host your book with GitHub Pages:

  • Manually push your book’s HTML to a branch that is hosted by GitHub Pages.

  • Use a GitHub Action to automatically build your book and update your website when you change the content.

Manually host your book with GitHub Pages

The easiest way to use GitHub-pages with your built HTML is to use the ghp-import tool. It is a lightweight Python package that makes it easier to push HTML content to a GitHub repository.


Ensure that your the HTML has been built for each page of your book (see the previous section). There should be a collection of HTML files in your book’s _build/html folder.

Follow these steps to use ghp-import:

  1. Install ghp-import

    pip install ghp-import
  2. Call ghp-import and point it to your HTML files, like so:

    ghp-import -n -p -f mylocalbook/_build/html

This will cause ghp-import to push all of the contents of the _build/html folder to the gh-pages branch of your current repository, and push the contents to GitHub. By default, this generally means your site should now be viewable online.


Make sure that you included the -n - this tells GitHub not to build your book with Jekyll, which we don’t want because our HTML is already built!

Automatically host your book with GitHub Actions

GitHub Actions is a tool that allows you to automate things on GitHub. It is used for a variety of things, such as testing, publishing packages, and continuous integration.


You should be familiar with GitHub Actions before using them to automatically host your Jupyter Books. See the GitHub Actions documentation for more information.

To build your book with GitHub Actions, you’ll need to create an action that does the following things:

  • Activates when a push event happens on master (or whichever) branch has your latest book content.

  • Installs Jupyter Book and any dependencies needed to build your book.

  • Builds your book’s HTML.

  • Uses a gh-pages action to upload that HTML to your gh-pages branch.

For reference, here is a sample repository that builds a book with GitHub Actions.


Ensure that Jupyter Book’s version in your requirements.txt file is at least 0.7.0.

Here is a simple YAML configuration for a github action that will publish your book to a gh-pages branch.

name: deploy-book

# Only run this when the master branch changes
    - master

# This job installs dependencies, build the book, and pushes it to `gh-pages`
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    - uses: actions/checkout@v2

    # Install dependencies
    - name: Set up Python 3.7
      uses: actions/setup-python@v1
        python-version: 3.7

    - name: Install dependencies
      run: |
        pip install -r requirements.txt

    # Build the book
    - name: Build the book
      run: |
        jupyter-book build .

    # Push the book's HTML to github-pages
    - name: GitHub Pages action
      uses: peaceiris/actions-gh-pages@v3.6.1
        github_token: ${{ secrets.GITHUB_TOKEN }}
        publish_dir: ./_build/html

If you want to deploy your site to GitHub Pages at a User and Organization repository (<username>, check another example workflow and available options at the README of peaceiris/actions-gh-pages.