Frontier Software


Creating a basic skeleton

At time of writing, this is a bit of a schlep because the recommended command

hugo new site whatever_name

does not produce any basic layouts files to get a newbie started. So rather run

hugo new theme whatever_name

which will produce themes/whatever_name. Then do

mv themes/whatever_name .
rmdir themes


cd whatever_name
hugo server

will bring up a simple Hugo site on http://localhost:1313 you can start altering to your taste.


Understanding where Hugo is fetching the title, menu, summaries etc from requires diving into the basic directory structure.

Directory structure

A cool recent feature of Hugo is it’s ability to render ASCII art as SVG using GoAT, and I’ve used that to prettify the output of tree.

The starting project created as above looks like so:

w h                                                         a                                                         t e a a c d h i l L R s t v r s   o a u 1 a         I E t h e c s   n t g 8 y         C A a e r h e t a o n o E D t m _ e d t c j e _ p . u _ p N M i f e n t e s s s n i o t t d a     S E c a . a y f s t n s o s e r     E . v t m p a d t m f t m i o e e u m m e s _ p p p l a b h l s i f h h h m t d c m s l a a x i o o o u a o i i a o e e e e e o l t i i . n s s s l s m s n l o a a a n r n . n n m d t t t t e e t g s t d d d u m . m . . d e - - - b i o . . l e c j e . . s i d c j x 1 2 3 r n f h h e r s s r h h . c s s . . . y d . t t . . s . . t t h o s m m m c e h m m h h . h h m m t d d d e x t l l t t h t t l l m - . m m m t m m l c m l l l m l l a d l n y o n . j p g

Union file system

If you think you need a symbolic link in your project directory, use Hugo’s union file system instead.

I discovered the above the hardway. I wanted to use common layout files across several sites, and thought I’d do this the traditional Unix way with symbolic links. While this worked for layouts, when I tried to do this with content I got weird bugs because some “softlinked” files were ignored by Hugo.

Exactly what I wanted to achieve is covered by Hugo’s modules which I initially found incomprehensible because it’s built on Go’s module system, requiring a go.mod file and complicated pathnames like which is weird if you’re not using github.

Anyways, it turns out none of that is necessary if you simply add a {"module": { "mounts": ...}} section to your site configuration file as described in Union file system.

An advantage over symbolic links is global files can be kept in the module’s directories and local files in the given site’s directories.


                            s a s m o c r l a b a r i p j l a c s e a s i f b y e e e e c r t n l o l s l l t r t o o e e e s i e a l m m m n g t e e e e g e i a n n n r n n t t t g p o i n t

Object and method names are capitalized. Although not required, to avoid confusion we recommend beginning variable and map key names with a lowercase letter or underscore.


<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="{{ or site.Language.LanguageCode site.Language.Lang }}" dir="{{ or site.Language.LanguageDirection `ltr` }}">
  {{ partial "head.html" . }}
    {{ partial "header.html" . }}
    {{ block "main" . }}{{ end }}
    {{ partial "footer.html" . }}


{{ define "main" }}
  <h1>{{ .Title }}</h1>
  {{ .Content }}
  {{ range .Pages }}
    <h2><a href="{{ .RelPermalink }}">{{ .LinkTitle }}</a></h2>
    {{ .Summary }}
  {{ end }}
{{ end }}


{{ define "main" }}
  <h1>{{ .Title }}</h1>

  {{ $dateMachine := .Date | time.Format "2006-01-02T15:04:05-07:00" }}
  {{ $dateHuman := .Date | time.Format ":date_long" }}
  <time datetime="{{ $dateMachine }}">{{ $dateHuman }}</time>

  {{ .Content }}
  {{ partial "terms.html" (dict "taxonomy" "tags" "page" .) }}
{{ end }}


{{ define "main" }}
  {{ .Content }}
  {{ range site.RegularPages }}
    <h2><a href="{{ .RelPermalink }}">{{ .LinkTitle }}</a></h2>
    {{ .Summary }}
  {{ end }}
{{ end }}


{{- /*
For a given taxonomy, renders a list of terms assigned to the page.

@context {page} page The current page.
@context {string} taxonomy The taxonony.

@example: {{ partial "terms.html" (dict "taxonomy" "tags" "page" .) }}

{{- $page := .page }}
{{- $taxonomy := .taxonomy }}

{{- with $page.GetTerms $taxonomy }}
  {{- $label := (index . 0).Parent.LinkTitle }}
    <div>{{ $label }}:</div>
      {{- range . }}
        <li><a href="{{ .RelPermalink }}">{{ .LinkTitle }}</a></li>
      {{- end }}
{{- end }}


{{- /*
Renders a menu for the given menu ID.

@context {page} page The current page.
@context {string} menuID The menu ID.

@example: {{ partial "menu.html" (dict "menuID" "main" "page" .) }}

{{- $page := .page }}
{{- $menuID := .menuID }}

{{- with index site.Menus $menuID }}
      {{- partial "inline/menu/walk.html" (dict "page" $page "menuEntries" .) }}
{{- end }}

{{- define "partials/inline/menu/walk.html" }}
  {{- $page := .page }}
  {{- range .menuEntries }}
    {{- $attrs := dict "href" .URL }}
    {{- if $page.IsMenuCurrent .Menu . }}
      {{- $attrs = merge $attrs (dict "class" "active" "aria-current" "page") }}
    {{- else if $page.HasMenuCurrent .Menu .}}
      {{- $attrs = merge $attrs (dict "class" "ancestor" "aria-current" "true") }}
    {{- end }}
    {{- $name := .Name }}
    {{- with .Identifier }}
      {{- with T . }}
        {{- $name = . }}
      {{- end }}
    {{- end }}
        {{- range $k, $v := $attrs }}
          {{- with $v }}
            {{- printf " %s=%q" $k $v | safeHTMLAttr }}
          {{- end }}
        {{- end -}}
      >{{ $name }}</a>
      {{- with .Children }}
          {{- partial "inline/menu/walk.html" (dict "page" $page "menuEntries" .) }}
      {{- end }}
  {{- end }}
{{- end }}

Front Matter

Draft, future, and expired content

Something I and probably many other newbies tripped over was that getting the values wrong in any of these 4 key-value pairs prevents the page from rendering.

Page Methods

Frontmatter Accessors

PAGE.Date 2024-01-15 13:34:29 +0200 +0200

PAGE.ExpiryDate 0001-01-01 00:00:00 +0000 UTC

PAGE.PublishDate 2024-01-15 13:34:29 +0200 +0200

PAGE.Lastmod 2024-04-12 11:09:09 +0200 +0200


PAGE.Draft false

PAGE.GetTerms "artists" Pages(0)

PAGE.Keywords []


PAGE.Title Hugo

PAGE.LinkTitle hugo

PAGE.Params map[date:2024-01-15 13:34:29 +0200 +0200 draft:false iscjklanguage:false lastmod:2024-04-12 11:09:09 +0200 +0200 linktitle:hugo publishdate:2024-01-15 13:34:29 +0200 +0200 title:Hugo]

PAGE.Sitemap { -1 sitemap.xml}



PAGE.Weight 0

PAGE.Aliases []



PAGE.RelPermalink /html-tools/hugo/


.AuthorDate 2024-04-12

.CommitDate 2024-04-12


.AuthorName Robert Laing

.Subject added jq section

PAGE.CodeOwners: []

PAGE.Kind: section

PAGE.Type: html-tools

PAGE.BundleType: branch

PAGE.AllTranslations: Pages(1)

PAGE.AlternativeOutputFormats: [{alternate {rss application/rss+xml index alternate false false true false false false false 0} /html-tools/hugo/index.xml}]


PAGE.CurrentSection: Page(/html-tools/hugo)



PAGE.File: _index

PAGE.FirstSection: Page(/html-tools)

PAGE.Fragments: {[0xc0018bb080] [creating-a-basic-skeleton directory-structurehttpsgohugoiogetting-starteddirectory-structure draft-future-and-expired-contenthttpsgohugoiogetting-startedusagedraft-future-and-expired-content front-matterhttpsgohugoiocontent-managementfront-matter frontmatter-accessors layouts_defaultsbaseofhtml layouts_defaultshomehtml layouts_defaultslisthtml layouts_defaultssinglehtml layoutspartialsmenuhtml layoutspartialstermshtml page-methodshttpsgohugoiomethodspage themes types union-file-systemhttpsgohugoiogetting-starteddirectory-structureunion-file-system] map[creating-a-basic-skeleton:0xc0018baf80 directory-structurehttpsgohugoiogetting-starteddirectory-structure:0xc0018bb0c0 draft-future-and-expired-contenthttpsgohugoiogetting-startedusagedraft-future-and-expired-content:0xc0018bb880 front-matterhttpsgohugoiocontent-managementfront-matter:0xc0018bb800 frontmatter-accessors:0xc0018bb9c0 layouts_defaultsbaseofhtml:0xc0018bb240 layouts_defaultshomehtml:0xc0018bb540 layouts_defaultslisthtml:0xc0018bb340 layouts_defaultssinglehtml:0xc0018bb440 layoutspartialsmenuhtml:0xc0018bb740 layoutspartialstermshtml:0xc0018bb640 page-methodshttpsgohugoiomethodspage:0xc0018bb900 themes:0xc0018bba80 types:0xc0018bb1c0 union-file-systemhttpsgohugoiogetting-starteddirectory-structureunion-file-system:0xc0018bb140]}

PAGE.FuzzyWordCount : 0


PAGE.HeadingsFiltered: []

PAGE.OutputFormats: [{canonical {html text/html index canonical false true false false false false true 10} /html-tools/hugo/} {alternate {rss application/rss+xml index alternate false false true false false false false 0} /html-tools/hugo/index.xml}]

PAGE.Resources: [skeleton_home.png]

Pages Methods

Sort Orders

Inserting strings is called interpolation. Extracting substrings could be called extrapolation.

Some common synonyms of interpolate are insert, insinuate, intercalate, interject, interpose, and introduce. While all these words mean “to put between or among others,” interpolate applies to the inserting of something extraneous or spurious.




Modules A Hugo module is a go module, so requires the same steps: mkdir mymod cd mymod hugo mod init mymod go: creating new go.mod: module mymod hugo mod Hugo Modules: everything you need to know! Go Modules Working with Hugo Module Locally Tutorial hugo mod init Configuration { "module": { "noProxy": "none", "noVendor": "", "private": "*.*", "proxy": "direct", "replacements": "", "vendorClosest": false, "workspace": "off", "hugoVersion": { "extended": false, "max": "", "min": "" }, "imports": [ { "disable": false, "ignoreConfig": false, "ignoreImports": false, "path": "github.


Directory traversal I’ve developed my own homegrown way of recursively walking a Hugo site’s content tree as described in this discourse thread since the official way of putting the menu in the site config file isn’t what I want as I add and remove pages. With more experience, I changed the deprecated template with an inline partial My code for layouts/partials/menu.html looks like this: <nav> {{ partial "inline/walk.html" (dict "dir" .


Sections vs Taxonomies An imortant difference between content/mysection and content/mytaxonony is there may not be an file in a taxonomy whereas there should be for a section.


Files named (as opposed to are leaves, and use layouts/single.html as their template.