Hugo is written in Go with support for multiple platforms. The latest release can be found at Hugo Releases.
Hugo currently provides pre-built binaries for the following:
macOS (Darwin) for x64, i386, and ARM architectures
Hugo may also be compiled from source wherever the Go toolchain can run; e.g., on other operating systems such as DragonFly BSD, OpenBSD, Plan 9, Solaris, and others. See https://golang.org/doc/install/source for the full set of supported combinations of target operating systems and compilation architectures.
Download the appropriate version for your platform from Hugo Releases. Once downloaded, the binary can be run from anywhere. You don’t need to install it into a global location. This works well for shared hosts and other systems where you don’t have a privileged account.
Ideally, you should install it somewhere in your PATH for easy use. /usr/local/bin is the most probable location.
If you are on macOS and using Homebrew, you can install Hugo with the following one-liner:
brew install hugo
For more detailed explanations, read the installation guides that follow for installing on macOS and Windows.
If you are on a Windows machine and use Chocolatey for package management, you can install Hugo with the following one-liner:
If you are on a Windows machine and use Scoop for package management, you can install Hugo with the following one-liner:
Since Hugo 0.48, Hugo uses the Go Modules support built into Go 1.11 to build. The easiest way to get started is to clone Hugo in a directory outside of the GOPATH, as in the following example:
git clone https://github.com/gohugoio/hugo.git
go install --tags extended
Remove --tags extended if you do not want/need Sass/SCSS support.
You know how to open the macOS terminal.
You’re running a modern 64-bit Mac.
You will use ~/Sites as the starting point for your site. (~/Sites is used for example purposes. If you are familiar enough with the command line and file system, you should have no issues following along with the instructions.)
There is no “best” way to install Hugo on your Mac. You should use the method that works best for your use case.
Pros and Cons
There are pros and cons to each of the aforementioned methods:
Homebrew. Homebrew is the simplest method and will require the least amount of work to maintain. The drawbacks aren’t severe. The default package will be for the most recent release, so it will not have bug fixes until the next release (i.e., unless you install it with the --HEAD option). Hugo brew releases may lag a few days behind because it has to be coordinated with another team. Nevertheless, brew is the recommended installation method if you want to work from a stable, widely used source. Brew works well and is easy to update.
Tarball. Downloading and installing from the tarball is also easy, although it requires a few more command line skills than does Homebrew. Updates are easy as well: you just repeat the process with the new binary. This gives you the flexibility to have multiple versions on your computer. If you don’t want to use brew, then the tarball/binary is a good choice.
Building from Source. Building from source is the most work. The advantage of building from source is that you don’t have to wait for a release to add features or bug fixes. The disadvantage is that you need to spend more time managing the setup, which is manageable but requires more time than the preceding two options.
Install Hugo with Brew
Step 1: Install brew if you haven’t already
Go to the brew website, https://brew.sh/, and follow the directions there. The most important step is the installation from the command line:
brew should have updated your path to include Hugo. You can confirm by opening a new terminal window and running a few commands:
$ # show the location of the hugo executable
# show the installed version
ls -l $( which hugo )
lrwxr-xr-x 1 mdhender admin 30 Mar 28 22:19 /usr/local/bin/hugo -> ../Cellar/hugo/0.13_1/bin/hugo
# verify that hugo runs correctly
Hugo Static Site Generator v0.13 BuildDate: 2015-03-09T21:34:47-05:00
Install Hugo from Tarball
Step 1: Decide on the location
When installing from the tarball, you have to decide if you’re going to install the binary in /usr/local/bin or in your home directory. There are three camps on this:
Install it in /usr/local/bin so that all the users on your system have access to it. This is a good idea because it’s a fairly standard place for executables. The downside is that you may need elevated privileges to put software into that location. Also, if there are multiple users on your system, they will all run the same version. Sometimes this can be an issue if you want to try out a new release.
Install it in ~/bin so that only you can execute it. This is a good idea because it’s easy to do, easy to maintain, and doesn’t require elevated privileges. The downside is that only you can run Hugo. If there are other users on your site, they have to maintain their own copies. That can lead to people running different versions. Of course, this does make it easier for you to experiment with different releases.
Install it in your Sites directory. This is not a bad idea if you have only one site that you’re building. It keeps every thing in a single place. If you want to try out new releases, you can make a copy of the entire site and update the Hugo executable.
All three locations will work for you. In the interest of brevity, this guide focuses on option #2.
Find the current release by scrolling down and looking for the green tag that reads “Latest Release.”
Download the current tarball for the Mac. The name will be something like hugo_X.Y_osx-64bit.tgz, where X.YY is the release number.
By default, the tarball will be saved to your ~/Downloads directory. If you choose to use a different location, you’ll need to change that in the following steps.
Step 3: Confirm your download
Verify that the tarball wasn’t corrupted during the download:
tar tvf ~/Downloads/hugo_X.Y_osx-64bit.tgz
-rwxrwxrwx 0 0 0 0 Feb 22 04:02 hugo_X.Y_osx-64bit/hugo_X.Y_osx-64bit.tgz
-rwxrwxrwx 0 0 0 0 Feb 22 03:24 hugo_X.Y_osx-64bit/README.md
-rwxrwxrwx 0 0 0 0 Jan 30 18:48 hugo_X.Y_osx-64bit/LICENSE.md
The .md files are documentation for Hugo. The other file is the executable.
Step 4: Install Into Your bin Directory
# create the directory if needed
mkdir -p ~/bin
# make it the working directory
# extract the tarball
tar -xvzf ~/Downloads/hugo_X.Y_osx-64bit.tgz
# verify that it runs
Hugo Static Site Generator v0.13 BuildDate: 2015-02-22T04:02:30-06:00
You may need to add your bin directory to your PATH variable. The which command will check for us. If it can find hugo, it will print the full path to it. Otherwise, it will not print anything.
# check if hugo is in the path
If hugo is not in your PATH, add it by updating your ~/.bash_profile file. First, start up an editor:
Add a line to update your PATH variable:
Then save the file by pressing Control-X, then Y to save the file and return to the prompt.
Close the terminal and open a new terminal to pick up the changes to your profile. Verify your success by running the which hugo command again.
If you want to compile a specific version of Hugo, go to https://github.com/gohugoio/hugo/releases and download the source code for the version of your choice. If you want to compile Hugo with all the latest changes (which might include bugs), clone the Hugo repository:
git clone https://github.com/gohugoio/hugo
Step 2: Compiling
Make the directory containing the source your working directory and then fetch Hugo’s dependencies:
mkdir -p src/github.com/gohugoio
ln -sf $(pwd) src/github.com/gohugoio/hugo
# set the build path for Go
This will fetch the absolute latest version of the dependencies. If Hugo fails to build, it may be the result of a dependency’s author introducing a breaking change.
Once you have properly configured your directory, you can compile Hugo using the following command:
go build -o hugo main.go
Then place the hugo executable somewhere in your $PATH. You’re now ready to start using Hugo.
The following aims to be a complete guide to installing Hugo on your Windows PC.
You will use C:\Hugo\Sites as the starting point for your new project.
You will use C:\Hugo\bin to store executable files.
Set up Your Directories
You’ll need a place to store the Hugo executable, your content, and the generated Hugo website:
Open Windows Explorer.
Create a new folder: C:\Hugo, assuming you want Hugo on your C drive, although this can go anywhere
Create a subfolder in the Hugo folder: C:\Hugo\bin
The hugo executable will be named as hugo_hugo-version_platform_arch.exe. Rename the executable to hugo.exe for ease of use.
In PowerShell or your preferred CLI, add the hugo.exe executable to your PATH by navigating to C:\Hugo\bin (or the location of your hugo.exe file) and use the command set PATH=%PATH%;C:\Hugo\bin. If the hugo command does not work after a reboot, you may have to run the command prompt as administrator.
The latest release is announced on top. Scroll to the bottom of the release announcement to see the downloads. They’re all ZIP files.
Find the Windows files near the bottom (they’re in alphabetical order, so Windows is last) – download either the 32-bit or 64-bit file depending on whether you have 32-bit or 64-bit Windows. (If you don’t know, see here.)
Move the ZIP file into your C:\Hugo\bin folder.
Double-click on the ZIP file and extract its contents. Be sure to extract the contents into the same C:\Hugo\bin folder – Windows will do this by default unless you tell it to extract somewhere else.
You should now have three new files: The hugo executable (hugo.exe), LICENSE, and README.md.
Now you need to add Hugo to your Windows PATH settings:
For Windows 10 Users:
Right click on the Start button.
Click on System.
Click on Advanced System Settings on the left.
Click on the Environment Variables… button on the bottom.
In the User variables section, find the row that starts with PATH (PATH will be all caps).
Double-click on PATH.
Click the New… button.
Type in the folder where hugo.exe was extracted, which is C:\Hugo\bin if you went by the instructions above. The PATH entry should be the folder where Hugo lives and not the binary. Press Enter when you’re done typing.
Run a few commands to verify that the executable is ready to run, and then build a sample site to get started.
1. Open a Command Prompt
At the prompt, type hugo help and press the Enter key. You should see output that starts with:
hugo is the main command, used to build your Hugo site.
Hugo is a Fast and Flexible Static Site Generator
built with love by spf13 and friends in Go.
Complete documentation is available at https://gohugo.io/.
If you do, then the installation is complete. If you don’t, double-check the path that you placed the hugo.exe file in and that you typed that path correctly when you added it to your PATH variable. If you’re still not getting the output, search the Hugo discussion forum to see if others have already figured out our problem. If not, add a note—in the “Support” category—and be sure to include your command and the output.
At the prompt, change your directory to the Sites directory.
C:\Program Files> cd C:\Hugo\Sites
2. Run the Command
Run the command to generate a new site. I’m using example.com as the name of the site.
C:\Hugo\Sites> hugo new site example.com
You should now have a directory at C:\Hugo\Sites\example.com. Change into that directory and list the contents. You should get output similar to the following: