Vimwiki Website Deployment using Git Hooks


I use vimwiki to keep a track of my notes. This includes book summaries, linux commands, recipes and miscellanous content. It's an amazing vim plugin that provides easy access and navigation to the content. This however works well only within vim.

I occasionally need to access these notes outside vim and my laptop. One of the solutions for this is to have the content online as html, thus I can easily access this using any device that has a browser. Vimwiki supports note to html conversion using VimwikiAll2HTML command. Running that command in vim will generate a website on the specified directory.

I configured vimwiki to generate the website at my preferred location using:

let g:vimwiki_list = [{"path": "~/vimwiki", "path_html": "~/vimwiki/public_html"}]

I also needed a means of syncing the website with my notes. So anytime I add a new note or change some content, the website would also get updated with this. To solve this, I used git hooks (I version control my notes). I added a post-commit hook, which would build the html content using vim and upload it to the server.

To generate the html content:

vim -R -c ':VimwikiIndex' -c ':VimwikiAll2HTML' -c 'qa!' < /dev/tty

The -R option ensures the file is open in ReadOnly mode. This is because the index wiki file might be open on another vim instance while this command runs.

The VimwikiIndex command opens up the first wiki file in the vimwiki_list variable.

The VimwikiAll2HTML command will generate the html files.

qa! exits vim.

Running this command from post-commit hook raised a warning, resulting in the output being mungled. To fix this, < /dev/tty is appended to the command. This discussion can be found here on stackoverflow

To upload the files to my server, I use rsync. Here's the command used:

rsync -rav -e "ssh -p 1233" public_html/

Combined, the post-commit file contains:


vim -R -c ':VimwikiIndex' -c ':VimwikiAll2HTML' -c 'qa!' < /dev/tty
rsync -rav -e "ssh -p 1233" public_html/

Now every time I commit to the repo, the online version of my wiki is also updated automatically. Serving this directory is just a matter of setting up nginx properly (or the webserver being used). For security, I use .htpasswd files using the guide found here.