️ an extremely minimal static site generator written in Go.
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Co-authored-by: James Mills <1290234+prologic@users.noreply.github.com>
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zs is an extremely minimal static site generator written in Go.

It's inspired by zas generator, but is even more minimal.

The name stands for 'zen static' as well as it's my initials.


  • Zero configuration (no configuration file needed)
  • Cross-platform
  • Highly extensible
  • Works well for blogs and generic static websites (landing pages etc)
  • Easy to learn
  • Fast


Download the binaries from Github or build it manually:

$ go get git.mills.io/prologic/zs


Keep your texts in markdown, or HTML format right in the main directory of your blog/site.

Keep all service files (extensions, layout pages, deployment scripts etc) in the .zs subdirectory.

Define variables in the header of the content files using [YAML]:

title: My web site
keywords: best website, hello, world

Markdown text goes after a header *separator*

Use placeholders for variables and plugins in your markdown or html files, e.g. {{ title }} or `{{ command arg1 arg2 }}.

Write extensions in any language you like and put them into the .zs subdiretory.

Everything the extensions prints to stdout becomes the value of the placeholder.

Every variable from the content header will be passed via environment variables like title becomes $ZS_TITLE and so on. There are some special variables:

  • $ZS - a path to the zs executable
  • $ZS_OUTDIR - a path to the directory with generated files
  • $ZS_FILE - a path to the currently processed markdown file
  • $ZS_URL - a URL for the currently generated page

Example of RSS generation

Extensions can be written in any language you know (Bash, Python, Lua, JavaScript, Go, even Assembler). Here's an example of how to scan all markdown blog posts and create RSS items:

for f in ./blog/*.md ; do
	d=$($ZS var $f date)
	if [ ! -z $d ] ; then
		timestamp=`date --date "$d" +%s`
		url=`$ZS var $f url`
		title=`$ZS var $f title | tr A-Z a-z`
		descr=`$ZS var $f description`
		echo $timestamp \
			"<item>" \
			"<title>$title</title>" \
			"<link>http://zserge.com/$url</link>" \
			"<description>$descr</description>" \
			"<pubDate>$(date --date @$timestamp -R)</pubDate>" \
			"<guid>http://zserge.com/$url</guid>" \
done | sort -r -n | cut -d' ' -f2-


There are two special plugin names that are executed every time the build happens - prehook and posthook. You can define some global actions here like content generation, or additional commands, like LESS to CSS conversion:

# .zs/post

lessc < $ZS_OUTDIR/styles.less > $ZS_OUTDIR/styles.css
rm -f $ZS_OUTDIR/styles.css

Command line usage

zs build re-builds your site.

zs build <file> re-builds one file and prints resulting content to stdout.

zs watch rebuilds your site every time you modify any file.

zs var <filename> [var1 var2...] prints a list of variables defined in the header of a given markdown file, or the values of certain variables (even if it's an empty string).


The software is distributed under the MIT license.