Run Gollum Locally Using Pow

A quick guide that details how to setup and configure Gollum, a ruby app which turns a Git repository into a full-featured wiki with a robust API.

Setup Gollum

Initialize a repository

First, initialize a repository to serve the gollum app from. In this example, we will be naming the app wiki and serving it from the directory ~/Projects.

cd ~/Projects
mkdir wiki
cd wiki
git init

Setup application configuration options

Inside the folder gollum will be served from, create a file called which will be used to set ruby application configuration options.


Open in a text editor and modify its contents to use bundler to serve gollum and to set some sound default options for gollum:

#!/usr/bin/env ruby
require 'pathname'

ENV['BUNDLE_GEMFILE'] ||= File.expand_path("../Gemfile",

require 'rubygems'
require 'bundler/setup'
require 'gollum/app'

# Setup gollum options
help_path = File.expand_path(File.dirname(__FILE__))
Precious::App.set(:gollum_path, help_path)
Precious::App.set(:default_markup, :markdown)
Precious::App.set(:wiki_options, {:universal_toc => false})

run Precious::App

Create a Gemfile and add the following lines:

source ''

gem 'gollum'

Install gollum using bundler

Use bundler to setup the gem environment for the app:

bundle install

Note that for certain recent versions of OS X, Bundler may encounter an error installing the Nokogiri library that looks something like this:

An error occurred while installing nokogiri (, and Bundler cannot
Make sure that `gem install nokogiri -v ''` succeeds before bundling.

This is a common error that can be fixed by manually installing Nokogiri and telling bundler how to build it:

gem install nokogiri -v ''
bundle config build.nokogiri --use-system-libraries

The bundle install command should now work.

Linking to pow

Now, link the newly created app to pow:

cd ~/.pow
ln -s ~/Projects/wiki

The gollum site will then be available locally at If created using a different name, the pattern for the URL will be


Gollum Configuration Details

Some tips and tricks for configuring gollum.

Custom styling and views

Custom styles can be added to gollum by placing them in a file under the root directory called custom.css. Use gollum’s —css flag to load the file—if gollum is running as a rack app, use the option wiki_options[:css] = true to let gollum know that it should look for a custom css file.

Note: the custom.css file must be committed to the repository before changes will take effect.