DSG: A Dart Static Site Generator

Includes support for:

  • commonmark (markdown) content
  • mustache templates
  • template partials
  • yaml front-matter
  • json / yaml data processing
  • a webserver

think: Jekyll for Dart

Use as an executable

You can either install dsg with pub:

pub global activate dsg

or you can just download the self-contained executable for your platform from the Github repo.

See this article on how DSG came to be and how you can use it to deploy your website.


  • Install DSG (see above)
  • Clone the example from https://github.com/maks/dsg/tree/master/samples/simple
  • cd into the local simple git repo
  • run dsg -x

Play with the sample files...

Support for https-connection!

This is absolutely mandatory if your REST-Server uses HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS)

Here you can see the necessary configuration for HTTPS-Support
Generate a self-signed certificate, name it dart.cert and dart.key, place it under

What it does

DSG is a static site generator in Dart, with a webserver included. It supports extra assets-folder and template partials.
You can write your pages in HTML or CommonMark aka "Markdown" is supported.

A webserver for a quick previews is included. On Mac you also get automatic page refresh. On other platforms you could try LivePage chrome extension for maximum productivity.

Here you can see a typical site structure.

See manichord.com for a site built entirely with DSG.

Check out the sample!.

├── .dsg
│   ├── html
│   │   ├── _content
│   │   │   ├── about
│   │   │   │   └── index.html
│   │   │   ├── assets
│   │   │   │   ├── images
│   │   │   │   │   ├── android-desktop.png
│   │   │   │   │   ├── favicon.png
│   │   │   │   │   └── ios-desktop.png
│   │   │   │   └── styles
│   │   │   │       └── styles.scss
│   │   │   ├── features.html
│   │   │   ├── index.html
│   │   │   ├── main.dart
│   │   │   ├── markdown.md
│   │   │   ├── special
│   │   │   │   ├── template.html
│   │   │   │   └── xtreme.html
│   │   │   └── technology.html
│   │   ├── _data
│   │   │   ├── families.json
│   │   │   ├── menu.json
│   │   │   └── xmen.yaml
│   │   ├── _partials
│   │   │   ├── cards
│   │   │   │   └── wide.html
│   │   │   └── header.html
│   │   └── _templates
│   │       ├── default.html
│   │       └── info_page.html
│   ├── refreshChrome-1.0.applescript
│   ├── refreshChromium-1.0.applescript
│   ├── refreshDartium-1.0.applescript
│   └── site.yaml
├── pubspec.yaml
└── web
    ├── about
    │   └── index.html
    ├── assets
    │   ├── images
    │   │   ├── android-desktop.png
    │   │   ├── favicon.png
    │   │   └── ios-desktop.png
    │   └── styles
    │       ├── styles.css
    │       └── styles.scss
    ├── features.html
    ├── index.html
    ├── main.dart
    ├── markdown.html
    ├── special
    │   ├── template.html
    │   └── xtreme.html
    └── technology.html

.dsg: This is where your (optional) site.yaml lives
This folder is also used to store autgenerated scripts - in the case above you can see the script to refresh Chromium on Mac.

.dsg/html/_content: This is where DSG will look for your files to generate the site from. The following file-formats are supported:

  • .md
  • .markdown
  • .dart
  • .js
  • .json
  • .html
  • .scss
  • .css

.dsg/html/_data: optional This is the place where you can store your data-files.
The following file-formats are supported:

  • .yaml
  • .json

DSG injects your data into a global _data variable. Here is a sample how to use such data:


.dsg/html/_listings: optional This is the place where you can store your listings configuration files.
Listing files are in yaml format with the following parameters supported: path, filter, sort_by

The path is a path relative to .dsg/html/_content. The filter specifies which files to list within the given path. The sort_by specifies a property AND the ASC or DESC.

eg. to sort in chronological descending order based on a front-matter property called pub_date

path: blog
filter: "*.md"
sort_by: pub_date DESC

DSG injects your listings into a global _lists variable. For each file all of the files YAML front-matter properties are available along with the files:

  • filename: the files name without extension.
  • last_modified: the files last modified date time stamp.

Here is a sample how to use a listing:

    <li>{{ title }}</li>

.dsg/html/_assets: optional Additional assets that you don't want to have in _content. The following file types are supported:

  • .scss
  • .jpg
  • .png
  • .gif
  • .woff
  • .ttf
  • .pdf

.dsg/html/_templates: The directory containing your HTML+Mustache templates.

web: Following Dart conventions - this is your default output directory.

Top-level files

Sometimes you will need to place specific files in the top level of your website, for example favicon.ico or robots.txt. These files can simply be placed in the .dsg/html/_content folder and will then be copied across to the web output folder. See the sample website in example/simple folder of this git repo for an example.


Optional YAML file that stores your global values and config options. Values set here can be accessed from all templates and markdown files.

  author: Maksim Lin

Can be used in your template (default.html) as


You can also use site.yaml to overwrite your dsg default configuration.
Supported vars:

  • content_dir: .dsg/html/_content
  • template_dir: .dsg/html/_templates
  • data_dir: .dsg/html/_data
  • partials_dir: .dsg/html/_partials
  • assets_dir: .dsg/html/_assets
  • output_dir: web
  • workspace: .
  • date_format: dd.MM.yyyy
  • yaml_delimeter: ---
  • use_markdown: true
  • default_template: default.html
  • browser: Chromium
  • watchfolder1, watchfolder2 and watchfolder3


DSG lets you use CommonMark aka "Markdown" to write your site content.

At the beginning of each markdown file, you have the option to use a YAML "front-matter" block to define custom values that you can inject into your templates. Example:

title: A Blog Post
published: 01/01/2014
category: example
    - StillShot
    - Rants
    - Etc.
Normal Markdown content here...

As you can see, a line of dashes (-) is used to delimit your YAML block (marking start and end lines). You can access/inject your values into your pages using mustache template syntax. You can do this either inside your dedicated HTML/mustache templates:


Or, you can embed your values within the markdown file itself:

  - __{{.}}__

so you can take advantage of templating and markdown at the same time.

Simply place all your files in your content_dir and DSG will generate your site accordingly.
If your markdown file has a .md extension it will be renamed to .html.


As mentioned above, you can access any variables set within your markdown files from your templates using mustache. Options set from your site.yaml / site_options can be accessed through the _site variable, like so:

<h1>{{ _site.author}}</h1>

where author is a property defined in your site.yaml / site_options. You can access these values from your markdown or from your html files.

Every page and template has access to the following values:

  • title: title, usually set inside each markdown file, but is set to the name of markdown file if left blank
  • _site: site.yaml values
  • _date: the post/markdown file's last modified date
  • _content: converted markdown content (only accessible from templates)
  • _page.relative_to_root: will be replaced with some '../' depending on the nesting level of your page (check about/index.html)

The default template is 'default.html' but you can overwrite this behavior if you add a 'template' var to the yaml-block of your content file.

template: info_page


Files / Directories in your _partials-Folder will be translated into partials-names.
For example: _partials/category/house.md translates into {{>category.house}}
A partial can be either a .md or a .html file

You can also use partials in the files yaml block:

template: default.html    
dart: ->usage.badge.dart  

Template Functions

Mustache provides for the use of "lambdas" which are essentially names functions that can be accessed in templates using the section syntax. The currently available functions in DSG are listed below.


Allows formating either a hard coded string or another template variable written in the format yyyy-MM-dd the function will ouput the it using the format specified in date_format in site.yaml.

eg. given in site.yaml a date_format: dd MMM yyyy and then a variable defined in your front-matter like article_date: 2020-01-26 and then a template with:

Article published on: {{# formatDate }} {{ date }} {{/ formatDate }} 

will output: Article published on: 26 Jan 2020



    pub global activate dsg


    # activate dsg again
    pub global activate dsg


    pub global deactivate dsg   


Usage: dsg [options]
    -s, --settings         Prints settings
    -h, --help             Shows this message
    -g, --generate         Generate site
    -w, --watch            Observes SRC-dir
    -x, --watchandserve    Shortcut to watch and serve
    -i, --init             Initializes your site
                           (not combinable with other options)

        --serve            Serves your site

        --ip               Sets the IP-Address to listen on
                           (defaults to "")

        --port             Sets the port to listen on
                           (defaults to "8000")

        --docroot          Document root
                           (defaults to "web")

    -v, --loglevel         Sets the appropriate loglevel
                           [info, debug, warning]


    'Generates all basic files and folders:                'dsg -i'
    'Observes the default dirs and serves the web-folder:  'dsg -w --serve'
    'Observes the default dirs and serves the web-folder:  'dsg -x'
    'Generates the static site in your 'web-folder':       'dsg -g'

Go to your project root (this is where your pubspec.yaml is) and type:

`dsg -i`

This creates a basic file structure for you.

Now type

`dsg -x`

This serves your files under https://localhost:8000/

If you are using Chromium on Mac you will get a automatic page refresh for free!


  • Just serve a local dir on port 8000 without generating something:
    dsg --serve --docroot .

  • DSG observes automatically it's basefolders like _content, but if you want additional folders that should be observed so that dsg automatically regenerates it's file - set watchfolder1-3 in you site.yaml

  • Test your App with Chrome and use dsg as server (MAC + Linux only)
    pub build && cd build/web && dsg --serve --port 9000 --docroot . || cd -

    Runs "pub build" - if this runs without errors cd to "build/web" In "build/web" run dsg as server on port 9000 and set docroot to . (current dir (default would be "web"))
    || means if the prev command ends with an error (Ctrl + C to cancel dsg)
    jump back where you came from. You should be back in your base folder (where your pubspec.yaml is)

Features and bugs

Please file feature requests and bug reports in the issue tracker.


I want to thank Michael Mitterer for his SiteGen package that I used as a starting point for DSG.


Copyright 2020 Maksim Lin (admin@manichord.com), Manichord Pty Ltd

Copyright 2019 Michael Mitterer (office@mikemitterer.at),
IT-Consulting and Development Limited, Austrian Branch

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
You may obtain a copy of the License at


Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing,
software distributed under the License is distributed on an
either express or implied. See the License for the specific language
governing permissions and limitations under the License.