Minima is a one-size-fits-all Jekyll theme for writers. It’s Jekyll’s default (and first) theme. It’s what you get when you run jekyll new.

Theme preview

minima theme preview


Add this line to your Jekyll site’s Gemfile:

gem "minima"

And add this line to your Jekyll site:

theme: minima

And then execute:

$ bundle

Contents At-A-Glance

Minima has been scaffolded by the jekyll new-theme command and therefore has all the necessary files and directories to have a new Jekyll site up and running with zero-configuration.


Refers to files within the _layouts directory, that define the markup for your theme.

  • default.html — The base layout that lays the foundation for subsequent layouts. The derived layouts inject their contents into this file at the line that says `<article itemscope itemtype="">


When you use Cadmus’ products, software or services (“Services”) you trust us with your information. We want you to be clear how we’re using your information — and the ways in which we protect your privacy. This Privacy Statement is meant to help you understand what data we collect, why we collect it, and what we do with it.

When referring to “us,” “we,” or “our” in this Policy, we are referring to Vericus Pty Ltd — the owner of the Cadmus product.

What we collect, and why we collect it

We collect information to provide a high quality service for all our users — from basic information such as a user’s name, to more complex things like product usage information. We collect information in the following ways:

Information your institution provides us

Typically, our products and services integrate with your institution’s systems. As such, your institution will provide us with information about you to set up and maintain your account or for us to be able to provide the product or service. This includes the following information (Blackboard):

Account and user information: This includes some of your personal information, including your name, university assigned email address, student ID, and the your enrolment status in the subject and assessment where Cadmus is launched. We do not receive your university passwords or any other personal information.

We use account information so that we can correctly administer your account and provide you with the best customer service (Turnitin).

From your direct use of our Services

We collect information about how you use Cadmus. This includes:

Cookies: Cookies are small text files that are saved by your browser when you access our Service (Invision). We use secure cookies to remember whether you have signed into Cadmus on your internet browser. We collect and store this information locally on your device using mechanism such as browser web storage and application data caches. This allows you to access our Services directly, without first needing to login through your university’s Learning Management System. We only use cookies for authentication to Cadmus services and do not make it available for 3rd party services or advertisers.

Device information: We collect information on the devices, and the Internet address (IP), you use to access Cadmus services through a fingerprinting process. This information is used for analytics and debugging.

We also collect information from and about the devices you use to access the Services. This includes things like IP addresses, the type of browser and device you use, and other identifiers associated with your devices (Dropbox).

Your Work: Our service is designed to enable our users (“Teachers” and “Students”) to create and submit assignments and other assessment documents (“Your Work”). To make this possible, we store, process and transmit Your Work, as well as additional information (Dropbox). This information includes all the the written and uploaded contents of Your Work, as well as metadata associated with it’s creation, including the timing of save and submission events.

Usage information: We collect information relating to how you use the Services, including some actions you take when interacting with our Services (such as editing Your Work, submitting and accessing resources). We use this information to improve our Services, develop new services and features, and protect Cadmus users (Dropbox).

Includes interaction with the other parts of the client and visit times. We use interaction data to improve our services, develop new features and also to debug reported problems for Students.

Who we share your information with

We share your information in accordance with our agreement with your institution. Generally, this includes the sharing of data within and outside of Cadmus (Blackboard).

Within Cadmus and your institution

Within Cadmus: Your information will be accessed only by those who have a need to know to provide the products and services to your institution and improve them. For instance, our technical teams and client support teams may have access to your information when we set up the product for your institution or when software or database changes are required for support and maintenance purposes (Blackboard).

Within your institution: Much of the personal information we collect and use about you is shared with your institution that uses our products and services and with other institutional users. What information is shared depends on the product functionality, settings, and instructions of your institution. Please read your institution’s privacy statement to learn more (Blackboard).

Outside of Cadmus and your institution

We won’t sell information to advertisers and we do not share your personal information with companies, organisations and individuals outside of Cadmus or your institution, unless one of the following circumstances applies:

We use vendors to help us provide our products and services to you on behalf of your institution. For example, IBM, Amazon Web Services, and Microsoft help us host our products and services. Where we use third-party tools (for example to understand how our products and services are used), these third parties will have access to some of your personal information. This includes analytics tools such as Google Analytics (Blackboard)

For storage: We use a data hosting service provider (Amazon Web Services) to store and provide data hosting services in relation to your information. We only disclose information to the extent necessary for it to provide the storage and data hosting services required for you to use Cadmus. In compliance with University rules, your data is stored only in Australia.

With your consent: We will share personal information with companies, organisations or individuals outside of Cadmus when we have your consent to do so. We require opt-in consent for the sharing of any sensitive personal information.

For legal reasons: We will share personal information with companies, organisations or individuals outside of Cadmus if we have a good-faith belief that access, use, preservation or disclosure of the information is reasonably necessary to:

  • meet any applicable law, regulation, legal process or enforceable governmental request.
  • enforce applicable Terms of Service, including investigation of potential violations.
  • detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security or technical issues.
  • protect against harm to the rights, property or safety of Cadmus, our users or the public as required or permitted by law.

We may share non-personally identifiable information publicly and with our partners. For example, we may publicly share learning and assessment trends based on the information we obtain from collective use of Cadmus.

How we use your information

We use the information we collect to provide, maintain, and improve our Services, to develop new features, and to protect Cadmus and our users.

Within Cadmus: We use cookies, device information and usage information to improve your user experience and the overall quality of our Services. When you contact Cadmus, we keep a record of your communication to help solve any issues you might be facing and help us build our Support FAQs. We may also use your email address to inform you about our service, such as letting you know about upcoming changes or improvements to our service.

On behalf of your institution: We use your information on behalf of and under the instruction of your institution, which is the data controller. We use the information in accordance with our agreement with your institution to operate, maintain, and provide the features and functionality of the products and services. Your institution determines how your information is used (Blackboard).

Analytics: Providing our products and services to your institution may include analytics functionalities. Among other things, such functionalities can indicate your performance compared to that of your peers, project your future performance, and provide this information to instructors and other staff of your institution so they can support you (Blackboard).

Please read your institution’s privacy statement for more details on how your institution uses your personal information (Blackboard).

We will ask for your consent before using information for a purpose other than those that are set out in this Privacy Policy.

Cadmus processes personal information on servers in Australia. We will never process your personal information on a server located outside the country where you live.

Information security

We work hard to protect Cadmus and our users from unauthorised access to or unauthorised alteration, disclosure or destruction of information we hold. In particular:

  • We encrypt many of our Services.
  • We review our information collection, storage and processing practices, including physical security measures, to guard against unauthorised access to systems.
  • Aside from the transfer of your information to our AWS, we restrict access to personal information to Cadmus employees, contractors and agents who need to know that information in order to process it for us, and who are subject to strict contractual confidentiality obligations and may be disciplined or terminated if they fail to meet these obligations.

Compliance and cooperation with regulatory authorities

We regularly review our compliance with our Privacy Policy. We also adhere to self regulatory frameworks, including [CSA]. We work with the appropriate Australian regulatory authorities, including data protection authorities, to resolve any complaints regarding the transfer of personal data that we cannot resolve with our users directly.


If Cadmus is involved in a merger, acquisition or asset sale, we will continue to ensure the confidentiality of any personal information and give affected users notice before personal information is transferred or becomes subject to a different privacy policy.

Our Privacy Policy may change from time to time. We will not reduce your rights under this Privacy Policy without your explicit consent. We will post the most recent version of this Privacy Policy on our website.

    <div class="u-spacer-lg"></div>


</article> ` and are linked to this file via FrontMatter declaration layout: default.

  • home.html — The layout for your landing-page / home-page / index-page. [More Info.]
  • page.html — The layout for your documents that contain FrontMatter, but are not posts.
  • post.html — The layout for your posts.


Refers to snippets of code within the _includes directory that can be inserted in multiple layouts (and another include-file as well) within the same theme-gem.

  • disqus_comments.html — Code to markup disqus comment box.
  • footer.html — Defines the site’s footer section.
  • google-analytics.html — Inserts Google Analytics module (active only in production environment).
  • head.html — Code-block that defines the <head></head> in default layout.
  • header.html — Defines the site’s main header section. By default, pages with a defined title attribute will have links displayed here.


Refers to .scss files within the _sass directory that define the theme’s styles.

  • minima.scss — The core file imported by preprocessed main.scss, it defines the variable defaults for the theme and also further imports sass partials to supplement itself.
  • minima/_base.scss — Resets and defines base styles for various HTML elements.
  • minima/_layout.scss — Defines the visual style for various layouts.
  • minima/_syntax-highlighting.scss — Defines the styles for syntax-highlighting.


Refers to various asset files within the assets directory. Contains the main.scss that imports sass files from within the _sass directory. This main.scss is what gets processed into the theme’s main stylesheet main.css called by _layouts/default.html via _includes/head.html.

This directory can include sub-directories to manage assets of similar type, and will be copied over as is, to the final transformed site directory.


Minima comes with jekyll-seo-tag plugin preinstalled to make sure your website gets the most useful meta tags. See usage to know how to set it up.


Home Layout

home.html is a flexible HTML layout for the site’s landing-page / home-page / index-page.

Main Heading and Content-injection

From Minima v2.2 onwards, the home layout will inject all content from your / index.html before the Posts heading. This will allow you to include non-posts related content to be published on the landing page under a dedicated heading. We recommended that you title this section with a Heading2 (##).

Usually the site.title itself would suffice as the implicit ‘main-title’ for a landing-page. But, if your landing-page would like a heading to be explicitly displayed, then simply define a title variable in the document’s front matter and it will be rendered with an <h1> tag.

Post Listing

This section is optional from Minima v2.2 onwards.
It will be automatically included only when your site contains one or more valid posts or drafts (if the site is configured to show_drafts).

The title for this section is Posts by default and rendered with an <h2> tag. You can customize this heading by defining a list_title variable in the document’s front matter.


To override the default structure and style of minima, simply create the concerned directory at the root of your site, copy the file you wish to customize to that directory, and then edit the file. e.g., to override the _includes/head.html file to specify a custom style path, create an _includes directory, copy _includes/head.html from minima gem folder to <yoursite>/_includes and start editing that file.

The site’s default CSS has now moved to a new place within the gem itself, assets/main.scss. To override the default CSS, the file has to exist at your site source. Do either of the following:

  • Create a new instance of main.scss at site source.
    • Create a new file main.scss at <your-site>/assets/
    • Add the frontmatter dashes, and
    • Add @import "minima";, to <your-site>/assets/main.scss
    • Add your custom CSS.
  • Download the file from this repo
    • Create a new file main.scss at <your-site>/assets/
    • Copy the contents at assets/main.scss onto the main.scss you just created, and edit away!
  • Copy directly from Minima 2.0 gem
    • Go to your local minima gem installation directory ( run bundle show minima to get the path to it ).
    • Copy the assets/ folder from there into the root of <your-site>
    • Change whatever values you want, inside <your-site>/assets/main.scss

This allows you to set which pages you want to appear in the navigation area and configure order of the links.

For instance, to only link to the about and the portfolio page, add the following to you _config.yml:


Change default date format

You can change the default date format by specifying site.minima.date_format in _config.yml.

# Minima date format
# refer to if you want to customize this
  date_format: "%b %-d, %Y"

Enabling comments (via Disqus)

Optionally, if you have a Disqus account, you can tell Jekyll to use it to show a comments section below each post.

To enable it, add the following lines to your Jekyll site:

    shortname: my_disqus_shortname

You can find out more about Disqus’ shortnames here.

Comments are enabled by default and will only appear in production, i.e., JEKYLL_ENV=production

If you don’t want to display comments for a particular post you can disable them by adding comments: false to that post’s YAML Front Matter.

Social networks

You can add links to the accounts you have on other sites, with respective icon, by adding one or more of the following options in your config:

twitter_username: jekyllrb
github_username:  jekyll
dribbble_username: jekyll
facebook_username: jekyll
flickr_username: jekyll
instagram_username: jekyll
linkedin_username: jekyll
pinterest_username: jekyll
youtube_username: jekyll
googleplus_username: +jekyll
rss: rss

 - username: jekyll
 - username: jekyll2

Enabling Google Analytics

To enable Google Analytics, add the following lines to your Jekyll site:

  google_analytics: UA-NNNNNNNN-N

Google Analytics will only appear in production, i.e., JEKYLL_ENV=production

Enabling Excerpts on the Home Page

To display post-excerpts on the Home Page, simply add the following to your _config.yml:

show_excerpts: true


Bug reports and pull requests are welcome on GitHub at This project is intended to be a safe, welcoming space for collaboration, and contributors are expected to adhere to the Contributor Covenant code of conduct.


To set up your environment to develop this theme, run script/bootstrap.

To test your theme, run script/server (or bundle exec jekyll serve) and open your browser at http://localhost:4000. This starts a Jekyll server using your theme and the contents. As you make modifications, your site will regenerate and you should see the changes in the browser after a refresh.


The theme is available as open source under the terms of the MIT License.

A better way to do
written assessment

Now available at the following universities...

University of Melbourne Deakin University
Edith Cowan University Queensland University of technology