Building the Latest Version of Hugo

My mobile development environment is a chromebook with an arm64 (AArch64) architecture. It does have Linux (crostini) support. So, that means that I have a functional Debian Buster distribution.

But the version of hugo that is currently in buster is 0.47 and I need at least 0.49 for the Hugo theme I’m developing. This short article show the process I finally came up with for getting that newer hugo.

The Easy Way

Hugo is built using the go language. Debian contains has a go compiler. So, in fact, the process is as easy as :

$ sudo apt install golang
$ go version
go version go1.10.4 linux/arm64

$ mkdir ~/go
$ cd go
$ go get -v

$ ~/go/bin/hugo version
Hugo Static Site Generator v0.52-DEV linux/arm64 BuildDate: unknown

The downside of this is that go get always gets the latest on the hugo master branch - whatever that is. I would prefer to only get sanctioned releases. Lets do it the hard way.

The Hard Way

The trick will be to use the -b option to git clone get a specific release tag.

Current hugo versions support something called “go modules”, which unfortunately is only supported by go version 1.11 and above. Regretfully that means we’ll need to first update the go compiler.

Build Go

cd ~
mkdir ~/go
git clone --depth=1 -b go1.11.2 golang
cd golang/src

The new executable will be in the directory golang/go/bin. Be sure to add that to the front of your path.

You could run ./all.bash instead to get it to run the test suite. But you might get a false failure1.

Now, lets build hugo.

Build Hugo

git clone --depth=1 -b v0.51
cd hugo
go install --tags extended

Hugo has changed the way that tags are named. Be sure to verify the actual tag name from the github project

$ ~/go/bin/hugo version
Hugo Static Site Generator v0.51/extended linux/arm64 BuildDate: unknown

Add ${HOME}/go/bin to your path and your finished.


The easiest way to update either item is to simply remove the source directory and start over using the new release tag. But you could also do :

git fetch origin tag v0.52
git checkout v0.52

  1. See this issue. The problem has been fixed, but the fix causes the reverse failure depending on the exact version of binutils you have installed. ↩︎