Grav, simple and flexible markdown blog platform

grav-logoInterestingly, mardown / flat blog platform has gotten more and more popular in the past few years taking some market share from WordPress, Dotclear, Drupal and others popular CMS.

Today, I’m presenting Grav, a fast, simple and flexible blog platform with best in class technologies.

Grav, for Gravity (not the movie!! but for the attractions between objects!), is an open source file-based blog. If does not require a database or much installation. Extract the zip in your server and you are up and running!

Very similar to JustWriting presented previously, but probably much more advanced and userfriendly.

Grav example website


As explain on their official wiki, Grav uses well established and best in class technologies such as:

And does not require much (Web server + PHP).

Associated with caching technologies (APC, …), you will feel all the performance of Grav.

With more than 20 themes and 60 plugins available in the Package manager, it can be easily customized to your wish.

The admin interface is light yet powerful with all it needs (users management, update, backup, statistics, etc…)  but will need to be installed through plugins.


They provide 2 types of archives (The Grav – core or the Skeleton – a sample site). They actually provide around 15 Skeleton (Sample site) that you can download freely (all in one).

it’s clearly an interesting project!

If you wonder, why using a markdown type of blog instead of a CMS like WordPress, I think Grav summarize well the reasons:

  • Instant installation (Extract and done)
  • No database
  • Few requirements (Web server + PHP)
  • Easy to backup / restore (It’s just a file)
  • Blasting fast!
  • Simple to manage and use

It will fit perfectly the needs of average blogger (like me I suppose!)


Interested to use? Let’s see how to install it



I presume you already have a web server and PHP installed. If not, have a look on my LAMP tutorial.


1) Download the zip

Simply download the package you wish to install (Core or  sample site), in my case I will use the Agency Skeleton (a modern one page template that scroll down to the relevant sections)

cd /var/www
2) Unzip

Simply unzip the archive, rename the folder name and delete the .zip

mv grav-skeleton-agency-site grav


3) Provide full access right

To avoid any permission issue, you need to change the owner of the folder by your web server user. For apache, simply run in root (or with sudo):

chown www-data:www-data -R /var/www/grav


4) Install PHP GD and Curl dependencies

If you are on a fresh system, you will need to install the GD and Curl libraries for PHP otherwise during the compatibility check will flag them as missing.

Simply run:

apt-get install php5-gd php5-curl

Restart apache:

/etc/init.d/apache2 restart

And you’re good to go.

Simply go to http://YourIP/grav to access to your Gravity blog platform!

Grav - Main page

If any error happens, the compatibility check will tell you. If no error, you will directly access to your blog main page.

Grav’s project have a nice wiki with a lot of information on how to use it. I strongly recommend it.


Loves to discover web-based apps to install on his own server@home and write articles about it


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