Deploy to Github Pages using Actions with both Private and Public Vaults

What if you have multiple vaults, but only want to generate a Dendron site for some of them?

This approach involves having 2 repos:

  1. one for all of your notes. We'll call this main.
  2. and one for all of your public notes. We'll call it publishable.

Both of these repos will have a dendron.code-workspace file at the root.

The idea is that we have the source of truth for all notes in all vaults in main, and we use the publishable directory as a means to publish only the vaults that we specify.

To accomplish this, we will use Github Actions and deploy with Github Pages.

Setting up the main repo

First, if we haven't done so already, we'll need to make a Git repository out of our main Dendron directory. This holds all your Dendron vaults (in our example, both private and public). That should be reflected in this directory's dendron.code-workspace:

    "folders": [
            "path": "public-vault",
            "name": "public-vault"
            "path": "private-vault",
            "name": "private-vault"
    "settings": {
    // ...

Next, we will initialize our publishable repo. In a new directory, run git init, and then copy over the dendron.yml file from your main repo.

Add the following key to the publishable version of the dendron.yml file:

    siteUrl: {SITE_URL}

Your SITE_URL for GitHub Pages will be in the following format: https://{GITHUB_USERNAME}{REPO_NAME}/.

  • NOTE: Some special considerations for the SITE_URL
    • if your REPO_NAME is the same as your GITHUB_USERNAME
      • set SITE_URL to https://{GITHUB_USERNAME}
    • if your REPO_NAME is anything else
      • set SITE_URL to https://{GITHUB_USERNAME}
      • set assetsPrefixto /REPO_NAME

In your publishable repo, create a dendron.code-workspace file and add the following content:

    "folders": [
            "path": "../main/public-vault",
            "name": "public-vault"

Notice that here, we simply link to the public-vault from the main repo. Now when we build this directory, it will use the source of truth markdown notes in your main repo, but will build the HTML files in the publishable repo.

Setting up the Github Action

From the publishable repo, add a file .github/workflows/deploy-dendron-nextjs.yml with the following content:

name: Dendron

  - cron: "0 0 * * *" # every 24hr at midnight

    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    - name: Clone Dendron (main) repo
      uses: actions/checkout@v2
        repository: <YOUR_USERNAME>/<YOUR_MAIN_REPO>
        token: ${{ secrets.GH_PERSONAL_ACCESS_TOKEN }}
        path: 'main'

    - name: Clone Dendron (publishable) repo
      uses: actions/checkout@v2
        path: 'publishable'
        ref: master
        fetch-depth: 0

    - name: Delete publishable cached files if present
      run: "rm -rf .next && rm -rf docs && rm -rf node_modules"
      working-directory: ./publishable

    - name: Install node dependencies of publishable
      run: npm install @dendronhq/dendron-cli@latest
      working-directory: ./publishable

    - name: Clone the Dendron Next.js repository and install dependencies
      run: npx dendron publish init
      working-directory: ./publishable

    - name: Build static HTML and create the Nextjs static website
      run: npx dendron publish export --target github --yes
      working-directory: ./publishable

    - name: πŸš€ Deploy site to GH Pages
      uses: peaceiris/actions-gh-pages@v3.8.0
        github_token: ${{ secrets.GITHUB_TOKEN }}
        publish_branch: pages
        publish_dir: publishable # deploy publishable directory in the runner to pages branch
        force_orphan: true
        enable_jekyll: false
        cname: "<YOUR_USERNAME>"

And that should be it. Note that this Github Action will run every 24 hours at midnight, but this could be changed to use any trigger that is supported by Github Actions. Play around with it to get a setup that works for you!