IronBeard 1.2.0

.NET 6.0
dotnet tool install --global IronBeard --version 1.2.0
This package contains a .NET tool you can call from the shell/command line.
dotnet new tool-manifest # if you are setting up this repo
dotnet tool install --local IronBeard --version 1.2.0
This package contains a .NET tool you can call from the shell/command line.
#tool dotnet:?package=IronBeard&version=1.2.0
nuke :add-package IronBeard --version 1.2.0


NuGet Build status

A simple and easy to use cross-platform static site generator built with .NET Core. IronBeard processes your Razor .cshtml files, markdown .md files into full .html files ready for static hosting on services like Amazon S3.

IronBeard maintains your folder structure and copies static assets like images, JS, and CSS into their respective directories to maintain the correct linking on the generated site.

Adding a beard.json file to your project root allows for further configuration (see below).


  • Support for recursive folder and file structures
  • Markdown Processor (with extensions: see Markdig)
  • Razor Processor
  • Static File Processor
  • Razor Layout Support (wraps other razor files and markdown markup)
  • Markdown metadata (YAML Frontmatter support in markdown)
  • Razor metadata (YAML Frontmatter support with Razor comments)
  • HTML Formatting to clean up file output.
  • URL correction (properly handles relative routes and root folder routing (index.html etc.))
  • Global configuration file
  • Rich CLI output
  • Valid system errors codes (useful for automation)
  • Watch command for automatic rebuilding on file or directory change

Get started

Download the .NET 6 SDK or newer. Once installed, run this command:

dotnet tool install --global IronBeard

This will install the beard command globally on your machine.

The simplest way to build a static site is by running the following in your project directory


It will scan your current directory for site files and generate a www folder in your current directory with the generated static site.

Serving Local

Rather than re-invent the wheel here and include a built in static server, it is recommended that you use dotnet-serve, a "Simple command-line HTTPS server for the .NET Core CLI" by Nate McMaster.

Just like IronBeard, you can install it via dotnet tool:

dotnet tool install --global dotnet-serve

and use it to serve your generated site using the CLI:

dotnet serve ./www

where ./www is your output directory


See the Samples directory for sample projects that can be built with IronBeard.

Example Structure

├── beard.json                  # IronBeard configuration file in the root
├── index.cshtml                # Main homepage file
├── shared                      # Standard Shared folder, common in .NET templating
│   ├── _Layout.cshtml          # Standard _Layout.cshtml file
│   ├── Partials                # Full Partials support
|   |   └── ...
│   └── ...
├── articles                    # Any level of folder testing
│   ├──              # Markdown file support
│   ├── lorem-ipsum.cshtml      # Razor File support for more complex pages
│   └── ...
├── assets                      # Standard assets folder structure. Include CSS, JS, Images, etc.
│   ├── site.css                
│   ├── site.js
│   ├── images
|   |   └── ...
│   └── ...        
└── ...


Usage: beard [options] [command]

  --version     Show version information
  -?|-h|--help  Show help information

  generate      Generates a static site from the files in the given directory
  watch         Watch a directory for changes and rebuild automatically


Generate is the main and default command for IronBeard. This will take in your provided input folder (defaults to the current directory) and generate your static site into the provided output folder (defaults to ./www);

Generates a static site from the files in the given directory

Usage: beard generate [options]

  -i|--input <PATH>   Provide the root directory where Iron Beard should look for files to generate a static site from.
  -o|--output <PATH>  Provide the directory where Iron Beard should write the static site to.
  -?|-h|--help        Show help information


Watch is similary to Generate (the paramaters are all the same), but once it is done generating, it will continue to watch your input directory for changes. When any changes are detected, it will automatically re-generate the static site.

Watch a directory for changes and rebuild automatically

Usage: beard watch [options]

  -i|--input <PATH>   Provide the root directory where Iron Beard should look for files to generate a static site from.
  -o|--output <PATH>  Provide the directory where Iron Beard should write the static site to.
  -?|-h|--help        Show help information


IronBeard allows for further configuration by adding a beard.json configuration file in the root of your project. The default configuration is as follows:

    "Config" : {
        "SiteTitle" : "Razor Markdown Sample",
        "IndexFileName" : "index",
        "LayoutFileName" : "_Layout",
        "StaticExtensionIgnoreList" : [".cshtml", ".md", ".DS_Store", ".json" ],
        "ExcludeHtmlExtension": true,
        "EnableMarkdownExtensions": false
  • SiteTitle : This is the title to display for your generated site. This will be propagated to things like the browser tab.

  • IndexFileName : This is the file name that should be display as the root in any directory. For example, if you had a /projects folder and you wanted a page to represent your projects, you'd put a file /projects/index.cshtml into that directory, which will be loaded when a user goes to /projects in their browser

  • LayoutFileName : This is the layout file used to wrap your .cshtml and .md files. IronBeard will look for this file to determine the layout to use.

  • StaticExtensionIgnoreList : This array should hold the list of extensions you want the static processor to ignore. If it is not in this list, the files will be copied into the output directory.

  • ExcludeHtmlExtension : Defaults to true, this will not write out the .html extension for your generated HTML pages. This provides cleaner routing : /articles/article vs /articles/article.html. Special work may need to be done to ensure your static host sets the correct content-type for your uploaded files to text/html. Some rely on the extension to determine this, which these html files will not have. Setting this to false will write out the .html extensions as well as update the Url property to include the extension so you can navigate your static site locally without the use of a static file server.

  • EnableMarkdownExtensions : Defaults to false, enables markdown extensions (see Markdig).


Razor files can take advantage of the ViewContext model that is automatically passed in to each view file while rendering by appending @model IronBeard.Core.Features.Generator.ViewContext to the top of the Razor file.

The ViewContext contains the following useful properties

public class ViewContext
    public OutputFile Current {get;set;}                    #Access the current page's model, including MetaData (see below)
    public IEnumerable<OutputFile> Siblings { get; set; }   #Access the current page's sibling pages
    public IEnumerable<OutputFile> Children { get; set; }   #Access the current page's children pages (sub directories)
    public IEnumerable<OutputFile> All { get; set; }        #Access HTML pages in the site


@using System.Linq
@model IronBeard.Core.Features.Generator.ViewContext
    var articles = Model.Siblings.Where(x => x.Metadata.ContainsKey("Title"));

        @foreach(var article in articles){
            <li><a href="@article.Url">@article.Metadata["Title"]</a></li>


Partials are fully supported in IronBeard. However, it is important to note that the pathing to the partial should be relative to the root of the application and not the current file. For example

<partial name="../../shared/partials/_articles.cshtml" />
<partial name="/shared/partials/_articles.cshtml" />


IronBeard supports YAML Frontmatter in both Markdown and Razor files. This YAML is processed and exposed on the Model passed into all Razor views via each page's Metadata property. However, the syntax is slightly different between the two file types:


I found it important to be able to specify the metadata for a Razor anywhere in the document, so there is no requirement that the frontmatter be defined at the very top of the file. Instead, it uses Razor Comments with a META attached to the opening. Everything between the @*META and *@ is processed as YAML.

Title: Posita vixque alis
Tags: Article

The YAML format here follows standards on requiring the frontmatter to be defined at the very beginning of the file.

Title: Posita vixque alis
Tags: Article
Product Versions
.NET net6.0 net6.0-android net6.0-ios net6.0-maccatalyst net6.0-macos net6.0-tvos net6.0-windows
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1.2.0 132 1/23/2022
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