I was wondering why Hugo could generate on my FreeBSD cloud VM, but not locally. I ran a plain hugo command:

$ hugo
==> Error: Cannot walk regular file

Could this just be it? If so, it’s one of the most routine mistakes one can make on a *nix system.

Earlier in the week I’d created a symlink to the layouts directory of my current theme, to save some typing.

$ ln -s ./themes/rubenerd-rubi/layouts ./layouts

Even though Hugo’s config.yaml was specifically set to use that theme, it still attempted to load that folder as well. I’ve since learned this is expected, and in fact desired behavior: you may want to override a theme with a local site file.

(Yes, I use YAML. I couldn’t grok TOML).

So lesson learned, don’t try and get clever.