Hugo template lookout order killing me right now

I’m really struggling with this, it seems. I’m working on a new project, and after setting up the basic files, I’m getting a blank home page (running 58.3) and I’m getting this error:
found no layout file for “HTML” for “home”
and I’m struggling to understand the problem. Here’s my directory structure, any help would be greatly appreciated.

.
├── README.md
├── archetypes
│ └── default.md
├── assets
│ ├── js
│ └── sass
│ ├── custom_variables.scss
│ ├── main.scss
│ └── styles.scss
├── config.toml
├── content
│ ├── _index.md
│ ├── about.md
│ └── posts
│ └── first-post.md
├── data
├── layouts
│ ├── 404.html
│ ├── _default
│ │ ├── baseof.html
│ │ ├── list.html
│ │ └── single.html
│ ├── about.html
│ ├── index.html
│ ├── partials
│ │ ├── footer.html
│ │ ├── head.html
│ │ └── header.html
│ ├── resources
│ │ └── _gen
│ │ ├── assets
│ │ └── images
│ └── robots.txt
├── netlify.toml
├── package-lock.json
├── package.json
├── resources
│ └── _gen
│ ├── assets
│ └── images
└── static

The error means exactly what it says: Hugo needs layout files to know how to render your site and its contents. It cannot find one compatible with the “home” page for the “HTML” output format: https://gohugo.io/templates/lookup-order/#examples-layout-lookup-for-home-page

What does your config look like? Your _index.md? Do you have your code somewhere we can have a look at? It’s difficult to diagnose just from your directory structure. Have a read about Requesting Help as well, to make it easier for us to help you.

https://github.com/grizfan/johnegan.dev - here’s the repo. here’s the config.toml:

baseURL = "http://example.org/"
languageCode = "en-us"
title = "My New Hugo Site"

from what I’ve read, I think I have things set up correctly. I have an index.html file in my /layouts directory. I have a /content/_index.md file. No theme specified, no template override in the md file.

I don’t get any errors or warnings when I run your site. I can also see the homepage being rendered on the browser. Are you running hugo in the correct directory?

argh… so, turns out I was using “hugo serve” instead of “hugo server”. Strangely, “hugo serve” sort of worked. any idea why the wrong command didn’t throw an error?

hugo serve

                   | EN
+------------------+----+
  Pages            | 10
  Paginator pages  |  0
  Non-page files   |  0
  Static files     |  1
  Processed images |  0
  Aliases          |  0
  Sitemaps         |  1
  Cleaned          |  0

Total in 5 ms
Watching for changes in /Users/jegan/projects/johnegan.dev/{archetypes,assets,content,data,layouts,static}
Watching for config changes in /Users/jegan/projects/johnegan.dev/config.toml
Environment: "development"
Serving pages from memory
Running in Fast Render Mode. For full rebuilds on change: hugo server --disableFastRender
Web Server is available at http://localhost:1313/ (bind address 127.0.0.1)
Press Ctrl+C to stop

You’ve got to run hugo serve(r) at the base of your project. You can include the r or not; same thing.