Installing and configuring themes

When installing a new theme is it necessary to copy the theme’s layouts directory to the site toplevel directory? And what about the theme’s other directories: archetypes, assets, images, resources?

Is it sufficient to just clone the theme into the themes and update the theme value in config.toml? Does the entry in config.toml direct hugo to use the appropriate directories from the theme?

It seems to me that if the top-level of the site definition contains those folders, they override what the theme provides.

this has always been a deep mystery to me that no documentation seems to address.


I figured this out by experimentation.

Leave layouts empty and the theme will be used to populate the layouts directory.

Well done for finding the solution!

The documentation you’re looking for is

As you’ve discovered, if you’re using a theme, you don’t need anything in the top level folders you list in your first paragraph - only if you want to override what’s supplied by the theme. Even though the hugo new command generates a bunch of directories, you don’t need to use them.