Site fails to render when updating Hugo version

The Issue

This site was built using Hugo, a static site generator. I recently tried to do a long overdue update the version of Hugo from 0.108 to the current 0.122 version.

I had not expected any problems, but found that the site failed to render, but with no error message all I saw was

1hugo.exe server --logLevel info
2Start building sites …
3hugo v0.122.0-b9a03bd59d5f71a529acb3e33f995e0ef332b3aa+extended windows/amd64 BuildDate=2024-01-26T15:54:24Z VendorInfo=gohugoio
5INFO  copy static: syncing static files to \
6INFO  build: running step "process" duration "97.3263ms"
7INFO  build: running step "assemble" duration "335.1476ms"

I normally would have expected to see a INFO build: running step "render" line or an error, but got nothing, irrespective of the log level I set.

The Solution

As I had no error message, and found nothing of use in the Hugo resources, I decide my only option was to roll back to a previous version of Hugo until I could get the site to render.

So I downloaded various versions and in the end found that this site rendered on 0.116 but not 0.117.

At this point I knew that some check being done in 0.117 was the issue, and this had to be due to my page content.

So the next step was to use a bisect test pattern to find the problem pages i.e. delete half the pages, if the problem does not occur you know the problem exists in the other half, if it is still present it is in the half you deleted.

By repeating this process I was able to find the problem pages. The issue turned out to be remotely hosted images that could not be found referenced in older blog posts. It seem that the Hugo render now checks for the existence of images in the content, and if they are missing the site fails to render.

Anyway after editing the pages to remove the missing image markdown the site rendered correctly in 0.117 and 0.122.

It is just a shame the logging was not more helpful.