The generate command creates static site files from your SASS+CSS, YAML, HTML template, and Markdown edits. This creates a set of deployment files that can be pushed to a web server.
See the publish command documentation for more information about how to deploy your site files to your remote server. The generate command is automatically run when you use the publish command. generate is available as a separate command so that you can manually create a set of local, static site files without deploying them to your remote web server.
Note that the watch command will automatically watch for and generate static files for any changes in your Octopress site directory without the need to manually run the generate command.