sphinx-build manual page


sphinx-build [options] <sourcedir> <outdir> [filenames ...]


sphinx-build generates documentation from the files in <sourcedir> and places it in the <outdir>.

sphinx-build looks for <sourcedir>/conf.py for the configuration settings. sphinx-quickstart(1) may be used to generate template files, including conf.py.

sphinx-build can create documentation in different formats. A format is selected by specifying the builder name on the command line; it defaults to HTML. Builders can also perform other tasks related to documentation processing.

By default, everything that is outdated is built. Output only for selected files can be built by specifying individual filenames.

List of available builders:

HTML file generation. This is the default builder.
HTML file generation with every HTML file named “index.html” in a separate directory.
HTML file generation with all content in a single HTML file.
Generates files for CHM (compiled help files) generation.
Generates files for Qt help collection generation.
Generates files for the GNOME Devhelp help viewer.
Generates LaTeX output that can be compiled to a PDF document.
Generates manual pages.
Generates Texinfo output that can be processed by makeinfo to generate an Info document.
Generates an ePub e-book version of the HTML output.
Generates a plain-text version of the documentation.
Generates Gettext message catalogs for content translation.
Generates HTML files listing changed/added/deprecated items for the current version of the documented project.
Checks the integrity of all external links in the source.
pickle / json
Generates serialized HTML files for use in web applications.
Generates Docutils-native XML files.
Generates compact pretty-printed “pseudo-XML” files displaying the internal structure of the intermediate document trees.


-b <builder> Builder to use; defaults to html. See the full list of builders above.
-a Generate output for all files; without this option only output for new and changed files is generated.
-E Ignore cached files, forces to re-read all source files from disk.
-d <path> Path to cached files; defaults to <outdir>/.doctrees.
-j <N> Build in parallel with N processes where possible.
-c <path> Locate the conf.py file in the specified path instead of <sourcedir>.
-C Specify that no conf.py file at all is to be used. Configuration can only be set with the -D option.
-D <setting=value>
 Override a setting from the configuration file.
-t <tag> Define tag for use in “only” blocks.
-A <name=value>
 Pass a value into the HTML templates (only for HTML builders).
-n Run in nit-picky mode, warn about all missing references.
-v Increase verbosity (can be repeated).
-N Prevent colored output.
-q Quiet operation, just print warnings and errors on stderr.
-Q Very quiet operation, don’t print anything except for errors.
-w <file> Write warnings and errors into the given file, in addition to stderr.
-W Turn warnings into errors.
-T Show full traceback on exception.
-P Run Pdb on exception.

See also



Georg Brandl <georg@python.org>, Armin Ronacher <armin.ronacher@active-4.com> et al.

This manual page was initially written by Mikhail Gusarov <dottedmag@dottedmag.net>, for the Debian project.