Building the Docs

The labscript-suite documentation is built one repository at a time. To build the documentation for a single repository:

  1. Activate the environment where the labscript-suite and sphinx dependencies are installed.

  2. Change directories to the docs subfolder of the repository.

  3. Run the appropriate make command, described below.

Assuming the appropriate dependencies are installed, the documentation will be built and placed in a subfolder of docs/build corresponding to the build command used.


The web-based documentation, which is what is hosted at by Read the Docs, is built locally using the command

make html

The home page is found at docs/build/html/index.html. Repeated calls of this (and the other) build commands will introspect which source files have changed and only update the corresponding build outputs.

Note that the build on Read the Docs uses the closely related make dirhtml command. This build command organizes the html documentation in a way suitable for web hosting. For locally inspecting the documentation, the make html command is preferred to preserve normal inter-page links.


Some cross-referencing used in the markdown files is not cross-compatible between the html and dirthtml build commands. When using markdown source files, please ensure cross-references actually work when built on Read the Docs.


Building the pdf documentation is a bit more complicated than the other builds. Normally it would be done by running the command

make latexpdf

This would create latex source files which are automatically compiled using an existing, local installation of latex. The latex compilation requires perl and the latexmk latex package. It also requires a great many other latex dependencies. Successfully building the pdf documentation locally is made easier if your latex installation can install dependencies as required.

Unfortunately, this simple build command does not succeed for labscript-suite documentation. To build the pdf docs locally, you will need to instead build using the make latex command followed by the latex compiling command used on Read the Docs.

latexmk -r latexmkrc -pdf -f -dvi- -ps- -jobname=repository-name -interaction=nonstopmode

This command is run from within the docs/build/latex directory where the latexmkrc file resides.


This builds the documentation in the EPUB format, for use with e-readers. It is built using the command

make epub


This make target will clean the entire build directory. It ensures that a fresh build can be made. It is helpful when stale build files are interfering with new changes or you wish to see the coverage. The command is

make clean