Setting up the environment

The build environment generally requires a full labscript-suite installation, with a few extra dependencies. The simplest method is to use the environment of an existing, functioning installation and install the build dependencies. If you do not want to install the docs dependencies into a working environment of an experiment, or wish the develop docs on a system that does not control an experiment, you can create a new environment.


These instructions assume you have generally followed the installation instructions for a developer labscript-suite installation, using either the pip or anaconda method.

Install build dependencies

If you have an existing, functioning environment for using the labscript-suite, you can configure it to build docs by simply installing the docs dependencies found in the setup.cfg file of each repository. For a functioning labscript environment, the only additional dependencies should be sphinx, sphinx-rtd-theme, recommonmark, and m2r.

The versions pinned in the setup.cfg file will be the versions of these packages that are used by Read the Docs when building the documentation. In order to get an accurate reproduction of what the online docs look like, you should ensure the versions you install match the pins.

Once these dependencies are installed in your labscript environment, you are ready to build the docs.

Using a cloned environment

If you have an existing, functioning labscript environment, but do not want to install the many build dependecies into it, you can instead build the docs using a cloned copy of the functioning environment. You clone a conda enviroment using

conda create -n labscript-sphinx -c labscript

Here we clone an existing labscript conda environment into a new environment labscript-sphinx. This new enviroment will be an exact duplicate of the original at the time of cloning. Changes in one environment will not affect the other.

Once the new environment is created, you can activate it then install the dependencies for the docs as described above.

When using this method, both enviroments will use the same installation of the labscript-suite.

Using a new environment

If you desire to build the docs on a computer without an existing labscript-suite installation, you will need to first install the suite using one of the developer installation methods described here. Once installed, follow the directions above to install the docs dependencies into the environment.


The normal installation steps to create a labscript profile and the launcher shortcuts should not be necessary when only building docs.

This installation method should also be used if you desire to develop documentation in local repositories separate from an existing installation (i.e. having two environments using different installations of the labscript-suite). This can be desirable if you want to avoid docs dependencies in a function environment and want to isolate local changes for a functioning experiment from documentation developement.