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.. _zephyr_doc:
Documentation Generation
These instructions will walk you through generating the Zephyr Project's
documentation on your local system using the same documentation sources
as we use to create the online documentation found at
.. _documentation-overview:
Documentation overview
Zephyr Project content is written using the reStructuredText markup
language (.rst file extension) with Sphinx extensions, and processed
using Sphinx to create a formatted stand-alone website. Developers can
view this content either in its raw form as .rst markup files, or you
can generate the HTML content and view it with a web browser directly on
your workstation. This same .rst content is also fed into the Zephyr
Project's public website documentation area (with a different theme
You can read details about `reStructuredText`_, and `Sphinx`_ from
their respective websites.
The project's documentation contains the following items:
* ReStructuredText source files used to generate documentation found at the website. Most of the reStructuredText sources
are found in the ``/doc`` directory, but others are stored within the
code source tree near their specific component (such as ``/samples`` and
* Doxygen-generated material used to create all API-specific documents
also found at
* Script-generated material for kernel configuration options based on Kconfig
files found in the source code tree
.. graphviz::
:caption: Schematic of the documentation build process
digraph {
images [shape="rectangle" label=".png, .jpg\nimages"]
rst [shape="rectangle" label="restructuredText\nfiles"]
conf [shape="rectangle" label="\nconfiguration"]
rtd [shape="rectangle" label="read-the-docs\ntheme"]
header [shape="rectangle" label="c header\ncomments"]
xml [shape="rectangle" label="XML"]
html [shape="rectangle" label="HTML\nweb site"]
sphinx[shape="ellipse" label="sphinx +\nbreathe,\ndocutils"]
images -> sphinx
rst -> sphinx
conf -> sphinx
header -> doxygen
doxygen -> xml
xml-> sphinx
rtd -> sphinx
sphinx -> html
The reStructuredText files are processed by the Sphinx documentation system,
and make use of the breathe extension for including the doxygen-generated API
material. Additional tools are required to generate the
documentation locally, as described in the following sections.
.. _documentation-processors:
Installing the documentation processors
Our documentation processing has been tested to run with:
* Doxygen version 1.8.13
* Graphviz 2.43
* Latexmk version 4.56
* All Python dependencies listed in the repository file
In order to install the documentation tools, first install Zephyr as
described in :ref:`getting_started`. Then install additional tools
that are only required to generate the documentation,
as described below:
.. doc_processors_installation_start
.. tabs::
.. group-tab:: Linux
On Ubuntu Linux:
.. code-block:: console
sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends doxygen graphviz librsvg2-bin \
texlive-latex-base texlive-latex-extra latexmk texlive-fonts-recommended
On Fedora Linux:
.. code-block:: console
sudo dnf install doxygen graphviz texlive-latex latexmk \
texlive-collection-fontsrecommended librsvg2-tools
On Clear Linux:
.. code-block:: console
sudo swupd bundle-add texlive graphviz
On Arch Linux:
.. code-block:: console
sudo pacman -S graphviz doxygen librsvg texlive-core texlive-bin \
texlive-latexextra texlive-fontsextra
.. group-tab:: macOS
Use ``brew`` and ``tlmgr`` to install the tools:
.. code-block:: console
brew install doxygen graphviz mactex librsvg
tlmgr install latexmk
tlmgr install collection-fontsrecommended
.. group-tab:: Windows
Open a ``cmd.exe`` window as **Administrator** and run the following command:
.. code-block:: console
choco install doxygen.install graphviz strawberryperl miktex rsvg-convert
.. note::
On Windows, the Sphinx executable ``sphinx-build.exe`` is placed in
the ``Scripts`` folder of your Python installation path.
Depending on how you have installed Python, you might need to
add this folder to your ``PATH`` environment variable. Follow
the instructions in `Windows Python Path`_ to add those if needed.
.. doc_processors_installation_end
Documentation presentation theme
Sphinx supports easy customization of the generated documentation
appearance through the use of themes. Replace the theme files and do
another ``make html`` and the output layout and style is changed.
The ``read-the-docs`` theme is installed as part of the
:ref:`install_py_requirements` step you took in the getting started
Running the documentation processors
The ``/doc`` directory in your cloned copy of the Zephyr project git
repo has all the .rst source files, extra tools, and Makefile for
generating a local copy of the Zephyr project's technical documentation.
Assuming the local Zephyr project copy is in a folder ``zephyr`` in your home
folder, here are the commands to generate the html content locally:
.. code-block:: console
# On Linux/macOS
cd ~/zephyr/doc
# On Windows
cd %userprofile%\zephyr\doc
# Use cmake to configure a Ninja-based build system:
cmake -GNinja -B_build .
# Enter the build directory
cd _build
# To generate HTML output, run ninja on the generated build system:
ninja html
# If you modify or add .rst files, run ninja again:
ninja html
# To generate PDF output, run ninja on the generated build system:
ninja pdf
.. warning::
The documentation build system creates copies in the build
directory of every .rst file used to generate the documentation,
along with dependencies referenced by those .rst files.
This means that Sphinx warnings and errors refer to the **copies**,
and **not the version-controlled original files in Zephyr**. Be
careful to make sure you don't accidentally edit the copy of the
file in an error message, as these changes will not be saved.
Depending on your development system, it will take up to 15 minutes to
collect and generate the HTML content. When done, you can view the HTML
output with your browser started at ``doc/_build/html/index.html`` and
if generated, the PDF file is available at ``doc/_build/pdf/zephyr.pdf``.
If you want to build the documentation from scratch just delete the contents
of the build folder and run ``cmake`` and then ``ninja`` again.
.. note::
If you add or remove a file from the documentation, you need to re-run CMake.
On Unix platforms a convenience :zephyr_file:`Makefile` at the ``doc`` folder
of the Zephyr repository can be used to build the documentation directly from
.. code-block:: console
cd ~/zephyr/doc
# To generate HTML output
make html
# To generate PDF output
make pdf
Filtering expected warnings
There are some known issues with Sphinx/Breathe that generate Sphinx warnings
even though the input is valid C code. While these issues are being considered
for fixing we have created a Sphinx extension that allows to filter them out
based on a set of regular expressions. The extension is named
``zephyr.warnings_filter`` and it is located at
``doc/_extensions/zephyr/``. The warnings to be filtered out
can be added to the ``doc/known-warnings.txt`` file.
The most common warning reported by Sphinx/Breathe is related to duplicate C
declarations. This warning may be caused by different Sphinx/Breathe issues:
- Multiple declarations of the same object are not supported
- Different objects (e.g. a struct and a function) can not share the same name
- Nested elements (e.g. in a struct or union) can not share the same name
Developer-mode Document Building
When making and testing major changes to the documentation, we provide an option
to temporarily stub-out the auto-generated Devicetree bindings documentation so
the doc build process runs faster.
To enable this mode, set the following option when invoking cmake::
or invoke make with the following target::
cd ~/zephyr
# To generate HTML output without detailed Kconfig
make html-fast
Linking external Doxygen projects against Zephyr
External projects that build upon Zephyr functionality and wish to refer to
Zephyr documentation in Doxygen (through the use of @ref), can utilize the
tag file exported at `zephyr.tag </doxygen/html/zephyr.tag>`_
Once downloaded, the tag file can be used in a custom ```` as follows::
TAGFILES = "/path/to/zephyr.tag="
For additional information refer to `Doxygen External Documentation`_.
.. _reStructuredText:
.. _Sphinx:
.. _Windows Python Path:
.. _Doxygen External Documentation: