Build the Documentation¶
Start by installing the required dependencies for the documentation.
You can either install the dependencies locally on your machine, or you can build a Docker image containing them.
If you have Docker, then instead of following the OS-specific installation instructions below, you may choose to build a Docker image:
cd doc docker build -f Dockerfile.htmldoc -t sympy_htmldoc .
If you choose this option, you can now skip down to the “Build the Docs” section below.
apt-get install python3-sphinx texlive-latex-recommended dvipng librsvg2-bin imagemagick docbook2x graphviz python -m pip install sphinx-math-dollar sphinx-reredirects myst-parser linkify-it-py
If you get mpmath error, install python-mpmath package:
apt-get install python-mpmath
If you get matplotlib error, install python-matplotlib package:
apt-get install python-matplotlib
For Fedora (and maybe other RPM-based distributions), install the prerequisites:
dnf install python3-sphinx librsvg2 ImageMagick docbook2X texlive-dvipng-bin texlive-scheme-medium librsvg2-tools python -m pip install sphinx-math-dollar sphinx-reredirects myst-parser linkify-it-py
If you get mpmath error, install python3-mpmath package:
dnf install python3-mpmath
If you get matplotlib error, install python3-matplotlib package:
dnf install python3-matplotlib
For Mac, first install homebrew: https://brew.sh/
Then install these packages with homebrew:
brew install imagemagick graphviz docbook librsvg
Install these packages with either pip or conda:
python -m pip install mpmath matplotlib sphinx sphinx-math-dollar sphinx-reredirects myst-parser linkify-it-py
conda install -c conda-forge mpmath matplotlib sphinx sphinx-math-dollar sphinx-reredirects myst-parser linkify-it-py
Making your Sphinx build successful on the Windows system is tricky because
some dependencies like
docbook2x are not available.
For Windows 10, however, the Windows Subsystem for Linux can be a possible workaround solution, and you can install Ubuntu shell on your Windows system after following the tutorial below:
In your command prompt, run
ubuntu to transfer to Linux terminal, and
follow the Debian/Ubuntu tutorial above to install the dependencies, and then
you can run
make html to build. (Note that you also have to install
apt-get install make.)
If you want to change the directory in your prompt to your working folder of
SymPy in the Windows file system, you can prepend
cd /mnt/ to your file
path in Windows, and run in your shell to navigate to the folder. (Also note
that Linux uses
/ instead of
\ for file paths.)
This method provides better compatibility than Cygwin or MSYS2 and more convenience than a virtual machine if you partially need a Linux environment for your workflow, however this method is only viable for Windows 10 64-bit users.
Build the Docs¶
If you chose to build using Docker, and followed the instructions above to
sympy_htmldoc image, then you can build the docs with:
docker run --rm -v /absolute/path/to/sympy:/sympy sympy_htmldoc
(Be sure to substitute the actual absolute filesystem path to sympy!) This command can be run from any directory.
If you chose to follow OS-specific instructions above and installed the
required dependencies locally, the documentation can be built by running the
makefile in the
cd doc make html
View the Docs¶
Once you have built the docs, the generated files will be found under
doc/_build/html. To view them in your preferred web browser, use the drop
down menu and select “open file”, navigate into the
folder, and open the
Auto-Rebuild with the Live Server¶
The instructions given above told you how to build the docs once, and load them in the browser. After you make changes to the document sources, you’ll have to manually repeat the build step, and reload the pages in the browser.
There is an alternative approach that sets up a live server, which will monitor the docs directory, automatically rebuild when changes are detected, and automatically reload the page you are viewing in the browser.
If you want to use this option, the procedure again depends on whether you are using Docker, or a local installation.
To start the live server with Docker, you can use:
docker run --rm -it \ -v /absolute/path/to/sympy:/sympy \ -p 8000:80 \ sympy_htmldoc live
and then navigate your browser to
localhost:8000. You can use a different
port by changing the
8000 in the command. Again, be sure to substitute the
actual absolute filesystem path to sympy.
When finished, you can stop the server with
ctrl-c in the terminal.
Alternatively, you may run the server in detached mode, using:
docker run --rm -d --name=sympy-livehtml \ -v /absolute/path/to/sympy:/sympy \ -p 8000:80 \ sympy_htmldoc live
and then stop it with:
docker stop sympy-livehtml
If you installed the build dependencies locally, then simply use:
cd doc make livehtml
to start the server. Your web browser should then automatically open a new tab, showing the index page of the SymPy docs.
When you are finished, you can use
ctrl-c in the terminal to stop the
It is not necessary for the majority of contributors to build the PDF documentation. The PDF documentation will be built automatically on GitHub Actions on pull requests. PDF documentation for each release is included on the GitHub releases page.
If the PDF documentation build fails on GitHub Actions, 99% of the time this is due to bad LaTeX math formatting. Double check that any math you have added is formatted correctly, and make sure you use ``double backticks`` for code (`single backticks` will render as math, not code). See the resources in the style guide for tips on formatting LaTeX math.
Building the PDF documentation requires a few extra dependencies. First you will need to have a TeXLive installation that includes XeLaTeX and latexmk. You will also need to have Chrome or Chromium installed, as it is used to convert some SVG files for the PDF.
On Ubuntu, you can install these with:
apt-get install chromium-browser texlive texlive-xetex texlive-fonts-recommended texlive-latex-extra latexmk lmodern
On Mac, you can use:
brew install texlive
and also make sure the Google Chrome browser is installed in
To build the pdf docs run:
cd doc make latexpdf
The resulting PDF will be in:
<version> is the SymPy version (e.g.,