Building the manual with Sphinx

This page explains how to build a local copy of the Godot manual using the Sphinx docs engine. This allows you to have local HTML files and build the documentation as a PDF, EPUB, or LaTeX file, for example.

Before you get started, make sure that you have:

Note

Python 3 should come with the pip3 command. You may need to write python3 -m pip (Unix) or py -m pip (Windows) instead of pip3. If both approaches fail, make sure that you have pip3 installed.

  1. (Optional) Set up a virtual environment. Virtual environments prevent potential conflicts between the Python packages in requirements.txt and other Python packages that are installed on your system.

    1. Create the virtual environment:

      • On Windows, run py -m venv godot-docs-venv

      • On other platforms, run python3 -m venv godot-docs-venv

    2. Activate the virtual environment:

      • On Windows, run godot-docs-venv\Scripts\activate.bat

      • On other platforms, run source godot-docs-venv/bin/activate

    3. (Optional) Update pre-installed packages:

      • On Windows, run py -m pip install --upgrade pip setuptools

      • On other platforms, run pip3 install --upgrade pip setuptools

  2. Clone the docs repo:

    git clone https://github.com/godotengine/godot-docs.git
    
  3. Change directory into the docs repo:

    cd godot-docs
    
  4. Install the required packages:

    pip3 install -r requirements.txt
    
  5. Build the docs:

    make html
    

Note

On Windows, that command will run make.bat instead of GNU Make (or an alternative).

If you run into errors, you may try the following command:

make SPHINXBUILD=~/.local/bin/sphinx-build html

Building the documentation requires at least 8 GB of RAM to run without disk swapping, which slows it down. If you have at least 16 GB of RAM, you can speed up compilation by running:

# On Linux/macOS
make html SPHINXOPTS=-j2

# On Windows
set SPHINXOPTS=-j2 && make html

The compilation will take some time as the classes/ folder contains hundreds of files.

You can then browse the documentation by opening _build/html/index.html in your web browser.

If you get a MemoryError or EOFError, you can remove the classes/ folder and run make again. This will drop the class references from the final HTML documentation but will keep the rest intact.

Note

If you delete the classes/ folder, do not use git add . when working on a pull request or the whole classes/ folder will be removed when you commit. See #3157 for more detail.

Alternatively, you can build the documentation by running the sphinx-build program manually:

sphinx-build -b html ./ _build

You can also specify a list of files to build, which can greatly speed up compilation:

sphinx-build -b html ./ _build classes/class_node.rst classes/class_resource.rst