Getting started

Installing your doc directory

You may already have sphinx sphinx installed – you can check by doing:

python -c 'import sphinx'

If that fails grab the latest version of and install it with:

> sudo easy_install -U Sphinx

Now you are ready to build a template for your docs, using sphinx-quickstart:

> sphinx-quickstart

accepting most of the defaults. I choose “sampledoc” as the name of my project. cd into your new directory and check the contents:

home:~/tmp/sampledoc> ls
Makefile      _static
_build                _templates      index.rst

The index.rst is the master ReST for your project, but before adding anything, let’s see if we can build some html:

make html

If you now point your browser to _build/html/index.html, you should see a basic sphinx site.


Fetching the data

Now we will start to customize out docs. Grab a couple of files from the web site or git. You will need getting_started.rst and _static/basic_screenshot.png. All of the files live in the “completed” version of this tutorial, but since this is a tutorial, we’ll just grab them one at a time, so you can learn what needs to be changed where. Since we have more files to come, I’m going to grab the whole git directory and just copy the files I need over for now. First, I’ll cd up back into the directory containing my project, check out the “finished” product from git, and then copy in just the files I need into my sampledoc directory:

home:~/tmp/sampledoc> pwd
home:~/tmp/sampledoc> cd ..
home:~/tmp> git clone tutorial
Cloning into 'tutorial'...
remote: Counting objects: 87, done.
remote: Compressing objects: 100% (43/43), done.
remote: Total 87 (delta 45), reused 83 (delta 41)
Unpacking objects: 100% (87/87), done.
Checking connectivity... done
home:~/tmp> cp tutorial/getting_started.rst sampledoc/
home:~/tmp> cp tutorial/_static/basic_screenshot.png sampledoc/_static/

The last step is to modify index.rst to include the getting_started.rst file (be careful with the indentation, the “g” in “getting_started” should line up with the ‘:’ in :maxdepth:


.. toctree::
   :maxdepth: 2


and then rebuild the docs:

cd sampledoc
make html

When you reload the page by refreshing your browser pointing to _build/html/index.html, you should see a link to the “Getting Started” docs, and in there this page with the screenshot. Voila!

Note we used the image directive to include to the screenshot above with:

.. image:: _static/basic_screenshot.png

Next we’ll customize the look and feel of our site to give it a logo, some custom css, and update the navigation panels to look more like the sphinx site itself – see Customizing the look and feel of the site.