Read the Docs Overview

In 2019 we migrated the HTCondor Manual from our old LaTeX format into the Sphinx documentation generator using the reStructuredText format. We will also be hosting it on Read the Docs. The manual can be found here:


  1. Install Python. Any version is fine.

  2. Install Sphinx. The recommended way to install Sphinx is via pip:
    sudo pip install sphinx sphinx_rtd_theme
    On RHEL and CentOS we do not support installing Sphinx from yum or RPM. The available package is an old version which does not support all our extensions. For other Linux distributions, Windows and macOS, you can find instructions here:

  3. Install the HTCondor Python bindings. This could be via pip (make sure you get the right version, e.g. pip install htcondor==8.8.1), or by editing your PYTHONPATH environment variable to point at the .so files inside your HTCondor install. Note: on RTD itself, the docs are built using the htcondor version specified in docs/requirements.txt.

  4. Install the Python pathlib module:
    sudo pip install pathlib

  5. [Optional] Install This is useful if you're making lots of quick edits to the manual and expect to build it many times.
    sudo pip install sphinx-autobuild
    See below for instructions on using sphinx-autobuild.


Building and previewing the manual locally

Using sphinx-autobuild to build and preview

Instead of the instructions in the previous section, go to /docs and run

sphinx-autobuild . _build/html
You will see a log of the Sphinx build running, and eventually will be provided a link to a localhost webserver hosting the docs. Leave this program running: sphinx-autobuild will watch the docs source tree for changes and rebuild when it detects changes (you will still need to manually reload the page inside your web browser).

Different versions of the manual


The manual now uses the reStructuredText (rST) format, which is similar to Markdown markup but considerably more powerful. A helpful reference to reStructuredText is available here:

In addition, the new manual also uses the Sphinx documentation generator. Sphinx does many useful things such as:

A full Sphinx reference is available here:

This section provides some markup style guidelines, as well as information about how we use both built-in and custom tools.

Section Titles

Section titles are very fluid in rST and there are many different ways to make them. To keep things as consistent as possible, try to use the following:

Page titles get underlined with the = symbol

Section titles get underlined with the - symbol

Subsection titles get underlined with the ' symbol


The rST format is very sensitive to indentation. Paragraphs and other blocks of text are expected to be left-aligned. Indenting a block by any amount of whitespace (compared to the preceding block) causes it to get indented.

This is a top-level block of text. It will appear aligned to the left-most side of the page.

 This paragraph is indented by one space. Even though it's only a single space,
 it will render as a full first-level indent.

  This paragraph is indented by one more space than the one above it. As a
  result it will render as a second-level indent.

    This time I've indented a block by two more spaces the one above it. It
    doesn't matter that this is inconsistent with the single-space indents
    above. This block will render as a third-level indent.

Back to the top level!

            This block is indented by 12 spaces. However, as with the previous
            examples, the amount of whitespace doesn't matter. Because it's the
            first indented block compared to the preceding block, it will only
            render as a first-level indent.

Linking to gittrac tickets

Use the following syntax to automatically link to a gittrac ticket, where #### is the number of the ticket:


Adding index entries

To add a basic index entry, use the following syntax:

:index:`Name of index entry`

If you want your index entry to appear under a parent entry, the syntax is a little more complicated:

:index:`Name of index entry <single: Name of index entry; Name of parent entry>`

Linking to internal documents

To add a link to an internal document, the syntax looks like :doc:`/path/to/page-title`. For example, to link to the Overview > Exceptional Features section, add the following:


By default, the link text will be the name of the page. If you want to add custom text, it looks something like the following:

:doc:`Here is my custom text link </overview/exceptional-features>`


Publishing the manual onto Read the Docs

Different versions of the manual

Generating man pages