Package installation


After checking that you have the necessary prerequisites, unpack the tarball, then run ./configure, and then make, make install, as usual.


If you intend to use only the pure XSLT version of docbook2X, then you do not need to compile or build the package at all. Simply unpack the tarball, and point your XSLT processor to the XSLT stylesheets under the xslt/ subdirectory.

(The last make install step, to install the files of the package onto the filesystem, is optional. You may use docbook2X from its own directory after building it, although in that case, when invoking docbook2X, you will have to specify some paths manually on the command-line.)

You may also want to run make check to do some checks that the package is working properly. Typing make -W docbook2X.xml man texi in the doc/ directory will rebuild docbook2X’s own documentation, and can serve as an additional check.

You need GNU make to build docbook2X properly.

If you are using the CVS version, you will also need the autoconf and automake tools, and must run ./ first. But see also the note below about the CVS version.

If you want to (re-)build HTML documentation (after having installed Norman Walsh’s DocBook XSL stylesheets), pass --with-html-xsl to ./configure. You do not really need this, since docbook2X releases already contain pre-built HTML documentation.

Some other packages also call their conversion programs docbook2man and docbook2texi; you can use the --program-transform-name parameter to ./configure if you do not want docbook2X to clobber over your existing docbook2man or docbook2texi.

If you are using a Java-based XSLT processor, you need to use pass --with-xslt-processor=saxon for SAXON, or --with-xslt-processor=xalan-j for Xalan-Java. (The default is for libxslt.) In addition, since the automatic check for the installed JARs is not very intelligent, you will probably need to pass some options to ./configure to tell it where the JARs are. See ./configure --help for details.

The docbook2X package supports VPATH builds (building in a location other than the source directory), but any newly generated documentation will not end up in the right place for installation and redistribution. Cross compilation is not supported at all.

Installation problems

Q: Where is XML::Handler::SGMLSpl?
Q: db2x_xsltproc tells me that one input document is required when building docbook2X.
Q: When docbook2X attempts to build its documentation, I get errors about “attempting to load network entity”, etc.
Q: I cannot build from CVS.

Where is XML::Handler::SGMLSpl?


It’s included in the docbook2X package. If Perl says it cannot find it, then that is a bug in the docbook2X distribution. Please report it.

In older versions of docbook2X, the SGMLSpl module had to be installed, or specified manually on the Perl command line. That is no longer the case.


db2x_xsltproc tells me that “one input document is required” when building docbook2X.


Use GNU make to build docbook2X (as opposed to BSD make).

I could fix this incompatibility in the docbook2X make files, but some of the default automake rules have the same problem, so I didn’t bother.


When docbook2X attempts to build its documentation, I get errors about “attempting to load network entity”, etc.


You will need to set up the XML catalogs for the DocBook XML DTDs correctly. This tells the XSLT processor where to find the DocBook DTDs on your system. Recent Linux distributions should already have this done for you.

This error (or rather, warning) is harmless in the case of docbook2X documentation — it does not actually require the DTD to build. But your other DocBook documents might (mainly because they use the ISO entities).

libxml also understands SGML catalogs, but last time I tried it there was some bug that stopped it from working. Your Mileage May Vary.


I cannot build from CVS.


If the problem is related to HTML files, then you must pass --with-html-xsl to configure. The problem is that the HTML files are automatically generated from the XML source and are not in CVS, but the Makefile still tries to install them. (This issue does not appear when building from release tarballs.)

For other docbook2X problems, please also look at its main documentation.