Introduction to DocBook-utils

The DocBook-utils package is a collection of utility scripts used to convert and analyze SGML documents in general, and DocBook files in particular. The scripts are used to convert from DocBook or other SGML formats into “classical” file formats like HTML, man, info, RTF and many more. There's also a utility to compare two SGML files and only display the differences in markup. This is useful for comparing documents prepared for different languages.

Package Information

DocBook-utils Dependencies


OpenJade-1.3.2, DocBook DSSSL Stylesheets-1.79 and DocBook SGML DTD-3.1


JadeTeX-3.13 (for conversion to DVI, PS and PDF), SGMLSpm (for conversion to man and texinfo), and Lynx-2.8.5 or Links-2.1pre17 or w3m (for conversion to ASCII text)

Installation of DocBook-utils



Earlier versions of the BLFS OpenSP instructions installed a catalog containing an SGMLDECL declaration into the system SGML catalogs. This declaration causes some of the OpenJade programs to fail occasionally. You'll need to remove these catalog definitions if they exist, or the package build will fail. The following command can determine if you need to remove these catalog definitions:

grep "OpenSP-1.5.1" /etc/sgml/catalog

If anything was returned, run the following command as the root user to remove the catalog definitions:

sed -i.orig \
    -e "/CATALOG \/etc\/sgml\/" \
    /etc/sgml/catalog \

Install DocBook-utils by running the following commands:

sed -i 's:/html::' doc/HTML/ &&
./configure --prefix=/usr &&

Now, as the root user:

make install

Many packages use an alternate name for the DocBook-utils scripts. If you wish to create these alternate names, use the following command:

for doctype in html ps dvi man pdf rtf tex texi txt
    ln -s docbook2$doctype /usr/bin/db2$doctype


The jw script uses the which command to locate required utilities. You must install which-2.16 before attempting to use any of the DocBook-utils programs.

Command Explanations

sed -i 's:/html::' doc/HTML/ This command changes the installation directory of the HTML documents.


Installed Programs: docbook2dvi, docbook2html, docbook2man, docbook2pdf, docbook2ps, docbook2rtf, docbook2tex, docbook2texi, docbook2txt, jw, and sgmldiff
Installed Libraries: None
Installed Directories: /usr/share/doc/docbook-utils-0.6.14 and /usr/share/sgml/docbook/utils-0.6.14
Installed Symlinks: db2dvi, db2html, db2man, db2pdf, db2ps, db2rtf, db2tex, db2texi, and db2txt

Short Descriptions


are simple one-line wrapper scripts to jw. They are provided as easy-to-remember names used to convert DocBook or other SGML files to the respective format.


are symlinks pointing at the respectively named docbook2* commands, created to satisfy some program's use of these names.


is a script used to convert DocBook or other SGML files to various output formats. It hides most of OpenJade's complexity and adds comfortable features.


is used to compare two SGML files and only return the differences in the markup. This is especially useful to compare files that should be identical except for language differences in the content.

Last updated on 2005-08-01 13:29:19 -0600