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.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-7.4 platform.

Package Information

Additional Downloads

DocBook-utils Dependencies


OpenJade-1.3.2, docbook-dsssl-1.79, and docbook-3.1

Optional (Runtime Dependencies Only)

SGMLSpm-1.1 (for conversion to man and texinfo), and Lynx-2.8.8dev.16 or Links-2.7 or w3m-0.5.3 (for conversion to ASCII text)

User Notes:

Installation of DocBook-utils

Install DocBook-utils by running the following commands:

patch -Np1 -i ../docbook-utils-0.6.14-grep_fix-1.patch &&
sed -i 's:/html::' doc/HTML/                &&
./configure --prefix=/usr                              &&

This package does not come with a test suite.

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 as the root user:

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-2.20 before attempting to use any of the DocBook-utils programs.

Command Explanations

patch -Np1 -i ../docbook-utils-0.6.14-grep_fix-1.patch: This patch corrects the syntax in the jw (Jade Wrapper) script which is at the heart of much db2* processing, so that the current version of Grep will not reject it.

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 2013-09-05 10:04:34 -0700