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J.2. Tool Sets

The following tools are used to process the documentation. Some might be optional, as noted.

DocBook DTD

This is the definition of DocBook itself. We currently use version 4.2; you cannot use later or earlier versions. You need the SGML variant of the DocBook DTD, but to build man pages you also need the XML variant of the same version.

ISO 8879 character entities

These are required by DocBook but are distributed separately because they are maintained by ISO.

DocBook DSSSL Stylesheets

These contain the processing instructions for converting the DocBook sources to other formats, such as HTML.

DocBook XSL Stylesheets

This is another stylesheet for converting DocBook to other formats. We currently use this to produce man pages and optionally HTMLHelp. You can also use this toolchain to produce HTML or PDF output, but official PostgreSQL releases use the DSSSL stylesheets for that.

The minimum required version is currently 1.74.0.


This is the base package of SGML processing. It contains an SGML parser, a DSSSL processor (that is, a program to convert SGML to other formats using DSSSL stylesheets), as well as a number of related tools. Jade is now being maintained by the OpenJade group, no longer by James Clark.

Libxml2 for xmllint

This library and the xmllint tool it contains are used for processing XML. Many developers will already have Libxml2 installed, because it is also used when building the PostgreSQL code. Note, however, that xmllint might need to be installed from a separate subpackage.

Libxslt for xsltproc

This is the processing tool to use with the XSLT stylesheets (like jade is the processing tool for DSSSL stylesheets).


If you want to, you can also install JadeTeX to use TeX as a formatting backend for Jade. JadeTeX can create PostScript or PDF files (the latter with bookmarks).

However, the output from JadeTeX is inferior to what you get from the RTF backend. Particular problem areas are tables and various artifacts of vertical and horizontal spacing. Also, there is no opportunity to manually polish the results.

We have documented experience with several installation methods for the various tools that are needed to process the documentation. These will be described below. There might be some other packaged distributions for these tools. Please report package status to the documentation mailing list, and we will include that information here.

J.2.1. Installation on Fedora, RHEL, and Derivatives

To install the required packages, use:

yum install docbook-dtds docbook-style-dsssl docbook-style-xsl libxslt openjade

J.2.2. Installation on FreeBSD

The FreeBSD Documentation Project is itself a heavy user of DocBook, so it comes as no surprise that there is a full set of "ports" of the documentation tools available on FreeBSD. The following ports need to be installed to build the documentation on FreeBSD.

  • textproc/docbook-sgml

  • textproc/docbook-xml

  • textproc/docbook-xsl

  • textproc/dsssl-docbook-modular

  • textproc/libxslt

  • textproc/openjade

A number of things from /usr/ports/print (tex, jadetex) might also be of interest.

More information about the FreeBSD documentation tools can be found in the FreeBSD Documentation Project's instructions.

J.2.3. Debian Packages

There is a full set of packages of the documentation tools available for Debian GNU/Linux. To install, simply use:

apt-get install docbook docbook-dsssl docbook-xsl libxml2-utils openjade1.3 opensp xsltproc

J.2.4. OS X

If you use MacPorts, the following will get you set up:

sudo port install docbook-dsssl docbook-sgml-4.2 docbook-xml-4.2 docbook-xsl libxslt openjade opensp

J.2.5. Manual Installation from Source

The manual installation process of the DocBook tools is somewhat complex, so if you have pre-built packages available, use them. We describe here only a standard setup, with reasonably standard installation paths, and no "fancy" features. For details, you should study the documentation of the respective package, and read SGML introductory material.

J.2.5.1. Installing OpenJade

  1. The installation of OpenJade offers a GNU-style ./configure; make; make install build process. Details can be found in the OpenJade source distribution. In a nutshell:

    ./configure --enable-default-catalog=/usr/local/share/sgml/catalog
    make install

    Be sure to remember where you put the "default catalog"; you will need it below. You can also leave it off, but then you will have to set the environment variable SGML_CATALOG_FILES to point to the file whenever you use jade later on. (This method is also an option if OpenJade is already installed and you want to install the rest of the toolchain locally.)

    Note: Some users have reported encountering a segmentation fault using OpenJade 1.4devel to build the PDFs, with a message like:

    openjade:./stylesheet.dsl:664:2:E: flow object not accepted by port; only display flow objects accepted
    make: *** [postgres-A4.tex-pdf] Segmentation fault

    Downgrading to OpenJade 1.3 should get rid of this error.

  2. Additionally, you should install the files dsssl.dtd, fot.dtd, style-sheet.dtd, and catalog from the dsssl directory somewhere, perhaps into /usr/local/share/sgml/dsssl. It's probably easiest to copy the entire directory:

    cp -R dsssl /usr/local/share/sgml
  3. Finally, create the file /usr/local/share/sgml/catalog and add this line to it:

    CATALOG "dsssl/catalog"

    (This is a relative path reference to the file installed in step 2. Be sure to adjust it if you chose your installation layout differently.)

J.2.5.2. Installing the DocBook DTD Kit

  1. Obtain the DocBook V4.2 distribution.

  2. Create the directory /usr/local/share/sgml/docbook-4.2 and change to it. (The exact location is irrelevant, but this one is reasonable within the layout we are following here.)

    $ mkdir /usr/local/share/sgml/docbook-4.2
    $ cd /usr/local/share/sgml/docbook-4.2
  3. Unpack the archive:

    $ unzip -a ...../

    (The archive will unpack its files into the current directory.)

  4. Edit the file /usr/local/share/sgml/catalog (or whatever you told jade during installation) and put a line like this into it:

    CATALOG "docbook-4.2/"
  5. Download the ISO 8879 character entities archive, unpack it, and put the files in the same directory you put the DocBook files in:

    $ cd /usr/local/share/sgml/docbook-4.2
    $ unzip ...../
  6. Run the following command in the directory with the DocBook and ISO files:

    perl -pi -e 's/iso-(.*).gml/ISO\1/g'

    (This fixes a mixup between the names used in the DocBook catalog file and the actual names of the ISO character entity files.)

J.2.5.3. Installing the DocBook DSSSL Style Sheets

To install the style sheets, unzip and untar the distribution and move it to a suitable place, for example /usr/local/share/sgml. (The archive will automatically create a subdirectory.)

$ gunzip docbook-dsssl-1.xx.tar.gz
$ tar -C /usr/local/share/sgml -xf docbook-dsssl-1.xx.tar

The usual catalog entry in /usr/local/share/sgml/catalog can also be made:

CATALOG "docbook-dsssl-1.xx/catalog"

Because stylesheets change rather often, and it's sometimes beneficial to try out alternative versions, PostgreSQL doesn't use this catalog entry. See Section J.2.6 for information about how to select the stylesheets instead.

J.2.5.4. Installing JadeTeX

To install and use JadeTeX, you will need a working installation of TeX and LaTeX2e, including the supported tools and graphics packages, Babel, AMS fonts and AMS-LaTeX, the PSNFSS extension and companion kit of "the 35 fonts", the dvips program for generating PostScript, the macro packages fancyhdr, hyperref, minitoc, url and ot2enc. All of these can be found on your friendly neighborhood CTAN site. The installation of the TeX base system is far beyond the scope of this introduction. Binary packages should be available for any system that can run TeX.

Before you can use JadeTeX with the PostgreSQL documentation sources, you will need to increase the size of TeX's internal data structures. Details on this can be found in the JadeTeX installation instructions.

Once that is finished you can install JadeTeX:

$ gunzip jadetex-xxx.tar.gz
$ tar xf jadetex-xxx.tar
$ cd jadetex
$ make install
$ mktexlsr

The last two need to be done as root.

J.2.6. Detection by configure

Before you can build the documentation you need to run the configure script as you would when building the PostgreSQL programs themselves. Check the output near the end of the run, it should look something like this:

checking for onsgmls... onsgmls
checking for openjade... openjade
checking for DocBook V4.2... yes
checking for DocBook stylesheets... /usr/share/sgml/docbook/stylesheet/dsssl/modular
checking for /usr/bin/
checking for xsltproc... xsltproc
checking for osx... osx

If neither onsgmls nor nsgmls were found then some of the following tests will be skipped. nsgmls is part of the Jade package. You can pass the environment variables JADE and NSGMLS to configure to point to the programs if they are not found automatically. If "DocBook V4.2" was not found then you did not install the DocBook DTD kit in a place where Jade can find it, or you have not set up the catalog files correctly. See the installation hints above. The DocBook stylesheets are looked for in a number of relatively standard places, but if you have them some other place then you should set the environment variable DOCBOOKSTYLE to the location and rerun configure afterwards.