»User Guide
Text based document generation
Note The current version of AsciiDoc requires Python 2.4 or newer to run. If you don’t already have an up-to-date version of Python installed it can be downloaded from the official Python website http://www.python.org/.


See the README page.

Installing from the Github repository

The AsciiDoc repository is hosted by Github. To browse the repository go to https://github.com/asciidoc/asciidoc. You can install AsciiDoc from the repository if you don’t have an up to date packaged version or want to get the latest version from the master branch:

  • Make sure you have Git installed, you can check with:

    $ git --version
  • Go to the directory you want to install AsciiDoc into and download the repository. This example gets the 8.6.9 tagged release:

    $ cd ~/bin
    $ git clone https://github.com/asciidoc/asciidoc asciidoc-8.6.9
    $ git checkout 8.6.9

You now have two choices: you can run asciidoc locally from your repository or you can use autoconf(1) and make(1) to perform a system-wide install.

Running asciidoc from your local copy

Create a symlink to the AsciiDoc script in a search PATH directory so it’s easy to execute asciidoc from the command-line, for example:

$ ln -s ~/bin/asciidoc-8.6.9/asciidoc.py ~/bin/asciidoc
$ ln -s ~/bin/asciidoc-8.6.9/a2x.py ~/bin/a2x

Use the git pull command to update your local AsciiDoc repository.

Installing asciidoc for all users

Create configure using autoconf(1); use configure to create the Makefile; run make(1); build the man pages; install:

$ autoconf
$ ./configure
$ make
$ sudo make install

To uninstall:

$ sudo make uninstall

Distribution tarball installation

The distribution source tarballs can be downloaded from the SourceForge http://sourceforge.net/projects/asciidoc/.

Note Unless you are installing on Microsoft Windows you should use the tarball and not the zip file to install the the distribution (the tarball contains symlinks).

If your flavor or UNIX or Linux does not have a packaged AsciiDoc distribution or if you prefer to install the latest AsciiDoc version from source use the configure shell script in the tarball root directory.

The autoconf(1) generated configure script creates a make file that is tailored for your system. To install:

$ tar -xzf asciidoc-8.6.9.tar.gz
$ cd asciidoc-8.6.9
$ ./configure
$ sudo make install

To install the documentation:

$ sudo make docs

To uninstall AsciiDoc:

$ sudo make uninstall

If Vim is installed on your system the AsciiDoc Vim syntax highlighter and filetype detection scripts will be install in the global Vim configuration file directory (asciidoc.vim in the syntax directory and asciidoc_filetype.vim in the ftdetect directory).

Microsoft Windows installation

AsciiDoc is developed and tested on Linux but there seem to be quite a few people using it on Windows. To install AsciiDoc on Windows unzip the distribution Zip file contents:

$ unzip asciidoc-8.6.9.zip

This will create the folder asciidoc-8.6.9 containing the asciidoc.py and a2x.py executables along with configuration files and documentation.

To generate DocBook based outputs (e.g. PDFs) you will also need a working DocBook toolchain. Installing and configuring a DocBook toolchain on Windows can be a challenge — this blog post explains How to Create Handsome PDF Documents Without Frustration using Cygwin, dblatex and AsciiDoc.

Testing your installation

Test out asciidoc by changing to the AsciiDoc application directory and convert the User Guide document (./doc/asciidoc.txt) to XHTML (./doc/asciidoc.html):

$ python asciidoc.py doc/asciidoc.txt

testasciidoc offers a more extensive set of conformance tests, though you do need to create the test data before running the tests (this in itself is a good post-install test):

$ python ./tests/testasciidoc.py update

Now you can run the tests by executing this command:

$ python ./tests/testasciidoc.py run

A full battery of tests can be run from the main.aap script in the distribution root directory:

$ aap test

Building the distribution

The AsciiDoc distribution is built using A-A-P (a software build system written by Bram Moolenaar). The AsciiDoc A-A-P scripts are:


Builds the distribution tarball and zip files, documentation and example website.


Builds distribution documentation.


Builds AsciiDoc website.


Included in all scripts.

To build the distribution tarball and zip files, documentation and example website run A-A-P from the distribution root directory:

$ aap

Prepackaged AsciiDoc installation

The following platform specific AsciiDoc packages are available:

Debian GNU/Linux

If you use Debian or a Debian based distribution there’s an AsciiDoc Debian package available. Thanks to Fredrik Steen who built and maintains the Debian AsciiDoc package.

Gentoo Linux

If you use Gentoo Linux there’s a Gentoo AsciiDoc package available. Thanks to Brandon Philips for writing the ebuild.

Fedora Linux

With help from Terje Røsten, Chris Wright added asciidoc to Fedora Extras which is available in the default installation. To install asciidoc execute the following command:

$ yum install asciidoc
Slackware Linux

John Calixto has created a Slackware package for AsciiDoc which can be downloaded from http://linuxpackages.net/.

Ark Linux

Bernhard Rosenkraenzer added AsciiDoc to Ark Linux — the package is available from the Ark Linux repository at http://arklinux.osuosl.org/dockyard-devel/, so Ark Linux users should just run apt-get install asciidoc.

T2 Linux

Christian Wiese added AsciiDoc to the T2 Linux repository at http://svn.exactcode.de/t2/trunk/package/textproc/asciidoc/. To build and install the package on a T2 system, run ./scripts/Emerge-Pkg asciidoc from within your T2 source directory (default: /usr/src/t2-src).

Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Fedora and CentOS packages

Dag Wieers has built AsciiDoc RPMs for a number of Red Hat based distributions, they can be downloaded from http://dag.wieers.com/rpm/packages/asciidoc/.

CSW Package for Sun Solaris

Ben Walton has created a CSW package for AsciiDoc, you can find it here: http://opencsw.org/packages/asciidoc.

See also Packager Notes in the AsciiDoc User Guide.