dbtroff—converts DocBook to PDF
using troff

dbtroff uses XSLT, Heirloom troff, and Ghostscript to convert DocBook documents to PDF or PostScript. It allows one to flexibly customize the layout of the generated output: Page definitions in the troff language define the general appearance, and <?troff . . .?> processing instructions within the DocBook text allow to vary the formatting at individual places. Thus, dbtroff combines the versatility of the DocBook format with the typographical capabilities of troff.

dbtroff provides automatic page element positioning to avoid typographical artifacts like “widows”. Full-width and inline pictures can be included and are also automatically positioned.

Currently, only a rather restricted subset of DocBook 4.3 is supported.

This program has originally been developed by Collax, Inc., to produce the PDF manuals for its server products. In October 2007, Collax has been so kind to release the code under the GPL, version 2.


The dbtroff(1) manual page.

For installation instructions, see the README.

The list of CHANGES made since the first release.

Download the source code

Release 071005 (current)

All releases

Browse the CVS repository

The most recent results of development are sometimes made available in the public CVS repository. Use

$ cvs -d:pserver:anonymous@dbtroff.cvs.sourceforge.net:/cvsroot/dbtroff \
CVS password:<just type return>
$ cvs -d:pserver:anonymous@dbtroff.cvs.sourceforge.net:/cvsroot/dbtroff \
        co -P dbtroff
to retrieve a copy. Follow these instructions for more information. If you want to report a problem, please look at the CHANGES file in CVS to see if it has already been resolved, and if so, try if the fix works for you. Do not use the code from CVS unless you have a special reason to do so. It may be incorrect, not well tested, and might not even compile.


The dbtroff-devel mailing list at <https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/dbtroff-devel> should be used for any communication about dbtroff. Currently, only subscribers are allowed to post.

Gunnar Ritter <gunnarr@acm.org> 2007-10-07

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