sphinxcontrib.programoutput – Insert command output¶
Sphinx extension to insert the output of arbitrary commands into documents.
The extension is available under the terms of the BSD license.
pip to install this extension from PyPI:
pip install sphinxcontrib-programoutput
The extension requires Sphinx 1.3 and Python 2.7 or Python 3 at least.
You can now add this extension to
extensions = ['sphinxcontrib.programoutput']
Now you’ve two new directives
insert the output of programs.
To include the output of a command into your document, use the
program-output directive provided by this extension:
.. program-output:: python -V
The whole output of
python -V, including any messages on standard error, is
inserted into the current document, formatted as literal text without any
You can omit the content of the standard error stream with the
By default, commands are executed in the top-level source directory. You can
choose an alternate working directory with the
cwd option. The argument of
this option is either a path relative to the current source file, or a absolute
path which means that it is relative to the top level source directory.
Shortening the output¶
Lengthy output can be shortened with the
ellipsis option. Its value
denotes lines to omit when inserting the output of the command. Instead, a
... is inserted.
If used with a single number, all lines after the specified line are omitted:
.. program-output:: python --help :ellipsis: 2
The above omits all lines after the second one:
usage: python [option] ... [-c cmd | -m mod | file | -] [arg] ... Options and arguments (and corresponding environment variables): ...
Negative numbers count from the last line backwards, thus replacing
-2 in the above example would only omit the last two lines.
If used with two comma-separated line numbers, all lines in between the specified lines are omitted. Again, a negative number counts from the last line backwards:
.. program-output:: python --help :ellipsis: 2,-2
The above omits all lines except the first two and the last two lines:
usage: python [option] ... [-c cmd | -m mod | file | -] [arg] ... Options and arguments (and corresponding environment variables): ... debugger. It can be set to the callable of your debugger of choice. PYTHONDEVMODE: enable the development mode.
Mimicing shell input¶
.. command-output:: python -V
$ python -V Python 3.7.3
The appearance of this output can be configured with
programoutput_prompt_template. When used in conjunction with
ellipsis, the command itself and any additional text is never omitted.
ellipsis always refers to the immediate output of the command:
.. command-output:: python --help :ellipsis: 2
$ python --help usage: python [option] ... [-c cmd | -m mod | file | -] [arg] ... Options and arguments (and corresponding environment variables): ...
Command execution and shell expansion¶
Normally the command is splitted according to the POSIX shell syntax (see
shlex), and executed directly. Thus special shell features like
expansion of environment variables will not work:
.. command-output:: echo "$USER"
$ echo "$USER" $USER
To enable these features, enable the
shell option. With this option, the
command is literally passed to the system shell:
.. command-output:: echo "$USER" :shell:
$ echo "$USER"
Other shell features like process expansion consequently work, too:
.. command-output:: ls -l $(which grep) :shell:
$ ls -l $(which grep) -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 219528 Jul 12 2017 /bin/grep
Remember to use
shell carefully to avoid unintented interpretation of shell
syntax and swallowing of fatal errors!
If an unexpected exit code (also known as return code) is returned by a
command, it is considered to have failed. In this case, a build warning is
emitted to help you to detect misspelled commands or similar errors. By
default, a command is expected to exit with an exit code of 0, all other codes
indicate an error. In some cases however, it may be reasonable to demonstrate
failed programs. To avoid a (superfluous) warning in such a case, you can
specify the expected return code of a command with the
.. command-output:: python -c 'import sys; sys.exit(1)' :returncode: 1
The above command returns the exit code 1 (as given to
but no warning will be emitted. On the contrary, a warning will be emitted,
should the command return 0!
Upon fatal errors which even prevent the execution of the command neither return code nor command output are available. In this case an error message is inserted into the document instead.
shell is set however, most of these fatal errors are handled by the
system shell and turned into return codes instead. In this case the error
message will only appear in the output of the shell. If you’re using
shell, double-check the output for errors. Best avoid
Include the output of
commandin the documentation.
The output is formatted as literal text, without any syntax highlighting.
By default, the command is split according to the POSIX shell syntax (using
shlex.split()), and executed directly. Both standard output and standard error are captured from the invocation of
commandand included in the document. However, if the option
commandis literally passed to the system shell. With the
nostderroption, standard error is hidden from the output.
The working directory of the command can be configured with the
cwdoption. The argument of this option is a directory path, relative to the current source file. Absolute paths are interpreted as relative to the root of the source directory. The default working directory is
/, i.e. the root of the source directory.
promptoption is given, the
commanditself is included in the document, so that the output mimics input in a shell prompt.
programoutput_prompt_templatecontrols the appearance of this. The value of the
extraargsoption is appended at the end of
command(separated by a whitespace) before executing the command, but not included in the output of the
promptoption. Use this to pass extra arguments which should not appear in the document.
The output can be shortened with the
ellipsisoption. The value of this option is of the form
endbeing integers which refer to lines in the output of
endis optional and defaults to the last line. Negative line numbers count backwards from the last line. Everything in the interval
[start, end[is replaced with a single ellipsis
ellipsisoption only affects the immediate output of
command, but never any additional text inserted by option
If the command does return an exit code different from the expected one, a build warning is issued. The expected return code defaults to 0, and can be changed with the
This extension understands the following configuration options:
$ python -V Python 3.7.3
The following keys are provided to the format string:
commandis replaced with the literal command as given to the directive, without any
outputis the output of the command, after the
ellipsisoption has been applied.
returncodeis the return code of the command as integer.
Please report issues to the issue tracker if you have trouble or found a bug in this extension, but respect the following guidelines:
- Check that the issue has not already been reported.
- Check that the issue is not already fixed in the
- Open issues with clear title and a detailed description in grammatically correct, complete sentences.
The source code is hosted on Github:
git clone https://github.com/NextThought/sphinxcontrib-programoutput
Please fork the repository and send pull requests with your fixes or features, but respect these guidelines:
- Read how to properly contribute to open source projects on GitHub.
- Use a topic branch to easily amend a pull request later, if necessary.
- Write good commit messages.
- Squash commits on the topic branch before opening a pull request.
- Respect PEP 8 (use pep8 to check your coding style compliance)
- Add unit tests.
- Open a new pull request that relates to but one subject with a clear title and description in grammatically correct, complete sentences.
- Nothing changed yet.
- Make the test suite stop assuming the presence of a ‘python’
executable on the path. Instead it uses
sys.executable(which shouldn’t have spaces). Note that it does continue to assume the presence of other executables, such as ‘echo’. Reported in issue 38 by John Vandenberg.
python_requiresmetadata to better allow tools like
pipto install a correct version.
- Add support for Sphinx 2.0 on Python 3.
- Avoid unicode errors when the program command or output produced non-ASCII output and the configured prompt was a byte string. This was most likely under Python 2, where the default configured prompt is a byte string. Reported by, and patch inspired by, issue 33 by latricewilgus.
- Drop support for Sphinx < 1.7.
- Fix tests on Sphinx >= 1.8.0.
- Restore error message into the document by default from failed program runs on Sphinx >= 1.8.0b1.
- Fix deprecation warnings on Sphinx >= 1.8. Reported in issue 29 by miili.
- Explicitly set
parallel_read_safeto true in the extension metadata. See issue 25. With thanks to Adam J. Stewart and Stephen McDowell.
- Decode output from the program tolerantly, using the ‘replace’ handler. Based on a pull request by Stefan C. Müller.
- Forked and revived the project in Gitub.
- Run the tests on Travis CI. Formatting and style is enforced by pylint.
- The oldest supported and tested Sphinx version is now 1.3.5. See issue 17.
- Remove support for Python 2.6, Python 3.2 and 3.3.
- 100% test coverage.
- Remove support for
sphinxcontrib.ansiextension is no longer available on PyPI.
0.8 (Oct 12, 2012)¶
- Migrated to GitHub
0.7 (Apr 17, 2012)¶
- Working directory of executed programs defaults to documentation root now
0.6 (Jan 07, 2012)¶
- Python 3 support
- Require Sphinx 1.1 now
0.5 (Sep 19, 2011)¶
programoutput_prompt_templateis interpreted as format string now!
- Require Python 2.6 now
program-output(thanks to Jan-Marek Glogowski)
returncodeformatting key in
- Warn on unexpected return codes instead of raising
- Turn fatal errors during command into document error messages instead of crashing the build
0.4.1 (Mar 11, 2011)¶
- Some source code cleanups
- Fixed installation instructions in documentation
0.4 (May 21, 2010)¶
- Initial release
Copyright (c) 2010, 2011, 2012 Sebastian Wiesner <email@example.com> All rights reserved. Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met: * Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer. * Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution. THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND CONTRIBUTORS "AS IS" AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE COPYRIGHT OWNER OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.
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