Sphinx usage and customization#

Jupyter Book uses the Sphinx documentation engine to build a rich document model from your source files. This also allows for some extra customization under the hood. This chapter covers a few ways to customize Sphinx or to directly use it in building your book.


Manually customizing Sphinx is considered advanced usage - it is highly recommended that you read the Sphinx documentation.

Convert your Jupyter Book into a Sphinx website#

It is possible to convert a Jupyter Book into a structure that is directly compatible with Sphinx. This allows you to directly build the book with Sphinx commands, like sphinx-build. It is useful if you wish to use services that directly support Sphinx builds, like ReadTheDocs, or if you wish to use sphinx-specific commands like sphinx-autobuild.

The only file that Sphinx requires to build a Jupyter Book is conf.py. To generate one from your book’s _config.yml file, run the following command:

jupyter-book config sphinx path/to/book

See also

See Command-line interface reference for more usage information of this command.

This will use your _config.yml file along with your _toc.yml file to generate the appropriate conf.py. After doing so, you can build your book with the standard Sphinx build commands. For example:

sphinx-build path/to/book path/to/book/_build/html -b html


Don’t manually edit your conf.py file. Instead, update your _config.yml file and re-run jupyter-book config sphinx to make sure the two configuration files stay in-sync.