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How to Fork and Build

This guide is for Posix users (Unix variants, OSX).

Make sure you have these prerequisites working:

  • A github account
  • The git command line utility
  • The make utility (GNU version)
  • The C++ compiler for your platform (invokable as gcc)
  • Optional: kindlegen for building the Kindle documentation

Getting the code

If you already have a working directory for the D language, e.g. ~/dlang, change to it.

To get the code, run:

git clone

The remainder of this document assumes that is your current working directory.

Building the main site

To build the main site, run:

make -f posix.mak html

This builds the dmd compiler itself first and then uses it to build the website pages. You may see warnings while the compiler is built. After make ends with error code 0, directory web should contain the produced HTML files. Take a moment to open web/index.html in a browser.

Building the standard library documentation

Now that the main site is in place, the standard library documentation would be a good next step.

There is a small complicating factor: the standard library has two versions to build. One is the "release" version, i.e. the library for the currently released version of D. The other is the "prerelease" version, i.e. the library that is currently being worked on. The "release" version is built with the "release" compiler, and the current version is built with the current compiler (which we already have from the previous step).

Building the prerelease libraries

The more interesting stuff to build is the prerelease libraries because in all likelihood that's what needs looking at and testing.

make -f posix.mak docs-prerelease

If you only want to build a specific part (e.g. Phobos), run:

make -f posix.mak phobos-prerelease

(docs-prerelease is a shorthand for dmd-prerelease, druntime-prerelease, phobos-releas and apidocs-prerelease)

The output is in web/phobos-prerelease and library-prerelease.

Building the latest release libraries

Fortunately there's no need to fumble with version numbers and git tags etc.; all is automated. Run this command:

make -f posix.mak docs-latest

If you only want to build a specific part (e.g. Phobos), run:

make -f posix.mak phobos-latest

(docs-latest is a shorthand for dmd-latest, druntime-latest, phobos-latest and apidocs-latest)

These commands tell you the release being built in their first line of output. Then they proceed and clone the appropriate release for dmd, druntime, and phobos. After all commands have been executed, the following directories will be present in $R:, dmd, dmd-2.083.2, druntime-2.083.2, and phobos-2.083.2. Note that the actual release number may not be 2.083.2, but should be the same for all three directories.

The output is in web/phobos and web/library.

Avoid building dmd

By default, the build downloads a stable DMD compiler which is used to build the documentation pages. If you prefer to use an installed dmd binary, set STABLE_DMD and STABLE_DMD_CONF:

make -f posix.mak html -j4 STABLE_DMD=dmd STABLE_DMD_CONF=/etc/dmd.conf

Learning more about DDoc

Please see the Ddoc fundamentals.