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Generate RFCs and IETF drafts from document source in XML according to the IETF xml2rfc v2 and v3 vocabularies


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Release License PyPI - Version PyPI - Status PyPI - Format

Generate RFCs and IETF drafts from document source in XML according to the IETF xml2rfc v2 and v3 vocabularies


The IETF uses a specific format for the standards and other documents it publishes as RFCs, and for the draft documents which are produced when developing documents for publications. There exists a number of different tools to facilitate the formatting of drafts and RFCs according to the existing rules, and this tool, xml2rfc, is one of them. It takes as input an xml file that contains the text and meta-information about author names etc., and transforms it into suitably formatted output. The input xml file should follow the grammars in RFC7749 (for v2 documents) or RFC7991 (for v3 documents). Note that the grammar for v3 is still being refined, and changes will eventually be captured in the bis draft for 7991. Changes not yet captured can be seen in the xml2rfc source v3.rng, or in the documentation xml2rfc produces with its --doc flag.

xml2rfc provides a variety of output formats. See the command line help for a full list of formats. It also provides conversion from v2 to v3, and can run the preptool on its input.


Installation of the python package is done as usual with pip install xml2rfc, using appropriate switches.

Installation of support libraries for the PDF-formatter

In order to generate PDFs, xml2rfc uses the WeasyPrint module, which depends on external libraries that must be installed as native packages on your platform, separately from the xml2rfc install.

  1. First, install the Pango, and other required libraries on your system. See installation instructions on the WeasyPrint Docs.

  2. Next, install WeasyPrint python modules using pip.

pip install 'weasyprint>=53.0,!=57.0,!=60.0'
  1. Finally, install the required fonts:
  • Download latest fonts from xml2rfc-fonts.
  • In the Assets section, download either the tar.gz or the zip archive.
  • Extract the contents of the downloaded xml2rfc-fonts archive.
  • Install the fonts found in the noto and roboto_mono directories to your operating system.

With these installed and available to xml2rfc, the --pdf switch will be enabled.


xml2rfc accepts a single XML document as input and outputs to one or more conversion formats.

Basic Usage

xml2rfc SOURCE [options] FORMATS...

Run xml2rfc --help for a full listing of command-line options.

Getting Started

This project is following the standard Git Feature Workflow development model. Learn about all the various steps of the development workflow, from creating a fork to submitting a pull request, in the Contributing guide.

Make sure to read the Styleguides section to ensure a cohesive code format across the project.

You can submit bug reports, enhancements and new feature requests in the discussions area. Accepted tickets will be converted to issues.

Git Cloning Tips

As outlined in the Contributing guide, you will first want to create a fork of the xml2rfc project in your personal GitHub account before cloning it.

For example (replace USERNAME with your GitHub username):

git clone

Docker Dev Environment

Run ./ command to build and start a docker development environment. The initial build may take time because it downloads all required fonts as well.