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CodeIgniter User Guide

Setup Instructions

The CodeIgniter user guide uses Sphinx to manage the documentation and output it to various formats. Pages are written in human-readable ReStructured Text format.


Sphinx requires Python, which is already installed if you are running OS X. You can confirm in a Terminal window by executing the python command without any parameters. It should load up and tell you which version you have installed. If you're not on 2.7+, go ahead and install 2.7.2 from


  1. Install easy_install
  2. easy_install sphinx
  3. easy_install sphinxcontrib-phpdomain
  4. Install the CI Lexer which allows PHP, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript syntax highlighting in code examples (see cilexer/README)
  5. cd user_guide_src
  6. make html

Editing and Creating Documentation

All of the source files exist under source/ and is where you will add new documentation or modify existing documentation. Just as with code changes, we recommend working from feature branches and making pull requests to the develop branch of this repo.

So where's the HTML?

Obviously, the HTML documentation is what we care most about, as it is the primary documentation that our users encounter. Since revisions to the built files are not of value, they are not under source control. This also allows you to regenerate as necessary if you want to "preview" your work. Generating the HTML is very simple. From the root directory of your user guide repo fork issue the command you used at the end of the installation instructions:

make html

You will see it do a whiz-bang compilation, at which point the fully rendered user guide and images will be in build/html/. After the HTML has been built, each successive build will only rebuild files that have changed, saving considerable time. If for any reason you want to "reset" your build files, simply delete the build folder's contents and rebuild.

Style Guideline

Please refer to source/documentation/index.rst for general guidelines for using Sphinx to document CodeIgniter.

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