Utility for converting markup files to pdf files
Ruby CSS
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gimli – utility for converting markup to pdf


Gimli is a utility for converting markup to pdf files. Useful for reports and such things. It’s a developed version of textile2pdf to support multiple markup styles and to get syntax highlighting.

It’s inspired by the markup convertion in gollum. The markup code is adapted from gollum. It works by converting the markup to pdf using wkhtmltopdf The markup is converted to html using github/markup


Markup files may be written in any format supported by GitHub-Markup (except roff).


Images can be included by absolute url on your hard drive or a absolute url on the Internet. You can also refer to an image relative from the markup file. Example in textile.



The best way to install Gimli is with RubyGems:

$ [sudo] gem install gimli

You can install from source:

$ cd gimli/
$ bundle
$ rake install

On Windows

If you want to use gimli on windows you will have to make the following actions.

  • Install wkhtmltopdf separatly on your OS. Find the package here.

    Make sure that the path to the wkhtmltopdf.exe binary is in your $PATH environement variable. Also make sure that it's palced before the path to the ruby directory.

  • Install the which command of the GnuWin32 on your OS. Find the package here. This command allow gimli to locate the correct binary or wkhtmltopdf on your hard drive to perform the html->PDF conversion.

    Make sure that the path to which.exe the binary is in your $PATH environement variable


The standard way to run gimli is to go to a folder with markup files and running

$ gimli

To apply some style to the pdf or override the standard style add a css file in the directory named gimli.css or use the -s flag to point out another css file.

Standard behavior is for gimli to output the files in the current directory. To override this use the -o flag to point out another output directory. Gimli tries to create it if it doesn’t exist.

Gimli also plays nice with Jekyll style markup files. You can pass gimli the -y flag to have it remove Jekyll’s YAML front matter from the top of your markup files. Allowing you to use gimli & Jekyll together on your Blog/Resume/Catalogue to create nicely formatted versions for online and offline viewing.

Gimli can add a cover to your document based on another markdown file. To do this use the -cover flag. eg.

$ gimli -f doc-file.md -cover cover-file.md

To pass parameters directly to wkhtmltopdf, use the -w flag. eg.

$ gimli -f test.md -w '--toc --footer-right "[page]/[toPage]"'

This gives a pdf with a table of contents and page numbers in the footer.

See the man page for wkhtmltopdf for all possible parameters.

Run gimli -h for a full list of options available

Gimli Docker Container

There is a Docker container to use for converting files using gimli without installing gimli to your computer, you can see more about it at https://registry.hub.docker.com/u/walle/gimli/

Running the image

$ docker run -v <host_dir>:<container_dir> walle/gimli -f <container_dir>/my-file.md -o <container_dir>

Where <host_dir> is the directory with the files you want to convert and <container_dir> is the directory in the image where the files will be put. This will write the pdf files to the same directory as where your source files is. If you want to make a new directory for the pdfs you can call the image like this:

$ docker run -v <host_dir>:<container_dir> walle/gimli -f <container_dir>/my-file.md -o <container_dir>/pdfs

This will put the pdfs in a folder named pdfs in your <host_dir>.

A real example
$ docker run -v /home/walle/gimlidocuments:/tmp/gimli walle/gimli -f /tmp/gimli/my-file.md -o /tmp/gimli

This will generate a pdf from the file in /home/walle/gimlidocuments/my-file.md in the /home/walle/gimlidocuments directory.


All arguments you supply to running the image will end up in gimli, so for an example you could supply the -s flag to use a custom stylesheet. But the stylesheet must be in <host_dir> to be readable by gimli.

Syntax highlighting

In page files you can get automatic syntax highlighting for a wide range of languages by using the following syntax:

  def foo
    puts 'bar'

The block must start with three backticks (as the first characters on the line). After that comes the name of the language that is contained by the block. The language must be one of the short name lexer strings supported by coderay. See the list of lexers for valid options.

If the block contents are indented two spaces or one tab, then that whitespace will be ignored (this makes the blocks easier to read in plaintext).

The block must end with three backticks as the first characters on a line.

The syntax highlightning is powered by coderay and is using a github theme.