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Markdown documentation with MkDocs and Themes

MkDocs is a simple documentation engine written in Python. Its one of the most simplistic documentation generator and is very popular for simple documentations.

If you are looking for more advanced static document generators please check

  • Jekyll by GitHub based on Ruby Gems
  • Hugo based on Go language. Both of them are very powerfull documentation engines and have a huge community.

For more detailed documentation please refer to mkdocs website

Quick start

Install the latest version of mkdocs and theme: Material with pip:

pip install mkdocs 
pip install mkdocs-material

Material theme also provides a lot of features and customization. Pleare refer here for more on Material Docs.

Append the following line to your project's mkdocs.yml:

  name: 'material'

A default theme is available. Other popular themese include readthedocs adapted from python sphynx and many others.

Create a new mkdocs project or directory.

mkdocs new my-project
cd my-project

By default there is a single configuration file named mkdocs.yml, and a folder named docs that will contain your documentation source files. Right now the docs folder just contains a single documentation page, named Create and save your markdown documents here.

Now to see the rendered html MkDocs comes with a built-in dev-server that lets you preview your documentation as you work on it. Make sure you're in the same directory as the mkdocs.yml configuration file, and then start the server by running the mkdocs serve command:

mkdocs serve
INFO    -  Building documentation...
INFO    -  Cleaning site directory
[I 160402 15:50:43 server:271] Serving on
[I 160402 15:50:43 handlers:58] Start watching changes
[I 160402 15:50:43 handlers:60] Start detecting changes

MkDocs serve switch provides a local dev server with live reloading by default. More customizations are available with --help flag.

mkdocs --help

For example to specify project config file -f, outgoing ip:port with switch -a.

# run mkdocs on all ip without live reloading 
mkdocs serve -a --no-livereload -f /home/towshif/workspace/next/.docs/mkdocs.yml
# start local dev server with live-reload. Do not use SSL with this functionality.
# Note: 'livereload.js' will load on port 8000 (default)
mkdocs serve -a -f /home/towshif/workspace/next/.docs/mkdocs.yml

To Kill the process for the custom local server you can also call pkill.

# to kill mkdocs server 
pkill mkdocs"