13. Building the LAMMPS manual

Depending on how you obtained LAMMPS and whether you have built the manual yourself, this directory has a number of sub-directories and files. Here is a list with descriptions:

README           # brief info about the documentation
src              # content files for LAMMPS documentation
html             # HTML version of the LAMMPS manual (see html/Manual.html)
utils            # tools and settings for building the documentation
lammps.1         # man page for the lammps command
msi2lmp.1        # man page for the msi2lmp command
Manual.pdf       # large PDF version of entire manual
LAMMPS.epub      # Manual in ePUB e-book format
LAMMPS.mobi      # Manual in MOBI e-book format
docenv           # virtualenv folder for processing the manual sources
doctrees         # temporary data from processing the manual
mathjax          # code and fonts for rendering math in html
doxygen          # doxygen configuration and output
.gitignore       # list of files and folders to be ignored by git
doxygen-warn.log # logfile with warnings from running doxygen
github-development-workflow.md   # notes on the LAMMPS development workflow
include-file-conventions.md      # notes on LAMMPS' include file conventions

If you downloaded LAMMPS as a tarball from the LAMMPS website, the html folder and the PDF files should be included.

If you downloaded LAMMPS from the public git repository, then the HTML and PDF files are not included. Instead you need to create them, in one of two ways:

  1. You can “fetch” the current HTML and PDF files from the LAMMPS web site. Just type make fetch. This should download a html_www directory and a Manual_www.pdf file. Note that if new LAMMPS features have been added more recently than the date of your LAMMPS version, the fetched documentation will include those changes (but your source code will not, unless you update your local repository).

  2. You can build the HTML or PDF files yourself, by typing make html or make pdf. This requires various tools and files. Some of them have to be installed (more on that below). For the rest the build process will attempt to download and install them into a python virtual environment and local folders. This download is required only once, unless you type make clean-all. After that, viewing and processing of the documentation can be done without internet access.

A current version of the manual (latest patch release, aka unstable branch) is is available online at: https://lammps.sandia.gov/doc/Manual.html A version of the manual corresponding to the ongoing development (aka master branch) is available online at: https://docs.lammps.org/

The generation of all documentation is managed by the Makefile in the doc directory. The following documentation related make commands are available:

make html          # generate HTML in html dir using Sphinx
make pdf           # generate PDF  as Manual.pdf using Sphinx and pdflatex
make fetch         # fetch HTML doc pages and PDF file from web site
                   #   as a tarball and unpack into html dir and PDF
make epub          # generate LAMMPS.epub in ePUB format using Sphinx
make mobi          # generate LAMMPS.mobi in MOBI format using ebook-convert

make clean         # remove intermediate RST files created by HTML build
make clean-all     # remove entire build folder and any cached data

make anchor_check  # check for duplicate anchor labels
make style_check   # check for complete and consistent style lists
make package_check # check for complete and consistent package lists
make spelling      # spell-check the manual

13.1. Installing prerequisites for HTML build

To run the HTML documentation build toolchain, python 3, git, doxygen, and virtualenv have to be installed locally. Here are instructions for common setups:

13.1.1. Ubuntu

sudo apt-get install python-virtualenv git doxygen

13.1.2. Fedora (up to version 21) and Red Hat Enterprise Linux or CentOS (up to version 7.x)

sudo yum install python3-virtualenv git doxygen

13.1.3. Fedora (since version 22)

sudo dnf install python3-virtualenv git doxygen

13.1.4. MacOS X

Python 3

Download the latest Python 3 MacOS X package from https://www.python.org and install it. This will install both Python 3 and pip3.


Once Python 3 is installed, open a Terminal and type

pip3 install virtualenv

This will install virtualenv from the Python Package Index.

13.2. Installing prerequisites for PDF build

In addition to the tools needed for building the HTML format manual, a working LaTeX installation with support for PDFLaTeX and a selection of LaTeX styles/packages are required. To run the PDFLaTeX translation the tools latexmk and xindy need to be installed as well.

13.3. Installing prerequisites for e-book reader builds

In addition to the tools needed for building the HTML format manual, a working LaTeX installation with a few add-on LaTeX packages as well as the dvipng tool are required to convert embedded math expressions transparently into embedded images.

For converting the generated ePUB file to a MOBI format file (for e-book readers, like Kindle, that cannot read ePUB), you also need to have the ebook-convert tool from the “calibre” software installed. http://calibre-ebook.com/ Typing make mobi will first create the ePUB file and then convert it. On the Kindle readers in particular, you also have support for PDF files, so you could download and view the PDF version as an alternative.

13.4. Instructions for Developers

When adding new styles or options to the LAMMPS code, corresponding documentation is required and either existing files in the src folder need to be updated or new files added. These files are written in reStructuredText markup for translation with the Sphinx tool.

Before contributing any documentation, please check that both the HTML and the PDF format documentation can translate without errors. Please also check the output to the console for any warnings or problems. There will be multiple tests run automatically:

  • A test for correctness of all anchor labels and their references

  • A test that all LAMMPS packages (= folders with sources in lammps/src) are documented and listed. A typical warning shows the name of the folder with the suspected new package code and the documentation files where they need to be listed:

    Found 33 standard and 41 user packages
    Standard package NEWPACKAGE missing in Packages_standard.rst
    Standard package NEWPACKAGE missing in Packages_details.rst
  • A test that only standard, printable ASCII text characters are used. This runs the command env LC_ALL=C grep -n '[^ -~]' src/*.rst and thus prints all offending lines with filename and line number prepended to the screen. Special characters like the Angstrom \(\mathrm{\mathring{A}}\) should be typeset with embedded math (like this :math:`\mathrm{\mathring{A}}`).

  • A test whether all styles are documented and listed in their respective overview pages. A typical output with warnings looks like this:

    Parsed style names w/o suffixes from C++ tree in ../src:
       Angle styles:      21    Atom styles:       24
       Body styles:        3    Bond styles:       17
       Command styles:    41    Compute styles:   143
       Dihedral styles:   16    Dump styles:       26
       Fix styles:       223    Improper styles:   13
       Integrate styles:   4    Kspace styles:     15
       Minimize styles:    9    Pair styles:      234
       Reader styles:      4    Region styles:      8
    Compute style entry newcomp is missing or incomplete in Commands_compute.rst
    Compute style entry newcomp is missing or incomplete in compute.rst
    Fix style entry newfix is missing or incomplete in Commands_fix.rst
    Fix style entry newfix is missing or incomplete in fix.rst
    Pair style entry new is missing or incomplete in Commands_pair.rst
    Pair style entry new is missing or incomplete in pair_style.rst
    Found 6 issue(s) with style lists

In addition, there is the option to run a spellcheck on the entire manual with make spelling. This requires a library called enchant. To avoid printing out false positives (e.g. keywords, names, abbreviations) those can be added to the file lammps/doc/utils/sphinx-config/false_positives.txt.