Building the Documentation


The documentation build process uses Doxygen and Sphinx along with a few extensions.

If you’re using Conda, the required software can be installed in a single line:

conda install -c conda-forge --file=ci/conda_env_sphinx.txt

Otherwise, you’ll first need to install Doxygen yourself (for example from your distribution’s official repositories, if using Linux). Then you can install the Python-based requirements with the following command:

pip install -r docs/requirements.txt



If you are building the documentation on Windows, not all sections may build properly.

These two steps are mandatory and must be executed in order.

  1. Process the C++ API using Doxygen

    pushd cpp/apidoc
  2. Build the complete documentation using Sphinx.


    This step requires the pyarrow library is installed in your python environment. One way to accomplish this is to follow the build instructions at Python Development and then run python install in arrow/python (it is best to do this in a dedicated conda/virtual environment).

    pushd docs
    make html


Note that building the documentation may fail if your build of pyarrow is not sufficiently comprehensive. Portions of the Python API documentation will also not build without CUDA support having been built.

After these steps are completed, the documentation is rendered in HTML format in docs/_build/html. In particular, you can point your browser at docs/_build/html/index.html to read the docs and review any changes you made.

Building with Docker

You can use Archery to build the documentation within a Docker container.

archery docker run ubuntu-docs

The final output is located under docs/_build/html.