Building Documentation

To create a rendered copy of this documentation locally you can use the Sphinx tool to build and package the plain-text documents into HTML-formatted pages.

If you are building the documentation for the first time then you will need to check that you have the required software packages, as described in the Prerequisites section that follows.


An online copy of the documentation is available at, if you want to view a rendered copy without doing a local build.


For building a local copy of the documentation you will need, at minimum:

  • Python 3 (3.5 or later)

  • PlantUML (1.2017.15 or later)

You must also install the Python modules that are specified in the requirements.txt file in the root of the docs directory. These modules can be installed using pip3 (the Python Package Installer). Passing this requirements file as an argument to pip3 automatically installs the specific module versions required by TF-A Tests.

An example set of installation commands for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS follows, assuming that the working directory is docs:

sudo apt install python3 python3-pip plantuml
pip3 install [--user] -r requirements.txt


Several other modules will be installed as dependencies. Please review the list to ensure that there will be no conflicts with other modules already installed in your environment.

Passing the optional --user argument to pip3 will install the Python packages only for the current user. Omitting this argument will attempt to install the packages globally and this will likely require the command to be run as root or using sudo.


More advanced usage instructions for pip are beyond the scope of this document but you can refer to the pip homepage for detailed guides.

Building rendered documentation

The documentation can be built into HTML-formatted pages from the project’s root directory by running the following command.

make doc

Output from the build process will be placed in:


We also support building documentation in other formats. From the docs directory of the project, run the following command to see the supported formats. It is important to note that you will not get the correct result if the command is run from the project’s root directory, as that would invoke the top-level Makefile for TF-A Tests themselves.

make help

Building rendered documentation from a container

There may be cases where you can not either install or upgrade required dependencies to generate the documents, so in this case, one way to create the documentation is through a docker container. The first step is to check if docker is installed in your host, otherwise check main docker page for installation instructions. Once installed, run the following script from project root directory

docker run --rm -v $PWD:/TF sphinxdoc/sphinx \
       bash -c 'cd /TF && \
       pip3 install plantuml -r ./docs/requirements.txt && make doc'

The above command fetches the sphinxdoc/sphinx container from docker hub, launches the container, installs documentation requirements and finally creates the documentation. Once done, exit the container and output from the build process will be placed in:


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