The Python venv module is used to create a virtual environment into which the Python dependencies are installed. These are specified in requirements.txt, which is also used by the Read the Docs build pipeline.

To install git and venv on Ubuntu:

sudo apt install git python3-venv

This only needs to be done once.

Then if we wanted to edit this documentation, for example:

git clone [email protected]:DesignSparkRS/DSDocs.git

cd DSDocs

python3 -m venv venv

source venv/bin/activate

pip install -r requirements.txt

The above steps need would to be carried out for each project where we want to edit documentation.


Simply edit the RST content and then to build locally:

make html

Following which the generated HTML can be found in the _build directory.

With project repositories that contain documentation and other outputs, such as software sources or gateware etc., please prefix the git commit message with “Docs: ” so that it is clear that the commit pertains to documentation only.


  1. With every new terminal it will be neccessary to source the script venv/bin/activate in order to activate the Python virtual environment.

  2. The pip install command may need to be run from time to time, e.g. after a dependency has been updated or a new one has been configured.

  3. If your Python virtual environment somehow gets in a mess, just delete it, re-initialise and pip install the dependencies again.


Do not attempt to commit the contents of the venv directory, as we don’t want this to be pushed to GitHub. This usually shouldn’t be possible, as the venv directory should be listed in .gitignore for all projects, but it’s worth noting this here also just in case!