Building a local preview

Fedora Documentation Team Last review: 2023-03-19
A local preview is a valuable tool to test your changes when working on your local authoring environment. Run the docsbuilder script available in Fedora content repository. You can build and run the fully rendered site on your machine to preview your changes before making a pull request to the Fedora content repositories.

When you need a local preview

When working with local authoring environment, a local preview provides versatile workflow to test how the changes will be rendered and function in your browser locally. When you make changes such as, but not limited to;

  • Change links or fix broken links

  • Change document to document cross references using xref

  • Consolidate multiple pages into one page

  • Update images or fix broken images

  • Add metadata or alt text for images

  • Section levels reorganized (Example: h2 to h3, h3 to h4) for readability and reading flow

  • Fix inactive navigation bar

  • Reorganize navigation bar

  • Rewrite outdated pages

  • Add AsciiDoc attributes

  • Reiterate changes and tests with vale linter

you need build scripts to render the changes predictably and test them before you make a pull request.

What the scripts do

A unified docs builder script,, builds a local version of the site, which means the subset of the full site that resides in your local repository. In turn, the script starts a webserver and serves the site at http://localhost:8080/. Opening this link in any web browser will show you the preview, which will be available until you kill the process (kbd:[Ctrl+C] in the terminal).

Check on the landing page of projects to run the script suggested to use.

How to test changes

Go to the the directory where cloned repo is, build, watch and preview the site by running the build scripts in terminal.

$ ./

Pagure or other content repositories display a different builder script.

$ ./

To use the scripts you need Podman installed if using Fedora Linux or Docker CE if using macOS.

Previewing multiple repositories

If your work spans content in multiple repositories, e.g. because you link to another repository, you can extend the preview by adding more repositories to site.yml as follows:

  - url: .
    branches: HEAD
  - url:
    branches: main

Correct entries to use can be found from docs-fp-o site.yml.

Using the regular Antora scripts

If you want to use the regular Antora build and preview workflow - follow the instructions on Antora Documentation page.

Once you have Antora CLI and Antora Site Generator you can build and preview the pages without the container scripts.

To build the pages in the project directory run:

antora generate site.yml

This will create a new directory public which contains all the necessary files. Navigate there and run a server command. You might already have a Python simple server, in which case run:

python3 -m http.server

or if you only have Python 2 on your machine:

python -m SimpleHTTPServer

It opens a local preview at port 8000.

If you have cargo (Rust package manager), you could also install and use miniserve or any other simple server of your choice for that matter.