5 Minutes Linux Tutorial to Getting Started with DITA Open Toolkit

This DITA XML tutorial will help you set up and use the DITA Open Toolkit open-source publishing system under GNU/Linux (Ubuntu or Debian).

Duration : 5 minutes

  • Ubuntu or Debian on a physical or a virtual machine with administrator password
  • Internet link

  1. Open a console, paste the following set of commands, then press Enter:

    cd && wget http://downloads.sourceforge.net/project/dita-ot/DITA-OT%20Stable%20Release/DITA%20Open%20Toolkit%201.5.4/DITA-OT1.5.4_full_easy_install_bin.tar.gz && tar xzvf DITA-OT1.5.4_full_easy_install_bin.tar.gz && wget http://www.redaction-technique.org/media/dita-env.txt && workingdirectory=`pwd | sed "s/\//slash/g;"` && perl -pi -e "s/personal-dita-home/$workingdirectory/g;" dita-env.txt && perl -pi -e "s/slash/\//g;" dita-env.txt && cp .bashrc .bashrc.bak && cat .bashrc | sed '$a\' > .bashrc.tmp && mv .bashrc.tmp .bashrc && cat dita-env.txt >> .bashrc && exit

    – OK, the code may be more elegant, but it works and saves you quite a few steps 😉 –

    This set of commands:

    • Changes the current working directory to your user account root directory
    • Downloads the Dita Open Toolkit archive
    • Uncompresses the Dita Open Toolkit archive
    • Downloads the Dita Open Toolkit environment variables file
    • Writes your user account root directory in the Dita Open Toolkit environment variables file
    • Makes a backup copy of the .bashrc file (.bashrc.bak)
    • Appends the Dita Open Toolkit environment variables at the end of the .bashrc file
    • Closes the current console

  2. Open a new console to take into account the new .bashrc version, then paste the following command:
    sudo apt-get install openjdk-6-jre ant

    and enter the administrator password. Press Enter at the Do you want to continue? [Y/n/?] prompt.

    This command opens a new administrator (root) console.

    Note: On a Debian system, if you are not sudoer, type su –.

    This set of commands installs Openjdk 6 and Apache Ant.

  3. Paste the following command:
    cd DITA-OT1.5.4

    This command changes the current working directory to the DITA-OT1.5.4 directory.
  4. Paste the following command:
    java -jar lib/dost.jar /i:samples/taskbook.ditamap /outdir:. /transtype:pdf2

    This command creates a PDF file from a DITA XML sample project.

Congratulations, you’ve just compiled your first DITA XML project! The taskbook.pdf target file is located in the DITA-OT1.5.4 directory. Skip steps 1 and 2 to compile new projects.

If several Java versions are installed and an error occurs, open an administrator console and select the Open JDK 6 version:

# update-alternatives --config java
Selection Path Priority Status
* 0 /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-i386/jre/bin/java 1061 automatic mode

You can specify one of the following values for the transtype option:

Value Target Format
xhtml xhtml
eclipsehelp Eclipse help
eclipsecontent Eclipse content
javahelp Javahelp help
htmlhelp Windows compiled help
pdf2 PDF
troff troff
docbook DocBook
wordrtf Microsoft RTF

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