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To use Metanorma, normally you don’t manually install this gem. Depending on your setup, you may find quicker ways to get started: please refer to Getting Started instead.

To install this gem, simply run:

gem install metanorma-cli

This will install the metanorma executable, which you can use with all officially supported Metanorma flavors (such as ISO, CalConnect, IETF, etc).

However, a number of dependencies (such as Puppeteer and LaTeXML) are not installed with this gem, and have to be installed separately. The process of installing the full suite can be a little more complex.

Generally, we recommend you to follow steps given at Metanorma Installation.

But if you aren’t afraid of tinkering deeply, please see the Developer Installation Notes for advanced details regarding dependencies and Windows installation notes.


Setting up

Metanorma CLI helps you install necessary fonts used by particular flavors, as long as those fonts have a license that allow you to install them.

For example, ISO relies on Cambria while ITU relies on Arial, which are both not supplied by default on Linux. Due to licensing terms, you are allowed to install them yourself.

By running the metanorma setup command, Metanorma will identify fonts not available on your system, and helps you install them once you agree to the license terms presented by those fonts.

Typically run the command below.

metanorma setup

If you are sure you want to agree with all the font licensing terms, such as during non-interactive runs for continuous integration, you can explicitly agree to all terms using the --agree-to-terms option.

metanorma setup --agree-to-terms

Generate a new Metanorma document using a template (metanorma new)

Metanorma CLI allows you to create a new document using an official template, or a user-specified custom template.

To see what options are available under the new command, run metanorma help new.

Generate a new document from an official Metanorma template (from an official Metanorma template repository)

The metanorma new command allows you to create a document by running a single command.

To create a new document using an official template you simply invoke the command with the mandatory options type and doctype, then Metanorma will find and load the official template to create your document.

For example, if you want to create a new CSD document (type: csd) called csd-foo-standard, using the standard template type, run the following command:

metanorma new -d standard -t csd csd-foo-standard

This will create your barebones document and will also print out all files created during generation.

Currently, the supported Metanorma template types are csd, ogc and iso.

Generate a new document from a custom Metanorma template repository

The CLI allows using custom or unofficial template repositories, meaning you could also generate a new document using your own custom template.

Metanorma supports two types of template repositories:

  • Git: a Git repository (local or remote, public or private)

  • Local: a directory

Once a template repository and a template within is specified, Metanorma will automatically download and generate the new document using your custom template.

For example, if you want to create a new CSD document with the following parameters:

You could execute the following command to do so:

metanorma new -d standard -t csd \
  -l my-custom-csd-document

Here’s an example of using a local directory:

metanorma new -d standard -t csd \
  -l ~/shared/mn-templates my-custom-csd-document

Compile a document (metanorma compile or just metanorma)

The key functionality of this CLI is to allow compilation of a Metanorma document. The command metanorma help compile will display all usage instructions of the compile command shown with available options.

  metanorma compile FILENAME [..options]

  -t, [--type=TYPE]                   # Type of standard to generate
  -x, [--extensions=EXTENSIONS]       # Type of extension to generate per type
  -f, [--format=FORMAT]               # Format of source file: eg. asciidoc
                                      # Default: asciidoc

  -r, [--require=one two three]       # Require LIBRARY prior to execution
  -w, [--wrapper], [--no-wrapper]     # Create wrapper folder for HTML output
  -a, [--asciimath], [--no-asciimath] # Keep Asciimath in XML output instead of converting it to MathM
  -R, [--relaton=RELATON]             # Export Relaton XML for document to nominated filename
  -e, [--extract=EXTRACT]             # Export sourcecode fragments from this document to nominated directory
  -v, [--version=VERSION]             # Print version of code (accompanied with -t)

So, let’s put this in use. For example we have a document my-iso-document.adoc and we want to compile this using iso and html as extension, then we can use the following command.

metanorma compile --type iso -x html my-iso-document.adoc
# or just
metanorma --type iso -x html my-iso-document.adoc

This should compile any valid document, but if there are some issues then it will also print those out in the terminal. Currently, the supported flavors are ietf, iso, gb, csd, csand, m3d and rsd.

List supported output formats (metanorma list-extensions)

Need to know what output formats are supported for a given flavor? We’ve got you covered.

To list out the output formats supported by every single flavor type, run the following command:

metanorma list-extensions

To list out the output formats supported by a particular flavor type, run the following command:

metanorma list-extensions <flavor>


metanorma list-extensions iso

Show processor version (metanorma version)

The version command returns the version of the Metanorma processor for a specific flavor.

e.g., to know the currently running version for iso, then we can use the following command and this will show the current version that we are using for that specific processor.

metanorma version --type iso

Add new template repository (metanorma template-repo add)

The template-repo add interface allows you to add your custom template repository to metanorma, so next time when you need to generate a new document then you can directly use that name to use your custom template from that repository.

metanorma template-repo add my-iso


This gem is developed, maintained and funded by Ribose Inc.


The gem is available under the terms of the MIT License.