What can be used to edit docbook files on Linux?

Preference would be for an open source, GUI tool, but I'll accept less.


2 Answers 2


Here is one: XMLmind DocBook Editor

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LibreOffice is a free, open source, GUI tool that can save to DocBook 5.1 XML ("File → Save As… → DocBook (xml)"). It can also read the DocBook files it generates.

There seems little documentation available, but I found out already that it seems based on proper use of the pre-defined paragraph and character styles:

  • Paragraph style "Heading 1" will be rendered as <sect1><title> … </title></sect1>.
  • Character style "Emphasis" will be rendered as <emphasis> … </emphasis>.


While LibreOffice may suffice for basic editing, but this feature is not fully developed. For example, I found the following limitations already:

  1. It can load from and save to DocBook article documents, but not DocBook topic documents.

  2. It does not generate <info>…</info> elements, and when editing these into the XML source LibreOffice will destroy them when opening them the next time by interpreting these as textual content. Even though <info> inside <article> is valid DocBook (see).

  3. It does not render literature references with the correct elements in the output.

  4. It does not include the bibliography list in the output.

This was just from a quick test, so there are probably many more points like that.

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