Pandoc   a universal document converter

Installing pandoc


  • There is a package installer at pandoc’s download page.

  • For PDF output, you’ll also need to install LaTeX. We recommend MiKTeX.

  • If you’d prefer, you can extract the pandoc and pandoc-citeproc executables from the MSI and copy them directly to any directory, without running the installer. Here is an example showing how to extract the executables from the pandoc-1.19.1 installer and copy them to C:\Utils\Console\:

    mkdir "%TEMP%\pandoc\"
    start /wait msiexec.exe /a pandoc-1.19.1-windows.msi /qn targetdir="%TEMP%\pandoc\"
    copy /y "%TEMP%\pandoc\pandoc.exe" C:\Utils\Console\
    copy /y "%TEMP%\pandoc\pandoc-citeproc.exe" C:\Utils\Console\
    rmdir /s /q "%TEMP%\pandoc\"

Mac OS X

  • There is a package installer at pandoc’s download page. If you later want to uninstall the package, you can do so by downloading this script and running it with perl

  • It is possible to extract the pandoc and pandoc-citeproc executables from the osx pkg file, if you’d rather not run the installer. To do this (for the version 1.19.1 package):

    mkdir pandoc-extract
    cd pandoc-extract
    xar -x ../pandoc-1.19.1-osx.pkg
    cat pandoc.pkg/Payload | gunzip -dc | cpio -i
    # executables are now in ./usr/bin/, man pages in ./usr/share/man
  • You can also install pandoc using homebrew: brew install pandoc.

  • For PDF output, you’ll also need LaTeX. Because a full MacTeX installation takes more than a gigabyte of disk space, we recommend installing BasicTeX (64M) and using the tlmgr tool to install additional packages as needed. If you get errors warning of fonts not found, try

    tlmgr install collection-fontsrecommended


  • First, try your package manager. Pandoc is in the Debian, Ubuntu, Slackware, Arch, Fedora, NiXOS, openSUSE, and gentoo repositories. Note, however, that versions in the repositories are often old.

  • For 64-bit Debian and Ubuntu, we provide a debian package on the download page.

    sudo dpkg -i $DEB

    where $DEB is the path to the downloaded deb, will will install the pandoc and pandoc-citeproc executables and man pages. If you use an RPM-based distro, you may be able to install this deb using alien, or try

    ar p $DEB data.tar.gz | sudo tar xvz --strip-components 2 -C /usr/local
  • If you’d rather install pandoc in your home directory, say in $HOME/.local, then you can extract the files manually from the deb:

    ar p $DEB data.tar.gz | tar xvz --strip-components 2 -C $HOME/.local/

    where, again, $DEB is the path to the downloaded deb.

  • If the version in your repository is too old and you cannot use the deb we provide, you can install from source, using the instructions below under [Installing from source]. Note that most distros have the Haskell platform in their package repositories. For example, on Debian/Ubuntu, you can install it with apt-get install haskell-platform.

  • For PDF output, you’ll need LaTeX. We recommend installing TeX Live via your package manager. (On Debian/Ubuntu, apt-get install texlive.)


Compiling from source

If for some reason a binary package is not available for your platform, or if you want to hack on pandoc or use a non-released version, you can install from source.

Getting the pandoc source code

Source tarballs can be found at For example, to fetch the source for version

tar xvzf pandoc-
cd pandoc-

Or you can fetch the development code by cloning the repository:

git clone
cd pandoc
git submodule update --init   # to fetch the templates

Note: there may be times when the development code is broken or depends on other libraries which must be installed separately. Unless you really know what you’re doing, install the last released version.

Quick stack method

The easiest way to build pandoc from source is to use stack:

  1. Install stack.

  2. Change to the pandoc source directory and issue the following commands:

    stack setup
    stack install --test

    stack setup will automatically download the ghc compiler if you don’t have it. stack install will install the pandoc executable into ~/.local/bin, which you should add to your PATH. This process will take a while, and will consume a considerable amount of disk space.

Quick cabal method

  1. Install the Haskell platform. This will give you GHC and the cabal-install build tool. Note that pandoc requires GHC >= 7.8.

  2. Update your package database:

    cabal update
  3. Use cabal to install pandoc and its dependencies:

    cabal install pandoc --enable-tests

    This procedure will install the released version of pandoc, which will be downloaded automatically from HackageDB.

    If you want to install a modified or development version of pandoc instead, switch to the source directory and do as above, but without the ‘pandoc’:

    cabal install

    Note: If you obtained the source from the git repository (rather than a release tarball), you’ll need to do

    git submodule update --init

    to fetch the contents of data/templates before cabal install.

  4. Make sure the $CABALDIR/bin directory is in your path. You should now be able to run pandoc:

    pandoc --help

    Not sure where $CABALDIR is?

  5. If you want to process citations with pandoc, you will also need to install a separate package, pandoc-citeproc. This can be installed using cabal:

    cabal install pandoc-citeproc

    By default pandoc-citeproc uses the “i;unicode-casemap” method to sort bibliography entries (RFC 5051). If you would like to use the locale-sensitive unicode collation algorithm instead, specify the unicode_collation flag:

    cabal install pandoc-citeproc -funicode_collation

    Note that this requires the text-icu library, which in turn depends on the C library icu4c. Installation directions vary by platform. Here is how it might work on OSX with homebrew:

    brew install icu4c
    cabal install --extra-lib-dirs=/usr/local/Cellar/icu4c/51.1/lib \
      --extra-include-dirs=/usr/local/Cellar/icu4c/51.1/include \
      -funicode_collation text-icu pandoc-citeproc
  6. The pandoc.1 man page will be installed automatically. cabal shows you where it is installed: you may need to set your MANPATH accordingly. If MANUAL.txt has been modified, the man page can be rebuilt: make man/pandoc.1.

    The pandoc-citeproc.1 man page will also be installed automatically.

Custom cabal method

This is a step-by-step procedure that offers maximal control over the build and installation. Most users should use the quick install, but this information may be of use to packagers. For more details, see the Cabal User’s Guide. These instructions assume that the pandoc source directory is your working directory.

  1. Install dependencies: in addition to the Haskell platform, you will need a number of additional libraries. You can install them all with

    cabal update
    cabal install --only-dependencies
  2. Configure:

    cabal configure --prefix=DIR --bindir=DIR --libdir=DIR \
      --datadir=DIR --libsubdir=DIR --datasubdir=DIR --docdir=DIR \
      --htmldir=DIR --program-prefix=PREFIX --program-suffix=SUFFIX \
      --mandir=DIR --flags=FLAGSPEC --enable-tests

    All of the options have sensible defaults that can be overridden as needed.

    FLAGSPEC is a list of Cabal configuration flags, optionally preceded by a - (to force the flag to false), and separated by spaces. Pandoc’s flags include:

    • embed_data_files: embed all data files into the binary (default no). This is helpful if you want to create a relocatable binary. Note: if this option is selected, you need to install the hsb2hs preprocessor: cabal install hsb2hs (version 0.3.1 or higher is required).

    • https: enable support for downloading resources over https (using the http-client and http-client-tls libraries).

  3. Build:

    cabal build
    cabal test
  4. Build API documentation:

    cabal haddock --html-location=URL --hyperlink-source
  5. Copy the files:

    cabal copy --destdir=PATH

    The default destdir is /.

  6. Register pandoc as a GHC package:

    cabal register

    Package managers may want to use the --gen-script option to generate a script that can be run to register the package at install time.

Creating a relocatable binary

It is possible to compile pandoc such that the data files pandoc uses are embedded in the binary. The resulting binary can be run from any directory and is completely self-contained. With cabal, add -fembed_data_files to the cabal configure or cabal install commands.

With stack, use --flag pandoc:embed_data_files.

Running tests

Pandoc comes with an automated test suite. To run with cabal, cabal test; to run with stack, stack test.

To run particular tests (pattern-matching on their names), use the -t option:

cabal test --test-options='-t markdown'

If you add a new feature to pandoc, please add tests as well, following the pattern of the existing tests. The test suite code is in tests/test-pandoc.hs. If you are adding a new reader or writer, it is probably easiest to add some data files to the tests directory, and modify tests/Tests/Old.hs. Otherwise, it is better to modify the module under the tests/Tests hierarchy corresponding to the pandoc module you are changing.

Running benchmarks

To build and run the benchmarks:

cabal configure --enable-benchmarks && cabal build
cabal bench

or with stack:

stack bench

To use a smaller sample size so the benchmarks run faster:

cabal bench --benchmark-options='-s 20'

To run just the markdown benchmarks:

cabal bench --benchmark-options='markdown'

Building the whole pandoc ecosystem

Sometimes pandoc’s development code depends on unreleased versions of dependent libraries. You’ll need to build these as well. A maximal build method would be

mkdir pandoc-build
cd pandoc-build
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
cd pandoc
git submodule update --init
stack install --test --install-ghc --stack-yaml stack.full.yaml

To pull in the latest changes, after you’ve done this and there have been changes in the repositories: Visit each repository in pandoc-build (pandoc-types, texmath, pandoc-citeproc, pandoc, zip-archive, cmark-hs) and do git pull. In the pandoc repo, also do git submodule update and stack install --test --stack-yaml stack.full.yaml.