Specifying Dependencies

Any dependencies required for building a documentation project can be specified using a pip requirements file or a conda environment file.


For the purpose of building your documentation with RTD, project is the documentation project, and project root is the directory where all the documentation is stored, often named docs.

Specifying a requirements file

The requirements file option is useful for specifying dependencies required for building the documentation. Additional uses specific to Read the Docs are mentioned at the end of this guide.

For details about the purpose of pip requirements file and how to create one, check out pip user guide.

To use the requirements file, create and place the requirements file in the root directory of your documentation directory. For example:


Using the YAML configuration file

The recommended approach for specifying a pip requirements file is to use a readthedocs.yml file.

The file’s path should be relative to documentation root.

requirements_file: requirements.txt

See yaml-config for setting up the .yml file

Using the project admin dashboard

Once the requirements file has been created;

  • Login to Read the Docs and go to the project admin dashboard.
  • Go to Admin > Advanced Settings > Requirements file.
  • Specify the path of the requirements file you just created. The path should be relative to the root directory of the documentation project.

Using a conda environment file

If using conda, the dependencies can be specified in the conda environment file, environment.yml .

More on Read the Doc’s conda support: conda

Working with conda and environment.yml


Conda is only supported via the YAML file.

This conda environment file can be specified in readthedocs.yml in the conda block.

    file: environment.yml

As before, the path should be relative to the documentation repository root.