xmllint Man page

XMLLINT(1) xmllint Manual XMLLINT(1)


xmllint – command line XML tool


xmllint [–version | –debug | –shell | –xpath “XPath_expression” |
–debugent | –copy | –recover | –noent | –noout | –nonet |
–path “PATH(S)” | –load-trace | –htmlout | –nowrap |
–valid | –postvalid | –dtdvalid URL | –dtdvalidfpi FPI |
–timing | –output FILE | –repeat | –insert | –compress |
–html | –xmlout | –push | –memory | –maxmem NBBYTES |
–nowarning | –noblanks | –nocdata | –format |
–encode ENCODING | –dropdtd | –nsclean | –testIO |
–catalogs | –nocatalogs | –auto | –xinclude |
–noxincludenode | –loaddtd | –dtdattr | –stream | –walker
| –pattern PATTERNVALUE | –chkregister | –relaxng SCHEMA |
–schema SCHEMA | –c14n] {XML-FILE(S)… | -}

xmllint –help


The xmllint program parses one or more XML files, specified on the
command line as XML-FILE (or the standard input if the filename
provided is – ). It prints various types of output, depending upon the
options selected. It is useful for detecting errors both in XML code
and in the XML parser itself.

xmllint is included in libxml(3).


xmllint accepts the following options (in alphabetical order):

Generate a small document for testing purposes.

Use the SGML catalog(s) from SGML_CATALOG_FILES. Otherwise XML
catalogs starting from /etc/xml/catalog are used by default.

Turn on node registration. Useful for developers testing libxml(3)
node tracking code.

Turn on gzip compression of output.

Test the internal copy implementation.

Use the W3C XML Canonicalisation (C14N) to serialize the result of
parsing to stdout. It keeps comments in the result.

–dtdvalid URL
Use the DTD specified by an URL for validation.

–dtdvalidfpi FPI
Use the DTD specified by a Formal Public Identifier FPI for
validation, note that this will require a catalog exporting that
Formal Public Identifier to work.

Parse a file and output an annotated tree of the in-memory version
of the document.

Debug the entities defined in the document.

Remove DTD from output.

Fetch external DTD and populate the tree with inherited attributes.

–encode ENCODING
Output in the given encoding. Note that this works for full
document not fragments or result from XPath queries.

Reformat and reindent the output. The XMLLINT_INDENT environment
variable controls the indentation. The default value is two spaces
” “).

Print out a short usage summary for xmllint.

Use the HTML parser.

Output results as an HTML file. This causes xmllint to output the
necessary HTML tags surrounding the result tree output so the
results can be displayed/viewed in a browser.

Test for valid insertions.

Fetch an external DTD.

Display all the documents loaded during the processing to stderr.

–maxmem NNBYTES
Test the parser memory support. NNBYTES is the maximum number of
bytes the library is allowed to allocate. This can also be used to
make sure batch processing of XML files will not exhaust the
virtual memory of the server running them.

Parse from memory.

Drop ignorable blank spaces.

Do not use any catalogs.

Substitute CDATA section by equivalent text nodes.

Substitute entity values for entity references. By default, xmllint
leaves entity references in place.

Do not use the Internet to fetch DTDs or entities.

Suppress output. By default, xmllint outputs the result tree.

Do not emit warnings from the parser and/or validator.

Do not output HTML doc wrapper.

Do XInclude processing but do not generate XInclude start and end

Remove redundant namespace declarations.

–output FILE
Define a file path where xmllint will save the result of parsing.
Usually the programs build a tree and save it on stdout, with this
option the result XML instance will be saved onto a file.

–path “PATH(S)”
Use the (space- or colon-separated) list of filesystem paths
specified by PATHS to load DTDs or entities. Enclose
space-separated lists by quotation marks.

Used to exercise the pattern recognition engine, which can be used
with the reader interface to the parser. It allows to select some
nodes in the document based on an XPath (subset) expression. Used
for debugging.

Validate after parsing has completed.

Use the push mode of the parser.

Output any parsable portions of an invalid document.

–relaxng SCHEMA
Use RelaxNG file named SCHEMA for validation.

Repeat 100 times, for timing or profiling.

–schema SCHEMA
Use a W3C XML Schema file named SCHEMA for validation.

Run a navigating shell. Details on available commands in shell mode
are below (see the section called “SHELL COMMANDS”).

–xpath “XPath_expression”
Run an XPath expression given as argument and print the result. In
case of a nodeset result, each node in the node set is serialized
in full in the output. In case of an empty node set the “XPath set
is empty” result will be shown and an error exit code will be

Use streaming API – useful when used in combination with –relaxng
or –valid options for validation of files that are too large to be
held in memory.

Test user input/output support.

Output information about the time it takes xmllint to perform the
various steps.

Determine if the document is a valid instance of the included
Document Type Definition (DTD). A DTD to be validated against also
can be specified at the command line using the –dtdvalid option.
By default, xmllint also checks to determine if the document is

Display the version of libxml(3) used.

Test the walker module, which is a reader interface but for a
document tree, instead of using the reader API on an unparsed
document it works on an existing in-memory tree. Used for

Do XInclude processing.

Used in conjunction with –html. Usually when HTML is parsed the
document is saved with the HTML serializer. But with this option
the resulting document is saved with the XML serializer. This is
primarily used to generate XHTML from HTML input.

xmllint offers an interactive shell mode invoked with the –shell
command. Available commands in shell mode include (in alphabetical

Display XML base of the node.

Leave the shell.

cat NODE
Display the given node or the current one.

Change the current node to the given path (if unique) or root if no
argument is given.

dir PATH
Dumps information about the node (namespace, attributes, content).

Show the structure of the subtree under the given path or the
current node.

Leave the shell.

Show this help.

Display memory usage.

load FILE


Load a new document with the given filename.

List contents of the given path or the current directory.

Display the path to the current node.

Leave the shell.

save FILE


Save the current document to the given filename or to the original

Check the document for errors.

write FILE


Write the current node to the given filename.

SGML catalog behavior can be changed by redirecting queries to the
user’s own set of catalogs. This can be done by setting the
SGML_CATALOG_FILES environment variable to a list of catalogs. An
empty one should deactivate loading the default /etc/sgml/catalog

XML catalog behavior can be changed by redirecting queries to the
user’s own set of catalogs. This can be done by setting the
XML_CATALOG_FILES environment variable to a list of catalogs. An
empty one should deactivate loading the default /etc/xml/catalog

Setting the environment variable XML_DEBUG_CATALOG to non-zero
using the export command outputs debugging information related to
catalog operations.

Setting the environment variable XMLLINT_INDENT controls the
indentation. The default value is two spaces ” “.

xmllint return codes provide information that can be used when calling
it from scripts.

No error


Error in DTD

Validation error

Validation error

Error in schema compilation

Error writing output

Error in pattern (generated when –pattern option is used)

Error in Reader registration (generated when –chkregister option
is used)

Out of memory error



More information can be found at

· libxml(3) web page http://www.xmlsoft.org/

· W3C XSLT page http://www.w3.org/TR/xslt

John Fleck

Ziying Sherwin

Heiko Rupp


Copyright © 2001, 2004

libxml2 $Date$ XMLLINT(1)

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