The first tool you can use to convert a Markdown file to PDF is Pandoc.

To install Pandoc and all its dependencies on my Ubuntu 11.04, I used the following command:

$ aptitude install pandoc texlive

Then I applied the PDF transformation on the file from my openerp.buildout GitHub project:

$ wget
$ pandoc -o readme-pandoc.pdf

The result is good, but not perfect. For example code blocks with long lines don’t break at the end of the page:

While trying to solve this issue, I stumble upon another tool…


Gimli is an utility that was explicitly written with GitHub in mind.

Gimli is written in Ruby, so let’s install it the Ruby way:

$ aptitude install rubygems wkhtmltopdf
$ gem install gimli

Then we can convert our Markdown file to a PDF. The following will generate a README.pdf file in the current folder:

$ /var/lib/gems/1.8/bin/gimli -f ./

The resulting PDF is really close to how GitHub renders Markdown content on its website. And it solve the bad code block style of Pandoc:

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