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mdview - markdown viewer

mdview is a super light-weight, GTK-based markdown files viewer. It has no other dependencies other than GTK itself. It reads and displays text files in (a subset of) markdown format, and provide live links to other files as well as to the Internet. It is ideal for showing help files (its original purpose), user manuals, and other small set of hyperlinked markdown files.

Subset of markdown that mdview supports:

mdview can also convert the same subset of markdown to plain text, decorated plain text (with bold/underline compatible with urxvt/xterm/linux console), and html. It will also use gettext automatically (it honours TEXTDOMAIN and TEXTDOMAINDIR). mdview can generate the .po translation source from the markdown file.


There is no configure file. Just run make. It will create a small ~60K mdview executable that you can copy over and run from anywhere.

History and original authors

mdview uses a modified version of Robert Hughes markdown parser. There are many versions of Robert's parser spread across the internet (his "official" is probably the one included in gnome-packagekit); but the one that I use here originated from hardinfo (from Leandro Pereira).

Leandro has enhanced Robert's original parser to support links and images, and built a with a GTK textview around it to render the Pango output from the parser. Hardinfo uses this as a help viewer.

I saw that the code was good but under-utilised in hardinfo, and I was in need of small help viewer, so I decided to take that, detached it from hardinfo dependency, fixed a few bugs and added a few more functionalities, and thus born "mdview".


GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2. This was the original license chosen by both Robert and Leandro.

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