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About dbt docs commands

dbt docs has two supported subcommands: generate and serve.

dbt docs generate

The command is responsible for generating your project's documentation website by

  1. copying the website index.html file into the target/ directory
  2. compiling the project to target/manifest.json
  3. producing the target/catalog.json file, which contains metadata about the tables and views produced by the models in your project.


dbt docs generate

Use the --no-compile argument to skip re-compilation. When this flag is provided, dbt docs generate will only execute steps (1) and (3), as described above.


dbt docs generate --no-compile

dbt docs serve

This command starts a webserver on port 8080 to serve your documentation locally and opens the documentation site in your default browser. The webserver is rooted in your target/ directory. Be sure to run dbt docs generate before dbt docs serve because the generate command produces a catalog metadata artifact that the serve command depends upon. You will see an error message if the catalog is missing.


dbt docs serve [--profiles-dir PROFILES_DIR]
[--profile PROFILE] [--target TARGET]
[--port PORT]

You may specify a different port using the --port flag.


dbt docs serve --port 8001