The build command

The build command is used to render your book:

mdbook build

It will try to parse your file to understand the structure of your book and fetch the corresponding files.

The rendered output will maintain the same directory structure as the source for convenience. Large books will therefore remain structured when rendered.

Specify a directory

The build command can take a directory as an argument to use as the book's root instead of the current working directory.

mdbook build path/to/book


When you use the --open (-o) flag, mdbook will open the rendered book in your default web browser after building it.


The --dest-dir (-d) option allows you to change the output directory for the book. If not specified it will default to the value of the key in book.toml, or to ./book relative to the book's root directory.

Note: Make sure to run the build command in the root directory and not in the source directory