Revision 33 as of 2014-07-02 21:33:22

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Inclusion deadlines for ImpishString Freeze: September 16, 2021 / Non-language packs: September 30, 2021

System Documentation

One of the major tasks of the Documentation Team is to take care of the documentation which comes with every Ubuntu system. This documentation is also available on

In order to contribute to the system documentation, you need to know a bit about the tools and processes the team uses to maintain the documentation. Don't worry if you don't know any of our tools yet. They are very easy to learn and it's possible to make useful contributions before learning how to use all the tools.

How can I help?

The ways to help the Ubuntu Documentation team are almost limitless, but here's a short list of things you can start with:

  • Proof-reading is an important and easy way to help. You only need to follow the instructions, click the links and check spelling and grammar! Also see the Technical Review page for information on technical reviewing and proof-reading.

  • File bug reports on the documentation when you find mistakes. See Reporting Bugs for more information on reporting bugs.

  • Submit patches to fix bugs in the documentation.

  • Submit new material to the documentation. If you are just getting started, ask for help from other contributors and work with them to get your improvements in the next release of Ubuntu. If you start contributing regularly, you can learn to use the tools and ultimately be able to merge others' new material.

Getting Started

There are plenty of ways to get started with the team. For a quick summary of the process for each type of system documentation, refer to:


To make changes to the system documentation, you need to download the repository which stores the latest copy of the documentation. Like most Ubuntu projects, we store our material using the Bazaar (or bzr) version control system.

  • Detailed information on using the Bazaar branches and getting to our repository is on the /Repository page.

Docbook or Mallard?

While the serverguide is written in DocBook, the system documentation is written in Mallard. Both are similar to HTML and easy to learn and use.

  • The /Editing page details how to edit the documents.

  • The /Checking page explains how to view the files you have edited and to check your work.

Submitting Your Contribution

Once you have made a change to a document and checked your work, the next step is to send your contribution to the Documentation Team.

  • The /Submitting page explains how to send your contribution to the Documentation Team by creating a patch.


The /Tasks page contains some ideas for working on the system documentation.