The TrueOS project is always looking for community contribution. Documentation changes are a great way for users to not only make a solid contribution to the project, but learn more about it too! Over the last few months, many users have asked for both simple and detailed instructions on making documentation changes. These are now added to the TrueOS handbook in the Contributing to TrueOS section.

If interested in making a small alteration to the TrueOS handbook, here are some instructions for submitting a patch through the GitHub website. These instructions are also applicable to the Lumina and SysAdm handbooks. Lumina documentation is in the the lumina-docs repository, and SysAdm guides are in sysadm-docs.


Make a Doc change!


A GitHub account is required to submit patches to the TrueOS docs. Open a web browser and sign in to GitHub or make a new account. When making a new account, be sure to use an often checked email address, as all communication regarding patches and pull requests are sent to this address. Navigate to the trueos-docs GitHub repository. Click on the trueos-handbook directory to view all the documentation files. Open the .rst file corresponding to the chapter needing an update. The chapter names are reflected in the title of the .rst files. For example, open install.rst to fix an error spotted in handbook chapter 3: “Install”. This first image shows the trueos-docs repository and the contents of the trueos-handbook directory:


Contents of the /trueos-handbook directory


Open the desired chapter file by clicking its entry in the list. The trueos.rst file is an index file and should be ignored. Begin editing the file by clicking the Pencil icon in the upper right corner above the file’s text. The file moves to edit mode, where it is now possible to make changes, as the next image shows.


Editing install.rst with GitHub


When making a simple change, it is recommended to avoid adjusting the specific formatting elements and instead work within or around them. Once satisfied, scroll to the bottom of the page and write a detailed commit summary of the new changes. Click Propose file change (green button), then Create pull request to submit the changes to the project. GitHub then does an automated merge check. Click Create pull request again to submit the change to the repository. In the final step, a developer or project committer reviews the changes, merging them into the project or asking for more changes as necessary.


Learn more about TrueOS documentation


To learn more about the underlying structure of TrueOS documentation like the Sphinx Documentation Generator and reStructuredText markup, browse the Advanced Documentation Changes section of the TrueOS handbook. This section also contains instructions for forking the repository and configuring a local clone, build testing, updating the translation files, and other useful information. The Sphinx website is also a valuable resource.