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Creating and updating the Kubeflow docs

Welcome to the GitHub repository for Kubeflow's public website. The docs are hosted at

We use Hugo to format and generate our website, and Netlify to manage the deployment of the site. Hugo is an open-source static site generator that provides us with templates, content organisation in a standard directory structure, and a website generation engine. You write the pages in Markdown, and Hugo wraps them up into a website.


Here's a quick guide to updating the docs. It assumes you're familiar with the GitHub workflow and you're happy to use the automated preview of your doc updates:

  1. Fork the kubeflow/website repo on GitHub.
  2. Make your changes and send a pull request (PR).
  3. If you're not yet ready for a review, add a comment to the PR saying it's a work in progress. You can also add /hold in a comment to mark the PR as not ready for merge. (Don't add the Hugo declarative "draft = true" to the page front matter, because that will prevent the auto-deployment of the content preview described in the next point.)
  4. Wait for the automated PR workflow to do some checks. When it's ready, you should see a comment like this: deploy/netlify — Deploy preview ready!
  5. Click Details to the right of "Deploy preview ready" to see a preview of your updates.
  6. Continue updating your doc until you're happy with it.
  7. When you're ready for a review, add a comment to the PR and assign a reviewer/approver. See the Kubeflow contributor guide.

Previewing your changes on a local website server

If you'd like to preview your doc updates as you work, you can install Hugo and run a local server. This section shows you how.

Install Hugo

See the Hugo installation guide. Here are some examples:

Mac OS X:

brew install hugo


  1. Download the latest Debian package from the Hugo website. For example, hugo_0.46_Linux-64bit.deb.

  2. Install the package using dpkg:

    sudo dpkg -i hugo_0.46_Linux-64bit.deb
  3. Verify your installation:

    hugo version

Clone the website repo and run a local website server

Follow the usual GitHub workflow to fork the repo on GitHub and clone it to your local machine, then use your local repo as input to your Hugo web server:

  1. Fork the kubeflow/website repo in the GitHub UI.

  2. Clone your fork locally. This example uses SSH cloning:

    mkdir kubeflow
    cd kubeflow/
    git clone<your-github-username>/website.git
    cd website/
  3. Start your website server. Make sure you run this command from the /website/ directory, so that Hugo can find the config files it needs:

    hugo server -D
  4. Your website is at http://localhost:1313/.

  5. Continue with the usual GitHub workflow to edit files, commit them, push the changes up to your fork, and create a pull request. (See below.)

  6. While making the changes, you can preview them on your local version of the website at http://localhost:1313/. Note that if you have more than one local git branch, when you switch between git branches the local website reflects the files in the current branch.

Useful Hugo docs:

Quick guide to working with a GitHub repo

Here's a quick guide to a fairly standard GitHub workflow. This section is handy for people who don't use git or GitHub often, and just need a quick guide to get going:

  1. Fork the kubeflow/website repo:

    • Go to the kubeflow/website repo on GitHub.
    • Click Fork to make your own copy of the repo. GitHub creates a copy at<your-github-username>/website.
  2. Open a command window on your local machine.

  3. Clone your forked repo, to copy the files down to your local machine. This example creates a directory called kubeflow and uses SSH cloning to download the files:

    mkdir kubeflow
    cd kubeflow/
    git clone<your-github-username>/website.git
    cd website/
  4. Add the upstream repo as a git remote repo:

    git remote add upstream
  5. Check your remotes:

    git remote -vv

    You should have 2 remote repos:

    • origin - points to your own fork of the repo on gitHub - that is, the one you cloned my local repo from.
    • upstream - points to the actual repo on gitHub.
  6. Create a branch. In this example, replace doc-updates with any branch name you like. Choose a branch name that helps you recognise the updates you plan to make in that branch:

    git checkout -b doc-updates
  7. Add and edit the files as you like. The doc pages are in the /website/content/docs/ directory.

  8. Run git status at any time, to check the status of your local files. Git tells you which files need adding or committing to your local repo.

  9. Commit your updated files to your local git repo. Example commit:

    git commit -a -m "Fixed some doc errors."


    git add
    git commit -a -m "Added a shiny new doc."
  10. Push from your branch (for example, doc-updates) to the relevant branch on your fork on GitHub:

    git checkout doc-updates
    git push origin doc-updates
  11. When you're ready to start the review process, create a pull request (PR) in the branch on your fork on the GitHub UI, based on the above push. The PR is auto-sent to the upstream repo - that is, the one you forked from.

  12. If you need to make changes to the files in your PR, continue making them locally in the same branch, then push them again in the same way. GitHub automatically sends them through to the same PR on the upstream repo!

  13. Hint: If you're authenticating to GitHub via SSH, use ssh-add to add your SSH key passphrase to the managing agent, so that you don't have to keep authenticating to GitHub. You need to do this again after every reboot.

Using Hugo shortcodes

Sometimes it's useful to define a snippet of information in one place and reuse it wherever we need it. For example, we want to be able to refer to the minimum version of various frameworks/libraries throughout the docs, without causing a maintenance nightmare.

For this purpose, we use Hugo's "shortcodes". Shortcodes are similar to Django variables. You define a shortcode in a file, then use a specific markup to invoke the shortcode in the docs. That markup is replaced by the content of the shortcode file when the page is built.

To create a shortcode:

  1. Add an HTML file in the /website/themes/kf/layouts/shortcodes/ directory. The file name must be short and meaningful, as it determines the shortcode you and others use in the docs.

  2. For the file content, add the text and HTML markup that should replace the shortcode markup when the web page is built.

To use a shortcode in a document, wrap the name of the shortcode in braces and percent signs like this:

{{% shortcode-name %}}

The shortcode name is the file name minus the .html file extension.

Example: The following shortcode defines the minimum required version of Kubernetes:

  • File name of the shortcode:

  • Content of the shortcode:

    <a href="">1.8</a>
  • Usage in a document:

    You need Kubernetes {{% kubernetes-min-version %}} or later.

Useful Hugo docs:

Making changes to CSS

The css/sass style code is located in the themes/kf/sass directory.

CSS Dev Setup

You need to install node.js. Download the binary for your platform here. This will also install npm.

Updating theme style

If you need to make changes to the style, you can update the theme's style using:

cd themes/kf/sass
# Note the npm install steps are needed only the first time.
npm install
npm install gulp-cli -g

Note that if you didn't make any changes to style (most of the time you won't), you don't need the above steps at all.


For each stable release, we should create a new branch for the relevant documentation. For example, the documentation for the v0.2 stable release are maintained in the v0.2-branch. Each branch has a corresponding netlify website that automatically syncs each merged PR.

Going forward, the versioned sites should follow this convention:

  • always points to the current master branch
  • always points to Github head
  • points to the release at vXXX.YYY-branch

Furthermore, whenever any documents reference any source code, the links should be created using the version shortcode, like so:{{< params "githubbranch" >}}/scripts/gke/

This ensures that all the links in a versioned webpage point to the correct branch.