To contribute to the Void documentation, please read the following. Pull requests that do not meet the criteria described below will not be merged. Before submitting a PR:
- try to address as many of the criteria as possible; and
- run the
check.shscript provided in the repository root, addressing any issues it reports.
This will improve the chances of your contribution being accepted quickly.
The Handbook is not intended to be a general guide to using a Linux system, as noted in the "About" section:
This handbook is not an extensive guide on how to use and configure common Linux software. The purpose of this document is to explain how to install, configure, and maintain Void Linux systems, and to highlight the differences between common Linux distributions and Void ...
Those looking for tips and tricks on how to configure a Linux system in general should consult upstream software documentation. Additionally, the Arch Wiki provides a fairly comprehensive outline of common Linux software configuration, and a variety of internet search engines are available for further assistance.
Thus, we are unlikely to accept contributions which add information that is not particularly Void-specific.
Although there will always be cases where command listings are appropriate, the contents of the Handbook should be written in American English.
Outside of the 'installation' sections, step-by-step instructions containing 'magic' commands for copying-and-pasting are strongly discouraged. Users are expected to read the canonical documentation (e.g. man pages) for individual programs to understand how to use them, rather than relying on copying-and-pasting.
Command code-blocks should not be used to describe routine tasks documented
elsewhere in this Handbook. For example, when writing documentation for the
foo package, do not provide a command code-block stating that one should
install it via
xbps-install foo. Similarly, do not provide code blocks
describing how to enable the
For markdown formatting, the
void-docs project uses the
Versioned Markdown format, and enforces use
of the auto-formatter
vmdfmt, which works very similarly to
valid markdown is accepted by the formatter. The output format is described in
the project's README.
After installing the
vmdfmt package, you can format a file by running:
vmdfmt -w <filepath>
To format the entire mdbook from the repository root, outputting a list of files modified, run:
vmdfmt -w -l <filepath>
vmdfmt is used by the void-docs repository's
check.sh script, which must be
run locally before submitting a pull request.
Command code-blocks should start with a
$ character, indicating whether
the command should be run as
root or a regular user, respectively.
# vi /etc/fstab
$ sudo vi /etc/fstab
and also not:
Command code-blocks should be introduced with a colon (':'), i.e.:
$ ls -l
Placeholders indicate where the user should substitute the appropriate
information. They should use angle brackets (
>) and contain only
lower-case text, with words separated by underscores. For example:
# ln -s /etc/sv/<service_name> /var/service/
# ln -s /etc/sv/[SERVICENAME] /var/service/
Link text should not include sentence-level punctuation. For example:
[Visit this site](https://example.org).
[Visit this site.](https://example.org)
Links to other sections of the Handbook must be relative. For example:
When referring literally to a Handbook section, the section title should be placed in double-quotes. Otherwise, double-quotes are not required. For example:
For more information, please read the "[Power Management](./power-management.md)" section.
Void provides facilities to assist with [power management](./power-management.md).
Man Page Links
The first reference to a command or man page must be a link to the relevant man
Auto links (links with the same title as URL) should use the following notation:
They should not be formatted like this:
If you're including new links (either internal or external) in the docs or
changing the current file structure, you should make use of the
$ mdbook-linkcheck -s
This will verify all the references, and warn you if there are any issues. If
any link you're using is correct but generating errors for some reason, you can
add its domain to the exclude list in
book.toml, under the
mdbook-linkcheck is used by the void-docs repository's
which must be run locally before submitting a pull request.
When changing a section name, or moving a section to a different part of the
Handbook, a redirect must be added to the
[output.html.redirect] section in
"/example.html" = "/new-location/example.html"
Proper nouns outside of code blocks should use the casing of official information sources: e.g. 'runit' not 'Runit', 'DKMS' not 'dkms', 'GRUB' not 'Grub' or 'grub', etc. In general, abbreviations should be upper-cased: 'CPU' for central processing unit, 'SSD' for solid state drive, 'UI' for user interface, etc.
Handbook filenames and directories should use kebab
case when splitting words. For
example the filename should be
that are part of trademarks or well-known package names are exempt from this
rule: for example,
NetworkManager are well-known by their
Prefer the active imperative voice when writing documentation. Consider the following examples:
Now we need to install the CUPS drivers and configure them.
This version is conversational and friendlier, but contains unnecessary language that may not be as clear to an ESL reader.
Install and configure the CUPS drivers, then configure them as shown.
This version contains a clear command to act, and a follow up that shows what will be done next. It is clear both to native English speakers, ESL readers, and to translators.
Warnings should begin with
**Warning**:, and should not be block-quoted with
>. For example, the Markdown should look like:
**Warning**: Selecting the wrong option will set your printer on fire.
> WARNING: Selecting the wrong option will set your printer on fire.
Notes should only be used sparingly, and for non-critical information. They
should begin with a phrase such as "Note that ..." or "It should be noted that
... ", and not be block-quoted with
>. For example, the Markdown should look
Note that you can also use program X for this purpose.
> You can also use program X for this purpose.
Block quotes (i.e.
>) should only be used to quote text from an external
Proposed changes should be submitted as pull requests to the void-docs repository on GitHub. Please note that, unlike a wiki, submissions will be reviewed before they are merged. If any changes are required they will need to be made before the pull request is accepted. This process is in place to ensure the quality and standards of the Handbook are sustained.
To clone the repository and push changes,
git(1) is required. It can be installed via
Building the Handbook locally requires
mdBook, which can be installed via the
Clone the repository onto your computer, enter it, and create a new branch:
$ git clone https://github.com/<your_username>/void-docs.git $ cd void-docs $ git checkout -b <branch_name>
You can then edit the repository files as appropriate.
To serve the docs locally and view your changes, run
mdbook serve from the
root of the repository.
Once you're satisfied with your changes, run the
check.sh script provided in
the repository root. This will run the
vmdfmt command, which will wrap the
text appropriately, and the
mdbook-linkcheck command, which will check for
broken links. Address any issues raised by
check.sh runs without errors, push your changes to your forked
$ git add <edited_file(s)> $ git commit -m "<commit_message>" $ git push --set-upstream origin <branch_name>
The commit message should be in the form
Pull requests should only contain a single commit. If a change is made after the
git add the changed files and then run
git commit --amend.
The updated commit will need to be force-pushed:
git push --force.
If multiple commits are made they will need to be squashed into a single commit
git rebase -i HEAD~X, where
X is the number of commits that need to be
squashed. An editor will appear to choose which commits to squash. A second
editor will appear to choose the commit message. See
git-rebase(1) for more information.
The updated commit will need to be force-pushed:
git push --force.