Chapter 1. Overview

Table of Contents
1.1. The FreeBSD Documentation Set
1.2. Quick Start

Welcome to the FreeBSD Documentation Project (FDP). Quality documentation is crucial to the success of FreeBSD, and we value your contributions very highly.

This document describes how the FDP is organized, how to write and submit documentation, and how to effectively use the available tools.

Everyone is welcome to contribute to the FDP. Willingness to contribute is the only membership requirement.

This primer shows how to:

1.1. The FreeBSD Documentation Set

The FDP is responsible for four categories of FreeBSD documentation.

  • Handbook: The Handbook is the comprehensive online resource and reference for FreeBSD users.

  • FAQ: The FAQ uses a short question and answer format to address questions that are frequently asked on the various mailing lists and forums devoted to FreeBSD. This format does not permit long and comprehensive answers.

  • Manual pages: The English language system manual pages are usually not written by the FDP, as they are part of the base system. However, the FDP can reword parts of existing manual pages to make them clearer or to correct inaccuracies.

  • Web site: This is the main FreeBSD presence on the web, visible at and many mirrors around the world. The web site is typically a new user's first exposure to FreeBSD.

Translation teams are responsible for translating the Handbook and web site into different languages. Manual pages are not translated at present.

Documentation source for the FreeBSD web site, Handbook, and FAQ is available in the documentation repository at

Source for manual pages is available in a separate source repository located at

Documentation commit messages are visible with svn log. Commit messages are also archived at

Many people have written tutorials or how-to articles about FreeBSD. Some are stored as part of the FDP files. In other cases, the author has decided to keep the documentation separate. The FDP endeavors to provide links to as much of this external documentation as possible.

All FreeBSD documents are available for download at

Questions that are not answered by the documentation may be sent to <>.
Send questions about this document to <>.