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FreeBSD Documentation Project: Submitting documentation

I have written some documentation. How do I submit it?

First, thank you for taking the time to do this.

You should make your documentation available for review. If you can, upload it to a website somewhere.

Then post a message to the FreeBSD-doc mailing list, with a brief outline of the documentation and the pointer to its location, and solicit feedback.

If, for some reason, you cannot put the documentation on a website somewhere you can send it directly to the FreeBSD-doc mailing list. If you do this, please only send plain-text documents.

You may wish to cc: this request for comments to another appropriate mailing list. For example, something that relates to how to use SVN to keep your source tree up to date would be of interest to the subscribers of the FreeBSD-stable mailing list. Please only cc: at most one other mailing list.

After people have looked over your documentation, and you have had the chance to incorporate any of their suggestions, you are ready to submit it.

The correct way to do this is to open a Problem Report. Instructions for doing this can be found at

You do this so that your submission can be tracked. When you submit a PR (Problem Report) it is assigned a unique number. One of the committers can then assign the PR to themselves, and liaise with you on committing the new documentation. For more information, see Writing FreeBSD Problem Reports.

Make sure the "Product" is set to "Documentation" and that the "Component" is set to either "Documentation" or "Website" as appropriate. You should attach your files from earlier to the PR. Please also provide links to the mailing list posts where your changes were discussed, if appropriate.

I have made some changes to existing documentation, how do I submit them?

Again, thank you for taking the time to do this.

First off, you need to produce a special file called a diff. This diff shows just the changes that you have made. This makes it easier for the person doing the committing to see what you have changed, and means you do not need to spend lots of time explaining what you have changed (although you should still explain why you think the change should be made).

To make a 'diff', you should;

  1. Make a copy of the file you are going to change. If you are changing foo.xml, do

        % cp foo.xml foo.xml.old
  2. Then, make your changes to foo.xml

        % vi foo.xml
        ... tap tap tap ...
        ... test the changes, read them for typos and so on ...
  3. Make the diff. The command to do this is

        % diff -u foo.xml.old foo.xml > foo.diff

    This looks at the difference between the two files, and writes them to the file foo.diff.

You can then send foo.diff back to the project. Send a PR as described earlier, and attach the foo.diff file to the PR.

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