The Linux Documentation Project
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 Linux Documentation Project: Authors - Contribute / Help

Getting Started

The LDP is always looking for people to assist in the quest for developing and providing free, high quality documentation for the GNU/Linux operating system.

Potential volunteers should become familiar with the information contained in the LDP Author Guide (formerly known as the "HOWTO-HOWTO"). They should also consider joining the general LDP discussion list ( Let us know what your skill set is, what you would like to help the LDP with, etc. We are always in need of volunteers!


If you wish to volunteer to assist in the document authoring process, here are some tasks that require attention:

  • Provide markup assistance for various documents.

  • Become an owner for these (currently) unmaintained documents.

  • Write a new HOWTO, FAQ or Guide. Here is a list of documents that are "in progress".

  • You can also suggest a document (one that needs to be written, or included from some other source) that you believe should be part of the LDP collection.


  • First and foremost, consult the LDP Authoring Guide (formerly known as the "HOWTO-HOWTO").   For additional guidelines on style, examine the GNOME Documentation Style Guide.   Documents related to DocBook can be accessed below.

  • License / manifesto and mailing list(s).

  • DTDs:

    The LDP accepts documents marked-up in:

          Linuxdoc SGML; DocBook SGML v4.2, v4.1 or v3.x; and DocBook XML v4.2 or v4.1.2

    Copies of these DTDs are available here (local LDP copies in zip format):

    They can also be found on official DocBook Homepage (

  • Authoring Templates:

  • LDP Authoring Tools:

    The LDP WikiText Editing HOWTO by David Merrill explains how to use the LDP WikiText editing format to create DocBook documents for the LDP.

  • DSSSL (stylesheets):

    The standard DocBook DSSSL Stylesheets and the LDP customized stylesheet (ldp.dsl). Updated 2003-02-03.

  • XSL (stylesheets):

    The standard DocBook XSL Stylesheets, and a set of LDP customized XSL stylesheets. Contact Dan York if you have questions or comments on the customized stylesheets.

  • Entity files:

    Local LDP copy (gzipped tar file).

  • DocBook Reference Material:

    • DocBook: The Definitive Guide, by Norman Walsh and Leonard Muellner.
    • DocBook Quick Reference (4.1.2, 3.1, etc.)
    • DocBook Demystification HOWTO, by Eric Raymond.
    • DocBook XML/SGML Processing Using OpenJade, by Saqib Ali.
    • DocBook Install mini-HOWTO, by Robert B. Easter.
    • Setup your own docbook processing, chronicled by Hugo van der Kooij.
    • Godoy's DocBook SGML/XML reference page, (Jorge Godoy).
    • DocBook Character Entity Reference.
    • mailing lists.
    • Introducing DocBook, a slide show by Norman Walsh.
    • ArsDigita DocBook Primer
    • A tutorial on Lyx & DocBook.
    • From the IBM developerWorks library: "A gentle guide to DocBook".
    • DocBook XML v4.1.2 Quick Start Guide by Jim Weller.
    • Single-Source Publishing with DocBook XML by Dan York.
    • Docbook + Emacs an article by Alejandro Imass.
    • Using the DocBook XSL Stylesheets a guide by Robert Stayton.

  • DocBook Environment & Processing:

    • A complete set of Debian packages (DocBook Wiki) for installation.

    • A patch to the "tidy" program has been written by which does a good job of converting HTML to DocBook SGML/XML.

    • The LDP document processing script, a perl script that produces all variants from a single source (SGML/XML). Updated 2002-12-04.

  • LinuxDoc Information:

    • Howtos-with-LinuxDoc mini-HOWTO, written by David S. Lawyer, describes how to write HOWTOs using the simple LinuxDoc markup.
    • Linuxdoc Reference, written by Uwe Böhme, is intended to be a reference for the SGML document type definition LinuxDoc.
    • ld2db, developed by Reuben Thomas, is used to convert LinuxDoc SGML to DocBook SGML. Be advised that the resultant filtered output should be checked for accuracy.

  • LinuxDoc Processing:

    • The latest LinuxDoc Tools (v0.9.20; 581k). More information can be found here.

  • PDF/Postscript Output (ldp_print: v0.90, 2002-08-09):

    Toolset (ldp_print) that the LDP uses to produce PDF and PostScript variants. Works on the single-HTML-file representation of a DocBook SGML/XML instance - ONLY! See the README in the package for details. ldp_print relies on the HTMLDOC from Easy Software Products.

  • CVS information:

    •, the Concurrent Versions System (cvs) home page.
    • Open Source Development with CVS, a book by Karl Fogel.

  • Misc:

    • Webopedia (online dictionary and search engine for computer and Internet technology).

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Last Modified: 2003-03-06 |