Documentation contributor guide

This guide provides information that allows you to contribute to the StarlingX documentation.

Information common to OpenStack workflow, writing styles, and conventions is not included in this guide. Instead refer to the OpenStack Documentation Contributor Guide.


StarlingX documentation consists of several types of manuals and is found in the starlingx/docs and starlingx/specs repositories.

You can clone these repositories by:

$ git clone
$ git clone

These projects contain hierarchy that organizes the documentation by topic:

Installation Guide

Describes how to install StarlingX onto Bare Metal or into a virtual environment.

Developer Guide

Describes how to build a StarlingX ISO image from the “master” branch.

Project Specifications

Describes specifications, specification templates, and processes for submitting a specification.

REST API Reference

Describes StarlingX APIs.

Release Notes

Provides release-specific information.


Provides guides on how to contribute to StarlingX API documentation, release notes, and general documentation.

Directory Structures

Directory structures vary depending on the type of documentation involved. Think of the structure as one or more RST files per book.

  • A simple book consists of a single index.rst file.

  • A more complicated book could consist of an index.rst file as the book’s landing page and a set of additional RST files for major sections of the book.

The structure for the API Reference documentation deserves some extra explanation. Most RST files for the API Reference content reside in top-level StarlingX repositories, for example starlingx/metal or starlingx/config. However, four API Reference RST files reside in starlingx/docs, in /api-ref/source:

  • “Block Storage”

  • “Compute”

  • “Image”

  • “Network”.

While there is a /api-ref/source/index.rst file along side these other four RST files, it exists only because the Sphinx process needs that index file to build out the final web documentation tree. The actual landing page (content) for the API Reference documents is in the /doc/source/api-ref/index.rst file.

In the starlingx/specs project, the /doc/source/index.rst file is the main landing page for the StarlingX specifications page (<>`_).

The /specs/2019.03 area contains the RST files for approved and implemented specs.

Updating a Manual

If you need to update an existing manual, you need to find the appropriate RST source file, make your modifications, test them (i.e. build the manual), and then submit the changes to Gerrit for approval.

Creating a Manual

Creating a new manual involves at minimum providing a new index.rst file. If the manual is more complex with additional content outside of the index.rst file, you need to provide additional RST files as well.

As an example, consider a new manual that resides in /doc/source/my-guide. Furthermore, suppose this manual’s index.rst file contained two links to additional complicated topics: “Topic 1” and “Topic 2”.

The content for the new manual exists in three files:

  • /doc/source/my-guide/index.rst

  • /doc/source/my-guide/topic_1.rst

  • /doc/source/my-guide/topic_2.rst

Following shows the hierarchy:

├── doc
│   └── source
│       ├── my_guide
│       │   ├── index.rst
│       │   ├── topic_1.rst
│       │   ├── topic_2.rst

Creating the Index File

The index.rst file provides captioning, a brief description of the document, and the table-of-contents (TOC) structure with instructions on how to display or hide sub-topics.

The syntax of the index.rst file is fixed. Following shows the sample index.rst file for the new guide:

My Guide

The new guide.

- :ref:`Topic 1 <topic_1>`
- :ref:`Topic 2 <topic_2>`

.. toctree::


Following are explanations for each of the four areas of the index.rst file:

  • Reference title: Literal title that is used in the rendered document. In this case it is “My Guide”.

  • Reference summary: Literal summary of the rendered document. In this case it is “The new guide.”

  • Table-of-Contents tree structure and sub-topic parameters: The directive to create a TOC and to specify the embedded topic links should remain hidden. If you want sub-topics to be part of the TOC, use the “:maxdepth: x” directive where “x” is the depth you desire for sub-topics in the TOC.

  • RST source file root name: The source files to use as content. In this case, the file references are “topic_1” and “topic_2”. These reference the topic_1.rst and topic_2.rst files in the same folder as the index.rst file.

Integrating the New Guide Into the Documentation Set

The previous section described how you can provide the files you need to create a new guide. This section describes how to add your new guide to the table of contents in the documentation site.

The /doc/source/index.rst file contains the structure that defines the StarlingX Documentation landing page. Inside the file, is a “Sections” area that lists the documents that appear in the table of contents. Add your new guide to the toctree definition in the index.rst file.

Closing Out a Bug or Story

If you are modifying a document as a result of a defect or feature that is associated with a StoryBoard Story or Launchpad Bug, you must take steps to link your submission (Gerrit Review) to the story or bug.

To link a story, add the following lines in your commit message. Be sure to use the actual story ID and task ID with the commit:

  • Story: $story_id

  • Task: $task_id

Following is an example that links a Gerrit Review with Story 2003375 and Task 2444:

Change the tox.ini directory regarding tox.ini dependencies

Story: 2003375
Task: 24444

NOTE: You must provide a blank line before the lines used to identify the Story and the Task. Furthermore, you must place these lines as the last lines in your commit message. If you do not follow these guidelines, your submission will not link to the Storyboard’s story.

To link a bug, add the appropriate lines in your commit message. Be sure to provide the actual bug numbers:

  • Closes-Bug: $bug_id

  • Partial-Bug: $bug_id

  • Related-Bug: $bug_id

If your fix requires multiple commits, use “Partial-Bug” for all the commits except the final one. For the final commit, use “Closes-Bug”.

Following is an example commit message that closes out bug 1804024:

AIO Hardware Requirements: Updated AIO HW requirements.

Added Small HW form factor information simplex/duplex
AIO hardware requirements.

Closes-Bug: #1804024

When you associate a story or bug with a Gerrit review, Gerrit automatically updates the status of the story or bug once the commit is merged. Again, be sure to provide a blank line just before the line identifying the bug.

You can find more information on the StarlingX code submission guidelines on the wiki.

To see the list of defects against StarlingX, see the Launchpad Application.

Building the Documentation

To build the documentation locally in HTML format, use the following command:

$ tox -e docs

The resulting HTML files will be located in the /doc/build directory:

├── build
│   └── html

Viewing the Rendered Documentation

To view the rendered documentation in a browser, open up the index.html file in your browser.

NOTE: The PDF build uses a different tox environment and is currently not supported for StarlingX.