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 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"). Volunteers should register with the LDP - let us know what your skill set is, what you would like to help the LDP with, etc. You will then become part of our authoring assistance list of volunteers.


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


  • First and foremost, the LDP Authoring Guide (formerly known as the "HOWTO-HOWTO").

  • Another excellent document is the DocBook Install mini-HOWTO, written by Robert B. Easter.

  • License / manifesto and mailing list(s).

  • For additional guidelines on style, examine the excellent GNOME Documentation Style Guide.

  • DTDs:

    The LDP accepts documents marked-up in:

          Linuxdoc SGML, DocBook (SGML) v4.1 and v3.x, and DocBook (XML) v4.1.2

    Copies of these DTDs are available here (local LDP copies in zip format):
    DocBook SGML v4.1, DocBook SGML v3.1, and DocBook XML v4.1.2

    They can also be found on
    DocBook SGML 4.1, DocBook SGML 3.1, and DocBook XML v4.1.2.

  • LDP Authoring Templates:

  • DSSSL (stylesheets):

    The Modular DocBook Stylesheets (local copy, v1.63) and the LDP customized stylesheet (ldp.dsl).

  • XSL (stylesheets):

    A set of LDP customized XSL stylesheets. Contact if you have questions or comments on these.

  • 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 Character Entity Reference.
    • Godoy's DocBook SGML/XML reference page, (Jorge Godoy).
    • DocBook Install mini-HOWTO, by Robert B. Easter.
    • mailing lists.
    • Introducing DocBook slide show by Norman Walsh.
    • ArsDigita DocBook Primer
    • From the IBM developerWorks library: "A gentle guide to DocBook".
    • DocBook XML v4.1.2 Quick Start Guide by Jim Weller.

  • DocBook Processing:

    has constructed a DocBook SGML processor for LDP documents that works via email.

    1. Email your SGML file to It must be a multipart MIME message. You may include only a single SGML file attachment, although you may include images as additional attachments. Do not use gzip or tar on the file. No multiple-page SGML constructs, either.

    2. You will receive an email message back from the processor indicating if problems where encountered, plus a URL from which you may pick up your processed files and various error/output logs. Files will be removed from the server on a daily basis (4:00 AM EST / 5:00 GMT).

    We stress that this is not a public service; it is intended for use by authors contributing to the LDP. This is beta software and all bugs, etc.; should be reported directly to .

  • 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 (v0.9.10; 590k). More information can be found here.

  • PDF/Postscript Output:

    Toolset 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.

  • Misc:

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

Greg Ferguson,
Last Modified: 2001-10-17