How to help improve the Jenkins X documentation

We welcome your contributions to Jenkins X documentation whether you are a developer, an end user, or someone who can’t stand seeing typos!


This contribution guide takes a step-by-step approach in hopes of helping newcomers. Therefore, we only assume the following:

  • You are a fan of Jenkins X and enthusiastic about contributing to the project

Regardless your experience, there should be enough information in this documentation to get you up and running for contributing.

Getting Started

The first thing you’ll need to do is get your local environment setup, so that you can add/change content and make sure it looks right before raising a pull request.

The source code for the documentation can be found in the jenkins-x/jx-docs GitHub repository. You want to get a clone of this repository.

git clone  --recurse-submodules --depth 1

If you are a newcomer to Git and not sure what to do with the above command, have a look at the Step by Step setup guide which guides you through the process of installing Git, forking a repository and finally cloning it locally onto your local machine.

Local preview environment

The documentation (and the rest of the website) is generated using the static site generator Hugo.

Although Jenkins X offers preview environments, and they’re used as part of the process of contributing documentation, it’s usually faster to run the site locally and check that everything looks good for you, before you push your changes.

There are two different ways that you can run the site locally: using a locally installed version of Hugo or using a pre-baked Docker image that includes what’s normally needed. Which approach you choose is fully up to you.

Docker Compose method (Preferred approach)

Use this:

  • If you haven’t worked with Hugo before
  • Don’t want to install it locally
  • Have different version of hugo installed locally for other projects

The first thing you’ll need to make use of this approach is Docker installed on your local environment. How to install a Docker engine depends on your platform etc., so best to head over to Docker to find the right one. Next, install docker-compose from the installation documents.

To make it as simple as possible, we use the docker image recommended in the hugo documentation, and have setup a docker-compose.yml file that will help you start up a preview server with a few helpful options.

In order to use this setup, first make sure you’re in the folder with your local cloned copy of the jx-docs repo, then run the following command to download and start the Hugo server:

make compose-up

This will make the site available on localhost:1313 and it will auto-update when you save changes to any of the files in the repo.

To be able to see what’s going on, and know when the site is ready (can take a bit to process when you first start up), you can run this command (ctrl-c to stop watching the logs):

make compose-logs

You’ll know the site is ready when you see something like:

server_1        | Watching for changes in /src/{assets,content,layouts,static,themes}
server_1        | Watching for config changes in /src/config.toml, /src/themes/docsy/config.toml
server_1        | Environment: "development"
server_1        | Serving pages from memory
server_1        | Running in Fast Render Mode. For full rebuilds on change: hugo server --disableFastRender
server_1        | Web Server is available at //localhost:1313/ (bind address
server_1        | Press Ctrl+C to stop

As you’re changing things and adding new content, your local Hugo server might get a bit wonky at times or you’ll want to see what errors it’s throwing. Here’s a few simple commands to work with your local Hugo:

Restart the Hugo Server

make compose-restart

Stop the Hugo Server

make compose-stop

You can see what these make targets do in the jx-docs makefile.

Local Hugo install method

For this method you need a recent extended version (we recommend version 0.67 or later) of Hugo to do local builds and previews of the Jenkins X documentation site. If you install from the release page, make sure to get the extended Hugo version, which supports SCSS; you may need to scroll down the list of releases to see it. Install Hugo following the instructions.

Check you’re using Hugo extended and a version higher than or equal to 0.88.0 :

You can check the version by runing:

$ hugo version

Install PostCSS

To build or update your site’s CSS resources, you also need PostCSS to create the final assets. If you need to install it, you must have a recent version of NodeJS installed on your machine so you can use npm, the Node package manager. By default npm installs tools under the directory where you run npm install:

sudo npm install -D --save autoprefixer
sudo npm install -D --save postcss-cli

Get local copies of the project submodules so you can build and run your site locally:

git submodule update --init --recursive

Starting the preview server

Build the site:

hugo server

It’s ready when you see something like this:

Environment: "development"
Serving pages from memory
Running in Fast Render Mode. For full rebuilds on change: hugo server --disableFastRender
Web Server is available at //localhost:1313/ (bind address
Press Ctrl+C to stop

Preview your site in your browser at: localhost:1313. You can use Ctrl + c to stop the Hugo server whenever you like.

It may be a good idea to run the server in a separate terminal so that you can keep it running while also using git or other commands.

Contribution workflow

Now that you have your local preview environment, the contribution workflow documentation guides you through the steps to create your first pull request.


The references page contains more useful information when working with Hugo and the Jenkins X site.