Contributing Documentation to Zun

Zun’s documentation has been moved from the openstack-manuals repository to the docs directory in the Zun repository. This makes it even more important that Zun add and maintain good documentation.

This page provides guidance on how to provide documentation for those who may not have previously been active writing documentation for OpenStack.

Using RST

OpenStack documentation uses reStructuredText to write documentation. The files end with a .rst extension. The .rst files are then processed by Sphinx to build HTML based on the RST files.


Files that are to be included using the .. include:: directive in an RST file should use the .inc extension. If you instead use the .rst this will result in the RST file being processed twice during the build and cause Sphinx to generate a warning during the build.

reStructuredText is a powerful language for generating web pages. The documentation team has put together an RST conventions page with information and links related to RST.

Building Zun’s Documentation

To build documentation the following command should be used:

tox -e docs,pep8

When building documentation it is important to also run pep8 as it is easy to introduce pep8 failures when adding documentation. Currently, we do not have the build configured to treat warnings as errors, so it is also important to check the build output to ensure that no warnings are produced by Sphinx.


Many Sphinx warnings result in improperly formatted pages being generated.

During the documentation build a number of things happen:

  • All of the RST files under doc/source are processed and built.

    • The openstackdocs theme is applied to all of the files so that they will look consistent with all the other OpenStack documentation.

    • The resulting HTML is put into doc/build/html.

  • Sample files like zun.conf.sample are generated and put into doc/soure/_static.

After the build completes the results may be accessed via a web browser in the doc/build/html directory structure.

Review and Release Process

Documentation changes go through the same review process as all other changes.


Reviewers can see the resulting web page output by clicking on gate-zun-docs-ubuntu-xenial!

Once a patch is approved it is immediately released to the website and can be seen under Zun’s Documentation Page at . When a new release is cut a snapshot of that documentation will be kept at<release> . Changes from master can be backported to previous branches if necessary.

Doc Directory Structure

The main location for Zun’s documentation is the doc/source directory. The top level index file that is seen at resides here as well as the file which is used to set a number of parameters for the build of OpenStack’s documentation.

Each of the directories under source are for specific kinds of documentation as is documented in the README in each directory: