If you are interested in writing a HOWTO or mini-HOWTO, please get
in touch with me FIRST!!! at
Here are a few guidelines that you should follow when writing a HOWTO
- Try to use meaningful structure and organization, and write
clearly. Remember that many of the people reading HOWTOs do not
speak English as their first language.
- If you are writing a HOWTO, you must use the SGML-Tools
package, available from
to format the HOWTO. This package allows us to produce LaTeX (for DVI
and PostScript), plain text, and HTML from a single source document,
and was designed specifically for the HOWTOs. This also
gives all of the HOWTOs a uniform look.
- If you are writing a mini-HOWTO, you can use any form you wish.
mini-HOWTOs are meant to be short, free-form HOWTOs on very specific
subjects. In general, these should be quick to write and maintain, so
it's not worth bothering with the Linuxdoc-SGML package. This does
not mean that the mini-HOWTOs are any less important! Only plain text
versions of mini-HOWTOs are distributed.
- Make sure that all of the information is correct. I can't
stress this enough. When in doubt, speculate, but make it clear that
you're only guessing.
- Make sure that you are covering the most recent version of the
available software. Also, be sure to include full instructions
on where software can be downloaded from (FTP site name, full
pathname), and the current version number and release date of the
- Include an FAQ section at the end, if appropriate. Many HOWTO
documents need an ``FAQ'' or ``Common Problems'' section to cover
information which can't be covered in the regular text.
- Use other HOWTOs or mini-HOWTOs as a model! The SGML source to
the HOWTOs is available on Linux FTP sites.
- Make sure that your name, email address, date, and a version
number is near the beginning of the document. You could also include
WWW addresses and a snail mail address if you want.
- Lastly, be prepared to receive questions and comments about
your writing. There are several hundreds of accesses to the
HOWTO collection every day from around the world!
After you have written the HOWTO, mail it to me.
If you used SGML-Tools, simply
mail me the SGML source; I take care of formatting the documents.
I'll also take care of archiving the HOWTOs on
and posting them to the various newsgroups.
It is important that you go through me when submitting a HOWTO, as
I maintain the archives and need to keep track of what HOWTOs
are being written and who is doing what.
Then, all you have to do is send me periodic updates whenever