These docs are hosted on Read the Docs. The following will explain how to contribute to and build these docs locally.

The documentation is primarily written in reStructuredText.


There is a makefile target to build the documentation for you:

$ tox -e doc

This will do two things:

  • Build the documentation using sphinx
  • Run doc8 against the documentation source code

Once build the HTML files will be viewable in doc/rtd_html. Use your web browser to open index.html to view and navigate the site.

Style Guide


The headings used across the documentation use the following hierarchy:

  • *****: used once atop of a new page
  • =====: each sections on the page
  • -----: subsections
  • ^^^^^: sub-subsections
  • """"": paragraphs

The top level header ###### is reserved for the first page.

If under and overline are used, their length must be identical. The length of the underline must be at least as long as the title itself

Line Length

Please keep the line lengths to a maximum of 79 characters. This ensures that the pages and tables do not get too wide that side scrolling is required.

Vertical Whitespace

One newline between each section helps ensure readability of the documentation source code.

Common Words

There are some common words that should follow specific usage:

  • cloud-init: always lower case with a hyphen, unless starting a sentence in which case only the ‘C’ is capitalized (e.g. Cloud-init).
  • metadata: one word
  • user data: two words, not to be combined
  • vendor data: like user data, it is two words