Contributing to the CentOS project
If you are looking for things that need to be done for the project, there is a ToDo list online. We are also actively prospecting for information / ideas and most importantly people to help with the main CentOS website rebuild effort. For more information look at the WebsiteVer2 page.
- Help others on the mailing list, forums or IRC
- Help with hunting bugs and finding fixes
- Contribute to the Wiki
- Help with Artwork
- Help with the CentOS newsletter
- Join or start a CentOS Project
- Help promote CentOS
- Donating to the project
- Helping the Upstream Beta process for a better future CentOS
1. Help others on the mailing list, forums or IRC
We have a lot of users asking for good advice. If you are experienced and want to help the project, helping out on the mailing lists, the forums or on IRC is a good way to learn more yourself, and a good way to make new friends and feel good about helping others. Besides, it gives others time to contribute in other ways as well.
2. Help with hunting bugs and finding fixes
It is not uncommon that CentOS users find problems, have different expectations or simply are doing something wrong. We encourage our users to file bug-reports in our own bug tracking system, but this is not meant as a support system. So we need people helping to divert support questions to the mailing lists and forums, genuine issues need to be confirmed and hunted, and send upstream whenever possible.
It takes time, effort and skills to help tracking bugs, but it is a very rewarding thing to do. Testing packages are announced and discussed on the CentOS Developer's list. Using and reporting on packages in the CentOS-5 or CentOS-6 testing repos will help get them into CentOS. See AdditionalResources/Repositories for more details.
3. Contribute to the Wiki
As much as we would like to have an open Wiki where everyone can write without jumping through hoops, we're not able to do so. Say thanks to all the spammers out there who "contribute" their stuff everywhere on the web.
So to keep our Wiki content clean and accurate, we are presently moderating the articles posted there. In order to submit content:
Create a login with a username in the format: FirstnameLastname. For example, if your name is John Doe, the username to be created would be JohnDoe. Other variations, such as johndoe, John Doe, John_Doe, John, johnny123numbers, Mister Doe, JustSomeEditor etc. will not be accepted.
Subscribe to the CentOS-docs mailing list
Send a message to that mailinglist using firstname.lastname@example.org after you received the subscription notification. In that mail provide at least the following information:
your FirstnameLastname username
- the proposed subject of your Wiki contribution(s)
- the proposed location of your Wiki contribution(s)
- We also encourage you to request and to maintain a personal homepage with your contact information. Some people also use their homepage to keep a note of their edits, or as a place to experiment for testing content layout, editing commands, etc.
There will be a small delay while you wait for someone from the AdminGroup to create that page and give you editing rights. This could take up to three days.
If nothing happens, verify on the centos-docs mailing list archive that your mail had arrived and there have been no replies. If there were no replies -- i.e. because people are on vacation -- then be persistent and resend your original email.
Follow the guidelines for editing this Wiki.
The CentOS-docs mailing list is not just used for requesting Wiki edit permissions but also for general discussion about the CentOS documentation and the quality of the Wiki articles.
Initially edit rights will be allocated to some sections of the Wiki (mainly the specific pages you create). Once you have posted a significant quantity of content and have shown a desire to keep it updated, we would open up access.
As said: We're really sorry that we have to do it this way but we hope to change the process in the future so it becomes easier to contribute to the Wiki.
3.1. Wiki Content
You may wonder what kind of content should be published on the wiki. In one single sentence:
Everything that is related to the project, its shipped components or useful extensions.
Please keep in mind that it's not only about creating documentation but also about updating and maintaining it, as appropriate.
If you are working on a component that already has its own documentation infrastructure, extending and improving those documents would be preferred instead of replicating the documentation.
Content is accepted only under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
3.2. Monitoring Changes
You are invited to monitor changes on the wiki. Those can either be tracked with the RecentChanges function of the wiki system or via eMail. To get informed about changes via eMail, open your account preferences and define the sites you want to monitor under 'Subscribed wiki pages'. You can make use of regular expressions, so if you want to monitor the complete wiki simply add .* here.
Members of the EditGroup you will be able to make corrections directly. Major changes should be discussed on the CentOS-docs mailinglist.
Translating parts of the CentOS project to different languages may be useful for non-English speaking users. The localization process ("L10n", where the 10 is being a way of replacing the middle 10 letters of the word) contains many aspects, starting off with the translation of a specific component and leading into change tracking. This guarantees that translated content is always up to date.
If you are interested in taking part, you should first decide whether you want to translate wiki pages, anaconda slides or just assist on international fora or lists. Afterwards, please introduce yourself on the -docs ML and join up (possibly) existing translation teams. If necessary, you will be granted access to the specific resources.
4.1. Wiki localization
For each supported language a Wiki Category either exists or will be created in form of:
where $LANG is the ISO 3166-1-alpha-2 country code. Translated pages should be named similar to the English ones, e.g. the German translation of:
If a page does not yet exist, it will be automatically redirected to the English one. In order to create it you have to add ?action=edit to the page link.
Please add a note in the form of 'Translation of revision $REV' to each translated page, where $REV is the revision number of the English document that you have translated.
5. Help with Artwork
If you think you're good with graphics, do help out within our Artwork SIG Artwork project's Trac.
6. Help with the CentOS newsletter
The monthly CentOS newsletter (aka. CentOS Pulse) reports about what happens in the CentOS community. We are looking for more people to contribute ideas and content for the newsletter. There is a special page about how to start contributing to the newsletter.
7. Join or start a CentOS Project
There are several projects about and focused on the core CentOS distribution that you can join and help with. There is no real signup requirements, and membership to the projects is open to everyone in the CentOS community. You can get a list along with a brief overview of the existing projects here.
You will also find details on how to go about starting a new project on the same page.
8. Help promote CentOS
We are actively looking for people to promote CentOS, either through positive experiences on a blog, or more direct through promotion on conferences. In both cases it is important to be honest about CentOS as a platform and to explain both advantages and disadvantages so that people understand what choices they have and remember for what reasons they did choose CentOS or something else.
9. Donating to the project
If you don't have the time to help out with the project or you lack the necessary skills to contribute your time, feel free to donate to our cause. We don't take monetary donations, but there are things we might need, like CDs, DVDs, T-Shirts or whatever. Just contact us.
10. Helping the Upstream Beta process for a better future CentOS
The CentOS project intentionally limits what it will change in its own core distribution compared to its upstream. The CentOS goal is to replicate its upstream with a drop in replacement, eliding trademarked content and adding workarounds for non-free technologies used upstream.
One place, external to the CentOS project, per se, to influence positively the upstream's product is by testing their Betas when they are in a Beta cycle; and by reporting issues upstream on an ongoing basis.