Writing a new topic

This page shows how to create a new topic for the Kubernetes docs.

Before you begin

Create a fork of the Kubernetes documentation repository as described in Open a PR.

Choosing a page type

As you prepare to write a new topic, think about the page type that would fit your content the best:

Guidelines for choosing a page type
ConceptA concept page explains some aspect of Kubernetes. For example, a concept page might describe the Kubernetes Deployment object and explain the role it plays as an application while it is deployed, scaled, and updated. Typically, concept pages don't include sequences of steps, but instead provide links to tasks or tutorials. For an example of a concept topic, see Nodes.
TaskA task page shows how to do a single thing. The idea is to give readers a sequence of steps that they can actually do as they read the page. A task page can be short or long, provided it stays focused on one area. In a task page, it is OK to blend brief explanations with the steps to be performed, but if you need to provide a lengthy explanation, you should do that in a concept topic. Related task and concept topics should link to each other. For an example of a short task page, see Configure a Pod to Use a Volume for Storage. For an example of a longer task page, see Configure Liveness and Readiness Probes
TutorialA tutorial page shows how to accomplish a goal that ties together several Kubernetes features. A tutorial might provide several sequences of steps that readers can actually do as they read the page. Or it might provide explanations of related pieces of code. For example, a tutorial could provide a walkthrough of a code sample. A tutorial can include brief explanations of the Kubernetes features that are being tied together, but should link to related concept topics for deep explanations of individual features.

Creating a new page

Use a content type for each new page that you write. The docs site provides templates or Hugo archetypes to create new content pages. To create a new type of page, run hugo new with the path to the file you want to create. For example:

hugo new docs/concepts/my-first-concept.md

Choosing a title and filename

Choose a title that has the keywords you want search engines to find. Create a filename that uses the words in your title separated by hyphens. For example, the topic with title Using an HTTP Proxy to Access the Kubernetes API has filename http-proxy-access-api.md. You don't need to put "kubernetes" in the filename, because "kubernetes" is already in the URL for the topic, for example:


Adding the topic title to the front matter

In your topic, put a title field in the front matter. The front matter is the YAML block that is between the triple-dashed lines at the top of the page. Here's an example:

title: Using an HTTP Proxy to Access the Kubernetes API

Choosing a directory

Depending on your page type, put your new file in a subdirectory of one of these:

  • /content/en/docs/tasks/
  • /content/en/docs/tutorials/
  • /content/en/docs/concepts/

You can put your file in an existing subdirectory, or you can create a new subdirectory.

Placing your topic in the table of contents

The table of contents is built dynamically using the directory structure of the documentation source. The top-level directories under /content/en/docs/ create top-level navigation, and subdirectories each have entries in the table of contents.

Each subdirectory has a file _index.md, which represents the "home" page for a given subdirectory's content. The _index.md does not need a template. It can contain overview content about the topics in the subdirectory.

Other files in a directory are sorted alphabetically by default. This is almost never the best order. To control the relative sorting of topics in a subdirectory, set the weight: front-matter key to an integer. Typically, we use multiples of 10, to account for adding topics later. For instance, a topic with weight 10 will come before one with weight 20.

Embedding code in your topic

If you want to include some code in your topic, you can embed the code in your file directly using the markdown code block syntax. This is recommended for the following cases (not an exhaustive list):

  • The code shows the output from a command such as kubectl get deploy mydeployment -o json | jq '.status'.
  • The code is not generic enough for users to try out. As an example, you can embed the YAML file for creating a Pod which depends on a specific FlexVolume implementation.
  • The code is an incomplete example because its purpose is to highlight a portion of a larger file. For example, when describing ways to customize the PodSecurityPolicy for some reasons, you can provide a short snippet directly in your topic file.
  • The code is not meant for users to try out due to other reasons. For example, when describing how a new attribute should be added to a resource using the kubectl edit command, you can provide a short example that includes only the attribute to add.

Including code from another file

Another way to include code in your topic is to create a new, complete sample file (or group of sample files) and then reference the sample from your topic. Use this method to include sample YAML files when the sample is generic and reusable, and you want the reader to try it out themselves.

When adding a new standalone sample file, such as a YAML file, place the code in one of the <LANG>/examples/ subdirectories where <LANG> is the language for the topic. In your topic file, use the codenew shortcode:

{{< codenew file="<RELPATH>/my-example-yaml>" >}}

where <RELPATH> is the path to the file to include, relative to the examples directory. The following Hugo shortcode references a YAML file located at /content/en/examples/pods/storage/gce-volume.yaml.

{{< codenew file="pods/storage/gce-volume.yaml" >}}

Showing how to create an API object from a configuration file

If you need to demonstrate how to create an API object based on a configuration file, place the configuration file in one of the subdirectories under <LANG>/examples.

In your topic, show this command:

kubectl create -f https://k8s.io/examples/pods/storage/gce-volume.yaml

For an example of a topic that uses this technique, see Running a Single-Instance Stateful Application.

Adding images to a topic

Put image files in the /images directory. The preferred image format is SVG.

What's next

Last modified July 17, 2020 at 12:07 PM PST: Tidy up: fix bad links in contribution guide (139da7d731)