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Contribute to Chef's Documentation

This document describes how you can contribute to Chef’s documentation.

Documentation repositories

Our main repository for is chef-web-docs. This repo contains the files for Chef Infra Client and the Hugo files for our site theme, templates, and shortcodes.

  • The chef-web-docs repo contains a content directory which holds most the Markdown files in the doc set.
  • The static/images directory stores the image files used in the docs.
  • The config.toml and config directory tell Hugo how to build the navigation menus and contains other Hugo settings.

Repository locations

We try to keep our documentation source as close to the code as possible, which means that our documentation files are distributed across several product repositories.

ProductGitHub Docs Directory
Chef Automate
Chef Desktop
Chef Habitat
Chef Infra Client
Chef Infra Server
Chef Inspec
Chef Inspec AliCloud Resource Pack
Chef InSpec AWS Resource Pack
Chef Inspec Azure Resource Pack
Chef InSpec Habitat Resource Pack
Chef Supermarket
Chef Workstation
Effortless Pattern

Make a change in Chef’s documentation

Finding the right repository

The easiest way to find the location of the source file is to select the Edit on GitHub link at the bottom of every page. Selecting Edit on GitHub opens the related documentation file in the correct repository.

Suggest a change

You can open a change PR directly in the browser by selecting the pen icon in the documentation file–but you will need to add your DCO directly in the commit message.

which is circled in red in this image. File in Repository

DCO sign-off

Chef Software requires all contributors to include a Developer Certificate of Origin (DCO) sign-off with their pull request as long as the pull request does not fall under the Obvious Fix rule. This attests that you have the right to submit the work that you are contributing in your pull request.

See this blog post to understand why Chef started using the DCO signoff.

For more information, review our full DCO signoff policy.

A proper DCO sign-off looks like:

Signed-off-by: Tamira Bucatar <>

Your commit message should look something like:


Select propose changes and finish opening your PR.

You can add a DCO signoff to your pull request by adding it to the text of your commit message, or by using the -s or --signoff option when you make a commit.

Add a DCO to a pull request

If you forget to add a DCO sign-off before submitting a pull request, you can amend your commit from the command line with the Git CLI by entering git commit --amend --signoff. After that you’ll need to force push your commit to GitHub using the command git push -f.

Obvious fix–no DCO required

Small contributions, such as fixing spelling errors, where the content is small enough to not be considered intellectual property, can be submitted without signing the contribution for the DCO.

Changes that fall under our Obvious Fix policy include:

  • Spelling / grammar fixes
  • Typo correction, white space and formatting changes
  • Comment clean up
  • Bug fixes that change default return values or error codes stored in constants
  • Adding logging messages or debugging output
  • Changes to ‘metadata’ files like Gemfile, .gitignore, build scripts, etc.

To invoke the Obvious Fix rule, simply add Obvious Fix. to your commit message.

For more information, see our Obvious Fix policy.

Preview the build

We use Hugo to build and preview our documentation. See the chef-web-docs README for information on setting up Hugo and previewing documentation changes locally.

We also use Netlify to deploy our documentation and preview pull requests. Netlify generates a preview of when a pull request is made that changes documentation content. Netlify automatically adds a link to the preview build in a pull request comment.

Deleting pages or making new pages

Contact the documentation team if you would like to suggest adding or removing pages.

Edit this page on GitHub

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