Setting Up


This guide describes the concept of using ‘submodules’ for documentation. Submodules are no longer supported and have been removed. This guide is partly outdated and needs an update.

The aggregation of individual project documentation to a coherent set of ONAP release documentation is now done in ReadTheDocs using the ONAP ‘doc’ project as its root.

ONAP documentation is stored in git repositories, changes are managed with gerrit reviews, and published documents generated when there is a change in any source used to build the documentation.

Authors create source for documents in reStructured Text (RST) that is rendered to HTML and published on The developer Wiki or other web sites can reference these rendered documents directly allowing projects to easily maintain current release documentation.

Some initial set up is required to connect a project with the master document structure and enable automated publishing of changes as summarized in the following diagram and description below below.

Setup project repositories

These steps are performed for each project repository that provides documentation.

1. Set two variables that will be used in the subsequent steps. Set reponame to the project repository you are setting up just as it appears in the Project Name column of the Gerrit projects page. Set lfid to your Linux Foundation identity that you use to login to gerrit or for git clone requests over ssh.


2. Add a directory in the doc project where your project will be included as a submodule and at least one reference from the doc project to the documentation index in your repository. The following sequence will do this over ssh. Please note that the reference to your project in repolist.rst should be considered temporary and removed when you reference it from more appropriate place.


If your access network restricts ssh, you will need to use equivalent git commands and HTTP Passwords as described here.


Don’t replace ../ in git submodule add with any relative path on your local file system. It refers to the location of your repository on the server.

git clone ssh://$
cd doc
mkdir -p `dirname docs/submodules/$reponame`
git submodule add ../$reponame docs/submodules/$reponame.git
git submodule init docs/submodules/$reponame.git
git submodule update docs/submodules/$reponame.git

echo "   $reponame <../submodules/$reponame.git/docs/index>" >> docs/release/repolist.rst

git add .
git commit -s
git review


Wait for the above change to be merged before any merge to the project repository that you have just added as a submodule. If the project repository added as submodule changes before the doc project merge, git may not automatically update the submodule reference on changes and/or the verify job will fail in the step below.

3. Create a docs directory in your repository with an index.rst file. The following sequence will complete the minimum required over ssh. As you have time to convert or add new content you can update the index and add files under the docs folder.


If you have additional content, you can include it by editing the index.rst file and/or adding other files before the git commit. Check “Templates and Examples” section in Setting Up and Converting to RST for more information.

git clone ssh://$$reponame
cd $reponame
mkdir docs
echo ".. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

TODO Add files to toctree and delete this header
.. toctree::
   :maxdepth: 1

" >  docs/index.rst

git add .
git commit -s
git review

The diagram below illustrates what is accomplished in the setup steps above from the perspective of a file structure created for a local test, a jenkins verify job, and/or published release documentation including:

  • ONAP gerrit project repositories,

  • doc project repository master document index.rst, templates, configuration, and other documents

  • submodules directory where other project repositories and directories/files are referenced

  • file structure: directories (ellipses), files(boxes)

  • references: directory/files (solid edges), git submodule (dotted edges), sphinx toctree (dashed edges)

digraph docstructure { size="8,12"; node [fontname = "helvetica"]; // Align gerrit repos and docs directories {rank=same doc aaf aai reponame repoelipse vnfsdk vvp} {rank=same confpy release templates masterindex submodules otherdocdocumentelipse} {rank=same releasedocumentindex releaserepolist} //Illustrate Gerrit Repos and provide URL/Link for complete repo list gerrit [label="", href="" ]; doc [href=";a=tree"]; gerrit -> doc; gerrit -> aaf; gerrit -> aai; gerrit -> reponame; gerrit -> repoelipse; repoelipse [label=". . . ."]; gerrit -> vnfsdk; gerrit -> vvp; //Show example of local reponame instance of component info reponame -> reponamedocsdir; reponamesm -> reponamedocsdir; reponamedocsdir [label="docs"]; reponamedocsdir -> repnamedocsdirindex; repnamedocsdirindex [label="index.rst", shape=box]; //Show detail structure of a portion of doc/docs doc -> docs; docs -> confpy; confpy [label="",shape=box]; docs -> masterindex; masterindex [label="Master\nindex.rst", shape=box]; docs -> release; docs -> templates; docs -> otherdocdocumentelipse; otherdocdocumentelipse [label="...other\ndocuments"]; docs -> submodules masterindex -> releasedocumentindex [style=dashed, label="sphinx\ntoctree\nreference"]; //Show submodule linkage to docs directory submodules -> reponamesm [style=dotted,label="git\nsubmodule\nreference"]; reponamesm [label="reponame.git"]; //Example Release document index that references component info provided in other project repo release -> releasedocumentindex; releasedocumentindex [label="index.rst", shape=box]; releasedocumentindex -> releaserepolist [style=dashed, label="sphinx\ntoctree\nreference"]; releaserepolist [label="repolist.rst", shape=box]; release -> releaserepolist; releaserepolist -> repnamedocsdirindex [style=dashed, label="sphinx\ntoctree\nreference"]; }

Branches in the DOC Project

The DOC project ‘master’ branch aggregates the ‘latest’ content from all ONAP project repositories contributing documentation into a single tree file structure as described in the previous section. This branch is continuously integrated and deployed at Read The Docs as the ‘latest’ ONAP Documentation by:

  • Jenkins doc-verify-rtd and doc-merge-rtd jobs triggered whenever patches on contributing repositories contain rst files at or below a top level ‘docs’ folder.

  • Subscription in the DOC project to changes in submodule repositories. These changes appear in the DOC project as commits with title ‘Updated git submodules’ when a change to a contributing project repository is merged. No DOC project code review occurs, only a submodule repository commit hash is updated to track the head of each contributing master branch.

For each ONAP named release the DOC project creates a branch with the release name. The timing of the release branch is determined by work needed in the DOC project to prepare the release branch and the amount of change unrelated to the release in the master branch. For example contributing projects that create named release branches early to begin work on the next release and/or contributing projects to the master that are not yet part of the named release would result in an earlier named release branch to cleanly separate work to stabilize a release from other changes in the master branch.

A named release branch is integrated and deployed at Read The Docs as the ‘named release’ by aggregating content from contributing project repositories. A contributing project repository can choose one of the following for the ‘named release’ branch:

  • Remove the contributing project repository submodule and RST references when not part of the named release.

  • Provide a commit hash or tag for the contributing project master branch to be used for the life of the release branch or until a request is submitted to change the commit hash or tag.

  • Provide the commit hash for the head of a named release branch created in the contributing project repository. This option may be appropriate if frequent changes are expected over the life of the named release and work the same way as the continuous integration and deployment described for the master branch.

The decision on option for each contributing project repository can be made or changed before the final release is approved. The amount of change and expected differences between master and a named release branch for each repository should drive the choice of option and timing.

About GIT branches

GIT is a powerful tool allowing many actions, but without respecting some rules the GIT structure can be quickly hard to maintain.

Here are some conventions about GIT branches:

  • ALWAYS create a local branch to edit or create any file. This local branch will be considered as a topic in Gerrit and allow contributors to work at the same time on the same project.

  • 1 feature = 1 branch. In the case of documentation, a new chapter or page about a new code feature can be considered as a ‘doc feature’

  • 1 bug = 1 branch. In the case of documentation, a correction on an existing sentence can be considered as a ‘doc bug’

  • the master branch is considered as “unstable”, containing new features that will converge to a stable situation for the release date.

The day of the release, the repository owner will create a new branch to fix the code and documentation. This will represent the ‘stable’ code of the release. In this context:

  • NEVER push a new feature on a stable branch

  • Only bug correction are authorized on a stable branch using cherry pick method