Documentation and Translation


To assist with the Xubuntu documentation, you do not need to know how to program. All you need is some knowledge about Xubuntu and Xfce, and it is helpful to have good writing skills too. To get started, do the following things:

If you are familiar with Docbook, you can start working on some small improvements to the documentation directly; the Docbook source files are located in desktop-guide/C/ in the documentation branch. The Xubuntu documentation bugs, including suggestions for improving the documentation, are tracked in Launchpad.

In addition to the official documentation, the documentation team writes useful articles on using Xubuntu on the Xubuntu website, including the FAQ article series. If you are interested in writing such an article on a specific subject, be in touch with us via the Xubuntu developers mailing list or contact us on IRC.

In addition to documentation and articles mentioned above, any kind of alternative documentation, including screencasts, are very welcome. When you do a screencast or something else more or less out of the ordinary, send an email to the Xubuntu developers mailing list or contact us on IRC with a link to what you have done and we will add a link to it in the In the Press -page of our website. If it’s really helpful, we’ll gladly give it more publicity too.

Translation and Localization

If your native language is not English but you have really good English skills and are comfortable using software in English, you can make a huge contribution by helping to translate the Xubuntu into your native language. Even if you just translate a few lines you may make all the difference to someone in your own country who is just starting to learn about computers and Free Software.

There are several projects the Xubuntu team maintains and/or encourages translations to take part in:

  • The official Xubuntu documentation translations. The documentation and all comprehensive enough translations are shipped with each Xubuntu release. The documentation helps users perform the most basic tasks with their system and translating it enables more users to use Xubuntu.
  • The Xubuntu installer slides translations. During the installation of Xubuntu, at the end of the Ubiquity installer is a series of slides that appear introducing users to Xubuntu’s features, support methods, and community. These slides need translating, so please visit the link above to get started.
  • The Xubuntu default settings translations. Xubuntu contains various default settings used within the OS that need to be translated, like the Custom Actions and Document Templates used in Thunar.
  • The Xfce i18n (internationalization) efforts. Xubuntu uses many Xfce components and benefits from all translations made. Doing translations upstream has the biggest positive impact, benefitting all Xfce users.
  • Translations for projects that are featured in Xubuntu and in the Ubuntu repositories. Translations for these projects are most commonly handled by the Launchpad translation system Rosetta.

For the full list of translations that are important to Xubuntu, please refer to the list of packages to be translated on the Contributor documentation. Also check out our guidelines and conventions for translations before you start translating.

Ubuntu translators and local community teams

We recommend joining the Ubuntu-translators mailing list to keep up with notifications about important translation template updates and to stay in touch with other Ubuntu translators.

Furthermore, many local community (LoCo) teams maintain mailing lists for translators for their local language(s). It is recommended that you join these lists if you plan on making substantial contributions to keep up with the language-specific conventions and common practice. These local teams also work with issues related to localization, including font and formatting issues.