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:

  • Ubiquity Installer: This is normally the first interaction a new user has with Xubuntu and the installer is not only used by Xubuntu, but by many of the Ubuntu flavors and derivatives, so your contributions here will benefit the entire community.
  • Xubuntu Installer Slides: During the installation of Xubuntu, at the end of the Ubiquity installer is a slide show that appear introducing users to Xubuntu’s features, support methods, and community. The text on these slides need translating.
  • Xubuntu Default Settings: Xubuntu contains various default settings used within the OS that need to be translated, like the Custom Actions and Document Templates used in the Thunar file manager.
  • LightDM Gtk Greeter and Greeter Settings: The login screen used when a computer is first turned on or when a session is locked is controlled by the LightDM Greeter. LightDM Greeter is used by multiple distros, so your contributions here will also benefit non-Xubuntu users.
  • Xfce Apps: Xubuntu uses many Xfce applications and components, and benefits from translations made there. Doing translations upstream has the biggest positive impact, as it will benefit all Xfce users.
  • Whisker Menu: Xubuntu uses the Whisker Menu as its searchable application menu and similar to the Xfce applications, translating it benefits all Xfce users.
  • BlueSabre Apps: MenuLibre (menu editor), Mugshot (user configuration utility) and SGT Puzzles Collection (game collection) are applications bundled with Xubuntu and various Xfce distros that are created by Sean Davis, the Xubuntu technical lead.
  • Mate Apps: Xubuntu utilizes the Atril document viewer, Engrampa archive viewer and MATE Calculator from the Mate desktop environment, so translating these benefits many Xfce and Mate distributions.
  • Gnome Apps: Xubuntu ships with a number of Gnome applications including a software center, font viewer, document scanner, and a few games (mines, sudoku).
  • Gtk Apps: As a Gtk distribution, Xubuntu bundles a number of Gtk apps for printer management, disk management, bluetooth management, and network management (settings, applet).
  • Internet Apps: There are a few internet applications that are shipped with Xubuntu, which are used by many Linux distributions, including the Firefox Browser, Thunderbird email client, Transmission bittorrent client, Pidgin chat client, and HexChat IRC client.
  • Ubuntu Apps: Xubuntu comes with a few apps that are used by most Ubuntu flavors and derivatives, including Language Support, Software Updater, Update Notifier, Software & Updates, and Onboard. More translations made with Ubuntu’s infrastructure can be found in the Launchpad translation system.
  • Xubuntu User Documentation: The English 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.

If you need any help or guidance in your translation efforts, please join the Xubuntu Translators telegram group, and 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.