Develop Documentation

This section provides guidelines for people who want to write documentation for the OpenNMS project. The OpenNMS software is free and open source, we welcome any kind of contribution. Please observe the rules and guidelines outlined here to maintain consistency across the project.

Each (sub)project is represented as a section of the documentation. Each section will produce a HTML output in the file system that is generated in the target/generated sources folder.

We use Antora to build our documentation. The file format for documentation is AsciiDoc, with the .adoc file extension. For information on syntax, see Antora’s AsciiDoc Primer or look at how the existing .adoc files work.

Note that there are different ways to contribute documentation, each suitable for different use cases:

  • Publish tutorials and how to’s in our knowledge base. For example, you want to describe how to use the Net-SNMP agent and the OpenNMS SNMP monitor to solve a special use case with OpenNMS. This is a great way to help other OpenNMS users who might have similar questions.

  • Contribute formal technical documentation related to the source code on GitHub.

  • Pick up "quickwin-docs" issues from our Jira documentation backlog. These are issues that should require only a short amount of time to address.

Technical documentation tips

Technical documentation should be accurate and concise, but still explain concepts in detail.

A good way to structure your contribution is as follows:

  • Descriptive heading (for example, “Create a Minion” or “SnmpCollector”)

  • Brief description of what you are documenting. If this is a new feature, include why it is important to users (for example, “This feature lets users validate and tune their business service hierarchies until they achieve the desired status propagation.”)

  • Steps to complete the procedure, or technical content such as parameters, configuration, and examples

Minimize the use of screenshots. Include them only to illustrate a concept that may be difficult to understand or something that is not easy to locate in the UI.

File structure in the opennms repository

Documentation is in the docs directory. Within this directory, you will find the ./modules directory, which contains all the technical documentation associated with the source code in this repository. The ./modules directory may have more nested directories to create a hierarchy for the content (component, subcomponents).

You will find .adoc files in the ./pages directory or one of the subdirectories within the ./pages directory.

Directory Contents


Documentation for administrators to configure, optimize, and run OpenNMS


Documentation for those who want to develop OpenNMS


Documentation on how to install and configure OpenNMS on different operating systems


Glossary and miscellaneous configuration topics


Changelog and release notes

Documentation for other OpenNMS projects (for example, opennms-helm) follows a similar hierarchy, as appropriate to that project.