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Contributing Guidelines

Thank you for your interest in Palo Alto Networks developer documentation!

Types of contributions#

The following are ways you can contribute to Palo Alto Networks developer docs:

  • Author and contribute documentation via the developer site repository.
  • Report documentation bugs/issues under the developer site repository Issues page.
  • Request new documentation by opening a request under the developer site repository Issues page.

Using Git and GitHub#


Most of the information in this section can be found in GitHub Help articles. If you're familiar with Git and GitHub, skip to the Contribute content section for an example git flow.

Setting up your fork of the repository#

  1. Create a GitHub account. If you haven't done this already, please join GitHub now.
  2. Set up git on your machine. Follow the instructions in the Getting Started tutorial.
  3. Fork the developer site repo. To do this, click the Fork button in the upper-right corner of the main repo page.
  4. Clone your fork to your local machine using the following command:
git clone{your user name}/{the developer site repo}.git

Next, create a reference to the root repository by entering these commands:

cd <your cloned repo folder>git remote add upstream{the developer site repo}.git // optionally use the SSH repo URLgit fetch upstream

Congratulations! You've now set up your repository.

Contribute content#

To make the contribution process as seamless as possible for you, follow this procedure.

  1. Create a new branch.
git checkout -b {your-branch-name}
  1. Add or edit existing content.
  2. Push changes to your forked repo.
git add .git commit -m "{describe the change or contribution you made}"git push origin {your-branch-name}
  1. Use GitHub to create a New pull request.
  2. After the pull request is approved and merged, you may delete the branch.
git branch -d {your-branch-name}

Try to limit each specific contribution or edit to a branch to help reduce the likelihood of conflicts.

The following are examples of contributions appropriate for a new branch:

  • New content
  • New or updated media, e.g. images, video, etc.
  • Grammar and typo corrections
  • Formatting changes

Sync forked repo with root#

After some time has passed, it might be necessary to sync your local repo with the remote, upstream repo.

  1. Fetch remote upstream
git fetch upstream
  1. Merge upstream/master with local and origin/master
# Merges upstream/master with local master branchgit merge upstream/master master
# Pushes local master branch to origin/mastergit push origin master

Markdown and MDX#



MDX syntax can be boiled down to being JSX in Markdown. It’s a superset of Markdown syntax that also supports importing, exporting, and JSX. If you're planning use MDX to author your content be sure to use the .mdx file extension when naming your file.

Getting started with MDX.

Standard Markdown#

All of the articles in this repository use Markdown and MDX. While a complete introduction (and listing of all the syntax) can be found here, let's cover some of the basics first.

Recommended editors:

Markdown basics#

This is a list of the most common markdown syntax:

  • Line breaks vs. paragraphs: In Markdown there is no HTML <br /> element. Instead, a new paragraph is designated by an empty line between two blocks of text.

  • Italics: The HTML <i>some text</i> is written *some text*

  • Bold: The HTML <strong>some text</strong> element is written **some text**

  • Headings: HTML headings are designated by an number of # characters at the start of the line. The number of # characters corresponds to the hierarchical level of the heading (for example, # = h1, ## = h2, and ### = h3).

  • Numbered lists: To create a numbered (ordered) list, start the line with 1.. If you want multiple elements within a single list element, format your list as follows:

    1. Notice that there is a space after the '.'

      Now notice that there is a line break between the two paragraphs in the list element, and that the indentation here matches the indentation of the line above.

  • Bulleted lists: Bulleted (unordered) lists are almost identical to ordered lists except that the 1. is replaced with either -, *, or +. Multiple element lists work the same way as they do with ordered lists.

  • Links: The base syntax for a link is [visible link text](link url). Links can also have references, which is discussed in the Link and Image References section below.

  • Images: The base syntax for an image is ![alt text for the image](image url). Images can also have references, which is discussed in the Link and Image References section below.

  • In-line HTML: Markdown allows you to include HTML inline, but this should be avoided.

Link and image references#

Markdown has a really nice feature that lets a user insert a reference instead of a URL for images and links. Here is the syntax for using this feature:

The image below is from [Google][googleweb]
![Google's logo][logo]

By using references grouped at the bottom of your file, you can easily find, edit, and reuse link and image URLs.

CLI and code snippets#

When using code blocks try to ensure your example is ready to copy and paste. Consider that a reader may be a beginner with no understanding of the difference between a shell prompt and a command. The same applies to inline comments.

Do this:

curl -X GET

Not this (results in a "command not found" error):

$ curl -X GET

Sample output:

{  "args": {},  "headers": {    "Accept": "*/*",    "Host": "",    "User-Agent": "curl/7.54.0"  },  "origin": ",",  "url": ""}

Adding a document#

This section describes the general steps required for adding a document using git.


Each doc requires a frontmatter header, which Docusaurus uses to determine the following:

  • What description, title and tags to inject into the HTML <meta /> tag
  • What sidebar and sidebar category to organize the document under
  • A unique document ID


---id: my_awesome_tutorialtitle: My Awesome Tutorialsidebar_label: My Awesome Tutorialhide_title: falsedescription: A really cool tutorial about something awesome!keywords:  - awesome  - tutorial---

If you're not sure where to begin, feel free to use an existing doc as boilerplate. Just remember that each document requires a unique ID.


Each developer site will implement one or more documentation sidebars, depending on the number of vertical content areas covered by that site. The relationship between docs, categories and sidebars can be summarized as follows (listed in hierarchical order from left to right):

Sidebar --> Category --> [array of document IDs]

The sidebar is generated from the sidebars.js file located in the root folder.


The following snippet calls out each specific sidebar component (note that the actual sidebars.js file should not contain comments).

module.exports = {  panos: [    // Add your new doc inside an existing sidebar    {      type: "category",      label: "Tutorials", // Category label      items: ["apis/my_awesome_tutorial"], // Document ID (including relative path)    },  ],};

Contributing a doc#

Contributing a new document can be achieved with the following, high-level flow:

  1. Create a new MD/MDX file under the docs folder
  2. Add the appropriate frontmatter (including the unique ID)
  3. Add the document ID to an existing or new sidebar/sidebar category

More resources#