FLOSS Manuals is a collection of manuals about free and open source software together with the tools used to create them and the community that uses those tools. They include authors, editors, artists, software developers, activists, and many others. There are manuals that explain how to install and use a range of free and open source softwares, about how to do things (like design) with open source software, and manuals about free culture services that use or support free software and formats.
Anyone can contribute to a manual – to fix a spelling mistake, to add a more detailed explanation, to write a new chapter, or to start a whole new manual on a topic.
Anyone can start a manual – Since March 2011 we have implemented a new system (which we built ourselves) called Booki. With this new system we are handing over many more admin tasks and autonomy to ‘you’. This means you can start a manual without needing help from admins and you can also clone manuals, remix them etc. You can also just use FM as a toolkit to make your own book/manual about your favourite free software without it appearing in the FLOSS Manuals READ section if you want to. Our aim is to help you to make great manuals about free software not to ‘own’ your content or ‘sell your books’ (although if you want help with that we are pleased to help) so if you want to use FM as ‘just’ a toolkit then please go right ahead!
You can read and use the manuals in a number of different ways. They are available online in separately indexed chapters, and you can use the website as a reference base in this way. You can also view, download, or print each manual as a PDF or (since March 2011) EPUB for electronic book readers. It is also possible to ‘remix’ manuals to create a version that only includes specific aspects of a particular manual, or that combines chapters from two or more manuals in a single document. These can be downloaded and printed, added to websites, and used for any purpose. You can also print a manual, or an individually ‘remixed’ manual, as a book via the print-to-order service of Lulu.com.