Free Software Directory:Participate

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Anybody can update or submit new entries to the directory. Please review the Requirements.

To edit, you must register first. If you don't already have a Free Software Foundation Central Login (member or non-member) you need to create one: It is mandatory to allow this wiki software to allow you to edit on it.

We talk about three things here -- how to submit, update, and delete entries.

Submit new entries

To submit a new entry to the directory:

  1. Login to the directory.
  2. Head to our 'Submit a new entry' page. (Also linked in the sidebar.)
  3. Enter the name of the package or software program.
  4. You will be brought to a multi-part form -- don't panic! Only the first few fields are required. (Form documentation helps you to complete the form, but it can also be completed by another volunteer or by the reviewer.)
  5. The final step is to go to the last tab and press the save button at the bottom.

Please note that when you save, your submission won't appear. Don't Panic! The reason it is not appearing is because updates and new submissions need approval by an administrator before they will appear publicly. Logged-in users can tell if they are seeing the latest version of the page, or if there are newer versions of the page waiting for approval by a message at the top of the page.

  • Not the latest version message: This is the approved revision of this page; it is not the most recent. View the most recent revision.
  • Latest version message: This is the approved revision of this page, as well as being the most recent.

Until approved you can review or improve your submission by editing it as outlined below.

Update an entry

To update an entry:

  1. Login to the directory.
  2. Click "Edit With Form" at the top of the page you'd like to update.

When you update an entry, you edit the latest version of the page, approved or not.

To find entries that haven't been updated in a while, check the Free Software Directory:Participate/oldies page and Free Software Directory:Broken links. You can also see a list of approved pages or pages waiting for approval. They are often added by people who are new and do not complete the form fully. Please correct and expand these entries to help the reviewers and reduce the review queues!

Guidelines for choosing Version Status of an entry

  • Stable: If it has a release and no indication of the type, choose stable.
  • Historical means no longer works on any currently supported free software distribution. Since that is hard to determine, some hints are:
    • The last release or source code change is probably older than 2007.
    • It's not being maintained by Debian (it's not a package in wheezy).
    • If you are using a GNU/Linux distro, it doesn't compile or run for you.

You can always revive historical free software to run again.

Delete an entry

If a submission doesn't meet criteria for inclusion in the directory, it can be proposed for deletion, and deleted by an administrator from the drop-down menu. To propose an entry for deletion, edit it's description to start with:

[[Category:Candidates for deletion]] This is a candidate for deletion: (describe why here) ~~~~

Then it will show up in Category:Candidates for deletion.

Please always state "Other/additional reason:" when you delete entries, because when a page is deleted, it will show up in the deletion log with a stated reason for its rejection, so users trying to submit a project can know how to correct any errors (if possible). Preserve Talk pages when approriate (eg for malware like Talk:IceCat/Web_of_Trust_-_WOT).

Check on if a package's homepage is gone.

When an entry is deleted, also search for references to it by other entries. For example, it may be listed as a "related project" for some other entries. These references need to be edited out manually; deleting an entry does not automatically remove them. The What links here tool comes handy when hunting down the links.

If the package is a particularly popular or well-known proprietary package, it might make more sense to have the page redirect to free alternatives already listed on the directory. That way, if a person searches the directory for the proprietary program, they can be directed to free equivalents.

Project Teams

If you have a particular interest that you want to work on, you can start or join a Project Team


Here follows the guidelines for actions beyond managing entries in the directory:

Website guidelines
for people who want to make contributions to the layout and the design of the directory.


You can join the directory-discuss list or join us each week for the Friday Free Software Directory IRC meeting! For details and time (and how to figure it out in your time zone), check the main page.

These tools are auxiliary, they do not replace this guide or the requirements.

  • Directory import project: The project enables us to import package information from free software repositories. Long ago a friend put together scripts that we used to import thousands of entries. But thousands upon thousands more could be added if we update the import scripts. The project has been sitting idle for a while now at <>, just waiting for volunteers to jump in and refine it.
  • Automating revision approval by Ian Kelling.
  • Check out the script aid made by Adfeno.
  • Using pywikibot to work with entries in the directory.
  • Special:Version - Useful for MediaWiki, and Semantic Forms, and so on, when you need to evaluate version specific syntax.
  • If you are an administrator looking for directions, check out the workflow page.
  • For admins to quickly review and approve many changes, see Approval script.


Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the page “GNU Free Documentation License”.

The copyright and license notices on this page only apply to the text on this page. Any software or copyright-licenses or other similar notices described in this text has its own copyright notice and license, which can usually be found in the distribution or license text itself.