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Creating and publishing your docs

This section will guide you through how to:


Create a basic documentation setup

If you have an existing repository that you'd like to add documentation to, skip to the Enable documentation for an already existing entity setup section below. Otherwise, continue reading to create a new software entity including documentation from scratch.

Use any software template

TechDocs is built on top of the docs like code approach. This, in short, means that you should keep documentation close to the code.

Your Backstage app has a set of software templates added by default. All of these software templates include everything you need to get your TechDocs site up and running and to start writing your documentation.

If you have created software templates that do not include documentation by default, we highly recommend you to set that up. Follow our how-to guide How to add documentation setup to your software templates to get started.

Enable documentation for an already existing entity


Create an mkdocs.yml file in the root of your repository with the following content:

site_name: 'example-docs'

- Home:

- techdocs-core

Note - The plugins section above is optional. Backstage automatically adds the techdocs-core plugin to the mkdocs file if it is missing. This functionality can be turned off with a configuration option in Backstage.

Update your component's entity description by adding the following lines to its catalog-info.yaml in the root of its repository:

annotations: dir:.

The annotation is used by TechDocs to download the documentation source files for generating an entity's TechDocs site.

Create a /docs folder in the root of your repository with at least an file in it. (If you add more markdown files, make sure to update the nav in the mkdocs.yml file to get a proper navigation for your documentation.)

Note - Although docs is a popular directory name for storing documentation, it can be renamed to something else and can be configured by mkdocs.yml. See

The docs/ can for example have the following content:

# example docs

This is a basic example of documentation.

Commit your changes, open a pull request and merge. You will now get your updated documentation next time you run Backstage!

Create a standalone documentation

There could be some situations where you don't want to keep your docs close to your code, but still want to publish documentation - for example, an onboarding tutorial. For this case, you can create a documentation component, which will be published as a standalone part of TechDocs.

First, create an entity for your documentation. A minimal example could look like this:

kind: Component
name: a-unique-name-for-your-docs
# this could also be `url:<url>` if the documentation isn't in the same location dir:.
type: documentation
lifecycle: experimental
owner: user-or-team-name

Next, create the config file for mkdocs, which will be used to parse your docs:

site_name: a-unique-name-for-your-docs
site_description: An informative description
- techdocs-core
- Getting Started:

Finally, add your Markdown file, in a folder named docs/ with your desired documentation in Markdown. Your file structure should now look like this:


Last but not least, register your component in the software catalog using one of several options.

Writing and previewing your documentation

Using the techdocs-cli you can preview your docs inside a local Backstage instance and get live reload on changes. This is useful when you want to preview your documentation while writing.

To do this you can run:

cd /path/to/docs-repository/
npx @techdocs/cli serve