Troubleshooting topic type

Troubleshooting topics should be the final topics on a page.

If a page has five or more troubleshooting topics, put those topics on a separate page.

What type of troubleshooting information to include

Troubleshooting information includes:

  • Problem-solving information that might be considered risky.
  • Information about rare cases. All troubleshooting information is included, no matter how unlikely a user is to encounter a situation.

This kind of content can be helpful to others, and the benefits outweigh the risks. If you think you have an exception to this rule, contact the Technical Writing team.

GitLab Support maintains their own troubleshooting content.


Troubleshooting can be one of three types: introductory, task, or reference.

An introductory topic

This topic introduces the troubleshooting section of a page. For example:

## Troubleshooting

When working with <x feature>, you might encounter the following issues.

Troubleshooting task

The title should be similar to a standard task. For example, “Run debug tools” or “Verify syntax.”

Troubleshooting reference

This topic includes the error message. To be consistent, use workaround for temporary solutions and resolution and resolve for permanent solutions. For example:

### The error message or a description of it

You might get an error that states <error message>.

This issue occurs when...

The workaround is...

If multiple causes or solutions exist, consider putting them into a table format. If you use the exact error message, surround it in backticks so it’s styled as code.

For more guidance on solution types, see workaround and resolution, resolve.

Troubleshooting topic titles

For the title of a Troubleshooting reference topic:

  • Consider including at least a partial error message. If the message is more than 70 characters, include the text that’s most important, or describe the message instead.
  • Do not use links in the title.

If you do not put the full error in the title, include it in the body text.

Rails console write functions

If the troubleshooting suggestion includes a function that changes data on the GitLab instance, add the following warning:

Commands that change data can cause damage if not run correctly or under the right conditions. Always run commands in a test environment first and have a backup instance ready to restore.

Troubleshooting page type

When there are five Troubleshooting topics or more on a page, create a separate Troubleshooting page type.

Follow these conventions:

  • Name the page Troubleshooting <feature>.
  • In the left nav, use the word Troubleshooting only.
  • In the navigation file, nest the new page under the feature it belongs to.
  • Name the file <feature>