- Node 18 or higher
Let's get started
Open the Fern Docs Starter GitHub repository, then follow the steps below to generate your documentation.
Step 1: Use this template
- From the Fern Docs Starter GitHub repository, click the
Use this templatebutton. You must be logged into GitHub.
- Create a new repository. Name it anything you like;
docsis a common naming choice.
Step 2: Clone and open in your preferred code editor
Clone your newly created repository and open it in your favorite code editor.
The files and folders discussed in the following steps will be inside a
fern folder in your repository.
Step 3: Customize organization name
fern.config.json file, replace the placeholder organization name with your actual organization name. For example:
docs.yml file, update the docs URL to match your organization's naming convention. For example:
Step 4: Install the Fern CLI
Install the Fern CLI globally by running:
As this is a global command, you can run it from any location. The CLI commands in the following steps must be run from within your repository.
Step 5 (Optional): Use an OpenAPI Specification
If you will be using the OpenAPI Specification (OAS), follow these steps:
- Delete the
fern init --openapi https://petstore3.swagger.io/api/v3/openapi.json
fern init --openapi ../apis/openapi.yml
You can use a URL to an OAS file online, or you can use a local path. The file must be formatted as JSON or YAML.
Confirm that you see a new folder named
openapi and that it contains the OAS file you specified, in YAML format.
Step 6: Generate your documentation
Generate and publish your documentation with the following command:
You will be prompted to log in and connect your GitHub account.
Once the documentation is generated, you will receive a URL where your documentation is published. For example:
Step 7: Customize your documentation
To update your API definitions:
- For Fern Definitions, update the files in the
- For OpenAPI definitions, update the file in the
Next, modify the markdown pages located in the
docs/pages folder, such as the Welcome page.
Further tailor your documentation to match your brand by adjusting settings in the
To re-publish the updates to your documentation, run
fern generate --docs again.
To preview updates to your documentation before publishing changes, run
fern generate --docs --preview.
Fern has a built-in component library for you to use. Explore the components.
Step 8: Set up a custom domain
If you wish to use a custom subdomain like
https://docs.your-organization.com or a subpath like
https://your-organization.com/docs, you can subscribe to the Starter plan. Once subscribed, update
docs.yml with the custom domain configuration:
Step 9: Explore advanced features
For advanced documentation features and options, view the full configuration docs.
Good luck creating beautiful and functional documentation! 🌿