If you're just anxious to get a model run started and want to sort out the details later, jump to the section named Quick Start (1.2).
The novice user should learn how to obtain the source code and datasets (see section 1.4) and then go to Building and Running CAM (2) and read the details of how to build and run the model. The novice user would also do well to experiment with the different use cases presented in Use Cases (2.3) before they go on to their own work. The glossary will also be useful for the novice user to understand the terms and abbreviations used in this guide.
An experienced user of CAM should read Section 1.3, describing changes since CAM 2.0, and may wish to to reference the various tables on namelist items, output fields, etc.
A user who also needs to make code changes will want to study the DRAFT Interface to Column Physics and Chemistry Packages, which gives some guidance on making changes to the model. When the CAM 3.0 Developer's Guide is complete, it will give more detail on the model internals and how the user would approach making more extensive changes. An experienced user who has also developed their own build/run mechanism may also be interested in the details of the configuration files given in the appendix.
If you have the pdf or html versions of this document, please note the use of hyperlinks in the presented examples - in many cases you can click on namelist variables or command line option and go right to a description of the item in the relevant table.
Lastly, throughout the document this font is used to indicate shell commands and options, fragments of code, namelist variables, etc. Where examples from an interactive C shell session are presented, lines starting with % indicate the shell prompt.