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Applying for OPW

Thank you for your interest in the Linux kernel internships! Please read the following thoroughly.

Also, make sure you:

  • Join the opw-kernel mailing list

  • Join the #opw IRC channel on irc.gnome.org

  • Join the #kernel-opw IRC channel on irc.oftc.net

Do you qualify?

We want interns to make sure they qualify for the OPW internship. Read this page for more information.

The TLDR version of the requirements are that OPW interns:

  • should be over 18,

  • should be able to work full-time (40 hours per week) from May 19, 2014 to August 18, 2014,

  • should be a woman, gender queer, gender free, or gender fluid individual, and

  • should not have participated in OPW or Google Summer of Code before.

Additionally, we highly recommend that applicants have a stable internet connection, with no download caps. Communication over IRC can be difficult if your internet connection keeps dropping or has a big lag time, so you need a stable internet connection. Downloading the initial kernel will use over 5 GB of data, which will easily blow through a standard 3G capped plan. We recommend making sure you have cable internet, or an unlimited 3G plan.

You will get a $500 travel stipend to attend a conference. Linux conferences are a lot of fun, because you get to meet professional Linux developers, and there's a lot of opportunity for networking and job hunting.

How to apply

The OPW kernel project's application process is a little different than what is outlined in the OPW pages. Here's what we need you to do:

  1. Look over the list of projects at http://kernelnewbies.org/OPWIntro

  2. Find a project there that interests you, and email the mentor. Introduce yourself, let the mentor know why you think that project would be a good fit for you, and ask the mentor any questions about the project.

  3. Fill out your initial application, which is shown under the "Send in an Application" section. Submit your application through the OPW portal.

  4. Complete the Linux kernel first contribution tutorial by March 19, 2014, and email your first patch to the opw-kernel mailing list. Do not send patches to the main Linux mailing lists! Note that your patch must be accepted by March 19th, and you may have to go through several patch revisions. The more high-quality patches you get accepted, the more likely your chance of getting accepted for an internship. Note that we look at patch quality, communication style, ability to learn, and applicant background as well, so don't get discouraged if you see people sending a lot of patches. Submit early and often!

Application tips

Here's some tips for how to answer various questions on the OPW application.

Are you planning to apply for Google Summer of Code?

(Not applicable for March applicants). This question is designed to make sure that participants in OPW also apply to GSoC if they meet the summer of code applicant requirements. Basically, the idea was to make sure applicants get the most chances to get an internship. However, the Linux kernel isn't participating in GSoC, so this question does not matter to our organization. We do encourage all students to also apply to GSoC, especially to the Linux Foundation projects.

Please describe your experience with the organization's product as a user and as a contributor (include the information about the contribution you made to the project you are interested in here):

Please include some information about yourself, such as:

  • Do you run Linux on your personal computers?

  • Have you played with Linux at university labs or other places?

  • What Linux distros do you use?

  • Have you ever compiled a custom kernel?

  • Have you ever made a change to a kernel driver?

  • Have you ever contributed a patch to the mainline kernel? If so, please provide links to the patches, and indicate whether they were accepted.

  • Do you have C or C++ experience?

  • Have you taken operating systems or computer architecture classes before?

  • Do you have experience with the command line?

  • Have you compiled a project before?

If you are applying as an OPW kernel intern for the first time, do not worry about providing links to your first kernel patch. Your patches will be tracked by looking at your accepted patches in Greg KH's staging driver tree. If you applied in a previous OPW round and got patches accepted, please note that.

If you have ever gotten Linux kernel patches accepted outside of the OPW application process, please provide a link to the commits through Linus' git tree. You can search the log for your patch subject, find the full commit ID, and use it in the URL by placing the commit ID after the "id" part of the URL. E.g. https://git.kernel.org/cgit/linux/kernel/git/torvalds/linux.git/commit/?id=e9bdc3d6143d1c4b8d8ce5231fc958268331f983 would point to commit ID e9bdc3d6143d1c4b8d8ce5231fc958268331f983.

Who is a possible mentor for the project you are most interested in?

Please review the participating Linux kernel projects. Pick the project that you're most passionate about (or two projects) and put those mentors names on the first question. Please note the other projects that you are interested in, in order of most interesting to least interesting. Note that you may not get your first or second choice of projects, although we do try.

Please describe the details and the timeline of the work you plan to accomplish on the project you are most interested in (discuss these first with the mentor of the project):

You do not need to provide a detailed timeline. Instead, describe why you're passionate about that particular Linux kernel project, and what you hope to learn from that project.

Including this optional information will strengthen your application, and increase the chances of getting accepted.

Application Deadlines


You will have the opportunity to update your application with your small contribution until March 19th, 2014. Accepted interns will be notified on April 21st, 2013.

Still have questions?

Contact sarahsharp on #opw (irc.gnome.net) or #kernel-opw (irc.oftc.net), or email the opw-kernel mailing list. Make sure you are subscribed to that mailing list.

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last edited 2014-03-12 20:50:10 by SarahSharp