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FOSS Outreach Program for Women (OPW) and Project Ascend Alumni

Please see the FOSS Outreach Program for Women homepage for an introduction to the program.

We are looking for round 9 funding sponsors and Linux kernel mentors. Please see the linked FAQ pages if you want to help out.

Welcome OPW applicants! Our round 9 sponsors have generiously donated funds for internships for women, genderqueer, genderfluid, or genderfree people, and alumni from the Ascend Project to work on the Linux kernel. The kernel is the most basic layer of the Linux operating system. It encompasses many things: hardware drivers, filesystems, security, task scheduling, and much more.

How to apply

The application period for OPW Round 8 is September 8 to October 31. Most OPW organizations have an application deadline of October 22, however, the Linux kernel application period will be put on temporary hold from October 10 to October 20. Most kernel mentors will be attending conferences (LinuxCon Europe, Linux Plumbers Conf, and Embedded Linux Conference Europe) during that time. During the hold period, no new kernel application patches will be accepted or reviewed, and mentors may not be available on the IRC channel. Therefore, it is important to start sending patches early in the application period. We suggest that you tackle a medium-sized advanced project during that week, rather than preparing to send many small clean up patches after the hold period is finished.

Please fill our your initial application by October 22nd, and complete your initial kernel patch by October 31. Applicants that do not complete the first patch will not be considered for an internship. Please take a look at our application FAQ for more info on how to fill our your initial application. Applicants will be notified on November 12 if they have been accepted.

If you are interested in being a Linux kernel intern, please:

Participating Linux kernel projects

Applicants for all projects should have basic experience with C or C++ and boolean algebra. Optionally, we would love it if you have basic operating system knowledge, know your way around a Linux/UNIX command line, and/or know the revision system called git. Please note that these three skills can be learned during the internship.

Some projects will have small tasks that OPW applicants can complete. In order to ensure applicants aren't working on the same task, we need your help in coordinating who is working on what task. Please see the OPWTasks page for details before starting on a task!

Round 9 projects:

Kernel tinification

Mentor:: Josh Triplett

Over time, the Linux kernel has grown far more featureful, but it has also grown significantly larger, even with all the optional features turned off. I'd like to reverse that trend, making the kernel much smaller, to enable ridiculously small embedded applications and other fun uses.

In this project, you'll start from "make allnoconfig", and then try to shrink the kernel even further. You'll learn how to work with the kernel configuration system, Kconfig, and use scripts/bloat-o-meter to measure the size impact of a change.

This is a highly incremental project: each feature you make optional or kernel component you shrink will mostly stand alone, and you can develop and submit each change independently.

Some of these tinification goals will work well during the application period; others will require a substantial time investment, and will primarily make sense during the full internship.

Before working on any of these, especially during the application period, you should send a quick note to the OPW kernel mailing list to coordinate, and avoid duplicated effort.

Please see https://tiny.wiki.kernel.org/ for more details on this effort. See https://tiny.wiki.kernel.org/projects for a list of possible projects. The projects listed as "small" can potentially be done during the application period, or by an intern accepted to work on this project. The projects listed as "large" should wait until the internship.

(Note to mentors and prospective applicants: Josh plans to present the tinification effort and list of projects at Linux Kernel Summit, and may add, remove, or edit items on this list based on feedback obtained there.)


Coccinelle is a program matching and transformation tool for C code that has been used extensively in contributing to the Linux kernel, for both code evolutions and bug fixes. Coccinelle is driven by specifications, known as semantic patches, that use a notation based on C code, and are this fairly easy to develop. Around 40 semantic patches are included with the Linux kernel source code, in scripts/coccinelle, and are used in the continuous testing service provided by Intel.

Recently, we have used Coccinelle in an extensive study of faults in Linux 2.6. The goal of this project is to extend the results to more recent versions of Linux, and to facilitate the extension of the work to subsequent versions. This will entail:

  1. Running the Coccinelle scripts that have been developed to collect data.

  2. Evaluating the resulting reports to identify real bugs and false positives.

  3. Submitting patches to the Linux kernel to fix the identified real bugs that are still present in the kernel.

  4. Updating a database with the results.

  5. Creating graphs to summarize the results.

Mentor: Julia Lawall

Yeah, that sounds cool!

If you are interested in being a Linux kernel intern, please:

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last edited 2014-09-02 01:04:05 by SarahSharp