Ideas: Google Summer of Code 2011

Find an idea you like? Want to propose your own? See our Getting Started Last review: Guide

Applications for desktop end users

These are coding projects that benefit end users of the Linux desktop.

Wubi like application for Fedora


Summary of idea: is a great tool that lets one install Linux from a windows OS. It would be nice to have something like this for Fedora as well.




Integrate Proxy Settings and Network Locations

Status: Proposed

Summary of Idea: The system should use an appropriate networking profile (e.g. Proxy settings) for each network location.

Currently, Gnome does have a concept of network locations in its Network Proxy configuration window. However, user should select the appropriate location whenever he moves between networks. This idea is about providing an integration between NetworkManager and Desktop environments so that a user can create network profiles for each network location providing appropriate settings like proxy settings which is the main proposed setting here. NetworkManager can have a "Network Location" concept: for wireless networks, usually the name of the network (ESSID) is usually enough. For wired connections, DHCP servers can and usually do provide network’s domain name, which can be used as the name of the location. It is nice if a user can associate each network location with a network settings profile which will be used whenever the user is connected to that network automatically. So, when you connect to a network, a corresponding network settings profile is activated automatically.

Contacts: Hedayat Vatankhah


Fill in some of the Missing nVidia and Radeon API pieces

Status: Proposed

Summary of idea: Add some of the missing 3d APIs for at least one of the major card types, considerably helping out the beleagured Radeon and Nvidia reverse-engineering efforts. There is enough currently (F14) missing that most 3d games do not function correctly, many of the underpinnings of FireFox 4 acceleration are blacklisted under Linux, and many other visual and other components cannot make correct use of the gpu(s) under Linux. Progress is abysmal for many reasons.



Notes: Requires good integration with the existing Radeon and nVidia teams and their testsuites

SPICE as a replacement for VNC and LTSP

Status: Proposed

Summary of Idea: SPICE is a virtual desktop interaction protocol that would be an ideal replacement for VNC and current X based LTSP implementations. Using SPICE would improve the user experience by implementing some missing capabilities such as sound in VNC, and making LTSP more efficient than using raw X. A common protocol for all types of remote displays would also simplify the client setup. More information on SPICE can be found here:




Applications for programmers

Other programmers benefit most from these coding project ideas.

Better Erlang support

Status: Proposed

Summary of Idea: There is one major issue with Erlang RPM packaging now. A dependencies between Erlang packages still must be calculated by hand. There was an initial attempt to create list of Provides and Requires automatically during build stage but it wasn’t finished. Another interesting task is to tightly integrate Erlang/OTP essential feature of live application upgrades with RPM upgrade process thus allowing really smooth upgrades of running Erlang applications.

Contacts: Peter Lemenkov

Mentor(s): Peter Lemenkov

Notes: Requires average knowledge of RPM building process and installation procedure. Also basic Erlang knowledge is required.

Infrastructure for Fedora contributors and users

Other contributors and users of the Fedora Project’s infrastructure benefit most from these coding projects.

Port Infrastructure TurboGears apps to TG2

Status: Proposed

Summary of idea: Several Fedora Infrastructure applications are written in TurboGears 1.0, and for longevity need to be ported to TG2. These include bodhi, mirrormanager, packagedb, elections, fas, smolt.

Mentor(s): mdomsch

MirrorManager enhancements

Status: Proposed

Summary of idea: MirrorManager provides the mirror lists to all Fedora systems. In addition to porting to TG2 (see above), several enhancements would be welcome:

  • Simplify creation of new MirrorManager instances (non-Fedora users, such as CentOS)

  • Simplify selection of mirrors within Cloud Providers on granularity other than netblocks and ASNs

  • Other items on the TODO list

Contacts: Matt Domsch

Mentor(s): mdomsch

Create a Fedora Events System

Status: Proposed

Summary of Idea: The idea is to create a website which would allow displaying events, divided by region, list attendance, topics discussed and other points. For reference, see Ubuntu Loco Events.

Roadmap (Work in progress. Tasks are defined, but dates aren’t yet)


Mentor(s): Nushio develops webapps as a dayjob and wouldn’t mind making it a summer job too.

Notes: giallu the Ubuntu site is a django application, code available as GPLv3 If they do not require copyright assignment I’d consider using it

Self Manage Buildroot overrides

Status: Proposed

Summary of Idea: when users need a buildroot override they can manage it all themselves.

For this I see 2 parts: cli integration into fedpkg i.e. "fedpkg override" and a server to talk to, track overrides, and do the actual tagging and untagging -possible work flow: allow developer to specify a life for the override, defaulting to 24 hours: the server would then do the tag in koji and at the end of its life untag it I could see having a web app to see the current overrides, allow requests, extensions etc

Contacts: Dennis Gilmore

Mentor(s): Dennis Gilmore

mw enhancements

Status: Proposed

Summary of idea: mw is a command-line program that pretends to be a version control system. It should eventually help people who are console nuts (like me) edit MediaWiki-based wikis without having to shout at their web browser.

Contacts: Ian Weller

Mentor(s): Ian Weller

Notes: Here are some ideas for students: User:Ianweller/mw thoughts

Complete implementation and deployment of Copr

Status: Proposed

Summary of Idea: Finalize and deploy the personal repositories concept initiated by

Copr (Cool Other Package Repo) is a Fedora project to help make building and managing third party package repositories easy. The instance to be installed within Fedora Infrastructure provides Fedora maintainers with the ability to create repos of packages to build against and share with others.

As a Fedora user and Ambassador, I’m asked a lot about this feature in Fedora.



Integrating Fuzzing-based instruments in quality assurance tools

Summary of idea: Generate fuzzing testcases from the existing "make test", which is generally only as good as the package maintainer placed effort into this Extending the range of testcases in a generic way contributes to an enhanced scope of quality and security testing of software. Key implementation technique is providing mock "fuzzing" devices and transparent in-process instrumentation (fuzzing loops) the turn-around time and bug discovery rate will improve. Transparent integration in build tools (like rpm-build macros) lower the entry hurdle for developers and maintainers.

Key components:

-Fuzzing devices: By this we mean user space devices that manipulate given original data based on a given fuzzing strategy, the strategy chosen depends on the nature of the file type, implemented by plugins (for a start provide comprehensive plugin source for image types, gif png, multimedia, midi).

-Package QA process: We think that a prototypical integration in rpm-build (macro, pre-waive certain results ) will help (Fedora) developers package maintainers to transparently gain from these functionality during package build.

Target: It is expected that all posix variants can benefit from wrapping fuzzing algorithms behind devices, however due to the rpm-build macro support, we expect most benefit for rpm-based distros.

Contacts: Marc Schoenefeld ,

Mentor(s): Marc Schoenefeld ,

Linux system services

These coding projects are lower-level services that benefit Fedora and other Linux distributions.

NIS support in SSSD

  • Status: Proposed

  • Summary of idea: Currently, the System Security Services Daemon supports only LDAP for network user identity. Support for NIS identities has been requested several times by end-users.

  • Contacts: Stephen Gallagher

  • Mentor(s): Stephen Gallagher

SUDO support in SSSD

  • Status: Proposed

  • Summary of idea: Sudo 1.8.0 will support a plugin interface for sudo authorization decisions. It would be excellent for SSSD to provide such a plugin to provide cached access to sudo information stored in the sudo LDAP schema. This would make it easier to maintain centralized sudo rules that also function while offline.

  • Contacts: Stephen Gallagher

  • Mentor(s): Stephen Gallagher

  • Notes:

Improving Fedora packaging

The heart of Fedora are the packages and the applications that manage them; these coding projects help improve the package experience for users and contributors.

Maven and PackageKit integration

Status: Proposed

Summary of idea: Currently when building with maven locally, all spec files need to specify build dependencies manually. Java libraries and maven plugins should have something like "Provide(groupId:artifactId:version:format)" so that "yum install org.apache.velocity:velocity" will correctly find and install velocity package. Second part of this project can be creating maven plugin asking you to install via PackageKit the package that provides the dependency.


Notes: Basic knowledge of maven and rpm is required.

KDE Plasma and PackageKit integration

Status: Proposed

Summary of idea: Add automatically-generated rpm dependencies for kde/plasma related services (see also blog entry on the topic), and add packagekit hooks to use them (one concrete example would be for plasma dataengines (see also blog entry on the topic).

Contacts: Rex Dieter


Notes: Intermediate knowledge of rpm and/or kde plasma coding

Avahi yum repositories

Status: Proposed

Summary of idea: Add a yum plugin that will use avahi to find local mirrors of canonical repositories, and tools/scripts for local http/nfs servers to advertise what they have. It would also be nice to include proper nfs repository support in yum or a plugin, so the advertised repositories can be on NFS filesystems that are not already mounted locally on clients. The use on the clients should be transparent without any local yum repo config changes except perhaps for installing/enabling the plugin. Later anaconda could also be taught to use avahi to find repositories for installation.

Contacts: Roland McGrath


Notes: Divisible into various separate pieces that are worthwhile on their own.

Improve critical dependency management in Yum

Status: Proposed (please review)

Summary of idea: The idea (roughly) is that Yum could detect when a package update is going to break some important functionality of the system because is a dependency of another package that won’t be updated (for example: Yum is not detecting that when a kernel is updated, because the previous kernel is not deleted, and the dependency isn’t broken). This happens once in a while with kernel and third party packages that provide support for devices that aren’t supported by Fedora directly because of licensing restrictions: ie. Fedora updates the kernel, and RPM Fusion packages related to Broadcom wireless usually need 2-4 days to be updated, resulting in a non working wireless.



Notes: I don’t feel qualified to be mentor.

Masking packages

Mixing stable and unstable packages (ie from different repositories) is quite tiresome and hardly manageable for more than a few packets. What is missing is something like the Gentoo approach where you can unmask (or mask) certain unstable packages so that they will be pulled and installed into your otherwise stable-only environment. The user has to resolve any conflicts that may arise.

Apart from the luxury of more bleeding-edge packages available, this could also really get more people into testing of unstable packages. With changed policies regarding only stable updates / backports to a stable Fedora release, this would make Fedora still attractive for users that like to work with latest packages but refrain from rawhide for whatever reasons.

Smarter Yum Metadata

Status: Proposed

Summary of Idea: Share yum metadata among users of a system and also fetch them faster instead of downloading the whole chunk each time.

A git-based metadata store was proposed but objected to by yum maintainers. There could be other ways of doing this, as suggested in the bug report or by going ahead with the git idea — I believe it can be done.



Turn smock into a real program


Summary of idea: smock is a hack that Dan and I wrote a few years ago that lets you build a chain of RPMs in mock. It works out all the dependencies and builds the packages in the right order, using the result from an earlier build to satisfy dependencies in a later build, and being almost completely automated. What really needs to happen is that mock is extended to support this as a native feature.




Fedora Spins and remixes

Remixing and making new Fedora Spins is an important part of the community’s freedoms, and these coding projects support that.

Fedora Medical

Status: In progress.

Summary of idea: Here, we are looking for a couple students who have some experience in RPM packaging, python, and bash. This would be a good opportunity to learn in depth packaging and fedora contributor ecosystem.

This is a work in progress and details can be found here:

We are looking forward to do mainly packaging and getting them published to fedora repo. However, we will also be doing some tooling and associated works. So, python and bash will be required.

Understanding fedora package maintainer guideline is required. Having existing packages in fedora will be a plus. Also, the student should be interested in maintaining some of those packages after SOC.

Contacts: Susmit Shannigrahi

Mentor(s): Susmit and Mario Ceresa


Create a spin to aid students in education and to help them understand Linux and Fedora better

Status: Proposed

Summary of Idea: The idea is to create a spin which would be more student friendly. It should have some graph plotting tools, some circuit simulator, maybe an equation solving application, IDE for some basic coding and a few compilers which are taught in colleges and other relevant stuff. It should consist of extensive documentation to help students use these tools and Linux in general. A few interesting games and music player would be a plus.

Additionally, if possible, one can imagine to throw up a screen during install which would help in picking the age group of the student. The applications can be installed accordingly. For example, I would like to have a scrabble game for a small kid then a circuit simulator.

Contacts: Ryan Rix

Mentor(s): Ryan Rix (Maybe)

Educational Application for Fedora Robotics Suite

Status: Proposed

Summary of Idea: Create an educational app introducing software from Fedora Robotics Suite

The Fedora Robotics SIG is creating a Robotics Suite consisting of many packages useful in robotics. We want to develop a demonstration application introducing new users step by step to core packages like Fawkes and Player/Stage. It would feature multiple game-like levels with increasing complexity. The general task would be to instruct the robot to fulfill a specific task in a simulation environment.

Developing this requires a strong background in C++, a background in robotics is preferred but not necessary. You should be able to familiarize yourself with new software quickly. User visible parts will require GUI programming using Gtkmm.

Contacts: Tim Niemueller

Mentor(s): Tim Niemueller

Dorrie - A Web interface to create Fedora Remixes

Status: Proposed

Summary of Idea: Contribute to Dorrie, and make it more usable, tested and deployable.

More at Dorrie, code at, fork and send pull request, if you are interested to contribute.

Contacts: Shreyank Gupta

Mentor(s): Shreyank Gupta

Aeolus Packaging

Status: Proposed

Summary of Idea: Contribute to the Aeolus family of projects (, starting with packaging of dependencies not yet in Fedora (