Google Summer of Code 2013

Ubuntu applied as a mentoring organization for Google Summer of Code 2013. Unfortunately, our application was not accepted, but we hope to participate again if the program continues for another year. On the bright side, 177 wonderful organizations were accepted, and many of them even play a role in Ubuntu. If you are interested in participating as a student, now is a great time to explore those other projects. Good luck, and have fun!

GSoC background

GSoC is a great opportunity to expose new students to the wonderful world of Ubuntu, get some exciting projects off the ground and bring exposure to the projects, students and organisations alike.

The main goal for this program is to encourage university student participation in the open source world. It is a great opportunity for students in Computer Science or related fields. Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is an annual program in which Google awards stipends to hundreds of students who contribute to an open source project during the summer.

The program invites students, who are 18 or older and meet their eligibility criteria, to post applications that detail the software-coding project they wish to perform. The applications are then evaluated by interested mentors.

If you have any questions, please send a message to our mailing list at, or contact one of our administrators directly. You might also be interested in a history of our participation in Google Summer of Code, which is available from our main Summer of Code page.


We are looking for both students and mentors. See the appropriate page below for more information.

Participants must be eligible according to the rules of the Summer of Code program.

Who to contact

Application questions

  1. Describe your organization.
    • Ubuntu is an open source operating system managed and funded by Canonical and developed by a diverse community of volunteers and professionals from around the world.
  2. Why is your organization applying to participate in Google Summer of Code 2013? What do you hope to gain by participating?
    • Ubuntu is powered by its volunteers. Through Google Summer of Code, we hope to get more people interested in contributing to Ubuntu to help grow our developer base. We would like to improve portions of Ubuntu which would otherwise be underdeveloped, and provide a learning experience for students about the realities of open source software development.
  3. Has your organization participated in past Google Summer of Codes? (yes/no)
    • Ubuntu participated in GSoC in 2010, 2007, 2006.
  4. If you answered “yes” to the question above, please summarize your involvement and the successes and challenges of your participation. Please also list your pass/fail rate for each year.
    • Most recently in 2010, Urban Skudnik contributed a number of features and user-interface improvements to Deja-Dup (a backup tool) as part of his GSoC project. Dylan McCall (another 2010 student) contributed to Harvest, a tool to identify low-hanging fruit in the Ubuntu system, and has continued his work after GSoC. Michał Karnicki's work on an Android app in 2010 resulted in an app being made available on the Android Market.

  5. If your organization has not previously participated in Google Summer of Code, have you applied in the past? If so, for what year(s)?
    • Not applicable.
  6. What Open Source Initiative approved license(s) does your project use?
    • Ubuntu uses a wide range of licenses. Generally they are GPL-compatible licenses, but anything satisfying the Debian Free Software Guidelines is considered acceptable.

  7. What is the URL for your Ideas list? **This is the most important part of your proposal. Please make sure we can access it and it is complete when you submit this proposal. “Placeholder” or inaccessible ideas pages will be grounds for an automatic rejection for participation in Google Summer of Code 2013.**
  8. What is the main development mailing list for your organization?
  9. What is the main IRC channel for your organization?
  10. Who will be your backup organization administrator?
  11. What criteria did you use to select the mentors? Please be as specific as possible.
    • For mentors, we looked for individuals with a long history of involvement in the project. Selection criteria include those who have sponsored other developers' work in the past, and knowledge of community development processes.
  12. What is your plan for dealing with disappearing students? Please be as specific as possible.
    • We will try once weekly for the duration of the summer period to contact the student. After three weeks, we will make a public mailing list posting soliciting their return. If a student remains MIA, they will be failed at the midterm or final.
  13. What is your plan for dealing with disappearing mentors? Please be as specific as possible.
    • If a student reports a mentor as unresponsive, we will ask the Ubuntu community to select someone to take the mentor's role. This request will occur via a mailing list posting, and potentially reaching out directly to potential replacements via email or IRC. We hope to have multiple mentors for each project which will make this less of a likely occurrence.
  14. What steps will you take to encourage students to interact with your project's community before, during and after the program?
    • All students will receive a short guide with an introduction to open source development, and we will encourage them to be active in projects they are participating in, including frequent code merges wherever possible. We like to avoid situations where students accumulate large quantities of unmerged code. Instead, we prefer arrangements where students are able to continually interact with the wider developer community. We will encourage all students to be active on Internet Relay Chat, and they will be presented the opportunity to participate in the Ubuntu Development Summit.
  15. Are you a new organization who has a Googler or other organization to vouch for you? If so, please list their name(s) here.
    • We are not a new organization.
  16. Are you an established or larger organization who would like to vouch for a new organization applying this year? If so, please list their name(s) here.
  17. What will you do to encourage that your accepted students stick with the project after Google Summer of Code concludes?
    • We will make sure to express our huge appreciation for their work. Wherever possible, this means getting their work into a release as soon as possible. We recognize that many students can become very busy shortly after they finish their projects, so if any work remains to be done, we will do what we can to support it. We want to give students a friendly sense of community and of accomplishment, and to make sure they feel welcome in the future.

GoogleSoC2013 (last edited 2013-04-21 01:01:52 by dylanmccall)