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Project Ideas

Here are some ideas for projects for Google Summer of Code students. This list is not exhaustive, and we welcome new suggestions. Some of these ideas are not in themselves complete projects; feel free to ask us how much work is likely to be involved, and how many ideas you might sensibly attempt as a Summer of Code project.

Device drivers

gPXE is always in need of more device drivers. In the case of network card drivers, existing drivers and Linux kernel drivers are available as starting points. Data sheets are also generally available for most NIC variations, though such documentation is sometimes unreliable. You could:

  • Update some of the old Etherboot drivers to work with the new gPXE driver API. All drivers are written in C, and you will need to have hardware (network cards, server and client computers) to test driver changes. (We may be able to provide some of the required cards for development and testing.)
  • Add support for newer network card variants to an existing gPXE driver.
  • Add a device driver for a new, currently-unsupported network card to gPXE.

If you are feeling more adventurous, and have access to appropriate hardware, you could:

  • Add a driver for a wireless network card. There is some out-of-date support for one type of 802.11b wireless card; you could expand this into a general framework for wireless networking, and add drivers for one or more modern wireless NICs.
  • Add a non-Ethernet driver, e.g. a driver for an Infiniband card. (gPXE does have a working Infiniband subsystem.)
  • Fix up the support for legacy bus types such as ISAPnP. These devices are allegedly supported, though most have not been tested for many years, and it is unlikely that the current code is in a working state.
  • Add support for a new bus type, e.g. PCMCIA or USB.

Other ideas

Please drop in to our IRC channel, #etherboot on, or send a message to our mailing list Etherboot-Discuss, (you have to join to post), to discuss your ideas.

We enjoy creating Free and Open Source Software, and also enjoy meeting new developers and users of our software.

We are always open to new ideas!

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