Openwall GNU/*/Linux - a small security-enhanced Linux distro for servers
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Date: Sat, 18 Feb 2012 23:33:29 +0400
From: Solar Designer <>
Subject: Re: Regarding GSoC 2012


On Sun, Feb 19, 2012 at 12:22:45AM +0530, Gaurav wrote:
> I am interested in contributing to Kernel-hardening project under Openwall.
> Could someone please tell me what are all skill set expected from a student
> participating in this project.

It's not so much about skill set, but rather it's about mindset and
already being involved, although indeed you will need some skills and
experience as well (e.g., have some vulnerabilities discovered in the
past, have some patches already accepted into the Linux kernel - or at
the very least proposed).

I recall that you previously inquired about GSoC 2011, and we failed to
follow-up on one of your messages (sorry!):

Yes, we did not specifically tell you what to start from, yet a student
who we would potentially want to work with under GSoC would be capable
of proposing things and trying to contribute on his/her own - e.g., at
least you could participate in discussions on this list if you had
something helpful to say.  Since you did not, it is unrealistic that
we'll accept you under GSoC 2012 (not to mention that it's far from
certain that we'll be in GSoC 2012 ourselves).  Among our criteria for
student acceptance is genuine interest.  So far, by only expressing your
interest in GSoC context, you demonstrated insufficient genuine interest
in our projects.  I do not mean to imply that you're solely after the
money; you may as well be after knowledge, which is great.  When we
accept a student under GSoC, we actually have to mentor the student even
if this costs us so much time that it becomes unreasonable (or we fail
the student).  It might pay off in the long run if the student sticks
around and becomes a real contributor later.  However, that's not what
we're into.  (It might be different for some other orgs, some of which
might not mind making such risky investments.)

I hope you will find the above helpful (as I intended it to be) rather
than offensive (although I realize that it might be seen as such).  I am
merely being sincere, and I appreciate your inquiries.


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