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Paul Kocialkowski, 01/22/2018 08:12 PM


Google Summer of Code 2018

Replicant intends to apply to GSoC 2018 as part of the FSF umbrella. This page lists suggested projects for GSoC students. This list is a draft!

Note: Working on most of these projects requires a sufficiently powerful computer with enough disk space to build Replicant.

Advance the Optimus Black U-Boot and Linux mainline ports

The Optimus Black from LG is an interesting device from the perspective of freedom and privacy/security. It has the ability to run a free bootloader and uses an OMAP3 SoC that is well-documented and supported in upstream U-Boot (bootloader) and Linux (kernel). Its modem is well-isolated from the rest of the device, ensuring a sane base for privacy/security. Currently, the device-specific parts of the mainline U-Boot and Linux ports are still at an early stage, where they are functional with a very limited set of supported hardware.

Advancing the Optimus Black U-Boot and Linux mainline ports would allow using the device with free and up-to-date software and would pave the way for support in GNU/Linux systems as well as Replicant. A list of priorities in hardware support will be defined, with the objective of tackling as many as possible.

Difficulty: Medium

Requirements/Prerequisites: C programming language, driver development

Expected Outcomes/Deliverables: Improved hardware support for the Optimus Black in U-Boot and Linux

Possible Mentors: Paul (confirmed)

Advance the Kindle Fire (first generation) U-Boot and Linux mainline ports

The Kindle Fire (first generation) from Amazon is an interesting device from the perspective of freedom and privacy/security. It has the ability to run a free bootloader and uses an OMAP4 SoC that is well-documented and supported in upstream U-Boot (bootloader) and Linux (kernel). It does not embed a modem, ensuring a sane base for privacy/security. Currently, the device-specific parts of the mainline U-Boot and Linux ports are still at an early stage, where they are functional with a very limited set of supported hardware.

Advancing the Kindle Fire (first generation) U-Boot and Linux mainline ports would allow using the device with free and up-to-date software and would pave the way for support in GNU/Linux systems as well as Replicant. A list of priorities in hardware support will be defined, with the objective of tackling as many as possible.

Difficulty: Medium

Requirements/Prerequisites: C programming language, driver development

Expected Outcomes/Deliverables: Improved hardware support for the Kindle Fire (first generation) in U-Boot and Linux

Possible Mentors: Paul (confirmed)

Access Point mode for RepWifi

RepWifi is Replicant's app for using an external USB WiFi adapter. RepWifi is useful for Replicant because there exist USB WiFi adapters with free firmware, while the built-in WiFi chipsets in mobile phones do not have free firmware. Right now, RepWifi doesn't support acting as an access point (e.g. for WiFi tethering purposes); you can help by adding this functionality to RepWifi.

Difficulty: Easy to Medium

Requirements/Prerequisites: Knowledge of Java and basic shell scripting. Basic knowledge about wpa_supplicant and general network management in POSIX environments.
Required knowledge builds up very fast by trial and error, no need to be experts in networking, it's mostly about researching and learning.

Expected Outcomes/Deliverables: Make wpa_supplicant run in "Access Point mode", allowing another device to connect to the phone via WiFi, and use its mobile data connection to access the internet. Integrate the needed GUI functions into RepWifi.

Possible Mentors: Fil (confirmed)

Port Replicant to a newer LineageOS version

Replicant is currently based on LineageOS 13. It would be desirable to upgrade Replicant to a newer release of LineageOS.

Difficulty: Medium

Requirements/Prerequisites: Knowledge of C, C++, and Java.

Expected Outcomes/Deliverables: Remove all proprietary components of LineageOS, port all the changes needed to successfully boot without any blobs, rebrand LineageOS as Replicant.

Possible Mentors: Forkbomb (confirmed), Wolfgang?

OS Updater

It would be useful for a Replicant device to be able to update itself to a new version of Replicant without requiring being connected to a PC. You can help by implementing this functionality. LineageOS already supports this; we suspect that it should be possible to adapt this LineageOS functionality to Replicant.

Difficulty: Medium to Hard

Requirements/Prerequisites: TODO

Expected Outcomes/Deliverables: TODO

Possible Mentors: Wolfgang?

Implement a fully-featured QMI-RIL

(Project description: TODO.)

Difficulty: TODO

Requirements/Prerequisites: TODO

Expected Outcomes/Deliverables: TODO

Possible Mentors: Wolfgang?

Implement the missing features of Samsung-RIL

Samsung-RIL is the RIL (Radio Interface Layer) that many Replicant devices use to communicate with the modem. It is a free, reverse-engineered replacement for the proprietary RIL that the Samsung phones ship with by default (which has been found to have backdoors). Right now, Samsung-RIL mostly implements only the protocol features that are absolutely necessary for the phone to be operable. As a result, many more rarely used protocol features are unimplemented, which decreases functionality compared to the proprietary RIL. You can help by implementing the missing features of Samsung-RIL.

Difficulty: Medium to Hard

Requirements/Prerequisites: Knowledge of C.

Expected Outcomes/Deliverables: Implement the missing features listed at Samsung-RIL.

Possible Mentors: Forkbomb (confirmed), Wolfgang?

Debug metallic sound in many 3G calls

Replicant has been observed to sometimes exhibit a metallic sound quality when doing voice calls over 3G (2G works fine). This is problematic, since most users prefer to stay in 3G mode (and some carriers are dropping support for 2G). You can help by debugging the issue.

Difficulty: TODO

Requirements/Prerequisites: TODO

Expected Outcomes/Deliverables: TODO

Possible Mentors: TODO

Optimize power consumption in external WiFi adapter firmware

The USB WiFi adapters used with Replicant are originally intended for laptops, not phones. As a result, they tend to consume a lot of power. This poses two issues: they can adversely impact battery life, and they can randomly stop working completely (e.g. needing to unplug and replug the adapter periodically to keep it operational). You can help by optimizing power consumption in the WiFi adapter firmware.

Difficulty: TODO

Requirements/Prerequisites: TODO

Expected Outcomes/Deliverables: TODO

Possible Mentors: TODO

Upgrade the WebView

Replicant uses an old version of the Android WebView (from circa 2015). This is a security and functionality problem. You can help by getting a more recent WebView working on Replicant.

Difficulty: TODO

Requirements/Prerequisites: TODO

Expected Outcomes/Deliverables: TODO

Possible Mentors: TODO

Port the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 to Mainline Linux

The Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 currently use a vendor fork of Linux, which poses a maintainability and security issue. Forkbomb has done some initial work on porting these devices to use mainline Linux. You can help by continuing this work.

Difficulty: Medium to Hard

Requirements/Prerequisites: Knowledge of C

Expected Outcomes/Deliverables: Audio working, modem working, and Replicant or LineageOS booting with mainline Linux.

Possible Mentors: Forkbomb (confirmed)

Projects mentored by other organizations

llvmpipe ARM optimizations

(Project description: TODO; can probably be adapted from https://redmine.replicant.us/projects/replicant/wiki/GraphicsResearch#llvmpipe .)

Difficulty: TODO

Requirements/Prerequisites: TODO

Expected Outcomes/Deliverables: TODO

Mesa would probably be a good organization for mentoring this project. If interested in working on this project, please propose it to Mesa. (We're happy to help.)