Helping the GNU Project and the Free Software Movement
Table of Contents
Help develop the GNU operating system
- Write free manuals and other documentation for GNU software.
- Contribute to the high priority free software projects.
- The GNU Help Wanted list is the general task list for GNU software packages. You might also consider taking over one of the unmaintained GNU packages.
- There are other projects that would be good to do.
- Improve accessibility of free software.
- Propose your useful software packages as GNU packages. See the GNU software evaluation information.
- If you are a student, and you must do a software development project, contribute it to GNU. See for how to make the university let you release it as free software.
If you want to volunteer to work on GNU software, see how to volunteer.
Please let the GNU Volunteer Coordinators <firstname.lastname@example.org> know if you start a new package that you found in those lists. We want to keep track of what tasks are being worked on.
We are sometimes offered software which already does substantially the same task as an existing GNU package. Although of course we appreciate all offers, we'd naturally like to encourage programmers to spend their time writing free software to do new jobs, not already-solved ones. So, before starting a new program, please check the Free Software Directory for free software that does the job already.
We can offer some resources to help GNU software developers.
The GNU Volunteer Coordinators <email@example.com> can assist you if you would like to help development GNU software. They will be able to put you in touch with other people interested in or working on similar projects. When you have selected a task from our task lists, please let them know you're interested in working on it.
Volunteer with and donate to the Free Software Foundation
The Free Software Foundation is the principal organizational sponsor of the GNU Operating System. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of software freedom.
Like GNU, the FSF also gets a lot of its strength from volunteers. It's a great place to volunteer and a great community to join, especially if you don't have the technical background to contribute directly to free software development. Check out the FSF's volunteering page to get started or the homepage to learn more about the organization.
Support the FSF and the GNU Project financially by becoming an FSF associate member, donating to the FSF, purchasing manuals, t-shirts, stickers, and gear from the FSF, or by selling free software and donating some of the proceeds to the FSF or another free software organization. By funding development, you can advance the world of free software.
Spread awareness about GNU and the Free Software Movement
- Inform your acquaintances about the GNU philosophy and software.
- When you refer to the operating system that started as GNU with Linux added, call it GNU/Linux, and don't follow those who call it “Linux”. Once people are aware of what we have already done, rather than attributing it to others, they will support our present and future efforts more. This help takes very little of your time once you have unlearned the old habit.
- Show your support for the free software movement and our ideas of freedom for users of computing, by saying “free software”, “libre software” or “free/libre software”.
- Avoid the term “open source” which stands for rejection of our ideals.
- Add a link to this web site to your home pages.
- Suggest that others do these things.
- Offer GNU/Linux Installation or support in your local time banks.
Help support GNU development and use
This list is ordered roughly with the more urgent items near the top. Please note that many things on this list link to larger, expanded lists.
- Help with Savannah. We are especially looking for technical sysadmin volunteers to help with underlying infrastructure support. Volunteers to help with pending project submissions are also very welcome. Please see this general information on how to become a savannah hacker. Please communicate with us on the savannah-hackers-public mailing list.
- Organize a new GNU/Linux User Group.
- Volunteer as a GNU Webmaster. Start by completing the webmaster quiz.
- Translate the GNU Web site into other languages. More information about the issue can be found at the Guide to Translating the www.gnu.org Web Pages. Write to <firstname.lastname@example.org> if you want to help.
- Each translation team needs several members that are native speakers of the target language (and fluent in English), but it also needs at least one member that is a native speaker of English (and fluent in the target language).
- When you are talking with people that don't value freedom and community, you can show them the many practical advantages of free software (see Why Open Source / Free Software? Look at the Numbers! for some useful evidence). But keep mentioning the ethical issues too! Don't let their pressure change your voice into an open-source voice.
- Volunteer to make sure that essays from our philosophy page and other GNU URLs are on and/or linked from WWW directory, portal, and various hierarchical web index sites, such as Yahoo!, dmoz.org, and Google. Get these sites to add detailed entries about our different web pages. Make sure that essays from our philosophy page and other GNU URLs are linked to often in the appropriate categories. If you'd like to help us with this task, please contact the GNU Volunteer Coordinators <email@example.com>.
- Donate hardware to the FSF.
- Take on one of the jobs we need done for this web server.
- If you or your company work supporting or developing free software in some way, you can list yourself (or your company) in the GNU Service Directory.
- If you run a company that needs to hire people to work with free software, you can advertise on our Free Software Job Page.
- Volunteer to contact companies and suggest that they use our Free Software Job Page to publish their job postings. If you would be interested in this, please contact <firstname.lastname@example.org>.