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Our short term plans and need for help

GNU Boot is seeking contributors for various jobs, both simple and technical.

Information

The Libreboot name has a long history in the free software community. Most occurrences of the uses were intended to refer to boot software that was libre, and there is no way to edit those occurrences to refer to libre boot software by a different name. Therefore, we need help from the wider community to inform people about the inclusion of nonfree software in the Libreboot releases.

Another way to help GNU Boot and take a stand for fully free software is to change URLs across the web from <libreboot.org> to <gnu.org/software/gnuboot>, to make sure that the mentioned software is reliably free software.

You can also help our project by informing people about GNU boot or other 100% free boot software.

Documentation and/or testing

We need help for reviewing and fixing this website (which also contains the documentation). Many pages are inherited from Libreboot and might be outdated or specific to Libreboot.

In addition we also need help for testing releases and testing/updating the installation instructions.

We currently have a list of what computers aren’t tested yet in the bug 64754.

As for reporting what you tested, you can open a new bug or send a mail to the gnuboot or [Bug-gnuboot] (https://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/bug-gnuboot) mailing list.

Technical contributions

GNU Boot is currently using old versions of upstream software (like Coreboot, GRUB, etc) and so they need to be updated. Patches for that need to be sent on the [gnuboot-patches] (http://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/gnuboot-patches) mailing list.

We also have a bug tracker at https://savannah.gnu.org/bugs/?group=gnuboot that contains a list of bugs that needs to be fixed.

How to contribute

GNU Boot repositories

GNU Boot development is done using the Git version control system. Refer to the official Git documentation if you don’t know how to use Git.

The main GNU Boot repository is at https://git.savannah.gnu.org/cgit/gnuboot.git. It also contains the documentation/website and code to build it.

GNU Boot also has two additional repositories: one for presentations done at conferences or for mirroring source code that disappeared.

You can download any of these repositories, make whatever changes you like, and then submit your changes using the instructions below.

Testing your modifications

For technical contributions or for contributing to the website, you might need to test your modifications.

This currently requires to use a GNU/Linux distribution as building GNU Boot or its website on other operating systems is completely untested.

For instructions on building GNU Boot, you can refer to the build instructions.

Website

The website is in the GNU Boot source code inside the website/pages directory.

It is currently written in Markdown, specifically the Pandoc version of it and the static HTML pages are generated with Untitled, a static website generator.

The documentation that explains how to build it is in the README inside the website directory.

Name not required

Many projects using free software licenses do accept contributions from anyone but in many cases they also need to be able to track the copyright ownership of the contributions for various reasons.

This usually makes anonymous or pseudonymous contributions to the code more complicated, but that doesn’t make them impossible.

The main difficulty for GNU Boot is that GNU boot wants to contribute some of its changes to other projects it reuses such as Coreboot, GRUB, Guix, and so we need GNU Boot code or documentation contributions to be compatible with the way other projects track copyright ownership.

Because of that, if you want to contribute anonymously or pseudonymously the best way is to contact us publicly (for instance on our mailing list, using a mail and name that you use only for that) so we could look into it and try to find ways that work for GNU Boot but also potentially for other upstream projects as well and this way enable you to contribute to a wide variety of projects under free licenses with way less friction.

We already looked into it for various cases, and pseudonymous contributions should not have any special issues for contributing to most of the GNU Boot documentation/website and for translating them, for Guix packages, and for most parts of the GNU Boot build system. As for contributions that include patches to other upstream projects like Coreboot, we would need to look into it.

Note that if you send patches to GNU Boot, the contributions that you make are publicly recorded, in a Git repository which everyone can access.

And these contributions include a name, an email address and even a precise date in which the contribution was made. It is relatively easy to change the name and email with the ones you want as the git commit command has options for that.

If you do that, before sending patches make sure to use git log git --pretty=fuller and git show --pretty=fuller to confirm that you used the right name and email before publishing your changes.

Note that even if you do that, it might still be possible to link your contributions to your identity for instance with stylometry, by looking at network connections if you don’t use Tor, by looking at the time/timezone of the contribution, etc.

Licenses

We require all patches to be submitted under a free license: https://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html.

Always declare a license on your work! Not declaring a license means that the default, restrictive copyright laws apply, which would make your work non-free.

GNU/Linux is generally recommended as the OS of choice, for GNU Boot development. However, BSD operating systems also boot on GNU Boot machines.

Send patches & contribute

You can submit your patches to the gnuboot-patches mailing list, preferably by using git send-email.

A simple guide to properly configure your git installation to send emails has been made by sourcehut or you can use the sourcehut interface to create patches.

You’ll have to specify the mailing list address:

git config --local sendemail.to gnuboot-patches@gnu.org

Please also sign-off your patches, which you can configure with:

git config format.signOff yes

Once you have submitted your patch, the GNU Boot maintainers will be notified via the mailing list and will start reviewing it.

All the patches that are added to GNU Boot require the agreement of two maintainers. The maintainer agreement is often indicated with text like that:

Acked-by: <maintainer name> <maintainer email>.

in an (email) reply form the given maintainer.

The maintainers agreement on a patch doesn’t necessary mean that there is an agreement on the order in which the patch will be added. So the patches can also land into a ‘gnuboot-next’ branch temporarily and potentially be re-ordered until all the GNU Boot maintainers agree to push all the commits in the chosen order into the main branch.

That ‘gnuboot-next’ branch can also be used when the GNU Boot maintainers agree to merge the patches but need to wait for the approval of the GNU project for instance if there are legal questions that also require the approval of the GNU Project.

Maintainers

Adrien ‘neox’ Bourmault and Denis ‘GNUtoo’ Carikli are the current maintainers of this GNU Boot project. They will also review patches sent to the mailing list.

Markdown file for this page: https://gnu.org/software/gnuboot/web/git.md

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