A guide to helping the GNU operating system
The GNU Volunteer Coordinators <firstname.lastname@example.org> can assist you if you wish to help the GNU Project. 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.
Please let the GNU Volunteer Coordinators <email@example.com> know if you take on any task from this list. We want to keep track of what tasks our volunteers are working on.
How to help the GNU Project
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 improve Savannah. We are looking for technical volunteers to help handle pending project submissions, improve older PHP code, work on the Perl backend, and help with various anti-spam systems. If you can help with any of these items, please email us at <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Improving Savannah will make development easier for the nearly 3,000 free software projects hosted there.
- Volunteer to extend the Free Software Directory. This task entails downloading free software packages, digging up information about these packages, and checking and verifying the licenses of the programs. You can read details of how to help the project. If you are interested in volunteering for this task, please contact <email@example.com>.
- Organize a new GNU/Linux User Group.
- Organize a new Free Software Activist Group to promote use of free software in your country, region or city.
- Set an example by switching to a completely free software operating system. The easiest way to do that is to install and use one of the free GNU/Linux distributions.
- Write free software:
- 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.
- When writing software for GNU, please follow the GNU Coding Standards and Information for Maintainers of GNU Software documents.
- To offer software you have written to GNU, please see this GNU software evaluation information. We also welcome volunteers to help us do the evaluations; information on the same page.
- 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.
- Write documentation for GNU software, using these resources, tips, and hints.
- Volunteer as a “Freedom Verifier” to check whether a given distribution contains only free software, so it can be included on the list of free distributions.
- 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.
- Tell others about the GNU Project and the Free Software
- informing your friends about the GNU philosophy and software.
- informing your friends that the “Linux” operating system is really GNU/Linux: that is, the GNU system, plus Linux, the kernel. Simply making a consistent and unfailing distinction between GNU/Linux (the whole system) and Linux (the kernel) when you write or speak about the system will help us greatly, while taking very little time once you have unlearned the old habit.
- by both adding a link to GNU's home page to your home pages, and suggesting that others do likewise.
- 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 change your voice into an open-source voice just to cater to others.
- Help the FSF raise funds by:
- making a donation to the FSF.
- becoming an Associate Member of the FSF.
- choosing the FSF as a beneficiary in your Affero page, linking to your FSF Affero page in your email signature, software project, and writings.
- ordering manuals, t-shirts and especially CD-ROMs from the FSF. The FSF raises funds partially by selling copies of things that everyone is free to copy.
- convincing your office to order manuals, t-shirts, and especially CD-ROMs from the FSF.
- convincing your office to order a Deluxe Distribution from the FSF.
software and donating a part of the proceeds to
the Free Software
Foundation or some other free software development
project. By funding development, you can advance the
world of free software.
Distributing free software is an opportunity to raise funds for development. Don't waste it!
- 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.
- Offer to contact companies looking for additional job postings to put on our Free Software Job Page. If you would be interested in this, please contact <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
- Donate used computers to other free software organizations.