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Linux Kernel Mentorship Program

The Linux Kernel Mentorship Program offers a structured remote learning opportunity to aspiring Linux Kernel developers. Experienced Linux Kernel developers and maintainers mentor volunteer mentees and help them become contributors to the Linux Kernel.

The Linux Kernel Mentorship Program includes three 12-week, full-time volunteer mentee positions, and two 24-week part-time volunteer mentee positions each year. Please check the 2021 Linux Kernel Mentorship Program and get started. This is a remote opportunity and there is no need to relocate or move to participate.

Through funding from the Linux Foundation, the Linux Kernel Mentorship Program will offer location based Stipend and travel funding to attend industry conferences to present the work they’ve done during the program.

Please see below regarding additional matching grants that the Linux Foundation is providing to other projects on LFX Mentorship in support of diversity initiatives.

The program serves as a vehicle to reach out to students and developers to inject new talent into the Linux Kernel community. It aims to increase diversity in the Linux Kernel community and work towards making the kernel more secure and sustainable. We strongly encourage applicants who are from traditionally underrepresented or marginalized groups in the technology and open source communities, including, but not limited to: persons identifying as LGBTQ, women, persons of color, and/or persons with disabilities.

The mentors are experienced developers and maintainers seeking additional help on the project as well as an opportunity to teach aspiring developers. Many mentors and mentees will be  focused on improving security and stability of the kernel.

Mentees will be invited to speak at Open Source Summits to share the work they have done during the program and will be given an opportunity to network with the community and prospective employers. Mentees are encouraged to write blogs to share their experience and their project, and the blogs will be published on the Linux Foundation blog site.

What are the licensing guidelines for the mentorship work? All Linux Kernel Mentorship work product must be contributed and made available under GPL-2.0 and submitted with Developer Certificate of Origin (DCO) sign-off statements. This applies regardless of whether the work product is for kernel code or for user space code.

Benefits for Mentees

Benefits for mentors

  • Opportunity to teach and share expertise
  • Get help with work in your respective Kernel areas
  • Opportunity to train and bring new talent into the project
  • Get rewarded with an invite to a Linux conference

Benefits for the Linux Kernel community/project

  • Add well-trained and educated diverse talent to the project
  • Opportunity to train and add to areas of the project that could benefit from extra help
  • Gives a structured and well-defined program to attract and develop new talent
  • Opportunity to strengthen the project and the community that is crucial to the Linux ecosystem

Benefits for the Linux Ecosystem

  • Strong and sustainable kernel community
  • Improved security and quality of Linux releases
  • Talented pool of prospective employees trained by experts

How to apply

  • Prospective mentees! Get started by creating mentee profile on LFX Mentorship.
  • Prospective mentors! Get started by creating mentor profile on LFX Mentorship.
  • Join #linux-kernel-mentees IRC Channel on freenode. This server recommends Nick registration.
    • Server Name:
    • You can register your Nick in the server tab with command: identify /msg NickServ identify <password>
    • You can configure your chat client to auto identify using NickServ(/MSG NickServ+password) option - works on hexchat

Mentees - Profile Creation process

  • Linux Kernel Mentorship Program Eligibility - This step is part of creating mentee profile on LFX Mentorship
  • Confirm permission to participate (if applicable) from education institution or employer. Please note that all mentorship work product must be contributed and made available under GPL-2.0 and submitted with Developer Certificate of Origin (DCO) sign-off statements. This applies regardless of whether the work product is for kernel code or for user space code. This includes the work done during the 6 week application process.
  • Select and apply for a project of your interest. Hint search for Linux in the search bar on
  • Refer to 2020 Spring and Summer Projects to get an idea what kind of projects are available under this program.

Mentees - Complete Application process

  • Complete the project prerequisite tasks assigned to you when you apply for the project:
    • Step 1: Complete the A Beginner’s Guide to Linux Kernel Development e-course. This is a free training course which is a prerequisite for the mentorship program starting Spring 2020. Once you complete the course, you get a certificate of completion which you can download and upload to complete your prerequisite task. If you are unable to upload, attach it to the cover letter or link it from your resume.
    • Step 2: Upload resume, cover-letter
  • Complete Skill evaluation period - 2 weeks (due before Application Contribution period begins)
    • Step 3: Complete Skill evaluation task(s) assigned to you as task(s) in LFX Mentorship. You will receive an email with instructions on how to signup once you complete Step 1 & Step 2. This screening is common to all Linux Kernel Mentorship projects. You will have to complete it once.
    • If you qualify, you can start Application Contributions. A task will be assigned to you to start your Application Contributions. A second task be assigned to submit your completed application.
  • NOTE: we recommend you to start steps 1-3 as soon as the Prerequisites and Skill Evaluation Period opens, so we can have time to evaluate your skills and assigning you to a mentor.
  • Application Contribution period (6 weeks)
  • Complete application and submit: Application packet should contain a short summary of your skills and what you learned during the 6 week application period and include a report of all your contributions. Upload your application to the “Submit Completed Application task”.

Frequently Answered Questions and tips

  • Before starting work on a task, please check the archive first to see if a patch is already in progress. Please avoid duplicated efforts. Linux Kernel Mentees Archive
  • For documentation tasks, start small with picking one file for conversion first. You don't have to work on all the files in a directory in one step. Working on a single file helps you get over the learning curve and then you can take on larger set of files as needed. If in doubt, send email to maintainers - starting with Shuah Khan and Mauro Carvalho Chehab. Mauro is working on a series of documentation patches in progress and check with him before starting Documentation tasks. He is a good resource for Documentation changes.
  • Please copy mailing lists and maintainers/developers suggested by scripts/
  • Please run scripts/ before sending the patch.
  • Compile and test - Documentation compile steps have been documented.
  • Signed-off-by should be the last tag.

Mentees - What to expect after getting selected?

If you are selected for the program and completed your paper work: mentors on your projects and

Mentor time commitment

Mentors should expect to spend two to four hours per week during the entire duration of the Mentorship Program starting from the application process to the end of the program.

lkmp.1605559908.txt.gz · Last modified: 2020/11/16 20:51 by ShuahKhanLF