Google Summer of Code 2014 – Boxes

What Is This About?

Half a week ago I was accepted as a participant for the Google Summer of Code 2014 by GNOME [0].

What to Expect

My project will focus on GNOMEs application for virtual machines – Boxes [3]. I will be mentored by Zeeshan Ali Khattak (IRC: zeenix).

The aim of this project is to improve the stability and to make Boxes even more time saving as it is now. The project contains three parts.

A Hardening Sprint

The first feature is quite simple: during this work I will support the Boxes team in Bugfixing. An application like Boxes should be very stable and I will try to improve this.

Widening the Support for Express Installation

In order to make Boxes more friendly I will add support for various OSes for the express installation. The following OSes are currently planned:

  • Debian
  • Ubuntu
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows Vista
  • OpenSUSE
  • Linux MINT
  • Damn Small Linux
  • ArchLinux

If everything works well I can maybe add another distribution – there will be a possibility to provide wishes for you in this case.

ISO Downloading

Boxes currently does not support downloading ISOs. However it does support automated downloading of some missing drivers so the background needed for this feature is already there. The third part of this project will be the possibility to let Boxes download an ISO. In addition to that Boxes shall recognize known URLs of ISOs and provide the possibility to enter the data for express installation while the download works. This way you can provide the data (URL, User, Password), lean back and Boxes will download and install it for you. If time allows it I have a few extra features in mind for this.

Tracking this Project

Everything I develop for this project will be publicly available. Take a look at [4] for more information.

After finishing the project, the work will go to through bugzilla. I will also post URLs to bugs I fix periodically. They will be directly applied to master as any other bugfixes.

What else Happens with Boxes

There are two other projects happening on Boxes this summer. I am very excited about both of them: They cover snapshotting and cloning of boxes [1], an important feature, as well as the possibility to use more than one monitor [2].

All in all in my opinion this summer aims to bring many features and improvements to Boxes.


[0] (Boxes – Hardening Sprint, express installation improvements & ISO download)
[1] (Add snapshotting and cloning of virtual machines to Gnome Boxes)
[2] (Boxes: When creating a vm, offer to attach more than one monitor)

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