GNUnet's Google Summer of Code projects

As a GNU project, GNUnet has participated in the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) for a number of years. This page lists all current, past, and finished projects.

Current projects (2019)

Android Port

It is time for GNUnet to run properly on Android. Note that GNUnet is written in C, and this is not about rewriting GNUnet in Java, but about getting the C code to run on Android.

Mentors: Hartmut Goebel

Help with Continuous Integration setup

There is a push for migrating our CI to Gitlab. The CI should eventually not just run "make check" on various platforms, but also perform tests with multiple peers running in different VMs with specific network topologies (i.e. NAT) between them being simulated. The CI should also be integrated with Gauger for performance regression analysis. Running jobs only when dependencies have changed and scripting more granular triggers or ideally automatic dependency discovery (as done by the autotools) is also important.

Mentors: TBD

Migrate gnunet-qr from Python 2.7 to C using libzbar

Python 2.7 is reaching its end-of-life, and we want to get rid of the dependency on Python. The existing gnunet-qr tool is a rather simple wrapper around python-zbar, which itself wraps libzbar. The goal of this project is to directly use libzbar to scan QR codes for GNUnet / the GNU Name System (see also #5562).
Mentors: Christian Grothoff

re:claimID OpenID Connect performance improvements

reclaimID is a decentralized identity system build on top of the GNU Name System. Upon authorization, the user provides a requesting party (RP) such as a website with an authorization ticket (e.g. piggybacked in an OpenID authorization code). The RP uses information contained in this ticket to

  1. Retrieve the decryption key from GNS
  2. Retrieve the user attributes from GNS
The GNS lookups ensure that the RP receives up-to-date attributes and functional decryption keys. However, in particular the RP-specific encryption key resolution can be slow and even fail depending on the network topology. We propose that in an initial exchange, in particular OpenID authorization code flows, we try to incorporate key and maybe even an attribute set in the ticket exchange. In order to mitigate this issue, this project is meant to investigate and implement how...
  1. ... decryption keys can be added to an initial exchange in OpenID.
  2. ... initial set(s) of attributes can be piggybacked in OpenID.

Mentors: Martin Schanzenbach

re:claimID alternative GNS-based encryption

re:claimID is a decentralized identity system build on top of the GNU Name System. The initial design and implementation of re:claimID includes an attribute-based encryption module in order to prevent unauthorized access to attributes in the name system. Our motivation for re:claimID was for it to be name system agnostic, which means the design theoretically also works for other name systems such as namecoin. Other name systems often do not have built-in mechanisms in order to do this. Hence, we implemented an ABE access control layer. Our ABE implementation requires two third party libraries: libpbc and libgabe. While we could merge libgabe into the gnunet service implementation of re:claimID, libpbc is a rather large, third party library which lacks packaging in distributions and for platforms. On the other hand, GNS supports record data encryption using symmetric keys as labels. If we make the access control layer of re:claimID more generic in order to support both ABE and GNS encryption, we could reduce the required depenencies. This would result in gnunet packages to include re:claimID by default. In short, the goals are to...

  1. ... improve performance by reducing encryption overhead.
  2. ... reduce dependencies.

Mentors: Martin Schanzenbach

Enable all networking applications to run over GNUnet out of the box

One great problem of the current Internet is the lack of disintermediation. When people want to talk they need a chat service. When they want to share files they need a file transfer service. Although GNUnet already possesses quite advanced integration into Linux networking, a little extra work is needed for existing applications like irc, www, ftp, rsh, nntpd to run over it in a peer-to-peer way, simply by using a GNS hostname like friend.gnu. Once people have added a person to their GNS they can immediately message, exchange files and suchlike directly, with nothing but the GNUnet in the middle, using applications that have been distributed with unix systems ever since the 1980's. We can produce an OS distribution where these things work out of the box with the nicknames of people instead of cloud services. For more information and context, read bug id 4625.

Mentors: lynX & dvn

Past projects

Rust APIs for GNUnet services

There are a variety of GNUNet APIs that should be exposed in the Rust wrappers. Implementing these will require extending the port of GNUNet utils written by Andrew Cann and Kelong Cong.

As an introduction to the code base, we suggest that the student and Jeff Burdges together update the asynchronous IO system from gjio to futures-rs or another layer built upon it. Jeff Burdges is expected to concurrently be implementing a GNUNet API for his own mix network work.

Mentors: Jeff Burdges

Required Skills: Rust

Difficulty level: low

Tor compatibility for GNUnet

Implement the AnycastExit spec to enable GNUnet clients to connect over Tor.

Mentors: Jeff Burdges

Note: There was a Special TLDs spec to allow Tor to resolve domain names using GNS over Tor too, but currently that's on hold until folks think more about how names should be moved around the local system. We're calling this more collaborative approach NSS2 for now.

Required Skills: C

Difficulty level: medium

RESTful GNUnet

Design and implementation of REST APIs that expose the GNUnet API so that easy, hands-on development is possible. Also, browser-based UIs will be much easier to create on top of REST APIs.

Mentors: Martin Schanzenbach

Rust implementation of GNUnet utils

Improve the Rust implementation of GNUnet utils, possibly including adding support for asynchronous IO using mio, or perhaps a higher level asynchronous IO library built upon it, such as rotor, mioco, eventual_io, or gj.

Mentors: Jeff Burdges

Android compatibility for GNUnet

Implement rudimentary Android compatibility for GNUnet, in part by porting the GNUnet utils scheduler to act as a thin wrapper over libuv.

Mentors: Jeff Burdges and Christian Grothoff

Implementation of a replacement for PANDA

Implementation of a replacement for PANDA (see Pond) with better security, and maybe integration with the GNU Name System for key exchange.

Mentors: Jeff Burdges

Required Skills: Rust or C, crypto

Difficulty level: high

secushare: Implement social networking features on top of pubsub channels

Implement different place types and file sharing by creating a new place for the shared content.

Place types to be implemented:

  • File: generic file with comments
  • Image: display an image with comments referencing a region of the image
  • Sound: play a sound file with comments referencing a timestamp
  • Directory/Album: pointers to File / Image / Sound places
  • Event: with RSVP
  • Survey: ask your social neighborhood questions in a structured form

Also provide the following UI functionality:

  • Fork existing channels, reorganize people into new chatrooms or channels.
  • Share a post (edit and repost something elsewhere, on a fan page for example).
  • Edit a previously published post + offer edit history to readers.
  • Control expiry of channel history.

See also

Mentors: lynX

Required Skills: C/C++

Difficulty level: high

secushare: Implement a Social Graph API for contact adoption and more

Implement aggregation of distributed state from various channels in order to provide for a powerful social graph API capable of producing social network profiles, dashboards, a calendar out of upcoming event invitations (if available), social search functionality and most of all to make it easy for users to adopt cryptographic identities of their contacts/friends simply by finding them in the social graph of their existing contacts ("This is Linda. You have 11 contacts in common with her. [ADD]").

Related to

Mentors: t3sserakt, lynX

Required Skills: C

Difficulty level: high

secushare: Implement integration with tradition e-mail

  • Emulate IMAP/SMTP protocols as necessary to transform traditional mail clients into secushare user interfaces.
  • Think of ways to map e-mail addresses to secushare identities.
  • Encode or translate various e-mail features into secushare equivalents.
  • Parts of secushare are currently written in Rust, therefore Rust is preferred for this task but it is not an requirement.

Mentors: t3sserakt, lynX

Required Skills: C

Difficulty level: high

GNUnet auction

Implementation of the GNUnet auction system described in Chapter 3 of this thesis. Specific tasks are adding smart contract creation and round time enforcement to libbrandt as well as creating the GNUnet auction service, library and the three user interface programs create, info and join.

Mentors: mate, cg

Required Skills: C

Difficulty level: medium

Implementation of additional transports

Implementation of additional transports to make GNUnet communication more robust in the presence of problematic networks: GNUnet-over-SMTP, GNUnet-over-DNS

Mentors: Matthias Wachs

Implementation of ALG-based NAT traversal methods

Implementation of ALG-based NAT traversal methods (FTP/SIP-based hole punching, better STUN support)

Mentors: Matthias Wachs

Integration of the GNU Name System with GnuPG

Mentors: Matthias Wachs, Christian Grothoff, Jeff Burdges

libaboss improvements

Improving libaboss to make computation on shared secrets (including repeated multiplication) based on Ben-Or et al. if possible. This in particular means moving libaboss to bignums (gcry_mpi).

Mentors: Krista Grothoff, Jeff Burdges

Implementation of a replacement for PANDA

Implementation of a replacement for PANDA (see Pond) with better security, and maybe integration with the GNU Name System for key exchange.

Mentors: Jeff Burdges

Supporting GNU Guix's package distribution

Please refer to the description for this project listed under GNU Guix project ideas.

Finished projects


GNUnet Web-based User Interface

Implementation of a Web-based UI for GNUnet similar to GNUnet-Gtk with a yet to be determined framework such as Angular2. This includes the design and implementation of not yet existing REST APIs that expose the GNUnet API.

Mentors: Martin Schanzenbach

Required Skills: C, JavaScript, CSS

Difficulty level: medium

Report: GSoC 2018: GNUnet WebUI