GSoC and Outreachy 2018 retrospective

23 Jan 2019

QEMU participates in open source internship programs including Google Summer of Code (GSoC) and Outreachy. These full-time remote work opportunities allow talented new developers to get involved in our community. This post highlights what our interns achieved in 2018.

micro:bit board emulation

Julia Suvorova (Outreachy) and Steffen Görtz (GSoC) tackled adding emulation support for the micro:bit ARM board. Although QEMU already has plenty of ARM emulation code, the Cortex-M0 CPU used in the micro:bit was not yet implemented and the nRF51 system-on-chip was also missing.

The goal of this project was to run micro:bit programs (usually created with the MicroPython or Javascript/Blocks IDEs) with a core set of emulated devices, including the serial port, pushbuttons, and LEDs.

QEMU 3.1 already shipped the groundwork for the new qemu-system-arm -M microbit machine type. Enough functionality to run basic micro:bit programs is expected in the next QEMU release.

This project was mentored by Jim Mussared, Joel Stanley, and Stefan Hajnoczi.

Patchew REST API improvements

Shubham Jain (GSoC) created a REST API for the Patchew continuous integration system that is at the heart of QEMU’s development process. The previous API was not RESTful and exposed database schema internals.

The improvements to the REST API have been included into Patchew and are deployed on They are not in use yet, pending more work on authentication; this may be the topic of a future Summer of Code internship.

This project was mentored by Paolo Bonzini and Fam Zheng.

Qtest Driver Framework

Emanuele Esposito (GSoC) enhanced QEMU’s test infrastructure with an engine that starts tests with all variants of devices that they are capable of driving.

This is a complicated task in QEMU since certain devices and buses are available in an architecture-specific way on each emulation target, making it hard to write test cases without lots of hardcoded dependencies - and to keep them up-to-date!

The qgraph framework that Emanuele created eliminates the need to hardcode each variant into the test. Emanuele also converted several existing tests. His framework was also presented at KVM Forum 2018 by Laurent Vivier and should be merged in 4.0.

This project was mentored by Paolo Bonzini and Laurent Vivier.

Vulkan-izing VirGL

Nathan Gauër (GSoC) improved VirGL, which provides an OpenGL path well supported on Linux guests. On the host, QEMU offers several console back-ends, from EGL to SDL. Adding a Vulkan path will require to change the current VirGL API, write new guest drivers, and also offer a way to display the output. This is a huge task, which can be split in several sub-projects. Expending the current VirGL API to support Vulkan is the first step.

Code is available here.

This project was mentored by Marc-André Lureau.

Stay tuned for 2019 internships!

QEMU will apply to Google Summer of Code and Outreachy again in 2019. We hope to offer more great open source internship opportunities for new developers.