Part I: Contributing to Open Source Communities at RIT

Olivia Gallucci ice skating with RITSEC, used on an article about tigeros open source. Titled: "Part I: Contributing to Open Source Communities at RIT."

The goal of this project was to contribute to an open source community by remediating a bug fix request.

First, I looked for requests through Fedora and Ovio. I saw that TigerOS—a Linux distribution created by students at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)—had a few issues listed on Fedora’s easy-fix page. I liked the idea of contributing to a local project. Additionally, I resonated with the idea that RIT students have a school-specific Linux distribution that preinstalls programs needed for class depending on the student’s major. 

The issue that I picked was to update the TigerOS website to link to the latest release of TigerOS. I need to create custom HTML for my blog, so I thought I would be capable of fixing that issue. The contact listed on the request was Tim Zabel, so I contacted Zabel on Telegram. We are both part of RIT’s FOSS Telegram/IRC/Matrix bridge group, so I thought it would be easiest to introduce myself there.

I asked Zabel if I could work on TigerOS for my bugfix, and he agreed. We planned a call to review TigerOS’s set up and the changes that I would make. During the call, I learned I will be working on GitHub, which is where TigerOS’s hosts their website. However, TigerOS’s hosts their Linux distribution on GitLab.

I forked the GitHub repo and merged my changes on March 31, 2021. Zabel (@Tjzabel) reviewed and approved my changes on March 31, 2021. Also on March 31, my merge was accepted into the main project branch. After that, Zabel updated the mirrors page, so the most recent release is downloaded at https://mirrors.ritlug.com/TigerOS/latest/release/.  

I enjoyed working with TigerOS. It was simple, fun and involved RIT students. I also gained confidence in my abilities as a contributor. Lastly, I asked Zabel if I could take on larger requests, so I could make a larger contribution.

This is the first part of a three part series. Read part II here.


This post originated from the deprecated HFOSS’21 blog.

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Portrait of Olivia Gallucci in garden, used in LNP article.

Written by Olivia Gallucci

Olivia is an honors student at the Rochester Institute of Technology. She writes about security, open source software, and professional development.