Google Summer of Code

Welcome to the Linkerd Google Summer of Code program! We are looking forward to getting to know you and help make your contribution a rewarding experience.

Does the idea of writing some amazing code for the most lightweight Kubernetes service mesh, and learning from some of the best service mesh engineers intrigue you?

Join us on the Linkerd Slack. Look for the #gsoc channel!

Project Ideas

So you are up for the challenge? Check out the list of projects below. When you are ready, go to the Application Process section for more information on how to proceed.


Linkerd has frequent updates and keeping up with the weekly edge releases can be difficult. This project involves building a Kubernetes operator that can observe the version-check API, auto-update the control plane and replace the Linkerd data plane proxies with the correct version.

Expected outcomes

  • An operator that watches the version-check API and triggers an update on changes.

  • Flexible upgrade plans that are saved for each version to describe ordering and how to move between versions.

  • Validation that each step of an upgrade completes successfully.

  • Rolling modification of existing data plane proxies to the latest version based off annotations.

  • Go

  • Kubernetes

Difficulty level



Conformance Validation

Linkerd has an extensive check suite that validates a cluster is ready to install Linkerd and that the install was successful. These checks are, unfortunately, static checks. Because of the wide number of ways a Kubernetes cluster can be configured, users want a way to validate their specific install for conformance over time. This project involves building a sample application that exercises all of the features of Linkerd and allows an end user to run it on their own cluster to validate that everything is working and configured correctly over a long period of time time.

Expected outcomes

  • Sample application that exercises all Linkerd features.

  • CLI integration to start, monitor and stop the tests.

  • Reporting to describe what is not working for users.

  • Go

  • Bash

  • Kubernetes

  • gRPC

Difficulty level



Alertmanager Integration

Linkerd provides rich metrics that are stored in Prometheus out of the box. These are for both the control plane and data plane. The goal is to provide Alertmanager integration that comes out of the box, is configurable with preferred channels (email, Slack) and works with ServiceProfiles to easily create alerts that are per-service and per-route.

Expected outcomes

  • Alertmanager installation as part of the control plane.

  • Default alerting policy for the control plane.

  • Simple configuration for desired alert channel.

  • Integration with ServiceProfiles to setup rules to alert in Alertmanager.

  • Go

  • Prometheus

  • Grafana

Difficulty level



Scale Testing

Linkerd is used by many companies to enrich and secure their production service network communication. It’s very important that new features do not regress its performance. The goal of this project is to automate the scale testing infrastructure so that we can easily repeat the scale testing process, and gain visibility into any performance regression.

Expected outcomes

  • Automatically add a sample workload to the cluster.

  • Record cluster, control plane and data plane metrics during test.

  • Report on resource usage, Linkerd performance and potential errors encountered.

  • Go

  • Bash

  • Kubernetes

  • Prometheus

Difficulty level



Application Process

It’s very easy to get involved in the Linkerd GSoC program. The Linkerd community has been known for its welcoming environment.

Come meet your prospective mentors and fellow students on the Linkerd Slack in the #gsoc channel. Let’s get you started!


All students are required to get to know Linkerd by completing this Getting Started tutorial.

As part of the acceptance requirements, students must have at least one pull requests reviewed and merged in the Linkerd2 repository. You may like to start working on some of these good first issues .

Before proceeding with writing any code, read through the Linkerd’s Developer Certificate of Origin.

Information on how to build the code can be found here.

Request For Comments

When you are ready, submit a request for comments (RFC) to the Linkerd GSoC repository as a draft pull request .

The Linkerd GSoC repository is located at Follow the instruction provided here to complete your RFC.

Each pull request will be assigned to the most relevant reviewer, who will lead its triage. Once your RFC is reviewed, you will be introduced to your mentor.

Project Execution

Congratulation! You are now part of the Linkerd GSoC team. Let’s work together to build something awesome!

Your mentor will schedule a kick-off meeting with you.

You’ll have a GitHub project board setup just for your project! This will contain all the issues that you’re working on as part of your project. You are expected to create issues which outline all the deliverables listed in the RFC that you created along with any other things that come up along the way. The board is a great way for you and your mentor to understand how everything is going and what needs to be tackled next.

There are two important channels in Slack: #gsoc and #contributors. For anything that is specifically related to GSoC, ask questions there! All the code and project related questions should go into #contributors. Most of the Linkerd maintainers are waiting there and can help answer your questions if your mentor is unavailable.

Each deliverable will take the form of a PR to the Linkerd2 repository. Remember that these should take less than 2 weeks to code, be reviewed and merged. Plan for it taking at least 3 days for a review to be completed from initially being created. There will be lots of back and forth in the PR to get your code honed to perfection. If you feel like the current deliverable you’re working on will take longer than 2 weeks, bring it up with your mentor! This means that the scoping wasn’t quite right and you’ll want to chat a little bit about reducing the size of the deliverable. Remember, large PRs take a lot longer to review and get in the way of having feedback early and often.

Make sure you surface any roadblocks and risks to your mentors early. Ask lots of questions!

It will also be helpful for your mentor to receive a weekly status communication from you. Previous mentors and students have use this template to facilitate their weekly catch-up:

Accomplishments and Key Updates

Mention all the work done with relevant links and discussions that happened

Next Work

Mention the work that is planned for next week


Mention about any deadlines that are coming up and any problems that you are facing


Mention about any doubts, questions that you have or any calls that you scheduled/want to schedule

Towards the end of your project, we may make arrangement for you to demonstrate your work on the Linkerd’s monthly community meetup. This is an excellent opportunity for you to show off the amazing thing that you have been building!

Project Evaluation

Coming soon.