Desktop Team Update - Monday 22nd July 2019

Hi everyone, below you will find the updates from the Desktop team from the last week.

If you’re interested in discussing a topic please start a thread in the Desktop area of Discourse.
We also have our weekly meeting on IRC. We meet on Tuesday at 13:30 UTC in #ubuntu-desktop on Freenode. There will be an “Any Other Business” section at the end where you are welcome to raise topics. These topics might be discussed during the meeting, or afterwards depending on the time, depth of conversation, topic and so on.

Last week’s notes are here: Desktop Team Update - Monday 15th July 2019
Next week’s notes are here: Desktop Team Update - Monday 29th July 2019

Release bugs: Release bugs as of Monday 22nd July 2019

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(shorter one, I’m off this week)

  • E-serie work
    • uploaded the new plymouth and made a call for testing on discourse
    • reviewed/sponsored an indicator-keyboard build fix
    • looked at the libssh/armhf autopkgtest issue, the problem is that valgrind is bailing out on an unhandled instruction. There is an unreviewed patch upstream for that, reported on launchpad and asked input from the foundations team.
    • fixed udisks tests which regressed with the new version
    • talked to the udisks Debian maintainer about those fixes & some other changes, tested if some of the old hacks are still needed
    • got duplicity 0.8/python3 working, uploaded! … but failed tests on ppc64el :frowning:
    • reported the ppc64el problems upstream, cherry picked a patch
    • debugged a non translatable livepatch/update-notifier string and proposed a fix
  • SRU work
    • did a follow-up upload to the libsoup ntlmv2 SRU to include extra changes needed for some servers
    • tested the new proposed french langpacks for bionic
  • Other
    • played a bit with WSL2, posted on discourse about how to get graphical apps or sound working with some hacks
    • registration/travel bookings for GUADEC and for a Canonical event
    • did some fighting with porter boxes to debug some of build/test problems, opened RT tickets

libreoffice24-margin libreoffice

GNOME build-snap

  • desktop-launch optimisations synced to gnome-extension.
  • Reduced build- and platform-snaps by ~22MB:
    • Removed debug symbols from various parts.
    • Filtered out multiple versions of the same lib.

:computer_mouse: Gnome Shell performance (stutter | latency | CPU):

  • :hourglass_flowing_sand: Geometric (OpenGL-less) picking:
    • More detailed discussion with upstream.
    • Found that it eliminates constant performance warnings emitted by Mesa about gnome-shell. :rainbow:
    • Started converting to support picking under arbitrary 3D transformations. I’ve been resisting this for a whole year since it will take more time, will slow things down, and 3D transformations aren’t even used by anyone. But upstream are suddenly asking for 3D this week, so with the new knowledge that the branch is also a fix for all of Mesa’s performance warnings, it seems like a concession worth making now. Work in progress again…
  • :recycle: Honour CLUTTER_ACTOR_NO_LAYOUT more efficiently: Much more discussion and changes to resolve discussions.


:bug: Release bugs:

:chart_with_downwards_trend: Backlogs progress

  • A number of backlogs shrunk a little this week as cosmic reached end-of-life.


  • Enabled CI to run all zsys tests
  • Inspect zfs 0.8 generator
  • Provide a zfs mock for go Promote, SetProperty, Clone & Scan for quicker and independent tests on the machine layer
  • Test and cover machines.New(). Fix issues along the way + idempotence
  • Test and cover machines.EnsureBoot(). Fix issues along the way + idempotence (WIP)
  • Test and cover machines.Commit(). Fix issues along the way + idempotence (WIP)
  • Continue discussing with upstream fedora on the specification doc
  • We are now at 125 tests only on the machine (boot) side.
  • Client work
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firefox24 firefox

thunderbird24 thunderbird

  • 60.8.0+build1 published to all stable releases

chromium22 chromium

  • continued investigating CSD theming bug: no luck so far, but I observed that it’s not only chromium, and not only with Yaru, as I initially thought (the gnome-calculator snap is also affected with Adwaita)
  • updated stable to 75.0.3770.142
  • updated beta to 76.0.3809.71
  • updated dev to 77.0.3854.3
  • looked into KDE panel pinning issue, which breaks on snap refresh because the path for the pinned entry contains the revision number: this has been reported and is being fixed upstream

package24 other

  • registered for GUADEC
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  • network-manager: Investigated failure of autopkgtest with kernel 5.2.x. Failure happens always at the same place and only for IPv6 on a wired network. NM is not actually failing to set up these configurations, as when blocking out the failing test step all the rest succeeds, it seems to be a problem of that certain API function of NM. I am considering to skip this test step. I am giving it one last test run.
  • network-manager: Bug triaging, mainly asking reporters for logs following these instructions. Link to the instructions was hidden under GNOME, added a link to the main page about bug reporting.
  • Google Summer of Code 2019: Second evaluation period has opened, submitted evaluation for the student on the Printer Application snap framework. He made good progress, already snapped HPLIP, I asked him now to make the framework as general as possible so that one can easily snap arbitrary printer driver packages.
  • Linux Plumbers Conference 2019: Registered for the conference.
  • Bugs.
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snapd user session PR

  • PR #6954 is still waiting to be merged. I made some requested adjustments to the tests, and Samuele says he plans to merge it today or tomorrow. Once the details are settled and merged, I plan to follow up with smaller PRs building on top that will hopefully be less controversial. These include:
    • Make the session agent exit when idle
    • Connect to the session bus if available. Ensure this works with 16.04 where session bus is not managed by systemd.
    • Add desktop notification support code.

snapd interfaces for snap-store:

  • PR #7042 adding the appstream-metadata interface is still pending.
  • PR #7054 adding the packagekit-control interface has been merged. The interface has an allow-installation: false base declaration for the plug side, which means applications using it require a store assertion to install.

snapd icon theme support.

  • PR #6959 adding the EnsureTreeState utility function will probably be merged soon. That will unblock the icon theme PR.


  • Fixed a memory leak in NetworkManager [MR, merged]
  • Fixed a memory leak on gdm [MR]
  • Worked on a meson build issue on pango MR.
  • Lots of cleanups on mutter memory management MR
  • Fixed the way the shell closes itself, cleaning up resources
  • Fixed a crash on Java apps and take-focus windows [MR, merged]
  • Reworked the shell extension app to use native GObjects [MR, merged]
  • Reworked the GObject rework refactory [MR]
  • Use GFile to handle BGSlideshow [MR, merged]
  • Addressing comments on refactory of GNOME Shell [MR]

Packaging changes