Desktop Team Updates - Monday 14th September 2020

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 Updates - Monday 7th September 2020

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Had Monday off.


  • Tested 6.4.6 for focal (SRU) and looks good!
  • Working with Rico on testing changes for yaru icons. Currently, the 7.0.1-0ubuntu0.20.10.3 release (with these Yaru icons) can be found in the prereleases ppa. Some autopkgtests have passed and others are still running. Early next week we will rebuild this as is and upload to proposed in groovy.
  • Worked towards reproducing gcc10 build failure on armhf. Setup canonistack, had some hiccups but worked with IS to eventually get an m1.medium arm64 instance (late Friday) for this purpose. So a build is ongoing.

Everything Else


:desktop_computer: Gnome Shell and friends:

:chart_with_downwards_trend: Bug tracking:

  • Contributed example app demonstrating Yaru Theme for the spike by @robert.ancell
  • Some refactoring of my work adding libfwupd part to snap-store (published in the beta channel)
    • Use the existing submodules for libxmlb and libjcat rather than building those as parts
    • Trim things down a little more shaving another 1M off the snap size
  • Planning activities
    • Firebase for Flutter on Linux
    • Visual design for Flutter apps on Ubuntu
  • Active Directory
    • Support in Ubiquity: MP reviewed and merged, minor design updates to follow.
    • Started research on GPOs.
  • FDE/Support for recovery key in installer: Sent spec for review by design. Too late to land in 20.10
  • Investigated issue with Evolution and certificates stored in LDAP (
  • Misc:
    • A lot of MIR work (still in progress and can entangle even more deps)
    • Started investigation on the oem package for NEWing, discussion with Laney.

firefox24 firefox

  • added allow-stderr to all tests in the xenial-beta branch, because pip started emitting deprecation warnings for Python 3.5 on stderr

thunderbird24 thunderbird

  • found a regression while testing 78.2.1 in groovy, which I need to further investigate

chromium22 chromium

  • the 85.0.4183.83 update was published to {xenial,bionic}-security
  • updated snap packaging upstream
  • updated chromium-ffmpeg snap and corresponding documentation
    • I experienced repeated failures to build the snap on Launchpad because the pulled sources occupy too much space
    • as a temporary mitigation, I built the snaps locally with snapcraft --use-lxd for amd64 and i386
    • I talked to the store team and security team, they have tools to inspect all snaps in the store, and they will provide me a list of all snaps that connect to chromium-ffmpeg, so that I know which old parts/plugs can be safely removed from the snap
  • updating stable to 85.0.4183.102
  • updating beta to 86.0.4240.30
  • updating dev to 87.0.4259.3

package24 other

  • cups-filters: Checked which filter functions still need to be done, for Printer Applications: imagetopdf, imagetoraster, mupdftoraster, pdftoraster; for a universal CUPS filter (one single filter for any conversion, to reduce external executable calls) in addition: texttopdf, rastertopwg, bannertopdf; Braille, texttotext, rastertoescpx, rastertopclx, commandtoescpx, commandtopclx are better handled in appropriate Printer Applications.
  • cups-filters: Started investigations to convert imagetoraster and imagetopdf into filter functions.
  • cups-filters: Mailed to Samuel Thibault, maintainer of the Braille embosser support in cups-filters, about the need of a Printer Application for Braille embossers, no answer yet.
  • cups-filters: Released version 1.28.2 upstream, including the fix for the problem of cups-browsed not shutting down and also the last fixes and optimizations on the driverless utility.
  • ipp-usb, sane-airscan: Still waiting for the security team to verify the MIRs for ipp-usb and sane-airscan.
  • Linux Foundation Mentorship Program: Of our two students who started last month the one working on retro-fitting classic drivers into Printer Applications has quit, due to sudden changes of his college’s schedules. The other student, for now having worked on IPP Fax Out support switches over to the driver retro-fitting, as this is more important and her original plan on adding fax support to the Common Print Dialog Backends got blocked on the failed GSoC project. The two IPP Scan students are doing well.
  • Google Season of Docs 2020: Documentation writing period has started and will go until Nov 30. For OpenPrinting we have one writer creating documentation about designing and packaging printer/scanner drivers as Printer Application Snaps. Here is his GitHub repo and his copy of our site. He promised to commit daily.
  • OpenPrinting: The September news post, including the results of GSoC 2020 is now online.
  • Bugs.

Shell uploads

More uploads

Upstream work

  • Mostly discussions on proposed gjs MRs
  • Some fprintd maintainer work
  • worked only 3 days
  • continued on GNOME 3.37 and desktop updates
  • new poppler transition
  • backported a fix for the libsoup autopkgtests failure
  • desktop SRU verifications

snapd themes installation:

  • The snap declarations for our test theme snaps were finally landed in the store. I verified that the interfaces automatically connect as expected. It ensures that when installing a new theme snap it can connect to all installed application snaps, and when installing a new application snap it will connect to all installed theme snaps.
  • added a spread test to make sure snapd PR #9268 to show that the check and install APIs function. It still needs a review.

snapd connectivity check API

  • I updated snapd PR #9132 to restrict access to the new snapctl is-connected --pid feature to a few slot types, and marked it ready to review.

Ubuntu Core GDM spike:

  • I managed to get the gnome-initial-setup install experience mostly working. It creates the user with the chosen locale and keyboard layout. Things that don’t work are:
    • The user is not an admin. UC’s extrausers system does not make it possible to add a new user to one of the groups defined in the base snap.
    • The time zone is not set correctly, due to UC’s indirection of /etc/localtime.
  • Put together a list of areas to improve the experience.