Desktop Team Updates - Monday 1st March 2021

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 22nd February 2021


:books: Libreoffice 7.1.x for Hirsute/21.04

Current packaging branch and PPA builds

  • prepared 7.1.1~rc1 in ppa:libreoffice/libreoffice-prereleases, uploaded to the archive and looked into autopkgtest failures which turned up
  • prepared 7.1.1~rc2 in ppa:libreoffice/libreoffice-prereleases and uploaded to the archive
  • looked into further autopkgtest failures which are caused by a packaging problem and is fixed in the packaging git branch for the final 7.1.1
  • helped out on refreshing patches for the snap


  • Released adsys 0.1!
  • Finish work for embeedding Windows template in the binary
  • Reorganize command
  • Modernize code for Golan 1.16 (removing of io/util package)
  • Ensure CI is running with the exact same tooling than locally or any contributor
  • Small packaging fixes
  • Start debugging build issues


  • MIR work (libint-perl, gnome-shell-extension-desktop-icons-ng)
  • Fix power button inconsistent behavior in GDM
  • Yaru team liaison
  • Deployed a branch to start populating the OEM meta set. Once someone on the team gets upload rights to the set, they will be able to self service uploads.
  • Reviewed ubiquity branch, still need to actually test it
  • Some reviews and sponsorship for @3v1n0
  • Started researching what happens if you have ESM enabled and try to run update-manager, step 1: find out how it gets enabled. (See ubuntu-advantage-client in trusty if you’re interested.). Step 2 to be done next.
  • More testing of appstream-generator, still some aborts / crashes to sort out
  • Bit of light autopkgtest babysitting. We had two problems
    • Some ports became dangling and needed mopping up to be able to spawn the full amount of instances
    • s390x in one of the regions broke - thanks IS for fixing that back up
  • Fixed glib twice for API breaks causing build failures in certain reverse build dependencies. Some will still be broken but the fixes are easy enough.


  • snap:
    • 7.1 release: It works in every way except the desktop icons. I’m currently trying to root cause why. The snap is no longer creating the usr/share/icons/gnome dir for some reason and it might be just a different path in 7.1. Getting this out is my top priority.
    • update to gnome-3-38-2004 and core 20: Continued to peel the onion. Now I have a different build failure but likely the same icon issue :slight_smile: The build failure is because the runtime path to the startcenter.desktop file doesn’t exist.
  • deb:
    • Tested 7.1 prereleases build and now it is in proposed. Thanks @ricotz!


  • Rebuilt epiphany, epiphany-edge, five-or-more, gnome-2048, swell-foop, gnome-3-34-1804-sdk.
  • Worked on epiphany build failure… turns out there is an internet connection issue due to an xdg-desktop-portal commit that needs to be fixed.
    There are other failures (mostly arm64) that need investigation, as time permits.

firefox24 firefox

  • prepared 86.0 builds for all supported Ubuntu releases, they are now published

thunderbird24 thunderbird

  • 78.7.1 was published to focal-updates
  • prepared the 78.8.0 update for hirsute, and groovy and focal in a PPA

chromium22 chromium

  • published a build with a snapcraft fix (not yet released to stable at the time) needed for the snap-based core desktop prototype, in the candidate/configure-hook-nofonts channel
  • investigated why beta 89 autopkgtests are failing for bionic builds only, but I failed to reproduce the failures locally

libreoffice24-margin libreoffice

snapcraft24 snaps

  • updated 0ad to alpha 24
  • followed up on a snapcraft PR I submitted to check that the platform snap is connected in desktop extensions and bail out early if not, it has now landed
  • one day off
  • Hirsute
    • GNOME 40 updates (gnome-calculator, yelp, gnome-system-monitor, gnome-font-viewer, gnome-sudoku, evince, eog, libgdata, gvfs, eds, evolution, gnome-boxes, gnome-clocks, baobab, gnome-characters, epiphany, yelp-xsl, gnome-disk-utility, seahorse, gnome-robots)
    • GNOME 3.38 updates (gnome-builder, geary, gnome-klotski)
    • other updates (enchant, switcheroo-control, libgxps)
    • workarounded gnome-calculator failing to build due to new tests that require to be online, fixed upstream now
    • backported the changes adding power profiles to gnome-control-center
    • backported the new adawaita icons for the settings power profiles
    • updated poppler to the current version and worked on rebuilds for the new soname
    • worked on the rebuilds needed for the new poppler and evolution-data-server soname changes
    • updated network-manager to the new 1.30 serie
    • Debian merges (brltty, libnotify, gnome-screensaver)
  • Sponsoring
    • new bluez version from Daniel
    • new vala version from Rico
    • bugfixes from Gunnar
  • Proposed migration issues
    • submitted a force-reset-test hint for libinih on 386
    • updated libinih autopkgtest to be crossbuild friendly
    • updated libthai autopkgtest to be crossbuild friendly
    • reported upstream a libsoup tests issue with the new glib version
    • fixed the gambas3, popplerkit.framework build with the new poppler
    • fixed the inkscape built with the new glib
    • Did some rebuilds to drop udebs and cleaned up some NBS binaries
    • Reported r-cran-sf/s390x autopkgtest issue to Debian, it’s blocking the poppler transition
  • Snaps
    • updated thunderbird stable to 78.8.0
    • updated thunderbird beta to 87.0b1 (which fixes the url handling issue reported with 86.0b3)
    • continued poking at libsecret in snap, wrote a small testcase and then verified it’s working with evince rebuilt with libsecret master (opening a protected pdf correctly store the secret in the snap private keyring)
  • Other
    • added an ‘oem’ mention to oem priority bugs on the SRU report
    • NEW reviewed adsys
    • spent time with Didier trying to figure out an adsys build issue
    • Wrote an endorsement for Rico’s libreoffice PPU application
    • updated the versions’ snap report to indicate newer gnome branches than the one used to build

Monday was the Labour Day public holiday in Western Australia.


  • snapd PR #9952 was merged, which updates the x11 interface’s plug AppArmor rules to give read access to the Xauthority files written by the development versions of KDE Plasma’s Wayland session.
  • Contributed some fixes to Alan’s snapd PR #8699 (add a desktop-launch interface).
  • Created snapd PR #9963, which installs the D-Bus service activation files for snap userd on Ubuntu Core 18+ systems. This is a prerequisite for making the desktop-launch interface usable on Ubuntu Core systems (such as the GDM experiment image we’ve been working on).
  • Updated snapd PR #9910 (user daemon support in snap services and snapctl services output) in response to review feedback. It’s now received two positive reviews, so I expect to merge it shortly.
  • Started work on some polkit file validator code that could be used as a basis for a polkit interface for snapd.


  • snapd-glib PR #97 was merged, updating the snapctl binding to give access to the exit code of commands. This is mostly for the benefit of calling snapctl is-connected.


  • Provided a small amount of review feedback on Robert’s libsoup MR.
  • PostScript Printer Application: The requested interface auto-connections got fully approved now, now in addition also from @alexmurray and already from @jdstrand and @emitorino (thanks to all of you). This means that one can install it from the Snap Store and it works out-of-the-box!
  • OpenPrinting: Moved the discussion about USB printer auto-setup from PAPPL to the Printing Architecture mailing list of OpenPrinting, thread “Automatic printer setup with Printer Applications”. Participation by Michael Sweet (author of CUPS), Zdenek Dohnal (Red Hat), Johannes Meixner (SUSE), Solomon Peachy (Gutenprint). Concluded that we should not let Printer Applications auto-setup classic (non-driverless-IPP, esp. USB) printers because they are legacy or specialty, standard are driverless IPP printers nowadays.
  • OpenPrinting: To not let the users with non-driverless-IPP printers alone and lost I think the desktop should continue to have a printer tool to guide users to find the correct Printer Application, and so started the thread “Future of Printer Setup Tools” an hour ago and already got a great answer from Johannes Meixner. By the way, having hardware-signature-based Snap Store search would be great here.
  • CUPS Snap: Committed the CUPS patch for checking administrative inquiries into the new OpenPrinting CUPS upstream repository after Michael Sweet has asked me to upstreamize the patches. Inline in the commit I had some discussion with Michael but he generally liked it. What he did not like is that for the check CUPS calls snapctl as external executable and this will not scale on 10000s of inquiries. I discussed with @jamesh (thanks for all your great work!) on Mattermost some minutes ago and concluded with him that with his new functionality no external executable is called and there should generally not be a performance problem then. Pasted the conversation into the commit’s inline discussion. Still waiting for the interface auto-connection approval, @alexmurray, thanks for making the start!
  • sane-airscan: Still waiting for the MIR to get reviewed by the security team. Feature Freeze for Hirsute has passed, and I had posted the MIR in time for Groovy already.
  • Feature Freeze for Hirsute: After a hint from QPDF author Jay Berkenbilt I updated to QPDF 10.2.0 right in time. Had to fix the autopkg tests of pikepdf for that. Also updated avahi with the last fixes from Debian.
  • Google Summer of Code 2021: Continued mentoring candidates on working on cups-filters and CUPS GitHub issues as part of the selection process.
  • Laptop refresh: USB-C monitor, wireless keyboard, and speakers work great with my old laptop (only one USB-C wire connected, no power supply), now it is time for the new laptop to arrive (@kenvandine received his already).
  • Bugs.

Mhmhm, looks like I forgot to update this :frowning:

GNOME (and friends)

  • More work on the screen shield mutter side
  • Update GDM to notify the greeter when the PAM stack selected an user [MR]
  • Some regression tests on riscv64 to check what’s blocking latest gjs there
  • Lots of tests with smartcard authentication and working to make it properly handle the user identification (prepared GDM pam config changes) and gnome-shell to adapt to it.
  • Fixed one OpenSC issue causing gnome-settings-daemon to crash in hirsute [MR]
  • Improved pam-sss to handle better certain cases
  • Fixed some fprintd incoherences causing invalid prints to be listed as enrolled and PAM module to be confused by that [MR]
  • Some work in the TOD branch to do better analysis of the drivers


  • Uploaded new mutter 3.38 + wayland input thread support package to hirsute [3.38.3-3ubuntu1]
  • Uploaded gnome-shell to hirsute with various cherry-picks and to use desktop-icons-ng by default [3.38.3-3ubuntu1]
  • Prepared OpenSC fix for debian [MR]
  • Done SRU verification for SSSD in focal
  • Various changes to the versions script to get more upstream information and workaround python2 in precise bugs.
  • Updated the ubuntu-desktop seed to adjust new dependency (desktop-icons-ng, gnome-remote-desktop and pam-sss for smartcard auth)