Desktop Team Updates - Monday 20th April 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 13th April 2020

  • zsys:
    • Landed the performance improvement to grub boot menu.
    • Prevent user from upgrading their bpool which would definitely break their system.
  • Preparation of the release of focal

Snap Store:

  • Added appstream to the ubuntu-desktop seed, needed to generate appstream cache on the host side Bug 1872864
  • Fixed issues with showing apt packages Bug 1870184
  • Added install-file to support installing from locally downloaded debs Bug 1867610
  • Created branches to maintain parallel versions of snap-store with ubuntu-software and without.


  • Added default themes for Ubuntu Studio and Xubuntu
  • Fixed build failures in CI
  • Include app icons, needed for snap-store

:desktop_computer: Gnome Shell and friends:

:house: Housekeeping:

  • Days of bug triage again. But that’s to be expected this month. It’s good for Ubuntu to be loved.
  • Populated Trello with a large number of planned and active work items.
  • More Nvidia testing. Seems we’re not out of the woods yet with fractional scaling (1, 2)

:rocket: Plymouth:

:chart_with_downwards_trend: Backlog tracking


4-day week - off on Monday.




  • Tested and updated Yaru finale release for 20.04 LTS
1 Like
  • Focal
    • Updated glib to the current bugfix version, backported an upstream segfault fix
    • Did some testing of gvfs/smb since we got some reports it stopped working, couldn’t confirm the issue
    • Fixed the snap-store template, launchpad can import the pot from bzr but not git, uploaded manually
    • Reported upstream request to have gamemode autoexit on idle (FFe review feedback)
    • updated the ubiquit-slideshow-ubuntu translations
    • did a follow up bugfix upload to restore some ubunutkylin strings
    • updated pop-theme packages to fix the build and clean the packaging
    • backported pulseaudio fixes from git since we are on a rc version
    • merge the newer gtk+3.0 bugfix version from Debian
    • workarounded software-properties/other software failing to trigger polkit (something in gtk takes a grab blocking the shell to display the dialog)
    • backported some gnome-control-center fixes and uploaded with other pending changes from Marco and Robert
    • updated gnome-calendar to 3.36.1
    • fixed gamemode to stop depending on libinih which is in universe
  • Sponsoring
    • curl, backported an upstream TLS 1.3 fix
    • wpa, backported an upstream fix for realtek cards and mac randomization
    • jackd2, backported an upstream segfault/CVE fix
    • wslu/focal, thanks Patrick for the work and addressing my comments!
    • gnome-control-center, merged fingerprint fixes from Marco
    • sponsored fprintd fixes from Marco
    • sonsored a yaru-theme fix for login screen hints from Marco
    • merged a fix for Marco for dock settings
  • Other
    • launchpad/errors triaging
    • focal candidate testing
    • emailed the DMB about adding some packages to the desktop set
  • Ubiquity
    • Polishing up and integrating of fixes from the Canonical OEM team to detect RST and Bitlocker and show a UI directing people to help pages for how to fix their system to be able to install in these cases
    • Reviews of xnox’s fixes to install the OEM kernel properly when needed
  • Sponsoring for Marcus of atk1.0 to fix a screenreader crash in the installer, see his status for details.
  • Release: queue reviews, discussions about archive opening, attending a virtual event to prep & ship the 20.04 release (ongoing, will be all this week) and open the GG-cycle
  • Fixing up proposed-migration tool to correctly not block packages when they’re out of date on riscv64, unblocking a few things which weren’t landing
  • Handling a Canonical-internal backport request for rabbitmq

GNOME and friends

  • Some cleanups to the new fingerprint enrollment UI as per reviews [MR]
  • Removed limit of 10 fingerprints enrollment in the current UI [MR]
  • Found and fixed the root cause for rls bug #1793496 [MR, merged]
  • Avoid shell errors to remove non-existent GSource when presenting polkit dialogs [MR, merged]
  • Some preliminary work to fix bug #1865838, studying the design to use
  • Yaru: fixed theming for the info PAM info messages (including fingerprint one)
    [PR, merged]
  • Yaru: imported some gnome-shell 3.36 upstream changes [PR]

Ubuntu dock

  • Updates to the gnome 3.36 PR, finally merged [PR, merged]
  • Fixed a gnome-control-center isssue causing monitor selection not to work [MR, merged]
  • Multimonitor fixes (LP: #1873890 and LP: #1873883) for g-c-c ubuntu panel [MR]
  • Merged some upstream MR

Packaging and uploads

  • Desktop icons extension (new release proposed to and synced from debian) [MR, merged]
  • mutter (including above scaling MR and xrandr scaling fix) [changes, and debian MR]
  • fprintd (including lots of cherry-picks of upstream fixes) [MR, merged]
  • Gnome control center (including fingerprint fixes) [MR, merged]
  • Ubuntu dock (including various fixes) [changes, changes]
  • Yaru (including above fixes)


  • libfprint upstream reviews
  • Improvements to the fprintd-mock-runner
  • Got approval for being a Debian Maintainer (thanks @laney)

firefox24 firefox

thunderbird24 thunderbird

  • 68.7.0 was sponsored to eoan and bionic by the security team
  • removed unity-menubar.patch from thunderbird in focal, for consistency with firefox, and to get the benefit of reduced maintenance
  • backported 68.7.0 and enigmail 2.1.6 to xenial, tested and handed over to the security team for sponsoring
  • investigated and fixed a crash in thunderbird caused by our global menu integration patch

chromium22 chromium

  • implemented Jamie’s suggestion to alert users when the snap has been refreshed while running
  • it was reported that the above implementation leaves a background task running after chromium is closed, I need to fix this
  • merged a couple of snap-related fixes upstream
  • updating stable to 81.0.4044.113
  • updated beta to 83.0.4103.14
  • updated dev to 84.0.4115.5
  • re-enabled Fedora’s VAAPI patches in a branch, test snaps are currently building

package24 other


snapd dbus activation support:

  • snapd PR #5822 (user daemon support) received review approval from mvo, pedronis, and jdstrand this week. I’m hoping that this will finally be merged this week.
  • To support snapd PR #6258 (dbus activation support), I needed to make /etc/dbus-1/session.d writable on Ubuntu Core systems. That resulted in core18 PR #150 and core20 PR #38, which have both been merged. With those merged, the snapd PR is closer to passing CI. There are a few failures related to the snap-preseed tests, which seem to be due to the branch introducing some new directories to the snapd package.
  • Once both of the above branches are merged, there will probably be some further work to properly integrate both, and to get to a point where the feature flags can be turned on by default.

snapd portals support:

  • snapd PR #8356 has been merged. This adds a snap routine file-access command that reports whether a given path can be accessed within a particular snap’s sandbox.
  • I haven’t started on the xdg-desktop-portal side of this: upstream wants these features to be in a released version of snapd before merging changes, so there isn’t much point starting until 2.45 is out.


  • snapcraft PR #3031 has been merged, which makes SNAPCRAFT_BUILD_INFO work with the Multipass and LXD backends. When this makes it into a Snapcraft release, the snapcore/action-build Github action will be able to generate a snap/manifest.yaml file, which enables security vulnerability checking.
  • Snapcraft: Regarding the interface through which snapped apps can print via the CUPS snap continued investigation on how to implement in CUPS, found out the single point in the CUPS daemon code where the extra check for the client process ID and whether this is a snap has to happen. Will create a first patch for testing soon.
  • cups-filters: License change to Apache 2.0 plus (L)GPL2 exception: If the two remaining contributors do not answer or reject, their code contribution is not important (rastertops filter and PDF forms in banner pages) and could be removed if necessary.
  • cups-filters: Found that the filters are missing bi-level monochrome printing support. This is a dither-free mode which makes all pixels darket than a certain threshold black and lighter than this threshold white, needed for label printers for example to printer bar codes reliably scannable (See this issue).
  • PAPPL: The Printer Application Framework from Michael Sweet seems to appoach beta as Michael raised the version from 0.2 to 0.9.
  • gnome-shell: Found a workaround for the regression in keyboard mapping reported last week, the problem only shows when mouse pointer locating by pressing Ctrl is active.
  • Google Summer of Code 2020: Today we have to request the number of student slots from Google. All sub-orgs have done their student project selections and so we will request 15 slots for the Linux Foundation and therein 6 slots for OpenPrinting. Tomorrow Google will tell us how many slots we actually get, usually less than requested dpenednt on total budget of Google for GSoC and total number of selected students from all orgs.
  • Google Season of Docs 2020: Submitted the applications for the Linux Foundation to Google. Inside the Linux Foundation several sub-orgs have posted project ideas.
  • Bugs.