Desktop Team Updates - Monday 22nd February 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 15th February 2021

1 Like
  • ADSys
    • Added support for multi releases


  • Verified arm64 builds of the engine worked, which recently landed in flutter.
  • Updated the flutter snap to support arm64 and discovered the flutter change actually broken the flutter snapcraft plugin
  • Fixed the snapcraft plugin for flutter to work with latest Flutter

On leave all week, but I have now spent a day answering bug mail and updated the bug chart.


3-day week - out Thurs & Fri

  • Flutter Snap:
    • Reviewed and merged arm64 support.
    • Verified amd64 build still worked after ^.
  • Ubuntu Desktop Installer:
  • Ubuntu Core GDM Experiment:
    • Began wiring the screensaver interface via desktop slot.


  • Added support for multi releases
  • Automate admx/adml generation in CI
  • Migrate to Go 1.16
  • Misc fixes/testing and enhancements in admx/adml files


  • NEW and MIR review for power-profiles-daemon
  • Yaru team help/discussions/admin

Short week: had Monday off and took half of Friday off

  • network manager now has a config hook merged for netplan and upated netplan tests.
  • Joined the Womens Resource Group and wrote a mock wiki page helping flesh out some of their initiatives.
  • Worked on LO snap: 7.1 release as well as 7.0.4 + gnome-3-38+core20 updates. Making real progress on the updates. They will make the 7.1 release easier and greatly slim down the snap.
  • LO bug triage: 1914849, 1915001, 1915562, 1902673, 1915677

Reminder that LO deb transition is going to @ricotz (so glad to have your official leadership!!) starting now but I’ll keep up maintenance on the snap.

  • Helped with investigation and fixing for
    • Froze the archive while we were dealing with that
    • Then later, after that was all fixed, helped to get glibc migrated - happened on Friday, yay
  • Had a retrospective on and came up with some ideas to Do Better™
  • Hint reviews and other related things, like reviewing the “noudeb” branch for proposed-migration (udebs are a debian-installer thing which are being dropped in hirsute).
  • Tested appstream-generator on the full hirsute archive, found an abort bug, investigating it with upstream now.
  • PostScript Printer Application: Did some further testing of the Snap after some changes which happened on PAPPL (especially drop-down for media displays whether the media is borderless) and the locally built Snap stopped working, which required some adaptations in the PostScript Printer Application. Also started evaluations on spinning out the functionality into a retro-fit library and how to do USB printer auto-setup. For the requested interface auto-connections I got already appoval from @jdstrand and @emitorino (thanks to both of you).
  • PAPPL: On investigating automatic setup of USB printers when plugging the printer discovered and reported 4 bugs: USB only uni-directional, no driver auto-selection on queue creation with CLI tool, web interface mess-up after auto-setup run, error messages of CLI tool on device discovery. Also started discussion about USB printer auto-setup: User experience vs. new Printer Application architecture.
  • CUPS Snap: It is in the Snap Store now! (Edge channel). Changed the CUPS patch for checking administrative inquiries to use @jamesh’s snapctl is-connected changes which have landed last week (thanks a lot, @jamesh and everyone involved). Cleaned up plugs of the utilities, updated, and updated the upstream package versions. Also tested and discussed (with @ijohnson) needed interface connections and requested the auto-connections. For replacing the DEB packages of CUPS by the Snap (or an all-Snap distro) only retro-fitting of all printer drivers into Printer Applications is missing. Removed the old, obsolete printing-stack-snap from the Snap Store (simply made the entry for it private).
  • CUPS: CUPS upstream development is now decoupled from Apple. After Apple not doing any further upstream development on CUPS for the whole 2020 I have first forked it on OpenPrinting some months ago and now the original author of CUPS, Michael Sweet has asked for removal of the “forked from apple/cups” relationship on the OpenPrinting Github and presented his plans on continuation of the upstream development. So we have solved the CUPS upstream crisis now.
  • sane-airscan: Still waiting for the MIR to get reviewed by the security team. Feature Freeze for Hirsute is approaching, I had posted the MIR in time for Groovy already.
  • sane-backends: Packaged the new 1.0.32 release as it has an improved “escl” backend, to at least somewhat overcome the “sane-airscan” still not in Main.
  • Feature Freeze for Hirsute: Checked through all the printing-related packages and nearly everything was up-to-date due to auto-syncing from Debian (so most of Debian’s and our printing stack is in sync!). Asked Debian printing maintainer to updated HPLIP to 3.21.2 and he did and it synced into Hirsute now.
  • Google Summer of Code 2021: Continued mentoring candidates on working on cups-filters and CUPS GitHub issues as part of the selection process. Applications for mentoring organizations have closed, organizations will be selected until March 9, 2021.
  • Laptop refresh: Ordered it (Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Nano 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD, US keyboard), my USB-C monitor (Dell UltraSharp U2721DE, 27" QHD) and external keyboard (US layout, not easy to find here).
  • Bugs.
  • 3 work days only this week
  • Hirsute
    • packaged power-profile-daemon
    • wrote MIR report for power-profile-daemon
    • GNOME stable updates (gnome-initial-setup, gnome-control-center, deja-dup)
    • Debian merges (gtk+3.0)
    • workarounded the n-m/systemd/lxc issue to unblock the package
    • packaged gnome-shell-extension-desktop-icons-ng
    • wrote MIR report for gnome-shell-extension-desktop-icons-ng
  • versions report script
    • updated the snap report to include some extra components
    • added a warning in the log for packages newer in Ubuntu than upstream
    • reviewed ^ and fixed a stack of outdated upstream reference (often projects that moved from sourceforge to github)
  • snaps
    • updated thunderbird beta to the current build, debugged a bit url handling not working anymore
    • tested some candidate updates and promoted to stable (gnome-calculator, gnome-sudoku)
    • debugged and proposed a fix for the secret portal not working in snaps, which got merged upstream now
  • Other
    • Submitted a change to the SRU report to indicate which bugs are tagged oem priority
    • wrote MIR reports for ayatana indicators, we eventually want to transition to the community maintained version but not targeting this cycle

firefox24 firefox

  • investigated and fixed beta 86 armhf builds (by selectively downgrading the LTO option to “thin” to work around OOM failures in Launchpad builders)
  • Prepared 86.0 release candidate builds, scheduled for release tomorrow. Unfortunately a last minute rebuild is necessary, which is likely to delay a bit the update in Ubuntu.

thunderbird24 thunderbird

chromium22 chromium

  • updated stable to 88.0.4324.182
  • updated beta to 89.0.4389.58
  • updating dev to 90.0.4421.5

snapcraft24 snaps

flutter24 desktop installer

package24 other

  • +1 maintenance: did a very reduced shift, but no report to ubuntu-devel as my meagre results weren’t really worth it


  • Opened snapd PR #9952, to make the x11 interface work with recent changes to how KDE Plasma’s Wayland session sets up its Xauthority cookies.
  • Made a review pass over snapd PR #8699 (implement a new desktop-launch interface).


  • Marked snapd-glib PR #97 (improved snapctl API binding) ready for review. I updated the Qt binding and added a small example program demonstrating the use of the snapctl API (since it is not quite as obvious as other code: you need to override the socket path, and use the value of an environment variable for one of the other arguments).

Ubuntu Core GDM Experiment:

  • I did some experiments to try and get the Chromium snap up and running on the test image.
  • At first it wouldn’t install, because the snap’s configure hook assumed there would be system fonts available. But without a desktop interface slot to connect to, there was nothing available at install time.
  • After a new build was pushed to the candidate channel that ignored this error from fc-cache, I was able to install the snap, and get it to display in the confined desktop session. This comes with some pretty big caveats:
    • I had to manually connect the chromium:x11 plug to the corresponding slot on the desktop session.
    • I had to copy the confined desktop session’s Xauthority data to a location Chromium could read.
    • I had to launch it from a terminal outside of the confined desktop session, since one snap can’t run commands provided by a second.
  • The hope is that we can fix some of those issues with the new desktop-launch API.


  • Helped the Yaru community developers debug an icon display bug in the theme in yaru issue #2630. They had switched to simplifying the SVG icons using svgo, which minified the paths to a form that seems to be spec compliant, but tripped up the parser in the pre-Rust versions of librsvg (as found in e.g. Ubuntu 18.04). This was first noticed in core18 based classic snaps misrendering icons when the new version of the theme was installed.
  • I opened glib issue #2335, asking to add an API for determining whether portals


  • More fixes in my promisify easing gnome-shell branch [MR]
  • Small fix on the searchController key handling [MR, merged]
  • Various improvements in the gnome-shell CSS handling [MR]
  • Some fixes to the credentials Manager handling in gnome-shell / GDM [MR]
    • Included lots of analisys of the vmware horizon stuff and preparing some fixes [PPA]
  • More fixes and study on smarcard handling when it’s associated to an user
  • Some libfprint maintainance
  • New libfprint-tod release with libfprint git snapshot [NEWS]