Desktop Team Updates - Monday 22nd June 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 15th June 2020

(posting this early as I’m off all of next week)

firefox24 firefox

  • updating nodejs{,-mozilla} to 12.18 in preparation for firefox 78.0

chromium22 chromium

  • updated stable snap to 83.0.4103.106
  • updated beta snap to 84.0.4147.45
  • moved profile directory to $SNAP_USER_COMMON
  • updating dev to 85.0.4173.0

snapcraft24 snaps

package24 other

  • +1 maintenance shift on Thursday and Friday, sent report to the ubuntu-devel ML
  • prepared librsvg 2.48.7 SRU to focal, needs sponsoring
1 Like

:desktop_computer: Gnome Shell and friends:

  • Analysing why performance is bad since I upgraded to 4K monitors:
    • Initially could not measure the problem but could see it.
    • Performed real time profiling on gnome-shell but that only confirmed it was spending most of the time in OpenGL.
    • Analysed the GLSL source code mutter is sending to the GPU. No problems found there so far…
    • Analysed the window rendering code and found culling was broken; even hidden background windows get drawn so could exceed the hardware fill rate capability. Because 4K 60Hz requires 2 GB/s per maximized window, there’s not much overdraw a low-end GPU can afford.
    • Fixed the optimized paint path randomly not being used due to an uninitialized variable (regression in mutter 3.37 only)
    • Note these performance issues are not specific to 4K - they affect all machines. Just that for my development desktop this is the resolution where GPU limits start to become visible.
  • Fixed a small leak in gnome-shell (merged)

:chart_with_downwards_trend: Bug tracking:

  • zfs:
    • Continued work on keystore.
    • Upstreamed changes to systemd generator for zfs mount units.
    • Created PAM module to unlock the key store on login.
  • And more stats for OEMs.


1 Like
  • Finished (ish) the work on proposed-migration. I mailed ubuntu-devel announcing the testing instance, and someone asked for a way to compare the output. That exists now (but admittedly the page isn’t that readable to non-release-team people).
    • I’ll give this a week or so and then look to swap the production instance over.
    • Had more discussions with upstream. I’ll be starting to submit merge requests very soon.
  • Contacted some of the release team about Eoan’s upcoming EOL (that was fast…) and we started sharing out tasks.
  • Started working on updating ubuntu-cdimage (the project which controls building Ubuntu ISOs) for focal, from xenial. This is ongoing.
  • Some small distro updates like an SRU of glib2.0
1 Like
  • worked only half time this week
  • G-serie
    • bolt 0.9 update
    • updated libgphoto
    • updated gnome-control-center, gnome-desktop, gnome-initial-setup, gnome-calendar
    • synced new libplist/libimobiledevice/libusbmuxd from experimental
  • SRU
    • libgphoto/focal stable update 2.5.25
    • gnome-control-center 3.36.3
    • some focal verifications
  • sponsoring
    • alsa-lib thunderbold hwe fix (and focal SRU)
    • wslu update from Patrick (& focal SRU)
    • gnutls28/bionic/xenial fix for connection failures to some popular email servers
    • merged the gnome-control-center fixes from Marco
    • pulseaudio/bionic SRU with fixes from the oem and hwe teams
    • dh-python autopkgtest fix from Olivier
    • rocksdb’s build fix from Olivier
    • librsvg/focal stable update from Olivier
  • other
    • uploaded libunity to Debian (should allow us to reduce delta in evolution)
    • opened a MIR for libinih (new gamemode depends)
    • rebuilt the thunderbird snap with the recent libdbus security update
1 Like


  • Setup GitHub project and repo for @jamesh’s work
  • Tweaked snap packaging and setup GitHub actions to save snap build artifacts

USN Refreshes

Cross distro testing and profiling startup on various distros

1 Like

Upstream work



snapd dbus activation:

  • Responded to review feedback on snapd PR #8860 (detect conflicts when multiple snaps want to activate on the same D-Bus name). The branch now correctly detects conflicts when two conflicting snaps are installed as part of a single transaction. The preinstall conflict check remains as a way to error out early for conflicts against installed snaps.
  • Responded to review feedback on snapd PR #8861 (D-Bus config to support service files in /var/lib/snapd). It’s now updated with some testing improvements, and handle cases where snapd is upgraded via re-execing into a new version from the core or snapd snaps.
  • Updated snapd PR #8748 (do not allow installing user daemons on Ubuntu 14.04) as requested in review.

Snapcraft Github Actions:

  • Github somewhat recently published a new ubuntu-20.04 runner image, It turned out the snapcore/action-build action failed when run on this image, as it included an installed but unconfigured LXD snap.
  • I’ve published a new version of the action that resolves the incompatibility, and extended the action’s own CI to test on all runner images. This should avoid any problems when the ubuntu-latest alias is updated.
1 Like
  • Snapcraft/CUPS Snap: Got first answers to the request for auto-connection of the interfaces, the “system-files” based interfaces will be made part of the new "cups-control"interface, according to @jdstrand, also made some adaptations for the interface auto-connection, especially added a new “system-files”-based interface named “etc-cups” for a future migration script (migration from classic CUPS to snapped CUPS). Also made available the utilities driverless, made the cupsfilter debugging tool and lpoptions working and updated to reflect all the recent changes.
  • cups-filters: Working on moving all (deprecated) PPD file support functions of CUPS’ libcups library into a new libppd library for legacy printer driver conversion into Printer Applications.
  • Google Summer of Code 2020: Mentoring work going on.
  • Bugs.
1 Like