Desktop Team Updates - Monday 22nd 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 15th March 2021

  • Made API breaking changes to dbus.dart for the next 0.3.0 major release.
  • Add more dbus.dart tests.
  • Added TCP/IP support to dbus.dart.
  • Finish implementing name queuing in the server in dbus.dart.
  • Released gnome-control-center 3.38.5.
  • Backported changes to xenial for software-properties to show ESM status.
  • GNOME packages updates (gnome-online-accounts, yelp-xsl, epiphany-browser, eog, gnome-disk-utility, gnome-system-monitor, evolution-data-server, evolution, evolution-ews, swell-foop, tali, gnome-games-app, gnome-characters)
  • Hirsute
    • updated the ruby-gnome autopkgtest test to work correctly with the new webkitgtk which migrated now
    • fixed the new libmanette autopkgtest, xvfb is not needed
    • got the abseil mir acked which unblocked the mozc update
  • Snaps
    • fixed swell-foop build on arm64 by not making it use gcc-multilib there
    • updated thunderbird beta to 87.0b3
  • Sponsoring
    • alsa-ucm-conf fix from oem (F,G,H)
    • libgee and valac updates from ricotz
    • bluez raspi fix for focal
    • gnome-characters depends fix from Gunnar
  • KPI
    • contributed a sponsoring queue collector for the KPI board which got merged, thanks Laney!
    • spent some time trying to get the CI linter job to be happy with the python style, Laney helped landing some configuration changes that make the different linter utilities agree on the right syntax
    • added it to the grafana UI, thanks again Laney for helping me getting started!
    • submitted improvements to the sponsoring report to be used in the KPI
    • worked some more on a images stats collector, rebased on using rsync to list the files
  • New Desktop Installer
    • desktop canary images are now published thanks to Łukasz!
  • Other

firefox24 firefox

  • 86.0.1 was published to all supported releases, with a fix for a startup crash
  • preparing 87.0 release candidate builds (due for release tomorrow)
    • uploaded to hirsute (now building with clang 12)
    • looking into ppc64el build failures with clang < 11 (xenial, bionic and focal)

thunderbird24 thunderbird

chromium22 chromium

flutter24 flutter



  • tested and updated 7.0.5 sru and 6.4.7 sru and tried to get rico bug control rights
  • continued to debug 7.1 snap with uc20 updates. Currently trying to figure out why lib/libreoffice isn’t being primed correctly.


  • Made progress on VPAT (finished it today though) and sent it for review.
  • 360 reviews
  • CUPS Snap in the snapd environment: Started a thread on the Snapcraft Forum to discuss how to implement the cups interface in a way that it can safely auto-connected by Snaps which want to print, independent whether the CUPS service provided come from a Snap or from classic packages, including older classic CUPS packages which do not have Snap mediation. This discussion has originally started in @jamesh’s pull request to make cups an implicit interface of the system. @ijohnson suggested to let the Snap which wants to print install the CUPS Snap as a dependency, and if there is already a classic CUPS. run the CUPS Snap as proxy/firewall CUPS receiving print jobs and passing them on to the classic CUPS but not accepting admin requests. Started to work out how to implement this.
  • Calls for Testing of CUPS Snap: On Discourse and on the Snapcraft Forum. I got a reply on the Snapcraft Forum telling that the CUPS Snap does not print on a remote CUPS printer which after some forth-and-back turned out to be a DNS issue on the user’s machine.
  • CUPS: Updated (classic) Hirsute package to use my CUPS upstream code for the Snap mediation and also updated the AppArmor profile for current snapd (2.3.3op2-3ubuntu3).
  • sane-airscan: The MIR got finally its security review from @alexmurray and nees some fixes. I have forwarded the case to upstream author Alexander Pevzner and he will fix the issues.
  • Google Summer of Code 2021: Continued mentoring candidates on working on cups-filters and CUPS GitHub issues as part of the selection process.
  • Google Season of Docs 2021: Prepared work on the mentoring organization application. OpenPrinting’s project will be full documentation of cups-filters 2.x.
  • Bugs.

snapd PRs:

  • Created snapd PR #10043, which updates the snap start/stop/restart commands (and snapctl equivalents) to return an error message when trying to operate on user daemons. We probably want something better before turning the feature on by default, but this is a start.
  • Created snapd PR #10046, which turns on the experimental.dbus-activation feature. As mentioned previously, this will only enable activation for system daemons until we get experimental.user-daemons enabled too.
  • Worked my way through the remaining open review feedback on Alan’s snapd PR #8699 (implementing a desktop-launch interface). There are 200+ comments on the PR, and I think all the relevant feedback is now addressed.

Ubuntu Core GDM experiment:

  • submitted the ubuntu-desktop-session snap to the store and requested manual review due to the large number of warnings/errors triggered by the automated review. We’d previously been using an unpublished version of this snap in the test images, which meant we couldn’t take advantage of interface auto-connection via the gadget snap.