Desktop Team Updates - Monday 4th October 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.

Last week’s notes are here: Desktop Team Updates - Monday 27th September 2021

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Desktop Installer

  • CUPS Snap: Waiting for @ijohnson’s pull request on snapd for the cups printing interface to get merged by the snapd team (ETA: October).
  • ipp-usb Snap: Snapped ipp-usb and put it up in the Snap Store! This is my first proof of concept for snapping an application which uses UDEV rules and replacing the UDEV rules by an alternative method in the Snap. In my case I run an auxiliary daemon, a shell script running udevadm monitor -k -s usb producing an output line on every USB device appearing/disappearing event. I take the “add” events and check with udevadm info ... or udevadm trigger -n ... (dry run) whether it is an IPP-over-USB device (7/1/4 interface) and start ipp-usb then. See also my message in this UDEV rule workarounds for Snaps thread on and also my documentation in Also requested interface auto-connections.
  • HPLIP Printer Application: Started implementation for support for the proprietary plugin from HP, which is used by some laser printers and by some scanners/multi-function devices, providing both firmware for printers which need their firmware loaded every time they are turned on and proprietary driver extensions. Implemented the parts to make the printer driver use the driver extensions (dynamic link libraries) and for the automatic upload of the firmware into the USB printers, using the same UDEV rule replacement method as for the ipp-usb Snap ( post, commit with testing instructions). This is the proof of concept that the plugin also works with the snapped HPLIP. Missing is the web interface page for downloading the plugin and the auto-update facility. Also requested interface auto-connections.
  • Retro-fitting Printer Applications: Requested interface auto-connections for the interfaces usb-raw, avahi-control, and hardware-observe for all the CUPS-driver retro-fitting Printer Application Snaps and the ipp-usb Snap. Also mentioned in and in the Snap Store listings that these interfaces still need to get connected manually.
  • CUPS PDF: Synced the print-to-PDF CUPS driver from Debian to fix several bugs, especially a compatibility problem with current Ghostscript.
  • Print Management GUI: Gave some more guidance to @frederik-f for creating a printers part in his Flutter/Dart based desktop control center, especially of the concept I described on my Linux Plumbers slides.
  • Ubuntu Office Hours: Preparing for this week’s episode (October 7) about the Google Summer of Code at OpenPrinting. With me, Aveek Basu (OpenPrinting program manager), and some of our students as guests.
  • Bugs.

firefox24 firefox

thunderbird24 thunderbird

  • uploaded 91.1.2 to impish

chromium22 chromium

  • updated stable to 94.0.4606.71
  • updated dev to 96.0.4655.0

flutter24 Ubuntu Desktop Installer

package24 other



  • Updates to the appindicators extension, to fix some bugs and leftovers in handling events under wayland [commits].
  • Various fixes to dash-to-dock (and ubuntu-dock), finally merged upstream.
  • More cleanups on the StIcon cache fix [MR, merged]
  • Refactored a bit the eprivacy-support branch as per some kernel changes done by Hans [MR]
  • Uploaded gnome-shell to ubuntu containing @vanvugt shutdown crashes workaround
  • Impish
    • investigated font-manager not working with the new GNOME and synced a new version including the needed fixes
    • reverted recent gstreamer packaging changes which were creating migration issues
    • checked ftbfs reports from the test archive rebuild
  • Snaps
    • updated the thunderbird snap, candidate to 91.1.2 and beta to 93.0b5
    • did some testing with the firefox and hunspell-dictionary snaps, seing if dictionaries could be used through content sharing. It works but lists every existing language in selector which is a bad user experience.
  • Others
    • review of resumes for the open desktop position
    • started working on the desktop plans for the next cycle
    • debugged a bit the lack of plymouth graphical screen with the new installer and reported a bug, subiquity isn’t setting the default kernel splash option
  • WSL:
    • Rebased the automated installation branch with latest modification and get it merged.
    • Multiple reviews on Patrick’s work, tests and advice.
  • ADsys:
    • Merged linter fixes and hook up in CI and dev mode as part of the project
    • Update all dependencies via dependabot and ensure tests pass
    • Investigate failure in CI due to docker impish not being able to run on other hosts (libc issue).
  • Misc:
    • libportal MIR
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