Desktop Team Updates - Monday 6th 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 30th March 2020

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  • Focal Beta QA
  • ZSys:
    • Performance improvement to grub menu generation and fixes to grub testsuite
    • Fix generator not detecting zsys on boot, messing up ZFS datasets on first boot
    • Another batch of various fixes (git log for details)

Back from paternity leave on Tuesday.

  • Addressed @laney’s comments on my update-manager snap2deb MR.
    • Split update_snaps() into smaller parts.
    • Snap updates now occur after the user has opted in.
    • Switched to using snapd-glib for (un)installs.
    • Explicitly mark replaced debs for deletion.
  • More bug triaging for alsa-driver, ubiquity, grub2, and apport.
    • In the aim of improving this situation.
  • Lots of catching up after the break.

:desktop_computer: Gnome Shell:

:rocket: Plymouth:

:house: Housekeeping:

  • Lots and lots (and lots) of bug triage. Even busier this week with the beta announced.
  • Lots of laptop testing.
  • Lots of audio device testing, most notably 1 and 2.
  • Wrote some 20.04 release notes.
  • Corrected changelog.

:chart_with_downwards_trend: Backlog tracking




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firefox24 firefox

thunderbird24 thunderbird

  • updated to 68.6.0 in focal, and backported to eoan and bionic (handed over to the security team for publication)

chromium22 chromium

  • 80.0.3987.149 was published to {xenial,bionic}-{security,updates}
  • updated stable to 80.0.3987.163 (handed over to the security team for publication)
  • updated dev to 83.0.4100.3
  • initial upstreaming of the snap packaging was merged
  • submitted a follow-up CL with minor fixes after some functional testing uncovered a couple of issues

snapcraft24 snaps

  • filed a bug for snapcraft to complain when bogus file permissions would result in an uninstallable snap

package24 other

  • Focal
    • beta ISO testing
    • fixed the livepatch indicator to use the right icons
    • debugged bluetooth/pulseaudio using the wrong output issues, seems to impact upgraders and deleting .config/pulse is enough to fix it
    • fixes some archive rebuild ftbfs (abiword, session-migration, auctex, ido, xserver-xorg-input-synaptics)
    • updated the default launcher configuration to list snap-store
    • some Debian syncs and merges
    • investigated why apport doesn’t catch bluez errors, turns out it doesn’t like systemd’s use of namespace (ProtectSystem)
    • updated gnome-initial-setup to try to start snap-store first then fallback to gnome-software
    • helped debugging OnlyShowIn issue in gnome-shell
    • updated unity’s translations
    • changed the bluez’s systemd job to restart the service on error
    • backported a Debian change to g-s-d to stop pulling on a legacy font dir
  • Sponsored
    • plymouth improvements from Daniel (fsck support, drm timeout)
    • Robert’s patch to add a graphical setting to enable fractional scaling
    • unity-greeter’s logo fix
  • Other
    • drafted an email to share bug triaging tips
    • Quite busy post beta launchpad bugs triaging

4 day week because took a sick day.

  • Took initial look at libreoffice help issue and started narrowing down where the problem is
  • worked on updating glimpse-editor for gnome 3.36 but having issues
  • worked on updating the libreoffice snap to use the gnome-3-34 extension but having some issue with missing Python.h. Need to run another test but then will reach out for another pair of eyes…
  • snapcraft summit meetings
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snapd dbus-activation support:

  • snapd PR #5822 (user session daemon support) is in a good state with all feedback from @pedronis addressed, but hasn’t been merged yet.
  • snapd PR #6258 (dbus activation) has been rebased on current snapd master, and a feature flag has been added to gate access to the feature. At present it is blocked on getting a new revision of test-snapd-dbus-service approved and published to the store: we can’t easily build the test snap during the spread tests, and the version I’ve tried to publish failed manual review because it uses new snap.yaml syntax. All unit tests are passing though, for what that’s worth.

snapd xdg-desktop-portal support

  • snapd PR #8289 (portal support in the xdg-open proxy) was merged to master. The original plan was to cherry pick this to the 2.44 branch, but that has not happened: it was deemed too much of a risk for the 2.44.2 release.
  • snapd PR #8356 (adding a snap routine file-access command for use by the document portal) is still waiting for a review.
  • I created snapd PR #8413, which has been reviewed and now merged. This change loosens the AppArmor policy slightly to allow the user to open files owned by other users through the document portal. A common use case would be to open documentation owned by root found in /usr/share/doc as a regular user.

miscellaneous snapd work:

  • While debugging an intermittent test failure in the user-daemons PR, I discovered the problem was in another pre-existing spread test leaving behind a broken user session running on the system. I split the fix for that out into snapd PR #8385, which was merged.
  • To help with migration of CI over to Github Actions, I put together snapd PR #8429. This ports the CLA check job over from Travis CI. The only real difficulty was that it was using the TRAVIS_COMMIT_RANGE environment variable, for which there is no equivalent in GH Actions.
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Fprint and friends

  • Some changes to get address-sanitizer CI checks to fprintd [!48, merged]
  • Build sytstem improvements for fprintd [!57, merged]
  • Fixes to the fprintd-verify tool [!59]
  • More tests for the verification process [!60 and libfprint!130]
  • Updates to the g-c-c MR not to make g-c-c to hang on fprintd [!727]
  • Working on g-c-c enrollment new-design [WIP backend]
  • Reviews on OEM drivers (free and not)


  • Focal testing
  • Debugged an issue causing NotShowIn/OnlyShowIn not to work in gnome-shell [MR upstream and ubuntu]
  • Reviews on desktop-icons fixes [!166]
  • Synced gjs from debian
  • mozjs68 new point release preparation
  • Got approved to ~ubuntu-desktop, thanks a lot guys!
  • Worked on the beta release: testing, doing the cdimage things, reviewing fixes from others, making some fixes, sending the announcement, working with Canonical IS on resolving some problems
  • More making Ubiquity bend to my will in order to show the right RST UI
  • Reviewed and uploaded fixes from Marcus to update-manager, uploaded those to the queue
  • Debugged issues with appstream in snap-store and tracked it down to a snapd issue which has just been fixed in the 2.44 branch and should be released soon
  • Debugged issues with url handling in snaps
  • Worked around desktop file issue in snap-store snap to display “Ubuntu Software” properly when run on Ubuntu. @3v1n0 has a proper fix for this in gnome-shell.
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  • Snapcraft: Regarding the interface through which snapped apps can print via the CUPS snap we have now settled on using a PulseAudio-like approach. Started investigating on how to implement in CUPS.
  • cups-filters: To facilitate the planned restructuring for better integration in Printer Applications I started working on cleaning up the license chaos. cups-filters is a unification of many small projects which were done under many different licenses. Now I am changing the license to be Apache 2.0 plus (L)GPL2 exception, the same license as CUPS and PAPPL use. I have asked all contributors whether they agree and most have already agreed within 24 hours.
  • cups-filters: Further thoughts for the restructuring. Probably will get a 2.x.y version number or get renamed, cups-browsed and perhaps libfontembed separated.
  • PAPPL: The Printer Application Framework from Michael Sweet is progressing more. Now the emulated IPP printers advertise themselves correctly via DNS-SD and so one gets local CUPS queues with all the usual methods: cups-browsed, driverless utility together with printer setup tool or CUPS web interface, CUPS-internal temporary queues. Response to get-printer-attributes IPP request not yet 100% correct but one can actually print!
  • Google Summer of Code 2020: No more than the 5 already found students seem to be suitable for OpenPrinting. The other possible candidates either had a bad proposal or do not answer our e-mails. Told to the student who will do the Printer Application Framework that his work will be subject to change, due to strong development work by Michael Sweet on PAPPL. Sorting out student proposal list according to the other sub-orgs of the Linux Foundation, to find out how many slots to request in total from Google.
  • Bugs.