Desktop Team Updates - Monday 7th December 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 November 2020

:desktop_computer: Gnome Shell and friends:

:chart_with_downwards_trend: Bug tracking:



  • implemented dconf policy generation + tests
  • management of concurrent policies being generated
  • hooking up with service and CLI.


  • customers calls


  • LO 7.0.3 SRU for groovy was released.
  • arm flaky tests - started looking into the uicheck-sw test itself to come up with a plan:
    • the failure is all over the place within the set of tests run as part of the uicheck-sw umbrella test
    • I can’t reproduce this locally on my arm64 system (just refreshed it with a new image, able to run autopkgtest in lxc to run the tests), and uicheck-sw always passes
    • we could mark the tests as flaky but it’s autopkgtest that is killing the process (so it’s not the test itself failing) so flaky won’t do anything. not sure where to go on this one…
  • worked on coinMP bug. currently there’s a 7.0.3-0ubuntu4~ppa1 new build going with coinor-libcoinmp1v5 added to the BUILD_DEPS.
  • bug triage: 1888505, 1905322, 1905114, 1906684, there were more i looked into that didn’t require any action

Everything else:


thunderbird24 thunderbird

  • uploaded 78.5.1 to hirsute
  • preparing 78.5.1 update for groovy

chromium22 chromium

  • stable update to 87.0.4280.66 is complete
  • updating stable to 87.0.4280.88
  • updated beta to 88.0.4324.27
  • updating dev to 89.0.4343.0

package24 other

  • tested whether the MLS API key that had been created for Ubuntu by Mozilla back in 2019 was active and functioning, but as I suspected it’s not − we are going to follow up and request a new key
  • the librsvg 2.48.9 focal SRU was validated
  • confirmed and triaged a crash in simple-scan, which I came across during the week-end on a relative’s desktop computer running xenial
  • uploaded gnome-system-monitor 3.36.1 focal SRU
  • Spent a lot of the week working on the Ubuntu metrics again. I just deployed the backend for the first time. It’s running and collecting data now for the one job I wrote (raw numbers of rls-* bugs), but you can’t see it just yet. Code here in a few different branches.
  • rls:
    • A few iterations of reviews on my proposed-migration (britney) merges upstream at Debian - most of them got merged next week, need to do another batch and a rebase of the Ubuntu deployment
    • Helped a little bit with release stuff, hints and helping to get perl/python migrated.
    • Some of the arm nodes died AGAIN over the weekend so I did a re-deploy.
  • Sponsored a desktop-icons update for Daniel, should auto-sync from unstable
  • PostScript Printer Application: Continued the development and the testing. Following my feature request Michael Sweet has added a facility to PAPPL so that one can add one’s own pages to the web admin interface. With this I am now able to add support for configuring installable accessories for PostScript printers and polling option defaults from the printer. Started the work on these features and I have the web page addition already working.
  • PAPPL: Some new issue reports (open, closed) during the work on the PostScript Printer Application, this time for adding web admin interface pages.
  • cups-filters: Released 1.28.6 with the fixes of last week, the hangs of cups-browsed, memory leak fixes, the fix on the pdfops() filter function, and several fixes on the PPD file generator for driverless printing overtaken from CUPS.
  • cups-filters: Further fixes on the PPD generator for driverless printing.
  • CUPS Snap: Still waiting for @jamesh’s API extension of snapd to pass Canonical’s security team review so that the CUPS Snap makes it into the Snap Store.
  • sane-airscan: Waiting for the MIR to get reviewed by the security team.
  • Google Season of Docs 2020: The writing period has ended. The writer has posted his final report and I have done the final evaluation. His work is available on our web site.
  • Bugs.
  • one day off
  • updated deja-dup to 42.6 (+SRU to 20.10)
  • debugged the desktop ISO daily build failing, was due to the recent deban-cd change
  • review touchpad fixes for some precision laptops from OEM
  • backported a wpa segfault fix that is impacting gnome display sharing
  • update the thunderbird snap to 78.5.1
  • ensure the canary and desktop images have similar content
  • spent some time setting up a thunderbird dev environment to debug the snap default handler configuration not working
  • submitter a patch for thunderbird the previous issue
  • reviewed and sponsored OEM libinput quirks for Dell Precisions (+ SRU to B/F/G series)
  • fixed libusb-1.0 i386 autopkgtest
  • experimented a bit with gnome-calendar, ics and timezone to upstream an issue
  • Added engine tests to the Flutter Linux shell.
  • Worked on tests for Flutter settings channel plugin.
  • Worked on reference counting issue with channels in Flutter.
  • Completed broken GIF rendering bug fix landing.
  • Tried to diagnose why gnome-control-center CI is broken.
  • +1 Maintenence.
  • Worked with fwupd upstream on user agent handling in snap-store, made some improvements
  • Debugging crashes in snaps using libSDL2 on arm64
  • USN refreshes
  • Worked on a classic desktop snap that needed core20, got that all working.


  • implemented dconf policy generation + tests
  • management of concurrent policies being generated
  • hooking up with service and CLI.


  • customers calls

Slightly shorter week - Took some time off on Monday.



  • x-d-p PR # 549 was merged upstream, fixing the problem identified in the Thunderbird snap with launching applications associated with attachments in the compose window.
  • x-d-p PR #550 is still waiting for review.

snapd PRs:

  • I made some improvements to Alan’s snapd PR #8699 (implementing a desktop-launch interface), fixing some of the problems brought up in review and to make it fit in better with snapd’s coding style.

Ubuntu Core GDM image:

  • I talked with the snapd devs about the problem with seeding the image after adding a snap using D-Bus activation. We confirmed it is a bug, and I filed bug #1906622 with the details. I can work around the problem by using a custom built snapd that enables the experimental features by default. Once the image has fully seeded, it should be okay for that custom snapd to be replaced with one from the store.

Today out


  • More work in upstream libfprint and fprintd bugs:
    • Made new fprintd to work with older libfprint versions [MR]
  • Lots of fixes, tests and security improvements in a shared branch with Benjamin [MR]
  • Support for finger status API [MR]
  • Make PAM module to support always-available fingerprint auth [MR]
  • Support for single finger-deletion API [MR]
  • Handle removal of local prints on fprintd storage [fprintd MR] + [libfprint MR]
  • Fixed handling of prints in BigEndian archs [MR] + [MR]
  • Lots of testing for libfprint-tod with regression test using a binary driver compiled for the first tod revision
  • Released libfprint-tod 1.90.5+tod1
  • Lots of reviews


  • Uploaded libfprint and fprintd to Debian (and libfprint-tod to Ubuntu, rebased on debian)
  • Become maintainer of them (yay!)