Desktop Team Updates - Monday 8th 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 1st June 2020

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:desktop_computer: Gnome Shell and friends:

:house: Housekeeping:

  • Still lots of bug traffic. Hours spent triaging, but it is slowly dropping back to normal.

:chart_with_downwards_trend: Backlog tracking

:raising_hand_man: Help wanted with a couple of sponsorships:



  • Worked on Poc for ZFS encryption option:
    • Experiment Luks/ZFS interaction with a dedicate keystore
    • Iterate over the initial design by creating a ZVOL in a VM
    • Implemented ZFS initramfs support for this scheme
    • Ubiquity integration in zsys-setup and UI
    • Debugged and fixed issues in cryptrootfs (still needs polish)
  • Published blog posts #4 and #5 (a must read!):
  • Interact with the community on misc issues and threads related to ZFS
  • More work on britney. I’m down to the last commit now, will have a version running this week. The plan is to run it in parallel and make sure that it’s working properly for a bit, before switching over.
  • Internal work:
    • Canonical IS are replacing our cdimage master with a better machine. At the same time we’re upgrading from 18.04 to 20.04. I worked a bit with the sysadmin on some preparation for this.
    • A bit more followup on one of the autopkgtest clouds being down (s390x/arm64/ppc64el at half capacity). Not much that I can do here but keep applying pressure.
  • There’s a big autopkgtest queue at the minute - worked with the +1 maint people of the day (mainly @paelzer) to cut that down when it could be.
  • Did a bit of debugging of a mutter build failure in focal and provided some advice which @3v1n0 implemented and now we have builds, woohoo!
  • Helped the Ubuntu DMB (developer membership board) out with some bugs and kept on trying to make upload rights easier to manage, thanks @rafaeldtinoco for picking this up on the DMB side.

firefox24 firefox

  • 77.0.1 was published to all supported releases

thunderbird24 thunderbird

  • updating to 68.9.0

chromium22 chromium

  • updating stable to 83.0.4103.97
  • investigating a consistent renderer crash on xenial when playing back video
  • updated beta to 84.0.4147.38
  • updating dev to 85.0.4158.4
  • fixed installing the transitional deb that installs the snap in a chroot by merely skipping the snap install step on systems where snapd isn’t running (similar to what was done for LXD)
  • updating the VAAPI branch to the latest stable version, and adding more VAAPI drivers to the snap

package24 other

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Thanks @oSoMoN @seb128 too for your help debugging LO problems this week!



  • looked at netplan plugin of the network-manager snap. It is a 66k line patch so more time is needed.
  • looked into netplan deb package failure but now Lukas is looking into it.


  • USN refreshes: libreoffice, glimpse, cherrytree
  • Have a request (cherrytree c++) to supply libgtksourceviewmm to the next build snap that uses core20 (will be gnome-3-36-1804-sdk) so also looking into adding it to gnome-3-34
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  • Lots of backlogged USN refreshes

    • Ported more snaps to use the gnome-3-34 extension
    • Fixed build failures
  • gnome-3-34-1804

    • Found some wasted space and submitted PR to trim ~50MB
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  • One day off
  • Catching up with things after a week off
  • Did some focal SRU verifications
  • +1 maintenance rotation
  • Submitted an ubuntu-bug-triage change to ignore bugs edited by $launchpadid
  • Did some merges and syncs
  • Wrote a MIR for libnma

snapd dbus activation

  • At last week’s review meeting, it was suggested that I split out the base snap.yaml syntax changes needed to support dbus activation. I pulled the relevant parts out into snapd PR #8837, which includes the parsing and validation code along with a check to prevent snaps using the feature from being installed. That resulted in a ~ 300 line diff, which should be easier to review.
  • It was also suggested that the checks for conflicting snaps be done through the overlord/snapstate code rather than using files in /var/lib/snapd/dbus. I got a version of that working in the main dbus activation PR, but perhaps it is another candidate to split out once the syntax PR is merged.

snapcraft Github Actions:

  • Snapcraft 4.0 has been released, and caused some minor breakage in the snapcore/action-build GH Action. I’ve put out a fixed release so people’s builds will continue to function.
  • It might be worth extending the action to allow running against other channels of Snapcraft, and add a scheduled workflow to periodically test that the action functions with upcoming releases.

snapd theme support:

  • I’ve updated the algorithm the snapd-desktop-helper prototype uses to discover theme snaps to strip off dash separated components from the end of the theme name if the first lookup fails. The intention here is to allow a collection of themes sharing a common prefix (such as Yaru, Yaru-dark, and Yaru-light) to be packaged together rather than being split up.
  • Still need to add some GUI to the prototype, and add the install logic.
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  • ZFS encryption option with LUKS encrypted keystore. Implementation in zsys-setup and Ubiquity.
  • Statistics on ubuntu-report.
  • QA Lab maintenance
  • Snapcraft/CUPS Snap: The Snap will soon get renamed, from “Printing Stack Snap” to simply “cups” and the GitHub repository will then also be renamed, to “cups-snap”. More in this month’s OpenPrinting News. In addition, more clean-up of unneeded files in the Snap is done, CJK text file printing works, the Berkeley-style print utilities (lpr, lpq, lprm, and lpc) are now available, and cups-filters 1.27.5 is now included.
  • cups-filters: Released 1.27.5 which especially has an option for cups-browsed to not remove the auto-created print queues on shutdown so that when restarting no notifications for re-creation of these queues pop up. Zdenek Dohnal suggests to modify the notifiyer in GNOME in this issue report.
  • Google Summer of Code 2020: Mentoring work going on.
  • OpenPrinting: Monthly phone meeting and OpenPrinting News.
  • Bugs.
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