Desktop Team Updates - Monday 8th 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 1st March 2021

  • Added null-safety support to snapd.dart.
  • Working on Linux bluetooth support in flutter_reactive_ble.
  • Updated dbus.dart, desktop_notifications.dart, nm.dart, upower.dart and udisks.dart to use Dart 1.12 final now it’s released, adding null safety support where required.
  • Worked on showing ESM status in software-properties.
  • ADSys (Active Directory / Group Policy client for Ubuntu)

    • Released to hirsute.
    • Many fixes.
    • Research to support security policies and started implementing password policy.
    • Added support for dconf configurable GDM settings.
  • Customer meetings & demos

  • ADSys

    • Released to hirsute.
    • Many fixes.
    • Research to support security policies and started implementing password policy.
    • Added support for dconf configurable GDM settings.
    • Customer meetings & demos
  • Misc

    • MIR ayatana reviews
  • spent some time again figuring out how langpack server is working to trigger a refresh for hirsute
  • GNOME updates (gnome-chess, gnome-screenshot, gnome-sound-recorder)
  • +1 maintenance rotation
  • helped migrating the libhandy Debian package to pkg-gnome
  • updated power-profiles-daemon following the Debian NEW review (rejected because there was no uploaders in control and a missing gfdl
  • reported upstream the libayatana deprecation warnings pointed out during the MIR review
  • versions
    • updated the style of the snaps report
    • included the version of the gnome extension used to build the snaps
    • changed the snap name column to point to the corresponding storepage
    • updated the debug option to include timestamps
    • generate stats for the snaps report now
    • cache the upstream stable branch information, no need to query this several times a day
  • Opened github tickets with the new installer screens design
  • sponsored some fixes from Gunnar
  • investigated a gnome-autoar security update regression
  • submitted an update to check that a known team is subscribed before promoting a source
  • We had a package fail to promote from hirsute-proposed to hirsute. We only found out once the bug it caused started to be noticed by users. That’s bad, and to stop this happening in future I worked with IS to create a (private) mailing list that the copying process sends emails to. The bot now uses that list.
  • Helped with some migrations, making glib2.0, poppler and e-d-s go in.
  • Bit more fiddling behind the scenes with the new proposed-migration cloud environment. I’m going to start a test deployment this week (it’ll mostly not be visible though).
    • What I still need to test is that the webhook (GitHub) submissions still work properly.
  • Some applicant reviews for our open position. There’s still time to apply if you have Flutter experience and want to help improve it on Ubuntu.

firefox24 firefox

  • re-enabled unity-menubar.patch for the 87 branch (beta), which was much more involved than the usual minor changes
  • confirmed a startup crash that is an upstream regression, I am considering cherry-picking the upstream fix but I’m waiting to see if we get more reports from Ubuntu users first

chromium22 chromium

  • updated stable to 89.0.4389.82 (snap and deb), and handed over to the security team for sponsoring to {xenial,bionic}-security
  • Unsurprisingly, a number of users have reported a regression when upgrading to 89 because these builds do not embed the OAuth ID for the sync API that is going to be disabled on March 15 by Google, which results in synced profile data being erased from the local profile. From a user perspective this is very unfriendly but as it’s an upstream decision there’s not much packagers can do about it, so I commented on the bug report to explain as clearly as possible the situation, and marked “Won’t Fix” (but this should be “Can’t Fix”, really).
  • added a LICENSE file to the snap package
  • updated dev to 90.0.4430.11, and fixed build on armhf
  • Continued poking at failing autopkgtests on bionic (starting with 89), but I’m still unable to reproduce the failures, despite trying various test environments. I am not admitting defeat just yet.

libreoffice24-margin libreoffice

  • sponsored another 7.1.1 RC2 upload to hirsute for Rico

snapcraft24 snaps

package24 other

  • synced ibus 1.5.24-1 from Debian unstable on behalf of Gunnar
  • on +1 maintenance duty two days, see my report for details

Libreoffice Snap

  • after a lot of red herrings, released with working icons… getting this snap released was where most of my time went.
  • Also discovered a bug where yaru icons aren’t working in hirsute (but work fine on focal).
  • rebased my uc20/gnome-3-38 updates branch on working 7.1 changes but still have a runtime icon issue with startcenter.desktop. needs more investigation but would like this to be completed this week. Once the snap finishes building and works (icons and all!), then we can remove a whole heck of a lot of stuff from the LO snap, reducing its size. And then the LO snap will be in more maintenance mode.


  • investigated the vpat issue. here are my (internal) notes. the plan is to update the one contributed to us, but only the pieces listed as being supported. In time we could get to completing every line (87 items) in these tables. This should be completed this week.

Took some time off, finally some skiing was possible :slight_smile:


  • Fixed gjs issue to handle undefined0 conversion for types which need to use a bigger wrapper container, causing test failures in various architectures [MR]
  • Some more gdm smartcard tests and fixes
  • Improved loading of host fingerprints data in fprintd [MR]
  • Added a simple TOD driver inspector tool [commit]
  • Cherry-picked various fprintd fixes to upstream stable branch and adapted tests
  • Looking at various mutter regressions


  • Proposed fix for opensc to debian causing bad behavior and crash [MR]
  • Uploaded a new gjs package to experimental including the @oSoMoN fixes and more to fix build issues in various archs [1.67.2-2]


  • Made some updates to snapd PR #9963 (support dbus activation of “snap userd” on Ubuntu Core) in response to review feedback.
  • Created snapd PR #9986, adding a polkit policy file validator (or at least as much validation as can be done with Go’s XML package). This is intended as part of a future “polkit” interface to allow snapped daemons to implement polkit authorisation support.
  • snapd PR #9910 was merged, which adds a user tag to user services in the output of snap services and snapctl services. Unlike system services, the active state is not reported for user services since there isn’t a single unique instance for a user service.
  • Started work on a PR to make the service control commands function predictably in the presence of user services. Still a bit of work to do before it’s ready for review.
  • As we’ve cleared the blockers for the dbus-activation feature flag, I had a discussion with Alex from the security team about whether they have any concerns about the feature. He seemed happy with it, so we might be able to get that enabled soon. There is still some work to get user-daemons into shape though.