Monday 10th June 2019

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 the Community Hub (this site).
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: Monday 3rd June 2019
Next week’s notes are here: Monday 17th June 2019


Short week (4 days)

  • Review plan for 19.04
  • grubzfs-testsuite :
    • Package as grubzfs-testsuite for running in the future autopkgtests on grub + zfs. Waiting in eoan NEW.
    • Add more infra to grubzfs-testsuite to ship as an executable for running tests.
    • Fix go-libzfs bindings to build on x86 and submit upstream:²
  • Integrate our new ZFS script + changes in grub2 ubuntu package:
    • Separate behavior changes in debian/ubuntu from upstream, mirroring our myriad of patches in 10_linux.
    • Hook to the build system.
    • Learn and use git-dpm for grub2 git branches.
    • Integrate some feedbacks on 10_linux_zfs from Richard.
  • Integrate Zsys dataset support in zfs-initiramfs
  • Those packages are now in the ubuntu-desktop/canary-image ppa, and were manually tested. Waiting for next week (due to days off) to upload to eoan safely.
  • Debugged casper upload breaking canary-image build.

cf @didrocks’s report

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  • 3 work days only this week
  • Updated the dleyna packages in Debian/Eoan
  • Trello board review/updates
  • reviewed bionic/GNOME components that could be updated to list a few we should SRU (trello card created)
  • Joined several planning meetings (archive changes, gnome-software/snap, …)
  • SRU verifications (update-notifier/bionic, geocode-glib/bionic, epiphany-browser/bionic&disco, gnome-control-center/disco, gedit/bionic)
  • Fixed casper to know about gdm when copying the a11y configuration after install
  • blogged a response to “epiphany-browser is outdated in Ubuntu”

firefox24 firefox

chromium22 chromium

  • updated beta then stable to 75.0.3770.80
    • snaps and debs currently building
    • I plan on triggering the deb → snap transition on eoan with this release next week (I’ll issue a call for testing when I do that):
      • I have updated the snap’s launcher script to take into account available disk space before attempting to import an existing chromium profile
      • while testing the transition I realized that an existing pinned entry for chromium in the launcher would disappear if the existing desktop file was removed, so I kept it in the package, and modified the /usr/bin/chromium-browser wrapper script that execs the snap to rewrite the desktop file name in the favorites (in this initial implementation GNOME Shell and Unity are supported, and I want to look into replicating the same behaviour for other default desktop environments in official Ubuntu flavours)
  • updating dev to 76.0.3809.12

libreoffice24-margin libreoffice

  • did a bit of shallow research on how to lock down settings (customer request)

package24 other


libreoffice24-margin libreoffice

GNOME build-snap

  • USN snap refreshes
  • Fixed layout issues in several snaps
  • Trello board review/updates
  • Planning meetings and design reviews

snapd icon theme support:

  • One of the pieces of review feedback for the icon theme support PR was to split out the new osutil.EnsureTreeState helper intended to synchronise content in a tree of directories (in our case, a set of icons owned by a particular snap in the shared /var/lib/snapd/desktop/icons directory).
  • I split that out as snapd PR #6959, which has received one review and waiting on a second.

snapd user session agent:

  • I got my initial implementation of the session agent as a part of snap userd working and published as snapd PR #6954. Unfortunately the tests failed on 16.04 systems.
  • On further investigation, it became apparent that it would be impossible to work on 16.04 with the session agent and userd as a single process. Xenial is unusual in that it runs a user instance of systemd, but the D-Bus session bus is managed by a user instance of Upstart. It was not possible to have the daemon managed by systemd but also bus activatable.
  • By refactoring the branch to run the session agent as its own process, we could leave userd as is and not have to special case any distros in the session agent code.
  • After the split, it turned out that it wasn’t too difficult to get the session agent running on Ubuntu Core systems too.
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:computer_mouse: Gnome Shell performance (stutter | latency | CPU):

:computer_mouse: Gnome Shell other work landed upstream this week:

:beetle: Release bugs:

:pick: Backlogs progress:

  • :chart_with_downwards_trend: Good news (falling backlogs): firefox, libreoffice, totem
  • :chart_with_upwards_trend: Bad news (consistently growing backlogs): ubiquity
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  • cups-filters: Released 1.25.0 with the new pdftoraster filter not using any unstable APIs of Poppler any more and also removed the deprecated (and not included in Ubuntu for more than a year) filters pdftoijs and pdftoopvp. This way there is no use at all of unstable Poppler APIs in cups-filters any more. The pdftoraster work was by a GSoC 2019 student who finished it well ahead of time.
  • cups-filters: The introduction of printer auto-selection in cups-browsed in the 1.24.0 release broke support for remote CUPS queues on servers with legacy CUPS versions which did not yet support IPP 2.x. Discussed possible solutions on this upstream issue report.
  • cups-filters: Clean-up of old upstream issues lacking information from original posters, number of issues is down to 7 now.
  • network-manager: Asked posters of Bionic regressions again for more info and logs.
  • Google Summer of Code 2019: Mentoring of student to work on converting the pdftoraster filter of cups-filters to use stable APIs, filter is practically completed and upstream in cups-filters (and Eoan) now. Only some fine-tuning (handling zero-page documents) still to be done.
  • Linux Plumbers, Lisboa 2019: The OpenPrinting micro-conference got approved. The even will take place on Sep 9-11 in Lisboa, Portugal.
  • Bugs.
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  • Rebased various gnome-shell and mutter branch as per upstream changes
  • Fixed Alt+F2 → r crash and other disposition crash under X11 [!605, merged, cherry-picked at !607, needs review]
  • Gjs: GjsMaybeOwned: Force stack allocation only [!303]
  • Gjs: Support Native JSObject GType for Signals and Properties [!305]
  • Gjs: JS Style fixes [!306]
  • Gjs: some fixes to previous MRs so that now are merged
  • Changed strategy to fix allocation loop in !566
  • Spent some debugging on some new? mutter/shell memleak [#1359]
  • Some reviews and merges


  • No update on OSK ones
  • Not a release one but addressed a SRU regression one with mutter/!607 (covers LP: #1831578)
  • Looked at other SRU crash on 3.28.4, but quite hard to debug without any JS trace (and got none so far).
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  • Worked on autopkgtest / juju 2 re-deployment
    • Can deploy a cloud worker and talk to rabbitmq
    • Much more of the configuration is in Juju config rather than inside the code itself now and the service can reconfigure itself properly when that changes
    • Currently setting up systemd units for more things (image building)
    • next:
      • make LXD controllers work (rather than ones which run cloud instances)
      • Migrate autopkgtest-web (the website)
  • In the old land: one of the clouds is having trouble and had to be turned off, worked with IS on that a bit
  • Also chatted a bit with Gunnar about a branch he has for g-c-c, and some others about a GLib patch they wanted (in 2.60.4, released yesterday, will be uploaded shortly)