Monday 11th February 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:

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  • New Installer
    • Updated the “multi layer support” branch of Curtin after the review from Chad Smith
    • Updated livecd-rootfs to unbreak customization scripts that used a side effect of previous implementation to change the brand and model assertions by re-preparing the assertions and overwriting the initial ones.
    • Experimented with zfs on root partition on Desktop.
    • Minor updates to Curtin’s MP
  • 18.04.2
    • Tested 18.04.2 (delayed until Feb. 14th)
  • Misc.
    • Contributed to the trip report from FOSDEM’19
    • Looked at pycallgraph2 to create a call chart of subiquity and fixed pycallgraph2 examples upstream.
    • Looked at Kiwi TCMS as a test management tool.
    • Read the Boot speed KPI spec

GNOME 3.32 Beta (3.31.90)

  • Packaged most of GNOME 3.31.90. A few highlights:
    • Most apps have dropped the iconic GNOME 3 app menu and moved the menu items into the app with a ☰ menu. The indicator on the left top bar is still present for this release but will now include the Desktop Actions. Altogether, I think this significantly improves usability of the app menus.
    • Several apps have updated their App IDs to the reverse-domain style (org.gnome.App), affecting the filenames used for their .desktop and app icons. This mostly affects third-party icon themes.
    • The Terminal app now uses a headerbar by default (technically, upstream doesn’t turn it on by default but I expect most distros will).
    • GNOME Builder can edit UI files using libglade.
    • gtk 3.24.5 features updated Adwaita and High Contrast themes. (I uploaded this to Debian Buster.)
  • Rewrote several Debian/Ubuntu patches to apply against the new versions.
  • Reported several bugs to GNOME about a variety of issues I discovered with the new releases. Provided merge requests for several of the issues.
  • Reported a GTK3 regression caught by our build tests which was quickly fixed. GTK3 doesn’t use CI although GTK4 does. I looked into enabling this but there are a few issues (we carry 3 patches to get the build tests working. The 2 recent ATK patches aren’t needed when GTK is built in a full desktop session so I guess we need to figure out how to start some accessibility service in the test environment.)
  • Completed Evolution 3.31.90 transition
  • Completed gtksourceview3 → 4 in Ubuntu main mini-transition
  • Fixed gnome-control-center’s 99_add_lock-on-suspend patch so that it actually works. LP: #938076 has background on why we have this patch. Maybe we could backport this to 18.04 LTS? (It adds a Lock Screen on Suspend switch to Settings > Privacy > Screen Lock.)

Blocked Updates

  • Totem 3.31.90 drops the Zeitgeist plugin. Can we drop it too?
  • gnome-desktop3 introduced a new build test that fails for us (it’s checking Hebrew translation of the clock)
  • I filed a MIR for gsound which is needed for gnome-control-center to migrate out of disco-proposed.
  • GNOME Builder needs the new glib to migrate out of -proposed.
  • GNOME Online Accounts could use a .svg version of the Ubuntu One icon. Could someone else handle this update?
  • libsoup has a lot of test failures so I reported the issue and did not upload.
  • Sound Recorder doesn’t record sounds
  • gvfs can be synced from experimental when the libnfs MIR is approved. I filed Debian bug 921578 which is an apparent blocker for the MIR.

In Debian NEW

  • vala 0.44 series
  • gnome-books (split from gnome-documents)
  • filemanager-actions

Autopkgtest work


  • Uploaded the GNOME 3.31.90 packages to Experimental
  • Uploaded gnome-control-center with the distro-logo patch we share with Fedora. This adds a nice distro logo to the About page. The Debian implementation uses Debian alternatives (provided in Debian’s desktop-base package) to allow distros to easily substitute their logo without needing to fork key packages like gnome-control-center.
    Ubuntu should implement support for this, but it will take some time to collect the logos and prepare the packaging.
  • Sponsored a similar logo update for GDM.
  • Sponsored a cherry-pick fix for keyboard layouts for GDM
  • Did a libqmi upload to fix the build (blocker for modemmanager update)
  • Discussed GNOME Accessibility concerns
  • Debian enters soft freeze now

Stable Release Updates


  • Persuaded the Glade maintainer to accept our YAML file and enabled auto-builds to the candidate channel from glade’s stable branch and to the edge channel from glade’s master branch. TODO: fix the version number so that the Snap Store accepts these builds (the CVS style version tags don’t work with snap’s automatic version handler).
  • Spent time with Ken fighting Launchpad on importing gedit’s git repo. Launchpad is putting up a hard fight.

Other Ubuntu work


  • New Installer
    • Updated the “multi layer support” branch of Curtin after the review from Chad Smith
    • Updated livecd-rootfs to unbreak customization scripts that used a side effect of previous implementation to change the brand and model assertions by re-preparing the assertions and overwriting the initial ones.
    • Experimented with zfs on root partition on Desktop and via curtin.
    • Read more doc on zfs.
    • Minor updates to Curtin’s MP2
  • Misc:
    • Reviewed some branches from Carlos for gogtk3, and did a lot of refactoring. Experimenting GTK UI state in Go (still WIP)
    • Iso testing: 18.04.2
    • Contributed to the trip report from FOSDEM’19
    • Looked at pycallgraph2 to create a call chart of subiquity
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  • Some more fixing on the GDM bug (it’s now merged and available as CVE-2019-3825).
  • Helped on the FOSDEM trip report (internal, sorry)
  • Re-worked some old as-glib patches after upstream did a clean out of old reviews
  • Helped to try and fix a crash in gnome-control-center. Jeremy tricked me into doing that one. I also prepared a wip branch to make that better, on the back burner until later.
  • GLib 2.59.2 update, with some followup test fixes thanks to the autopkgtests.
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This was a short week, I was offline on Wednesday and Thursday.

chromium22 chromium

  • updating stable to 72.0.3626.96
  • updated dev to 73.0.3683.20, now using the recently backported clang 7 for bionic builds
  • updating beta to 73.0.3683.27

libreoffice24-margin libreoffice

  • preparing 6.2.0 packages for disco − bumped into various build failures always happening towards the end of the build and not always reproducible locally, making it a slow process, but I’m getting there

snapcraft24 snaps

  • debugging gnome-3-28-1804-sdk build failures

:bug: rls-bb-tracking bugs

  • bug #1754671 in network-manager: still in bionic-proposed, no update since last week
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  • one day off
  • reviewed/sponsored (Debian & Disco) the modemmanager updates from Till
  • usual stack of bugs triage (still focussing on nautilus)
  • debugged the failing libnfs autopkgtest
    • Synced/merged the gstreamer 1.15 updates from Debian
  • Followed up on some n-m 1.15 issues, including sending a RT for adding ipv6 to the connectivity checker
  • Changed the default procps rp_filter default in disco since the strict mode is incompatible with the way n-m 1.15 does online checking by interface


  • More battling with gtk build failures, thankfully @oSoMoN has made progress


  • Asked cjwatson to help deal with the broken git mirror so we can get automated builds up
  • Worked on reducing the size of the snap now that the plugins are builtin


  • Refreshed to deal with security fixes. Did some manual testing before promoting to stable


  • SRU of 1.0.3 is now in cosmic-updates
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Ubuntu lands

  • Contributed to FOSDEM team report
  • Rewrote dash-to-dock to use ES6 class’es (needed to make it work with 3.32)
  • Working on appindicator extension
  • Some small reviews here and there and triaging
  • Porting compiz to git (again)


snapd/xdg-desktop-portal integration tests:

  • I gave up on trying to get the spread tests running with xdg-desktop-portal installed unconditionally. There were too many tests where having it installed caused state to leak between test cases (mainly due to stale document portal mounts).
  • I’ve compromised so that the Python support packages are installed unconditionally, but xdg-desktop-portal itself is installed/uninstalled for the tests that require it (where I’m also careful to properly clean up relevant state).

snapd dbus activiation:

  • There was a request about maybe splitting the PR, but I’m not sure how easily that can be achieved: the PR is large because it adds a lot of tests rather than due to the main code changes. There are a few smaller trivial things that could be split, but they don’t make much of a dent to the overall size of the diff.
  • There has also been discussion on the Snapcraft forum about what syntax daemon: dbus services should use to indicate what bus name indicates they’ve started. I don’t think it should block the PR, but realistically this will probably need to be resolved at next week’s sprint.

snapd polkit interface:

  • I got feedback this week on the polkit interface proposal forum thread I created. There was a suggestion about having snapd generate polkit .policy files based on interface declarations, but I don’t think that is desirable or workable (especially when policy files contain user facing translated strings).
  • There is still the open question of what polkit action IDs a snap package should be allowed to export. I’m starting to think snaps should be able to reserve a reverse DNS prefix for use with polkit action IDs, D-Bus names, desktop files, etc, and have snapd prevent conflicting snaps from being installed. That leaves open the question of how to manage who gets to own what though.
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:shield: Livepatch

  • Updated software-properties-gtk’s MP to improve the behavior in case of non connectivity.
  • Updated software-properties-gtk’s MP to improve the format of the last-check string.
  • Updated software-properties-gtk’s MP to improve the UI during temporary states.

:gear: Online Accounts

  • WIP: Add support for PKCE to oauth2 client to gnome-online-account
  • WIP: Coordinating with IS due to changes in Google Pricavy Policy

:older_man: Unity7

  • WIP: Working on a fix for the lockscreen issue.
1 Like