Monday 1st October 2018

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.

Next week’s notes are here: Monday 8th October 2018


Last week:

Previous week (worth mentioning since I haven’t shared this info yet):


Ubuntu Report:



  • Some work on the bubblewrap package to get it suitable for main - dropping SUID and making the tests work in that situation.
    • And now that’s done, uploaded gnome-desktop3 to reinstate use of bubblewrap. Now thumbnailing is done in a sandboxed environment. :closed_lock_with_key:
  • Backported some upstream fixes to network-manager-applet to fix the “Apply” button in the connection editor (Debian Ubuntu is in the queue)
  • GDM 3.30.1 update (Debian Ubuntu)
  • Uploaded the new community contest wallpapers for cosmic
  • Put glib2.0 2.56.3 in the queue for bionic
  • Many release team reviews (queue & FF/UIF etc.)
  • Started picking up the systemd --user stuff again - needs rebasing.
  • Filed a removal bug due to mozjs60 not working on s390x, going to need some help processing that @didrocks @seb128
  • Trying to look at my rls bug, not got anywhere yet



One work day only this week for me so not so much content

  • had to go buy a charger for my laptop after forgetting mine during holidays
  • post holidays catching up on emails/launchpad/IRC logs
  • reviewed our versions package, pinged about some items, synced the new shared-mime-info version from Debian
  • some HR work post-brussels-week (sending & reviewing expenses)
  • followed up on some bugs and code reviews
  • promoted bubblewrap (used by gnome-desktop) and woff2 (used by webkitgtk) since they got their MIRs approved post security reviews

That was my week:

  • Porter box access: Debugged several problems with IS and also found a bug in the GNOME Control Center’s VPN config part. Confirmed that a proposed fix works.
  • cups-filters: Fixed bug in foomatic-rip caused by glibc 2.28.
  • cups-filters: Helped former GSoC student to fix PCLm bug.
  • cups-browsed: Weekly meeting with this year’s GSoC student to complete printer-auto-selection-by-job-properties project.
  • Bugs.


  • gtk-common-themes:
    • Stripped app and panel icons out of the icon themes, saves about 10M for the current snap but with the after the addition of the Mint themes it’ll save more than 60M
    • Debugged the snap theme issues on the 18.10 live session, determined it’s a snapd issue
    • Debugging places where gtk-common-themes aren’t working, particularly on 18.10 and other distros
  • Fixed VM provisioning on ubuntu-system-tests
  • Started ISO testing for Cosmic
  • Continue working on snap testing with checkbox

firefox24 firefox

  • prepared 62.0.3 security update (USN-3778-1) and uploaded to cosmic-proposed and to the ~ubuntu-mozilla-security PPA (bionic, xenial, trusty)
  • getting beta branch (63) to build on cosmic on all supported architectures
    • refreshed the unity menubar patch: upstream refactoring removed private APIs that the patch relied upon, so I had to refactor the patch accordingly
    • vendored cbindgen and its dependencies into the package, as it’s not available in debian/ubuntu yet
    • fixed a handful of build failures on arm64, armhf, ppc64el

chromium22 chromium

  • updated dev branch to 71.0.3559.6
  • with Sergio’s help, figured out a workaround to the snapcraft bug that made snaps fail to build on !amd64 (still unsure why they were actually succeeding on amd64 though)

libreoffice24-margin libreoffice

  • updated snap to 6.1.2

snapcraft24 snaps

package24 other

  • evince 3.30.0-3 now in cosmic (synced from debian), fixes bug #1792648
  • gnome-software: Worked on updating channels patch to new alternatives UI.
  • gnome-control-center: Investigate why IBus engines are showing in “Other”.
  • Tidy up GtkBuilder files in gnome-software and gnome-control-center.
  • Attempted to test Cosmic ISO, but failed due to it not working in a VirtualBox. :disappointed:
1 Like
  • Cosmic Cuttlefish Beta release
    • Main issues found with VMs: Image doesn’t boot on VirtualBox and system doesn’t boot on first boot on first boot on qemu. No issue on VMware. There is also a plymouth crash that results in a black screen on boot.
  • Merged Ubiquity slideshows for 18.10
  • Analysis of upgrade statistics.
1 Like

You can workaround the boot issue in VirtualBox by setting nomodeset. On boot, press any key to display the boot menu, then F6, select nomodeset, Enter twice to validate and boot.

  1. 3.30 updates:
    1. Proposed branch to update gnome-initial-setup to 3.30
    2. MP to update gnome-control-center to 3.30.1 in debian
  2. Bug fixing:
    1. Fixed crash in gnome-gnome-control-center:
    2. Testing fix from Carlos Garnacho for a problem with a IBus and OSK.
    3. [WIP] Activate OSK when a password-field is focused.
    4. Debugging
      5. Proposed fix for a gtk issue preventing ibus to be activated when a search text entry is auto-focused

snap support for xdg-desktop-portal:

  • start-document-portal PR: I have implemented the changes Gustavo requested during the Brussels sprint, and after a few goes got a green tick from the spread tests (there are a few unstable tests in the suite, but they don’t seem to be related to my changes). Now I just need to get this landed.
  • Remaining work before we can start recommending portals to app developers is making sure they’re installed on people’s systems by default. So: backports of xdg-desktop-portal{,-gtk} to bionic and xenial, and adding them to the seeds.


  • This is a new snap provide theme data to GTK 2 apps (and other toolkits that can reuse GTK 2 themes such as Electron 1.x, and Qt 4.x).
  • It isn’t being integrated into gtk-common-themes because GTK 2 themes depend on native code “engines”, and also so it will only need to be installed for legacy apps.
  • I’ve structured the snap with two slots: gtk-2-engines providing the engines, which can be added to $GTK_PATH in the plug snap, and gtk-2-themes containing the usual /usr/share/themes hierarchy.
  • While the gtk-2-themes slot can use the same technique as gtk-common-themes to allow third party themes to be plugged beside the default provider, it isn’t obvious how to achieve this for the engines given GTK 2.x’s lookup rules. Perhaps that’s not a bad thing, given that we’re talking about native code being dynamically linked into other people’s applications.
  • Todo: publish to the store along with a demo app (probably gtk-demo) and write about it on the Snapcraft forum.
  • Worked on sane-backends library naming in Debian
  • Enabled build tests for Builder & mutter (in Debian, already in Ubuntu)
  • Updated bolt, libblockdev, udisks2 in Debian (probably for 19.04)
  • Dropped gedit-plugin-dashboard in Debian/Ubuntu because it’s broken
  • Enabled woff2 support for webkit2gtk now that MIR is approved.
  • Started brotli & woff2 SRUs for xenial needed for woff2 support for webkit2gtk there.
  • ubuntu-settings upload fixing minor evolution issue & sponsoring Unity fix
  • Dropped the desktop compat script from our gnome-pkg-tools
  • Updated Ubuntu info in osinfo-db upstream (now in cosmic). GNOME Boxes uses this for recognizing & downloading isos.
  • darkxst moved the ubuntu-gnome-meta seed to git
  • tracker issue for discussion

Late edits:

  • Poked Debian X team to get xvfb working out of the box in Debian for clutter/mutter/libepoxy build tests.
  • Prepared gnome-remote-desktop in Debian NEW queue. For this to get in Ubuntu, we’ll need a MIR for pipewire to enable the feature and a MIR for gnome-remote-desktop if we want it installed by default. We’ll need this if we want remote desktop by default in Wayland.
  • Fixed gnome-mines missing flag icon upstream and in Ubuntu.
  • It looks like next cycle, we’ll be switching from gtksourceview3 to gtksourceview4 in main since gedit & gnome-calculator are being ported upstream. (Despite the name, it’s still gtk3.)
1 Like

Here are the IRC meeting logs:

We still have some bugs to work out in the process, but I think we’re on the right track here.