Monday 28th January 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:
Next week’s notes are here:

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:shell: Gnome Shell

:shield: Live patch

  • Working on the branch to add a separate livepatch page in software-properties-gtk
  • Working on the branch to add a “Settings…” button to the livepatch notification

:railway_track: Tracker:

  • Proposed branch to fix several memory leaks and memory corruptions
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  • added gtk3-locales to gnome-3-28-1804 platform snap, currently in candidate
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  • Installer
    • Iterated on the image build system specification
    • Meeting with the curtin team to discuss the specification
    • Updated livecd-rootfs with the new naming scheme for multi-layer images
    • Updated curtin with the new naming scheme for multi-layer images
    • Updated casper with the new naming scheme for multi-layer images
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GNOME’ing around


:computer_mouse: Gnome Shell performance (stutter | latency | CPU)

:computer_mouse: Gnome Shell other things:

:arrow_right_hook: Unplanned detours:

:bug: Bug management:

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firefox24 firefox

  • prepared firefox 65.0+build2 update (in disco and PPA)

thunderbird24 thunderbird

  • 60.4.0+build2 blocked in disco-proposed because of enigmail autopkgtest regression, need to investigate (but this doesn’t appear to be a regression caused by the thunderbird update)

chromium22 chromium

  • poked again at yubikey support in the chromium snap
    • helped @jdstrand to figure out the requirements for a new u2f-devices interface
    • successfully tested the core snap in edge with a YubiKey 4 and chromium

snapcraft24 snaps

  • continued reviewing and testing gnome snapcraft extension
    • successfully rebuilt and tested gnome-calculator and libreoffice snaps
    • started rebuilding chromium snap but encountered numerous python version issues
  • suggested @kenvandine to include the contents of my gtk3-locales part in the gnome-3-28-1804 platform snap
    • this is now done and available in the stable channel
    • I suggested the required change for the gnome snapcraft extension PR and successfully tested it

:bug: rls-bb-tracking bugs

  • bug #1754671 in network-manager: in bionic-proposed (no update for the past two weeks)
  • network-manager: Selected test gear with the help of cyphermox, ordered it, received it completely, and set it up, all is working as intended: Ubiquiti Unifi router, PoE switch, access point, cloud key, Huawei 4G USB mobile network modem.
  • Google Summer of Code 2019: Communicated with an interested student about possible projects, he is most interested in the IPP scan server project (SANE-supported scanner emulates IPP network scanner). Also selected some cups-filters bugs student candidates could work on during the selection process.
  • OpenPrinting web site: Several of the former GSoC students are now actively working on the new site, with one of them coordinating everything.
  • Bugs.
  • reviewed/sponsored the software-properties/livepatch auth dialog redesign from andy
  • re-upload the ubuntu-dock bionic SRU reverting the previews order change
  • fixed software-properties ftbfs following the new auth dialog changes (pyflages unused variable)
  • updates (gnome-online-accounts debian/disco)
  • debian merges/syncs (libmtp, vino, xdg-user-dirs, fontconfig)
  • tested again the gnome-desktop SRUs on cosmic/bionic (the cosmic version triggers warnings, bionic is fine)
  • looked at some autopkgtest issues (udisks2/ppc64el, auto-multiple-choice)
  • updated n-m to the current serie/version, merged with Debian and investigated a test failure
  • some archive admin work (reviewed the gnote unity integration in NEW)

Autopkgtests and build failures

  • Fixed multiple issues with the colord autopkgtests
  • Investigated the auto-multiple-choice autopkgtest failures. I think we can fix it by dropping the use of “stock” (deprecated) icons in the app. Meanwhile, Seb added a dependency on adwaita-icon-theme-full. I verified that the app appears to run fine without extra icon themes installed.
  • Investigated the ldc build failure. I wasn’t able to get any further on this than doko who disabled the Debian patches to use the system zlib.


  • Reported the libflatpak dependency issue to xdg-desktop-portal. The developer fixed the issue before I had the time to look into it. New xdg-desktop-portal versions are in disco now with improved hardening of the email portal requested by Ubuntu Security.
  • Since the pcre2 MIR was approved this week, I dropped our revert-pcre2 diffs and patches from vte2.91, gnome-terminal, gnome-builder, tilix, xfce4-terminal, git, libpam-mount, and wget. This will make it much easier for us to keep GNOME Terminal and GNOME Builder up-to-date.
  • Fixed a critical gnome-menus issue and added CI to GNOME Gitlab and Debian Salsa to catch this kind of error in the future. I plan to look into doing this check with an autopkgtest too.


  • Verified the totem and nestopia SRUs for bionic and cosmic
  • Investigated the gnome-desktop regression in my SRU that Seb discovered. This took quite a bit of time to prepare 18.04 and 18.10 32-bit installs.


  • Snapped the GNOME Hitori game. It is pending review by Snap Store adminstrators
  • Converted gedit to core18
  • Got gedit git master building again
  • Tried to add gedit-plugins as part of the gedit snap but I had trouble with vala include directories
  • Spent some time looking into the existing bug where gedit’s Python plugins don’t work because of an issue in how we are using libpeas. I wasn’t able to solve this one yet either.


  • Fixed gedit’s built-in filebrowser plugin after the meson conversion
  • Helped review meson conversions for Hitori and Yelp
  • Participated in big GNOME Online Accounts providers discussion (Todoist and GNOME Documents integration will likely be dropped in GNOME 3.32)


  • Reviewed nautilus-python python3 merge request. Maybe this will wait until after Buster’s release.
  • Merged and completed the review of the gnome-keyring debian/copyright update
  • Merged an AppArmor profile update for Evince to add Adobe Illustrator format files to the whitelist.
  • Disabled pcre2’s grep callout feature on Ubuntu Security’s request.

Installer (with jibel)

  • Iterated on multi-layer spec and commenting on APIs
  • Meeting with the curtin team to discuss the specification
  • Updated livecd-rootfs with the new naming scheme for multi-layer images
  • Updated curtin with the new naming scheme for multi-layer images
  • Updated casper with the new naming scheme for multi-layer images
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Monday was a public holiday in Australia (the Australia Day long weekend). There was a half hour of fireworks released from barges in the middle of the river.

xdg-desktop-portal integration tests:

  • I received feedback on snapd PR #6313, and am working through the review comments. I hope to get it landed this week: as well as a ensuring snapd doesn’t break behaviour we care about in future, it offers a base to validate our xdg-desktop-portal back ports.

snapd D-Bus activation:

  • I had a chat with mvo about the status of my pull requests related to this feature. We plan to have another hangout this week with a few more of the snapd core team, so hopefully we can get any remaining blockers sorted out.
  • Once D-Bus activation is supported in snapd, adding support for gnome-shell search providers will be relatively straight forward. That should give us feature parity for the gnome-calculator snap vs. the .deb package.

gtk-common-themes/Yaru build:

  • Yaru PR #1137 was merged, which adds a Meson build option to install compatibility files for the old communitheme name. Once I update gtk-common-themes MR !8 to use this, we’ll be sure that Yaru and Communitheme in the gtk-common-themes snap are in sync.
  • Next step is to experiment with manually triggering the gitlab CI pipeline with parameters, as a way to build versions of the gtk-common-themes snap with a custom Yaru branch. When that works, all the code for building gtk-common-themes in Yaru’s CI can be removed: instead it will just trigger the corresponding job in gitlab CI.
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  • Investigated autopkgtest failures seen by systemd upstream testing. Who knows what was happening?
  • Uploaded a whole ton of SRUs and updates for debian / disco / the point release / cosmic
  • Fixed mutter which broke gnome-shell’s build upstream
  • Looked into gnome-keyring being broken with new GLib, got some patches to propose for that
  • and got pinged by gdm upstream to look at a private bug which I started to do