Pulse 19 - Ubuntu desktop engineering roundup


On Friday we wrapped up Pulse 19 :tada: I must share that I’m happy with our progress this cycle and humbled by the wider efforts of everyone involved in delivering the beta. Yes, release is still a few weeks out, and so this might feel premature, but many of the major features and changes we wanted to land have landed and so it’s a worthy milestone to acknowledge.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be focused on bug fixes, polish and correctness. So if you have the time to test we’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback. Following that we’ll be gearing up for our in-person sprint and planning for 24.04 and onwards.



Those of you on running an up-to-date mantic should now be enjoying GNOME 45 Rīga. To find out more you can find the release notes here.

App Center

Our new App Center continues maturing. This sprint saw the introduction of deb support which I know many of our users were concerned may not make it into Mantic. Additionally, the code for our new ratings implementation did land as well although there is still work ongoing in the background to stand up the API. Once the API is live then ratings should automagically appear.

Finally, the Flux team will be focused on polish and bug fixes over the next few weeks so do expect the AC to continue maturing.

The Desktop Installer

In August our fantastic Desktop Installer engineering lead moved onto other opportunities and this brought resource constraints into sharp focus on the Flux team especially as we worked to get the App Center ready for Mantic. I am currently working through this problem as I have grand ambitions for overhauling provisioning in 24.04 forward. I’ll share more when I have more to share. Resource constraints aside we have made a few enhancements to the installer of this pulse:

  • For those of you looking to test our hardware backed encryption solution you may have noticed more actionable feedback messages.
  • ZFS has returned!
  • And finally, we changed the default installation from Full to the new Default.

Here’s what these changes look like:

DebConf23, Opportunity Open Source and :printer:

@till-kamppeter’s back from India, where he helped run the Opportunity Open Source conference in the IIT Mandi. Head over to Ubuntu OnAir Streams to catch up on some recordings. Following Opportunity Open Source @till attended DebConf23 and spoke about the new printing architecture in Debian. You can watch that here. Finally you can find the cups-filters 2.0.0 release notes here and the OpenPrinting newsletter here.

Core Desktop

We’ve made important strides in improving the desktop experience. Desktop-launch now handles local files and URLs more efficiently, and we’re on the brink of completing the transition to Ubuntu Welcome (a new flutter-based out of the box experience).


Gaming enthusiasts will be happy to hear that we’ve fixed a containment issue with the Steam snap. You can read more about that here.


One last admin point from me. Going forward, I’ll aim to get these updates out the Monday after a pulse ends because it’s a squeeze to publish them before the weekend.

Kind regards,


I’m sorry, but I have to mention, since you brought Gnome 45 up yourself, that you still have adwaita-icons-theme version 41 in your repos. Including Lunar and Mantic. Can you please elaborate is there spesific reason for such an old version of Gnome icons for Gnome session?

Thank you!

The GNOME Design team dropped many icons they deemed “legacy” in the 42 release. There have been further icon removals since then. This has been complicated to manage in both Ubuntu and Debian since we don’t want to break apps that were using icons that previously appeared to be stock icons.

We are now after User Interface Freeze for Ubuntu 23.10, but we do plan to land adwaita-icon-theme 45 soon after we open development for 24.04 LTS.


Thank you for the clarification, Jeremy. That was very helpful.


New installer: Looks great. Clear.

Q: What’s the metapackage or manifest for Default (Minimal) and Full? In other words, how do we answer the future support question “Oh, I wanted Full instead of Minimal (or the reverse), how do I switch without reinstalling?

Q: Looks like LVM is no longer pre-selected. Is that firm? Many support questions turn out to be misunderstandings about LVM.


Looks like it would be:

sudo apt install ubuntu-desktop

(as opposed to ubuntu-desktop-minimal you already have).


Depending on how Ubuntu is installed, ubuntu-desktop might already be installed. That works because the “full” selection of apps have a Recommends relationship instead of Depends.

In that case I suggest an uninstall and reinstall of only the metapackage:

sudo apt remove ubuntu-desktop
sudo apt install ubuntu-desktop
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