Ubuntu Desktop Weekly Update: June 23, 2017

GNOME

We’ve migrated ubuntu-session to a new unity-session package. This means that the default session is GNOME Shell and people can install Unity 7 and its related packages via unity-session. The migration is working well so far, but we still have some more work to do in order to make sure everything “just works”.

LivePatch

We’re now working on the update-manager UI to add the list of kernel CVEs which are handled by the LivePatch service and a brief description of each.

Snaps

We’ve done more work on getting desktop themes working better with Snaps. We’re documenting the problems we’ve encountered and are creating some sample Snaps help with making the improvements we need.

QA

We completed our review of the desktop test plan this week and have set our priorities for this cycle. This will cover installation, upgrades, some core application smoke tests, suspend/resume, Network Manager and translations. We will be publishing a blog on how you can get involved next week.

Updates

A new version of PulseAudio is in Xenial proposed (version 1:8.0-0ubuntu3.3). This brings fixes for Bluetooth A2DP audio devices. We’d appreciate testing and feedback.
https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/pulseaudio/1:8.0-0ubuntu3.3
Updated Chromium beta to 60.0.3112.32, dev to 61.0.3128.3.

Video Acceleration

We’ve got hardware accelerated video decoding working in a Proof-Of-Concept using a GStreamer and VA-API pipeline. The result is 3% CPU usage to play an h264 4K 60FPS video on Haswell. 4K h265 HEVC is also playable but requires a Skylake or later processor. This wiki page has been updated with information about how to try it yourself:
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/IntelQuickSyncVideo

 

About the author

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Will leads the team working on the Ubuntu desktop at Canonical. He has a diverse background originally specialising in data networks and global communications systems and has provided consultancy to clients such as BT, Verizon, Inmarsat and Schlumberger. Will has been using and contributing to Ubuntu since 2005 and in 2015 he was recognised as an Ubuntu Member. He has three kids, plays golf badly and is a member of The Royal Institution of Great Britain.

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