Ubuntu Desktop Weekly Update: December 1, 2017

GNOME

GNOME Disk Utility If you have snaps installed and open the Disks utility, your snaps appear as loop devices. We found this to be confusing and a bit messy, so we have proposed a fix upstream and this should be merged soon.

Theme The community theme topic has been very busy on the hub. Yesterday we spent the day with the Ubuntu design team to work on some of the Ambiance bugs for 18.04. There are a number of fixes which we want to make while the community theme is maturing. A lot of these are small bite-sized bugs which we will log as bugs on Launchpad and share links via the hub if people would like to help out.

Emoji The fonts-color-emoji package has landed in Bionic! ♥

GJS There are various crashes happening in GNOME Shell because gjs (the Javascript engine) is trying to act on invalid objects, so we’ve got a merge proposal up to make this a bit more robust.

Unity 7  We’ve also been fixing some Unity 7 bugs for our LTS users. 27 in total! You can see the full list here and verify the fixes.

Snaps

The GNOME Software plugin for snap support and the associated snapd-glib library are available in Debian.

We’ve made some improvements to the startup time of snaps by moving the generation of some of the caches to the snap generation stage. We still need to make some changes to snapcraft to make this automatic, and for snaps using the GNOME platform snap we have a an update for snapcraft-desktop-helpers to benefit from this work. There is also an improvement to snapcraft-desktop-helpers for people using locally installed fonts in ~/.fonts or ~/.local/share/fonts.

We’re working on adding the ability to easily change the tracks and channels of snaps via GNOME Software. You can see the discussion here.

Updates

  • Chromium
    • Uploaded 62.0.3202.94 to Bionic
    • Updated beta and snap beta channel to 63.0.3239.59
    • Updated dev to 64.0.3269.3 and updated snap in edge channel
  • LibreOffice
    • Updated snap to 5.4.3, now in candidate channel. Please test.
    • 5.4.3 in bionic-proposed

In The News

Dell’s Sputnik programme turned five years old this week. You can read more about how these developer focused Ubuntu laptops came to be on Barton’s blog.

 

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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