Ubuntu Desktop Weekly, Nov 3rd & 10th: Bionic daily images available


The big news this week is the availability of Bionic daily ISOs.

As always, we’re beavering away on the desktop:


We’ve started a conversation on the GNOME mailing list to talk about locking down extensions which are part of a “mode” (a set of compulsory extensions and other settings). Ubuntu ships a mode to implement the default session – with some extensions including the Ubuntu Dock. Should an update to one of these extensions be published elsewhere, for example on extensions.gnome.org, the session will use the updated extension. It’s intended that these come from the system and are subject to the distribution’s QA processes – there is obvious potential for breaking a lot of systems if this isn’t followed. Our proposal is to always load the system installed version of a mode’s extensions. We have a proof of concept patch to enable this which is being tested.

We’ve rebased the Ubuntu dock on Bionic and uploaded it.

Fixes for blurry fonts and Xwayland crash dumps and system monitor have landed upstream:

A security fix for zesty for a lockscreen bypass issue when auto-login is enabled was released.


  • PulseAudio 11.1 has been merged from Debian for Bionic.
  • Chromium 62.0.3202.75 is published to all supported series. 62.0.3202.89 is currently building in the stage PPA. We also updated Chromium beta to 63.0.3239.30 in PPA and snap beta channel.
  • The LibreOffice stable channel snap is updated to 5.4.2.


We’ve created a snapd interface to allow access to GNOME Online Accounts, and this will allow us to package confined apps which need to access G-O-A. This is still in testing, but we will make an announcement when it’s ready for user testing.

In The News and On The Hub

  • There is a lively discussion about Tracker on the hub
  • The Free Software Showcase (aka The Wallpaper Competition) is discussed.
  • A community led theme for 18.04 is kicked off.
  • OMG covers colour emoji support.

Some news from last week as well:

Friday 3rd November 2017

A fairly short update this week, as we’ve been doing more tidying up in preparation for starting the 18.04 cycle. We had a mini-sprint in London to make sure our Trello board for the 18.04 cycle included everything we needed it to. You can view the board here.  And you can see there are already a lot of tasks on there!

Some brief desktop updates from the last week:

  • We contributed to resolving a touchpad responsiveness issue: https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=98839
  • Fixed a bug in system-monitor to improve the accuracy: https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=788922
  • Jeremy has synced Cairo and merged fontconfig (https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/fontconfig/+bug/1702544) to start bringing colour emoji support to Bionic!

Snap Updates

We found and fixed a bug with desktop theme support in snaps on 17.10 and made some other improvements to the desktop helpers so that XDG directories appear correctly in the file picker, and we backported some Artful fixes to the GNOME 3.26 platform snap.


  • Chromium 62.0.3202.62 is published for all supported releases, and 62.0.3202.75 is ready for release very shortly. The Chromium snap stable channel is now also at 62.0.3202.75 and 63.0.3239.18 is available in the beta channel for testing.
  • LibreOffice 5.4.2 will be promoted to the stable channel soon.

In The News


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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