Ubuntu Desktop weekly update – February 2, 2018

GNOME

As you might have already read, we’ve taken the decision to ship Xorg by default in Bionic 18.04 LTS. The Wayland session will still be available as an option at login. You can read more about that here.

The Ubuntu Dock extension has been rebased on the latest upstream master and we’ve added some bug fixes. This has now been uploaded to Bionic.

We’ve made some good progress in reducing GNOME Shell’s CPU usage where we discovered that Shell is repainting unchanged panel and dock every time an application windows repaints. We’ve proposed some upstream fixes.
There’s another fix upstream for helping menus fade out cleanly on close. We have a checklist of issues which are making GNOME Shell stutter and we’re starting with the multi-monitor issues.

A bevy of GNOME Shell improvements got worked on:

We’ve got a merge request up for enabling gir for GNOME Online Accounts backends.

More work has been done on moving the user session to systemd, and as a result of this we’ve also done some work on GNOME Clocks to set alarms via systemd so that Clocks doesn’t need to run all the time to get your alarms to trigger.

Snaps

We fixed a bug in GNOME Software which was preventing classic snaps installing and we’re working on a snap for GNOME Software for Bionic which will allow us to roll out updates much more quickly to users.

Chromium 63.0.3239.132 was published to Artful, Xenial and Trusty and 64.0.3282.119 is ready for Bionic and in the candidate channel for the snap. Edge is updated to 65.0.3325.18 for testing.

General

A significant fix for Bluetooth devices on Intel 8260/8265 was released and another fix for laggy touchpads on Bionic with libinput has also been released.

We’ve pushed out a change to the update notifier to prompt users every five days (when there are updates pending). There are a lot of out-of-date Xenial 16.04 LTS installs out there with bugs that are fixed in newer packages. If you know someone who hasn’t updated in a long time, please help them to do an upgrade, you’ll be doing them a massive favour. If on the other hand, you prefer to use only the command line to upgrade, you can turn off the GUI notifier via the Updates panel in “Software & Updates”.

We’ve contributed to travis.debian.net to add support for Debian derivatives, such as Ubuntu!

A security bug has been fixed in the session migration which changed directory permissions.

If you share directories from your Ubuntu machine to Samba (Windows file sharing) clients on your network, please read and comment on this proposal to change how SMB shares are created in Nautilus.

And finally, it’s FOSDEM this weekend in Brussels. If you’re in town keep a lookout for desktop team members and say hi! They’ll almost certainly be wearing an old Ubuntu release t-shirt, the older the better.

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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