September 2nd 2017

Looking for the Audio-only version of the Community Update?

You're just one big orange button away -->


Some people say that nothing happened on September 2, 2017. Those people are absolutely wrong. We had our latest Community Update, a livestreamed event where we talk about UBports news and answer community questions!

You can watch the video version of this event here. We hold it every two weeks, so watch our events page for the next one!


We like to begin each Update with the large news stories that have collected in the community since our previous one. This time, we had a couple of stories that will be sure to delight.

OTA-2 is moving into QA

Ubuntu Touch 15.04 Update 2 (OTA-2) from UBports has been in the works for quite a while. We've talked about it on almost every Update since OTA-1 was released. Finally, after almost three months of work, it is time to start a round of rigorous Quality Assurance testing on OTA-2 and ensure it's ready for release.

OTA-2 will add a myriad of new features, including:

  • Oxide web-engine upgraded to Chromium 58
  • A handy interface to switch between stable, rc, and devel release channels
  • Custom scope backgrounds

There are more bug fixes and enhancements coming out with the new update. You can find them here.

If you'd like to help test OTA-2, check out the Release Channels page on our wiki to get instructions for switching your phone to the rc channel. Simply check for updates on that channel daily and use your phone to ensure that there are no bugs within your workflow. Please report any bugs that you find in the ubports-touch repository. We'll also have a checklist prepared so you can ensure that all functionality is working, if you so wish.

Changing our release channel policy

We've received a lot of feedback on how we've been releasing updates since the original release of OTA-1. Because of this, we're going to change how our release channels work (again).

Our initial plan is to make one automatic release to rc per week. Our CI server will build a devel image for each device on Friday (Saturday depending on your time zone :) ). 48 hours after this build, each image will be pushed to the rc channel, unless there is a bug tagged as critical and for the device.

We will also introduce a new experimental channel. For devices that have a stable build, this will be the grounds where we aren't afraid to break things when testing out new features. Devices that are still in development (and therefore have no stable build) will also be placed in experimental. This channel won't normally appear in the UBports installer or other "simple" installation tools. This ensures that people really know what they're doing before they install a non-functional or dangerous build.

Ubucon Paris

As we've mentioned in previous sessions, we're going to Ubucon Paris! We have a booth and a slot for a talk in the morning on the 8th, so you should definitely come and see us in person!

There a e also some other developers coming that have been bringing a lot of life to the community: Stefano, a developer on the OpenStore; Mimecar, writer of the wonderful Ubuntu Touch Programming Course; and Costales, developer of uNav. They'll be at Ubucon and talking about their work.

Check out the schedule to learn more about the talks and speakers that will be there.


Now it's time to take questions from the community.

What's the status of notifications this week?

We take this question almost every time, but that's okay.

We are still using Canonical's notification service for apps that support it. This infrastructure will be taken offline at an unspecified time.

Currently there are a lot of ideas to make notifications work without Canonical's infrastructure, but we haven't selected one. There is a system that allows apps to wake up and check for notifications in the background in our images already, some apps can take advantage of that (Dekko for example). Other than that, we have no more news.

How stable is devel?

The devel release channel is not recommended for everyday use of your device. The stable channel is the best one for your daily driver. If you'd like a mix of new features without horrible breakage (but don't expect perfection), rc is a good choice.

Librem 5 questions

The Librem 5 crowdfunding campaign from Purism has been on the mind of the UBports community for the past week, it seems. We had three questions about it today.

Have you been talking with Purism about the Librem 5?

No. Purism has not contacted us and we have not contacted them.

Will you try to communicate with Purism?

That hinges on the success of the crowdfuding campaign. If it is successful and Purism expresses interest in having our operating system on their phone, then we would be excited to have a new platform to run on. Otherwise, we (as the UBports core development team, not as the UBports community) will treat it as we do any other phone: if someone wants to make Ubuntu Touch run on it, we aren't going to complain.

We're being very cautious about approaching this device for two reasons.

  1. The hardware isn't set in stone and doesn't exist yet
  2. The software isn't set in stone and doesn't exist yet

We don't know what drivers will be required, if it will use standard Linux APIs (like Video4Linux as a camera API), or even what the device's CPU will be. Anything we say on the Librem 5 right now is pure speculation.


September 16th 2017