Ubuntu Touch Q&A 41
OTA-6 Release Schedule


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Show Notes

News & Updates

OTA-6 is very close. On Monday, devel will go to rc. That is different from the usual schedule. There will be a feature freeze then and a call for testing

There are projects and boards set up which will go through the process of testing whether bug fixes have been successful

The final OTA-6 release is expected to be on December 6 or 7. From OTA-6 onward we will now have update notifications on all channels and there will be auto-update if you have authorized that. If you are on a mobile connection at the time, the install will happen later but you will still get the notification.

Gitlab shows the information for this release.

There are a lot of fixes to the Morph browser: Certificates, persistent state, tab issues etc. All of these are laid out in the Epic on Gitlab

Volume, echo, Bluetooth fixes for OnePlus One.

Edge channel is now up. It is bleeding edge. Newest Mir, libhybris, Unity8 and many other latest inputs will be trialed there. This will help a lot with Halium when it settles down. Edge can be installed on any device and is a nightly build. It will be very unstable and is high risk. It is absolutely not for everyday use and might fall apart at any time. It is for cutting edge developers or the curious. It is not integrated at all with the other three channels

The Edge channel option is deliberately hidden from users but can be switched on with the cli tool. It will not appear otherwise. That is for safety reasons

The camera in OnePlus One and Nexus 5 still have problems. Viewfinder freezes on Nexus 5 but the camera still works while it is frozen. GSTDroid from Sailfish may help with this later. Major changes to the OS are expected in approximately 3 months, so we don't want to pour in a lot of effort now to fixing these issues with the framework as it is now. Swiping to another app and back will fix the Nexus freeze. Seems the same bug may be affecting OnePlus One and Nexus 4 but that is not confirmed yet

These proposed modifications to the OS now being trialed in Edge will aid Halium ports.

Overall, we don't want to spend time on hacks. Better to improve the libhybris architecture itself, to avoid the problems

QA notes are in the docs section of the UBports site. You can follow the suggested testing steps with Edge if you have a spare device.

Darko Balke, Millikan and Thoralf Sann are our named individual sponsors this time.

Scaleway, Digital Ocean, Smoose and Private Digital Networks are our corporate sponsors.


Have there been any new developments with commercial partnerships?

We are still in touch with BQ, who are watching our progress.

So will there be a major brand UT phone?

That is not really the plan. We are creating an open phone OS that anyone can use. The foundation should be neutral and not centered on commercial considerations. Anything which is consistent with the aims of the Foundation is open to consideration. Manufacturers will maybe come to us but we will not tailor the OS for them in a way that would exploit users financially or exploit their personal data etc.

Before we stand any chance of being interesting to commercial partners, we need to make the advances we are now exploring in the Edge channel

Wendigo asks if we can highlight his input on game engine support for Ubuntu Touch.

Those listed in the forum posts on this subject are mostly html5 based. Since we are on ARM using others would be a problem. There is a forum thread where these issues are discussed in detail.

The new Mir has Wayland support, so that should widen the range of possible games engines

SDL will be used for Anbox (probably SDL2) and that too may assist with game engine support.

A general problem is that we are now running out of space on devices. There is a limit on the permissible size of the image. Removing Oxide will help but we are not able to do that just yet

Could Tor be used in UT?

If NetworkManager is able to support it, that might enable integrated access from Settings. Your whole phone would then connect via the Tor network. Implementing it just in Morph browser would be a lot more difficult and it would still be denied to other apps. Interesting if someone wants to dig around in NetworkManager.

With 16.04 solid what is the aim for the longer term? Anything that Canonical was not able to complete?

Edge channel is that thing. Needs new Mir and new Unity8. Apps will swipe out from the edge. Scopes will be lost but that should make it faster and we should be able to integrate new elements into Unity8

Joan is planning overarching design changes for UT. Concepts are being generated. Not all will be implemented but we are developing a range of new ideas. New designers are always welcome. Get in touch!

With Librem 5 what are you expecting?

Nothing physical has been made yet but we expect a cleaner way to build. It is unlikely to be faster in operation at first but having everything in the kernel should create a lot of stability. Taking LexcAndroidConfig out of our image should enable a boot . Our exploration of the Pine hardware should also advance our understanding of how a free-standing (Android free) approach might work

Have you considered porting to newer 64bit phones?

There has been some experience. Lots of segfaults. We are still experimenting but ARM64 will be part of our thinking in the Edge channel.

Marius showed Edge channel in operation on a device, with an extension. He shows a new app drawer. The phone app on that setup works, for example.

Nexus5X porting attempts did try the arm64 rootfs.


The Q&A schedule will be disrupted over coming weeks by the holidays. Check the YouTube channel and look at the news listings.

What is the state of Anbox?

It is still going slowly because the focus has been getting the Edge channel up. If we are going to be moving to a new configuration it is hard to justify a lot of work right now, fitting it to a configuration that we aim to scrap

There is a forum section for discussing Anbox. There are screenshots showing what it is capable of now.

A reminder that questions will not be taken about specific bugs or speculative device ports in Q&A sessions.

Call for Testing: Ubuntu Touch OTA-6