Ubuntu Touch Q&A 61
Ubucon Europe, Unity 8 and new Mir


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News and Update

OTA 11 is about to be delivered

This week were present Florian, Dalton, Jan and Marius.

OTA-11 is about to be delivered. It is great that we have had lots of users in the community testing it before release. That is a vital part of the process. Morph browser private mode has just been fixed and a missing package has been included, as a result of feedback from testers.

An editing feature is now available in the keyboard, accessible by long press on the space bar. Individual site preferences are now available in the browser. There is no longer a need to sign into Ubuntu One to receive notifications.

Next up will be OTA-12 and that will be mainly about the merge of new Unity8 and new Mir. These are in Edge now and are going to be moved to Devel very soon.

Librem 5

We have posted an update on the current status of Ubuntu Touch for the Librem 5 as "October 2019 Status of Ubuntu Touch on Librem 5 Smartphone"

Ubucon Europe

Jan was at Ubucon Europe last week. There were lots of UT users there! Every other person had a UT device with them. There was a workshop on building up our QA procedures, to assist future progress. Members of our community also worked on the UT installer.

There were also lots of talks on UT, given by Costales, Cibersheep and others. All of the talks at Ubucon were recorded and will be available online soon. Martin Wimpress gave an interesting talk about Snaps.

Sub-forum: new device porting channel

Marius has been working on a sub-forum for new device porting. Information on that topic is currently spread about all over the place, so this new location is designed to bring advice, contacts etc. together in one place.

The first device represented in this new community section is the Sony Xperia X. People are already buying that phone specifically for using with UT. The port of the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T are now very close also.

Jan provided some news on the installer. It needs to support the new devices which are coming on stream, as well as adding some more features. More options will be built in, tailored to a range of different devices. Porters of new devices will be able to write scripts specific to their phone, ready for integration into the installer.

Edge is quite mature now and works very well with Halium, which is why we are now seeing lots of progress on ports now. Rajanathan, Alfred and others have done a huge amount of work in Halium. That work benefits all, so for example KDE can now run on OnePlus Three too.

Marius showed off ARM64 running on a OnePlus 3. It was very responsive, even though it is not yet using the latest version of Unity8. His PinePhone was also running ARM64 but that already has Wayland! LTE is the latest thing to work on PinePhone! It is amazing how many different things are capable of running UT.

Sponsors were thanked.


The News section of the forum is the best place to pose questions for the Q&A. YouTube live chat, Telegram and Matrix are other places to post a question.

Progress on desktop with Unity 8

Krille asked whether Unity8 is also getting better for desktop? Well, yes there are improvements. Canonical had a range of leftover projects under the Unity8 heading. We have been very busy modifying these for phone use and in the course of that we have fixed some desktop issues.

The phone is our main focus though, so a lot of intensive work on desktop still needs to be done.

Tricky asked: when will we move Edge to Devel channel?

The plan for that is only days off now. OTA-11 has to be launched first, then we can upgrade Devel for the release cycle after that.

Moving to 20.04 timing

Gizmochicken asked about 20.04 and the timing of the move to that. Marius explained that there is no clear time-frame yet. As we don’t know what the final content will be.

By the end of the month we will have a clearer idea. As suggested, putting a new systemd branch in Edge might be a sensible way forward. At present, 20.04 is officially designated as Focal Fossa.

UT on PineTab?

Matv1 asked whether the PinePhone UT build will work on the PineTab hardware. Dalton showed his PineTab. UT on it is quite rough as yet. It is certainly not a finished port.

Pine64's plan for the future is for the tablet to ship with a finished operating system but there is a business priority to ship the PinePhone with a built in OS first. We are confident that both will work well with UT ultimately.

RasPi4 progress?

A question was asked about progress with Rasberry Pi 4? It now has WiFi and Bluetooth working but there seem to be issues with SD cards larger than 64GB. We need feedback about whether that is a universal problem.

Any news about Anbox? asked Martin

Right now the focus is on Edge and other things. Anbox was released as a proof of concept and with more developers we would be able to do more work on it. In fact, the reason for the original trial was to try to draw in new developers to work on it. It is a very complex bit of code.

Video playback on Nexus 5

Unfortunately, VeryUs, that is a known and long standing bug. .

The very latest news

OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T porting status documentation was posted in the forum during the Q&A.

Community Update .....