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Apertis 18.12 Release

18.12 is the December 2018 stable development release of Apertis, a Debian/Ubuntu derivative distribution geared towards the creation of product-specific images for ARM (both the 32bit ARMv7 and 64-bit ARMv8 versions using the hardfloat ABI) and Intel x86-64 (64-bit) systems.

This Apertis release is based on top of the Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial) LTS release with several customizations. Test results of the 18.12 release are available in the 18.12 test report.

Release downloads

Apertis 18.12 images
Intel 64-bit Intel 64 bit Minimal Image Intel 64 bit Target Image Intel 64 bit Base SDK Image Intel 64 bit SDK Image
ARM 32-bit (U-Boot) ARM 32 bit Minimal Image
ARM 32-bit (MX6q Sabrelite) ARM 32 bit Minimal Image
ARM 64-bit (U-Boot) ARM 64 bit Minimal Image

The Intel minimal, target and development images are tested on the reference hardware (MinnowBoard MAX), but they can run on any UEFI-based x86-64 system. The sdk image is tested under VirtualBox.

Apertis 18.12 repositories

 $ deb https://repositories.apertis.org/apertis/ 18.12 target helper-libs development sdk hmi

New features

SDK Improvements

To get developers started even more quickly, the Apertis SDK images now provide cross-compilers and an armhf sysroot right out of the box. Developers no longer need to run the ade command to download it separately.

Base SDK

New product teams adopting Apertis may need a customized experience on their SDK, as the default Apertis SDK may contain tools that are not relevant for them and may lack some tools that they would like to use.

To provide them a better foundation for their customizations a reduced base SDK image recipe is now part of Apertis, shipping a somewhat bare-bones SDK environment for cross-compilation.


Devroots are somewhat similar to sysroots but address a different use-case: while sysroots are only meant for pure cross-compilation and remote debugging from the host, devroots are meant to target foreign architecture by emulating native compilation thanks to QEMU and systemd-nspawn. This is the most reliable way to build packages for foreign architecture, at the cost of a slight performance hit for larger projects.

While devroots are meant to be used on the Apertis SDK, they work just fine on any non-Apertis environment providing QEMU and systemd-nspawn.

See the devroot short guide for futher information about how to use them from the Apertis SDK.

Build and integration

Apertis NFS images for LAVA

In the past the LAVA first stage was using generic kernels and NFS roots which had been built manually in a non reproducible fashion. This also meant that hardware support could get out of sync with respect to what Apertis supported, as fixes didn't automatically trickle to those components.

To ensure that things stay synchronized, Apertis now produces kernels and NFS roots based on Apertis itself for the LAVA first stage. Those images can be found at https://images.apertis.org/lava/nfs/.

Note that while a release is being developed, Lava jobs will run with an image that was generated at the previous release. Those NFS images are not limited to LAVA, they can also be installed on a local NFS server to boot any supported hardware via NFS.

Quality Assurance

Improvements to the test definitions

Until now, the tests definitions were hosted on this wiki, with the problems below:

  • The test description and their implementation are stored in different places and over the years slowly got out of sync. This is particularly true for automated tests, in which the test procedures on the wiki are duplicating the information already provided in the LAVA YAML test definitions.
  • Definitions are stored in a lax format not suitable for use by tools, so all the QA processes have to involve a massive amount of manual work that doesn't scale with the Apertis growth.
  • Test cases only address the most current release, there is no way to have different test cases for different release branches
  • The wiki doesn't offer a good review workflow as developer are used when working on git repositories on our GitLab instance

As the first step of a complete overhaul of the test handling process all the test case definitions, both manual and automated, have been converted to a stricter YAML format in the apertis-test-cases git repository. The YAML format is an extension of the LAVA format, so the testcase are immediately usable by LAVA.

The new rendered testcases can be seen at qa.apertis.org.

Testing on immutable rootfs, part 2

To continue the work started on Apertis 18.09, more tests were ported to work on immutable rootfs.

Since the high priority tests were already ported, some medium priority tests have been ported this quarter.

The focus was on testing minimal images and AppArmor features.

Design and documentation

Merging software update and OSTree documents

Two separate documents were covering the update and rollback system for Apertis:

  • the System updates and rollback strived to be generic and agnostic about the actual update technology
  • the OSTree resilient upgrades approach described how OSTree could be used to implement the features described in the first document. This document was private until now, and has been published.

Having these split in two had several issues:

  • readers may find the difference in purpose to be not obvious, wondering why we have two documents;
  • some readers may be only aware of the existence of one document but not the other;
  • the documents may get out of sync and not describe a coherent design.

Those documents are being merged into one for better readability and easier maintenance.

Technology Previews

Offline updates over USB Mass Storage devices

Albeit not part of this release, work has started to implement fully automatic system updates with rollback in case of errors on top of the OSTree work done in the past releases.

The apertis-update-manager component in the OSTree-based images to manage the update process and to provide a high level D-Bus interface for user interaction.

In this cycle only offline updates over USB Mass Storage devices have been implemented on the armhf images targeting the i.MX6 Sabrelite platform.

In the coming cycles online OTA updates are planned and support will be extended to all the other Apertis reference platforms.

Deprecations and ABI/API breaks


During this release cycle we have continued to mark obsolete or problematic APIs with the ABI break tag as a way to clear technical debt in future.

Phabricator code contribution workflow

The use of Phabricator Differential and git-phab for code contributions and reviews is deprecated in favour of the GitLab merge request workflow
For this release Apertis has fully switched to use the GitLab merge request workflow for all contributions, which is more integrated and smoother than the Phabricator Differential workflow. The documentation on the wiki has been updated: refer to Guidelines/Contribution_process.

Test case definitions on the wiki

The definitions under QA/Test_Cases are now deprecated in favour of the YAML-based definitions in the apertis-test-cases repository, see the #Improvements to the test definitions section.

Mildenhall UI framework

The Mildenhall UI toolkit is deprecated in favour of other UI toolkits such as GTK+, Qt, or HTML5-based solutions
From this release Apertis may no longer ship the Mildenhall UI toolkit nor any accompanying libraries, as the underlying Clutter library has been deprecated upstream for some years now.

Application framework

ribchester and canterbury are deprecated
From this release Canterbury and Ribchester are deprecated as is the Application Layout document in favour of Flatpak.


Development images

The development image type has been removed in favour of extending the target image type.
From this release Apertis will no longer ship development images. Users can pick the target images and manually install any needed package with apt. The inclusion of any specific tool to be shipped out-of-the-box on the target can be requested on Phabricator. The development ospack is still available, and it is used to generate sysroots for cross-compilation.


Apertis Docker registry

The Apertis Docker registry stores Docker images in order to provide a unified and easily reproducible build environment for developers and services.

As of today, this includes the apertis-image-builder, apertis-package-builder, apertis-testcases-builder and apertis-documentation-builder Docker images.

Apertis infrastructure tools

The Apertis Debian Stretch tools repository provides packages for git-phab, lqa, Debos and deps, LAVA v2, OBS 2.7, ostree-push and jenkins-job-builder:

 $ deb https://repositories.apertis.org/debian/ stretch tools


Image daily builds, as well as release builds can be found at:


Image build tools can be found in the Apertis tools repositories.

Infrastructure overview

The Image build infrastructure document provides an overview of the image building process and the involved services.

Known issues

High (5)

  • T5171 The touchscreen displays connected to the i.MX6 Saberlite board isn't functioning on the rev 1.2 boards
  • T5224 boot-no-crashes: boot-no-crashes test failed
  • T5333 OSTree fails to build working ostree images in SDK
  • T5535 LAVA-Phab bridge should post a comment once tests stop failing
  • T5565 Issue with dbus limits when executing test-dbus-daemon from dbus-installed-tests

Normal (95)

  • T229 sanity-check: verify that a trivial PyGI and/or gjs GUI can run
  • T1882 connman shows incorrect Powered status for the bluetooth technology
  • T1924 telepathy-ring: Review and fix SMS test
  • T2043 property changed signal in org.bluez.Network1 is not emiting when PAN disconnects
  • T2104 apparmor-libreoffice: Several tests failed
  • T2119 Overhaul tests that require being run with AppArmor lockdown enabled to get started under Canterbury
  • T2474 cgroups-resource-control: blkio-weights tests failed
  • T2853 GStreamer playbin prioritises imxeglvivsink over clutterautovideosink
  • T2861 gupnp-services: test service failed
  • T2896 Crash when initialising egl on ARM target
  • T2930 Develop test case for out of screen events in Wayland images
  • T2946 Pulse Audio volume control doesn't launch as a separate window on SDK
  • T3121 Test apps are failing in Liblightwood with the use of GTest
  • T3189 apparmor-tracker: underlying_tests failed
  • T3210 Fix Tracker testcase to not download media files from random HTTP user folders
  • T3217 VirtualBox display freezes when creating multiple notifications at once and interacting (hover and click) with them
  • T3233 Ribchester: deadlock when calling RemoveApp() right after RollBack()
  • T3291 tracker tests: Error creating thumbnails: No poster key found in metadata
  • T3319 mx6qsabrelite: linking issue with libgstimxeglvivsink.so and libgstimxvpu.so gstreamer plugins
  • T3321 libgles2-vivante-dev is not installable
  • T3474 gupnp-services tests test_service_browsing and test_service_introspection fail on target-arm image
  • T3920 arm-linux-gnueabihf-pkg-config does not work with sysroots installed by `ade`
  • T3970 Mismatching gvfs/gvfs-common and libatk1.0-0/libatk1.0-data package versions in the archive
  • T4063 Observing multiple service instances in all 17.06 SDK images
  • T4092 Containers fail to load on Gen4 host
  • T4242 gnutls depends on old abandoned package gmp4 due to licensing reasons
  • T4293 Preseed action is needed for Debos
  • T4303 Debos: allow to use partition number for 'raw' action
  • T4305 Debos: mountpoints which are mounted only in build time
  • T4306 Debos: option for kernel command parameters for 'filesystem-deplay' action
  • T4307 ribchester-core causes apparmor denies on non-btrfs minimal image
  • T4308 Debos: changes 'resolv.conf' during commands execution chroot
  • T4312 Volume Control application hangs on opening it
  • T4394 gupnp-services: browsing and introspection tests fail
  • T4397 sqlite: Many tests fail for target amd64, armhf and sdk
  • T4399 dbus-installed-tests: service failed because a timeout was exceeded
  • T4407 boot-no-crashes: ANOM_ABEND found in journalctl logs
  • T4409 tracker-indexing-mass-storage test case fails
  • T4422 do-branching fails at a late stage cloning OBS binary repos
  • T4444 A 2-3 second lag between the speakers is observed when a hfp connection is made over bluetooth
  • T4502 SDK hangs when trying to execute bluez-hfp testcase
  • T4503 OSTree testsuite hangs the gouda Jenkins build slave
  • T4553 Couldn't install application: error seen when trying to install to target using ade
  • T4568 Ribchester mount unit depends on Btrfs
  • T4660 Eclipse Build is not working for HelloWorld App
  • T4693 Not able to create namespace for AppArmor container on `mx6qsabrelite` board
  • T4755 Seek/Pause option does not work correctly on YouTube
  • T4772 Failed unmounting /var bind mount error seen on shutting down an i.MX6/Minnowboard with Minimal ARM-32/AMD64 image
  • T4954 Apps like songs, artists etc are not offser correctly by the compositor window
  • T4955 Double tapping on any empty space in the songs app's screen results in the compositor window hinding the left ribbon
  • T4956 Back button is hidden by the compositor window in apps like songs, artists etc
  • T4962 Ensure that the uploaded linux package version uniquely identifies a single commit
  • T5053 Canterbury needs to explicitly killed to relauch the Mildenhall compositor
  • T5070 Mildenhall compositor gets offset when we open an app like songs
  • T5128 cgroups-resource-control: cpu-shares test failed
  • T5151 gupnp-services: run-test test failed
  • T5153 tracker-indexing-local-storage: run-test test failed
  • T5203 apparmor-gstreamer1-0: run-test-sh test failed
  • T5204 apparmor-pulseaudio: run-test-pulseaudio test failed
  • T5205 apparmor-pulseaudio: pulseaudio.malicious.expected test failed
  • T5206 apparmor-pulseaudio: pulseaudio.normal.expected_underlying_tests test failed
  • T5207 apparmor-tracker: run-test-tracker test failed
  • T5208 apparmor-tracker: tracker.malicious.expected test failed
  • T5209 apparmor-tracker: tracker.malicious.expected_underlying_tests test failed
  • T5210 apparmor-tracker: tracker.normal.expected test failed
  • T5211 apparmor-tracker: tracker.normal.expected_underlying_tests test failed
  • T5215 apparmor-utils: aa-enforce-test test failed
  • T5225 kernel panic occurs when trying to boot an image on i.mx6 revision 1.2 board from LAVA
  • T5256 gupnp-services: test_service_introspection test failed
  • T5284 gupnp-services: test_service_browsing test failed
  • T5292 build failure in liblightwood-2 on 18.06 image
  • T5294 newport: newport test failed
  • T5297 lava: 12_apparmor-functional-demo test failed
  • T5298 apparmor-pulseaudio: pulseaudio.malicious.expected_underlying_tests test failed
  • T5322 didcot: didcot test failed
  • T5332 traprain: traprain test failed
  • T5335 "Setup Install to Target" option is not showing on eclipse
  • T5341 Ospacks ship a .gitignore file in the root directory
  • T5343 Ospacks ship an empty /script directory in the root directory
  • T5344 recipe for target 'install' failed error seen on executing the install to target using ade
  • T5350 rhosydd: rhosydd test failed
  • T5351 rhosydd: integration test failed
  • T5384 LAVA-Phab bridge should mark test failures as bugs
  • T5390 "su -" is not in working state
  • T5394 "pam-auth-update" generates wrong configuration with some additional packages
  • T5468 build-snapshot: allow to build packages without `autogen.sh` script
  • T5487 Wi-Fi search button is missing in wifi application
  • T5489 LAVA-Phab bridge does not report the release version or the board used of the tested image
  • T5498 traprain: gnome-desktop-testing test failed
  • T5512 apparmor-geoclue: run-test-geoclue test failed
  • T5522 create-abstract-sync-database: create-abstract-sync-database test failed
  • T5543 apparmor-pulseaudio: run-test-sh test failed
  • T5575 rfkill-toggle testcase fails
  • T5576 bluez-hfp testcase fails
  • T5578 ade tests failing on lava

Low (129)

  • T789 Remove unnecessary folks package dependencies for automated tests
  • T1361 Not able to load heavy sites on GtkClutterLauncher
  • T1556 No connectivity Popup is not seen when the internet is disconnected.
  • T1809 Upstream: linux-tools-generic should depend on lsb-release
  • T1960 remove INSTALL, aclocal.m4 files from langtoft
  • T1964 Mildenhall compositor crops windows
  • T2028 Documentation is not available from the main folder
  • T2142 Power button appers to be disabled on target
  • T2224 apparmor-libreoffice: libreoffice.normal.expected fails: ods_to_pdf: fail [Bugzilla bug #331]
  • T2226 Network search pop-up isn't coming up in wi-fi settings
  • T2299 Clutter_text_set_text API redraws entire clutterstage
  • T2317 libgrassmoor: executes tracker-control binary
  • T2318 mildenhall-settings: does not generate localization files from source
  • T2367 Videos are hidden when Eye is launched
  • T2475 Theme ,any F node which is a child of an E node is not working for Apertis widgets.
  • T2483 Video doesn't play when toggling from full screen to detail view
  • T2498 Simulator screen is not in center but left aligned
  • T2560 Back option is missing as part of the tool tip
  • T2593 Unsupported launguage text is not shown on the page in GtkClutterLauncher
  • T2704 The video player window is split into 2 frames in default view
  • T2781 Horizontal scroll is not shown on GtkClutterLauncher
  • T2785 The background HMI is blank on clicking the button for Power OFF
  • T2787 Only half of the hmi is covered when opening gnome.org
  • T2788 Share links to facebook, twitter are nbt working in browser (GtkClutterLauncher)
  • T2790 Background video is not played in some website with GtkClutterLauncher
  • T2833 Interaction with PulseAudio not allowed by its AppArmor profile
  • T2850 Fix folks EDS tests to not be racy
  • T2858 shapwick reads /etc/nsswitch.conf and /etc/passwd, and writes /var/root/.cache/dconf/
  • T2889 Cannot open/view pdf documents in browser (GtkClutterLauncher)
  • T2890 Zoom in feature does not work on google maps
  • T2892 Printing hotdoc webpage directly results in misformatted document
  • T2917 Images for the video links are not shown in news.google.com on GtkClutterLauncher
  • T2995 Focus in launcher rollers broken because of copy/paste errors
  • T3008 beep audio decoder gives errors continously
  • T3161 If 2 drawers are activated, the most recent one hides behind the older one, instead of coming on top of older one.
  • T3164 Album Art Thumbnail missing in Thumb view in ARTIST Application
  • T3171 Unusable header in Traprain section in Devhelp
  • T3174 Clang package fails to install appropriate egg-info needed by hotdoc
  • T3183 gstreamer1-0-decode: Failed to load plugin warning
  • T3219 Canterbury messes up kerning when .desktop uses unicode chars
  • T3237 make check fails on libbredon package for wayland warnings
  • T3280 Cannot open links within website like yahoo.com
  • T3292 apparmor-folks: unable to link contacts to test unlinking
  • T3332 Compositor seems to hide the bottom menu of a webpage
  • T3430 Spacing issues between text and selection box in website like amazon
  • T3431 Content on a webpage doesn't load in sync with the scroll bar
  • T3433 Resizing the window causes page corruption
  • T3506 Confirm dialog status updated before selecting the confirm option YES/NO
  • T3517 webview Y offset not considered to place, full screen video on youtube webpage
  • T3537 cgroups-resource-control: test network-cgroup-prio-class failed
  • T3563 GObject Generator link throws 404 error
  • T3564 GLib, GIO Reference Manual links are incorrectly swapped
  • T3568 folks: random tests fail
  • T3569 Album art is missing in one of the rows of the songs application
  • T3580 Canterbury entry-point launching hides global popups, but only sometimes
  • T3588 <abstractions/chaiwala-base> gives privileges that not every app-bundle should have
  • T3631 Segmentation fault when disposing test executable of mildenhall
  • T3647 The web runtime doesn't set the related view when opening new windows
  • T3724 GtkClutterLauncher: Segfaults with mouse right-clicking
  • T3729 ribchester: gnome-desktop-testing test times out
  • T3730 canterbury: Most of the tests fail
  • T3759 Status bar is not getting updated with the current song/video being played
  • T3763 Compositor hides the other screens
  • T3770 Songs do not start playing from the beginning but instead start a little ahead
  • T3771 Roller problem in settings application
  • T3797 Variable roller is not working
  • T3798 In mildenhall, URL history speller implementation is incomplete.
  • T3909 MildenhallSelectionPopupItem doesn't take ownership when set properties
  • T3939 libshoreham packaging bugs
  • T3940 libmildenhall-0-0 contains files that would conflict with a future libmildenhall-0-1
  • T3955 rhosydd-client crashes when displaying vehicle properties for mock backend
  • T3965 Rhosydd service crashes when client exits on some special usecases (Refer description for it)
  • T3969 MildenhallSelPopupItem model should be changed to accept only gchar * instead of MildenhallSelPopupItemIconDetail for icons
  • T3971 libbredon/seed uninstallable on target as they depend on libraries in :development
  • T3972 webview-test should be shipped in libbredon-0-tests instead of libbredon-0-1
  • T3973 bredon-0-launcher should be shipped in its own package, not in libbredon-0-1
  • T3991 virtual keyboard is not showing for password input field of any webpage
  • T3992 Steps like pattern is seen in the background in songs application
  • T3996 Avoid unconstrained dbus AppArmor rules in frome
  • T4005 Newport test fails on minimal images
  • T4009 connman: patch "Use ProtectSystem=true" rejected upstream
  • T4010 connman: patch "device: Don't report EALREADY" not accepted upstream
  • T4027 webkit2GTK crash observed flicking on webview from other widget
  • T4031 Mildenhall should install themes in the standard xdg data dirs
  • T4046 Page rendering is not smooth in sites like www.yahoo.com
  • T4048 HTML5 demo video's appear flipped when played on webkit2 based browser app
  • T4050 Render theme buttons are not updating with respect to different zoom levels
  • T4052 Rendering issue observed on websites like http://www.moneycontrol.com
  • T4056 Frampton application doesn't load when we re-launch them after clicking the back button
  • T4089 Crash observed on webruntime framework
  • T4110 Crash observed on seed module when we accesing the D-Bus call method
  • T4142 introspectable support for GObject property, signal and methods
  • T4166 On multiple re-entries from settings to eye the compositor hangs
  • T4243 Segmentation fault occurs while exectuing webkit2gtk-aligned-scroll test case
  • T4244 zoom feature is not working as expected
  • T4296 Segmentation fault is observed on closing the mildenhall-compositor
  • T4325 Building cargo and rustc in 17.12 for Firefox Quantum 57.0
  • T4326 Blank screen seen on executing last-resort-message testcase
  • T4348 Inital Roller mappings are misaligned on the HMI
  • T4379 folks-metacontacts: folks-metacontacts-linking_sh.service failed
  • T4381 folks-alias-persistence: folks-alias-persistence_sh.service failed
  • T4383 folks-metacontacts-antilinking: folks-metacontacts-antilinking_sh.service failed
  • T4384 folks-search-contacts: folks-search-contacts_sh.service failed
  • T4386 apparmor-tracker: AssertionError: False is not true
  • T4390 apparmor-folks: Several tests fail
  • T4392 apparmor-gstreamer1.0: gstreamer1.0-decode: assertion failed
  • T4395 tracker-indexing-local-storage: AssertionError: False is not true
  • T4396 didcot: test_open_uri: assertion failed
  • T4419 traprain: sadt: error: cannot find debian/tests/control
  • T4420 canterbury: core-as-root and full-as-root tests failed
  • T4421 ribchester: Job for generated-test-case-ribchester.service canceled
  • T4424 apparmor-pulseaudio: pulseaudio.normal.expected_underlying_tests fails
  • T4490 webkit2gtk-drag-and-drop doesn't work with touch
  • T5144 folks-alias-persistence: folks-alias-persistence test failed
  • T5145 folks-extended-info: folks-extended-info test failed
  • T5146 folks-metacontacts: folks-metacontacts-unlinking test failed
  • T5147 folks-metacontacts: folks-metacontacts-linking test failed
  • T5148 folks-metacontacts-antilinking: folks-metacontacts-antilinking test failed
  • T5149 folks-search: folks-search-contacts test failed
  • T5197 apparmor-folks: run-test-folks test failed
  • T5198 apparmor-folks: R1.13b_folks-metacontacts-unlinking test failed
  • T5199 apparmor-folks: R1.13b_folks-metacontacts-linking test failed
  • T5200 apparmor-folks: R1.13b_folks-alias-persistence test failed
  • T5202 apparmor-folks: R6.4.2_folks-metacontacts-antilinking test failed
  • T5278 frome: frome test failed
  • T5279 frome: gnome-desktop-testing test failed
  • T5301 libsoup: /usr/lib/libsoup2.4/installed-tests/libsoup/ssl-test test failed
  • T5411 folks-telepathy: folks-retrieve-contacts-telepathy test failed
  • T5415 apparmor-folks: R1.13b_folks-retrieve-contacts-telepathy test failed
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