Apertis 18.09 Release

18.09 is the September 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 18.09 release are available in the 18.09 test report.

Release downloads

Apertis 18.09 images
Intel 64-bit
ARM 32-bit (U-Boot)
ARM 32-bit (MX6q Sabrelite)
ARM 64-bit (U-Boot)

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 18.09 repositories

 $ deb https://repositories.apertis.org/apertis/ 18.09 target helper-libs development sdk hmi

New features

Testing on immutable rootfs

The value of tests directly depends on how the system being tested matches what is ultimately shipped. Ideally those should match 100%, but tests themselves need some infrastructure, helpers, libraries or other kind of dependencies around them. So far the Apertis testsuite required the installation of a large set of extra packages to satisfy all the needs of the many tests that are run, but this greatly reduced the value of the tests themselves as the tested system diverged significantly from the original image.

With the introduction in the recent releases of images with immutable rootfs based on OSTree the approach above was entirely not viable as it relies on mutating the base rootfs.

A set of high priority tests has now been converted to be self-contained and not require the installation of any additional package. These tests run on modifiable APT-based images or on OSTree-based images with an immutable rootfs with no changes. A new set of helpers with the help of Jenkins automation let test writers bundle each test and its dependencies into a single archive that is deployed on the system under tests by LAVA in /var/lib/tests.

A new page documents how to write self-contained tests using bundled dependencies on a immutable rootfs and the Test Cases Guidelines have been updated.

GPLv3 sources cleanup

Apertis strives to provide a core featureset that does not contain GPLv3-licensed code, to give more flexibility to adopters. However, while the produced binaries are not covered by the GPLv3, some packages carry GPLv3 code in their source for their build scripts, tests, debugging utilities or example programs. This is not an issue since no GPLv3 code ends up in the artifacts, but some packages have been reworked to avoid GPLv3-covered code in their source to simplify licensing compliance checks.

Full file and package lists for each artifact

Each ospack and image produced by our pipeline is now accompanied by listing of all the packages and files shipped by them, with a wide set of metadata. This is useful to quickly check the contents of each artifact without downloading and extracting multiple gigabytes of data, in particular when doing checks across multiple architectures and versions. The provided metadata can also be used to check which image is affected by a specific issue or to collect statistics about the artifact contents.

Build and integration

Automatic updates on Phabricator about test failures in LAVA

LAVA test failures now automatically trigger the creation of tasks in Phabricator thanks to the LAVA – Phab bridge. Subsequent runs of the failed test results in the same Phabricator task being updated with errors and successes. Developers are thus kept up to date with the latest state of any issue with no extra effort.

Dockerization of the package-building Jenkins jobs

The Apertis image building pipeline already runs using Docker as its environment, but older Jenkins jobs like the ones fetching changes from git and uploading package sources to OBS were executed directly on a specifically configured host.

This had several drawbacks, such as the inability to properly support different releases and conflicting dependencies. To overcome those issues the packaging jobs are now fully dockerized, using a dedicated Apertis Docker image as their environment, bringing several advantages:

  • each job runs in a separate container, giving more control of resource usage
  • Docker containers are instantiated automatically by Jenkins
  • rebuilding Docker containers from scratch to get the latest updates can be done with a single click
  • the containers provide a reproducible environment across workers
  • Docker container images are built from Dockerfiles controlled by developers using the normal review workflow with no special privileges
  • the same container images used on the Jenkins workers can be used to reproduce the work environment on developers’ machines
  • containers are ephemeral, a job changing the work environment does not affect other jobs nor subsequent runs of the same job
  • containers are isolated from each other and allow to address conflicting requirements using different images
  • several service providers offer Docker support which can be used for scaling

In particular the dockerization also makes things easier for downstreams, which now no longer need to manually administrate a custom worker machine and instead can easily and reliably replicate the environment used by Apertis.

Dockerization of the Jenkins jobs to support Phabricator

Like the packaging jobs, the jobs checking and build-testing patches submitted to Phabricator are now running in the same Apertis Docker environment. Even if the plan is to switch the contribution process to a workflow based on GitLab Merge Requests the conversion of the Phabricator jobs lays the groundwork for enabling GitLab CI checks in the near future.

Improved customizability of Jenkins job templates

The Apertis job templates necessarily hardcode settings that are specific to our infrastructure, but the recent work to improve the customizability of git credentials and OBS credentials makes changing such settings simpler and easier to maintain for any interested downstream.

Design and documentation

Sensors and Actuators: Vehicle API status analysis

The Sensors and Actuators document has been extended to describe the current status of the API implemented by Rhosydd.

The evolution of the W3C Vehicle API specifications from the Vehicle Data specification and Vehicle Information Access API to the Vehicle Signal Specification and Vehicle Information Service Specification has been considered, analyzing the impact that it would have on the Apertis API.

System updates and rollback: Expand OSTree topics

The System updates and rollback document has seen more coverage of OSTree-related topics, such as the guarantee that either an update succeeds or that the previous configuration stays available with no changes, the security mechanisms provided to ensure the integrity and appropriateness of updates and other considerations about offline updates over USB mass storage device using OSTree static deltas.

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

During the next release Apertis will fully switch 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 will be updated during the upcoming cycle.

Development images

The development image type is deprecated in favour of extending the target image type.

From the next 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.

Mildenhall UI framework

The Mildenhall UI toolkit is deprecated in favour of other UI toolkits such as GTK+, Qt, or HTML5-based solutions

From the next 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-full and canterbury-full are deprecated

From the next release Canterbury and Ribchester will only offer the APIs provided by the respective -core and the additional APIs offered by the -full packages will be dropped


The experimental GtkApertisStylable API/ABI exported by libgtk-3.so has been dropped

Due to upstream changes in GTK3 the GtkApertisStylable patches caused severe regressions in every GTK3 application such as Meld. For this reason the GtkApertisStylable API has been dropped in the previous cycle (18.06) but was not mentioned in the release notes.


Apertis infrastructure tools

The Apertis Debian Stretch tools repositoriy 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 (1)

  • OSTree fails to build working ostree images in SDK

Normal (61)

  • connman shows incorrect Powered status for the bluetooth technology

  • property changed signal in org.bluez.Network1 is not emiting when PAN disconnects

  • cgroups-resource-control: blkio-weights tests failed

  • libsoup-unit: ssl-test failed for ARM

  • Fix folks EDS tests to not be racy

  • GStreamer playbin prioritises imxeglvivsink over clutterautovideosink

  • gupnp-services: test service failed

  • Crash when initialising egl on ARM target

  • Pulse Audio volume control doesn’t launch as a separate window on SDK

  • Test apps are failing in Liblightwood with the use of GTest

  • apparmor-tracker: underlying_tests failed

  • VirtualBox display freezes when creating multiple notifications at once and interacting (hover and click) with them

  • Ribchester: deadlock when calling RemoveApp() right after RollBack()

  • tracker tests: Error creating thumbnails: No poster key found in metadata

  • apparmor-folks: unable to link contacts to test unlinking

  • mx6qsabrelite: linking issue with libgstimxeglvivsink.so and libgstimxvpu.so gstreamer plugins

  • libgles2-vivante-dev is not installable

  • gupnp-services tests test_service_browsing and test_service_introspection fail on target-arm image

  • folks: random tests fail

  • arm-linux-gnueabihf-pkg-config does not work with sysroots installed by `ade`

  • Mismatching gvfs/gvfs-common and libatk1.0-0/libatk1.0-data package versions in the archive

  • Observing multiple service instances in all 17.06 SDK images

  • Containers fail to load on Gen4 host

  • gnutls depends on old abandoned package gmp4 due to licensing reasons

  • Preseed action is needed for Debos

  • Debos: allow to use partition number for ‘raw’ action

  • Debos: mountpoints which are mounted only in build time

  • Debos: option for kernel command parameters for ‘filesystem-deplay’ action

  • Cancel/Cancelling issue while running test jobs on LAVA

  • Unable to boot apertis/ecore images on rcar boards for LAVA

  • ribchester-core causes apparmor denies on non-btrfs minimal image

  • Debos: changes ‘resolv.conf’ during commands execution chroot

  • Volume Control application hangs on opening it

  • gupnp-services: browsing and introspection tests fail

  • sqlite: Many tests fail for target amd64, armhf and sdk

  • dbus-installed-tests: service failed because a timeout was exceeded

  • boot-no-crashes: ANOM_ABEND found in journalctl logs

  • tracker-indexing-mass-storage test case fails

  • do-branching fails at a late stage cloning OBS binary repos

  • A 2-3 second lag between the speakers is observed when a hfp connection is made over bluetooth

  • ade process fails to start gdbserver if a first try has failed

  • SDK hangs when trying to execute bluez-hfp testcase

  • OSTree testsuite hangs the gouda Jenkins build slave

  • Couldn’t install application: error seen when trying to install to target using ade

  • Ribchester mount unit depends on Btrfs

  • Eclipse Build is not working for HelloWorld App

  • Not able to create namespace for AppArmor container on `mx6qsabrelite` board

  • Seek/Pause option does not work correctly on YouTube

  • Failed unmounting /var bind mount error seen on shutting down an i.MX6/Minnowboard with Minimal ARM-32/AMD64 image

  • Apps like songs, artists etc are not offser correctly by the compositor window

  • Double tapping on any empty space in the songs app’s screen results in the compositor window hinding the left ribbon

  • Back button is hidden by the compositor window in apps like songs, artists etc

  • Ensure that the uploaded linux package version uniquely identifies a single commit

  • Canterbury needs to explicitly killed to relauch the Mildenhall compositor

  • Mildenhall compositor gets offset when we open an app like songs

  • kernel panic occurs when trying to boot an image on i.mx6 revision 1.2 board from LAVA

  • build failure in liblightwood-2 on 18.06 image

  • Back button is missing in apps like songs

  • “Setup Install to Target” option is not showing on eclipse

  • Ospacks ship a .gitignore file in the root directory

  • Ospacks ship an empty /script directory in the root directory

  • recipe for target ‘install’ failed error seen on executing the install to target using ade

  • Pause button is missing in the songs app in OSTree based images

Low (111)

  • Remove unnecessary folks package dependencies for automated tests

  • Not able to load heavy sites on GtkClutterLauncher

  • No connectivity Popup is not seen when the internet is disconnected.

  • Upstream: linux-tools-generic should depend on lsb-release

  • remove INSTALL, aclocal.m4 files from langtoft

  • Mildenhall compositor crops windows

  • Documentation is not available from the main folder

  • Power button appers to be disabled on target

  • apparmor-libreoffice: libreoffice.normal.expected fails: ods_to_pdf: fail [Bugzilla bug #331]

  • Network search pop-up isn’t coming up in wi-fi settings

  • Clutter_text_set_text API redraws entire clutterstage

  • libgrassmoor: executes tracker-control binary

  • mildenhall-settings: does not generate localization files from source

  • Videos are hidden when Eye is launched

  • Theme ,any F node which is a child of an E node is not working for Apertis widgets.

  • Video doesn’t play when toggling from full screen to detail view

  • Simulator screen is not in center but left aligned

  • Back option is missing as part of the tool tip

  • Unsupported launguage text is not shown on the page in GtkClutterLauncher

  • The video player window is split into 2 frames in default view

  • Horizontal scroll is not shown on GtkClutterLauncher

  • The background HMI is blank on clicking the button for Power OFF

  • Only half of the hmi is covered when opening gnome.org

  • Share links to facebook, tw

  • Cancel/Cancelling issue while running test jobs on LAVA

  • Unable to boot apertis/ecore images on rcar boards for LAVAitter are nbt working in browser (GtkClutterLauncher)

  • Background video is not played in some website with GtkClutterLauncher

  • Interaction with PulseAudio not allowed by its AppArmor profile

  • shapwick reads /etc/nsswitch.conf and /etc/passwd, and writes /var/root/.cache/dconf/

  • Cannot open/view pdf documents in browser (GtkClutterLauncher)

  • Zoom in feature does not work on google maps

  • Printing hotdoc webpage directly results in misformatted document

  • Images for the video links are not shown in news.google.com on GtkClutterLauncher

  • Focus in launcher rollers broken because of copy/paste errors

  • beep audio decoder gives errors continously

  • If 2 drawers are activated, the most recent one hides behind the older one, instead of coming on top of older one.

  • Album Art Thumbnail missing in Thumb view in ARTIST Application

  • Unusable header in Traprain

  • Cancel/Cancelling issue while running test jobs on LAVA

  • Unable to boot apertis/ecore images on rcar boards for LAVA section in Devhelp

  • Clang package fails to install appropriate egg-info needed by hotdoc

  • gstreamer1-0-decode: Failed to load plugin warning

  • Canterbury messes up kerning when .desktop uses unicode chars

  • make check fails on libbredon package for wayland warnings

  • Cannot open links within website like yahoo.com

  • Compositor seems to hide the bottom menu of a webpage

  • Spacing issues between text and selection box in website like amazon

  • Content on a webpage doesn’t load in sync with the scroll bar

  • Resizing the window causes page corruption

  • Confirm dialog status updated before selecting the confirm option YES/NO

  • webview Y offset not considered to place, full screen video on youtube webpage

  • cgroups-resource-control: test network-cgroup-prio-class failed

  • GObject Generator link throws 404 error

  • GLib, GIO Reference Manual links are incorrectly swapped

  • Album art is missing in one of the rows of the songs application

  • Canterbury entry-point launching hides global popups, but only sometimes

  • <abstractions/chaiwala-base> gives privileges that not every app-bundle should have

  • Segmentation fault when disposing test executable of mildenhall

  • The web runtime doesn’t set the related view when opening new windows

  • GtkClutterLauncher: Segfaults with mouse right-clicking

  • ribchester: gnome-desktop-testing test times out

  • canterbury: Most of the tests fail

  • Status bar is not getting updated with the current song/video being played

  • Compositor hides the other screens

  • Songs do not start playing from the beginning but instead start a little ahead

  • Roller problem in settings application

  • Variable roller is not working

  • In mildenhall, URL history speller implementation is incomplete.

  • MildenhallSelectionPopupItem doesn’t take ownership when set properties

  • libshoreham packaging bugs

  • libmildenhall-0-0 contains files that would conflict with a future libmildenhall-0-1

  • rhosydd-client crashes when displaying vehicle properties for mock backend

  • Rhosydd service crashes when client exits on some special usecases (Refer description for it)

  • MildenhallSelPopupItem model should be changed to accept only gchar * instead of MildenhallSelPopupItemIconDetail for icons

  • libbredon/seed uninstallable on target as they depend on libraries in :development

  • webview-test should be shipped in libbredon-0-tests instead of libbredon-0-1

  • bredon-0-launcher should be shipped in its own package, not in libbredon-0-1

  • virtual keyboard is not showing for password input field of any webpage

  • Steps like pattern is seen in the background in songs application

  • Avoid unconstrained dbus AppArmor rules in frome

  • Newport test fails on minimal images

  • “connman: patch ““Use ProtectSystem=true”” rejected upstream”

  • “connman: patch ““device: Don’t report EALREADY”” not accepted upstream”

  • webkit2GTK crash observed flicking on webview from other widget

  • Mildenhall should install themes in the standard xdg data dirs

  • Page rendering is not smooth in sites like www.yahoo.com

  • HTML5 demo video’s appear flipped when played on webkit2 based browser app

  • Render theme buttons are not updating with respect to different zoom levels

  • Rendering issue observed on websites like http://www.moneycontrol.com

  • Frampton application doesn’t load when we re-launch them after clicking the back button

  • Crash observed on webruntime framework

  • Crash observed on seed module when we accesing the D-Bus call method

  • introspectable support for GObject property, signal and methods

  • On multiple re-entries from settings to eye the compositor hangs

  • Segmentation fault occurs while exectuing webkit2gtk-aligned-scroll test case

  • zoom feature is not working as expected

  • Segmentation fault is observed on closing the mildenhall-compositor

  • Building cargo and rustc in 17.12 for Firefox Quantum 57.0

  • Blank screen seen on executing last-resort-message testcase

  • Inital Roller mappings are misaligned on the HMI

  • folks-metacontacts: folks-metacontacts-linking_sh.service failed

  • folks-telepathy: folks-retrieve-contacts-telepathy_sh.service failed

  • folks-alias-persistence: folks-alias-persistence_sh.service failed

  • folks-metacontacts-antilinking: folks-metacontacts-antilinking_sh.service failed

  • folks-search-contacts: folks-search-contacts_sh.service failed

  • apparmor-tracker: AssertionError: False is not true

  • apparmor-folks: Several tests fail

  • apparmor-gstreamer1.0: gstreamer1.0-decode: assertion failed

  • tracker-indexing-local-storage: AssertionError: False is not true

  • didcot: test_open_uri: assertion failed

  • traprain: sadt: error: cannot find debian/tests/control

  • canterbury: core-as-root and full-as-root tests failed

  • ribchester: Job for generated-test-case-ribchester.service canceled

  • apparmor-pulseaudio: pulseaudio.normal.expected_underlying_tests fails

  • webkit2gtk-drag-and-drop doesn’t work with touch