Manual Tests of Ubuntu Studio Packages

We have been caught out a few times in the lead up to some of the recent releases of Ubuntu Studio, where we discovered very late that there were problems with a particular package. If you are an experienced Ubuntu Studio user, or you would like to begin helping out in the Ubuntu Studio Developers Team, why not start testing packages for the next release (Zesty 17.04)?

Step 1 – Install the Ubuntu Studio Development Release

It is not recommended to install the development release on a computer where you cannot afford to loose important data. In order of preference, install it on:

  1. A spare computer with lots of audio/video hardware plugged in.
  2. A spare computer.
  3. Your main desktop/laptop computer with a spare hard disk plugged in.
  4. A Virtual Machine on your main desktop/laptop (not really suitable for audio/video applications).

Instructions for installing the Ubuntu Studio Development Release can be found here.

Step 2 – Choose a package to test

The list of Test Cases for Ubuntu Studio Zesty 17.04 can be found on the QA Package Tracker.


Step 3 – Check package versions

It is a good idea to note down the version number of the package in the Ubuntu development release (you will need it when reporting any bugs you find), and also in Debian (and also upstream if you are keen). Let us in the Ubuntu Studio Development Team know if our package is way out of date so that we can look into what is blocking the newer version.

To find the version in Ubuntu use the search form at the bottom of this page. For Debian, use the search form at the bottom of this page. Make sure you search in the right distribution (Ubuntu – Zesty at the moment, Debian – unstable).

Step 4 – Run the test

Click on the package you want to test in the QA package tracker (see screenshot above), and the test case should appear.

Screenshot from 2016-12-11 20:20:02.png

Follow the steps of the test case. It is as simple as that. If you are an experienced user of that package, feel free to test further functions. The more bugs we find early in the release cycle, the more chance they will be fixed before the release.

Step 5 – Record the results & report bugs

For this step you will need to have a Launchpad login. Log into the package tracker. You can see the button on the above screen-shot. Record your results (hopefully a “pass”) in the bottom of the tracker. The results will be stored, so feel free to come back and test the same package later and add another result. If you spot a minor bug, then see if it has already been reported in Launchpad, and if not then report it. Add the bug number to the applicable column in your test result. If you cannot complete the test case due to a bug, please mark the test as failed (and add the bug number to the report). Feel free to add as many comments to the test result as you like. In particular, we are interested in your test environment (e.g. laptop/desktop/Virtual Machine), and the version of the package when you tested it.

Step 6 – Improve the Test Cases

If you have got this far, and finished a test, then well done and thank you! You deserve a break. But why stop there? Test a different package. We also need help maintaining the Test Cases. If you spot a mistake in a Test Case, or a note a possible improvement, then report a bug against the manual-tests in Launchpad. If you think we are missing a Test Case for an Ubuntu Studio package, then please also report a bug (after checking that there isn’t already one).

You could also help out further by actually correcting, or creating the Test Case yourself. There are excellent documents on how to do this on the QA wiki here:

Contributing Manual Test Cases

My Open Source Contributions June – November 2016

So much for my monthly blogging! Here’s what I have been up to in the Open Source world over the last 6 months.


  • Uploaded a new version of the debian-multimedia blends metapackages
  • Uploaded the latest abcmidi
  • Uploaded the latest node-process-nextick-args
  • Prepared version 1.0.2 of libdrumstick for experimental, as a first step for the transition. It was sponsored by James Cowgill.
  • Prepared a new node-inline-source-map package, which was sponsored by Gianfranco Costamagna.
  • Uploaded kmetronome to experimental as part of the libdrumstick transition.
  • Prepared a new node-js-yaml package, which was sponsored by Gianfranco Costamagna.
  • Uploaded version 4.2.4 of Gramps.
  • Prepared a new version of vmpk which I am going to adopt, as part of the libdrumstick transition. I tried splitting the documentation into a separate package, but this proved difficult, and in the end I missed the transition freeze deadline for Debian Stretch.
  • Prepared a backport of Gramps 4.2.4, which was sponsored by IOhannes m zmölnig as Gramps is new for jessie-backports.
  • Began a final push to get kosmtik packaged and into the NEW queue before the impending Debian freeze for Stretch. Unfortunately, many dependencies need updating, which also depend on packages not yet in Debian. Also pushed to finish all the new packages for node-tape, which someone else has decided to take responsibility for.
  • Uploaded node-cross-spawn-async to fix a Release Critical bug.
  • Prepared  a new node-chroma-js package,  but this is unfortunately blocked by several out of date & missing dependencies.
  • Prepared a new node-husl package, which was sponsored by Gianfranco Costamagna.
  • Prepared a new node-resumer package, which was sponsored by Gianfranco Costamagna.
  • Prepared a new node-object-inspect package, which was sponsored by Gianfranco Costamagna.
  • Removed node-string-decoder from the archive, as it was broken and turned out not to be needed anymore.
  • Uploaded a fix for node-inline-source-map which was failing tests. This turned out to be due to node-tap being upgraded to version 8.0.0. Jérémy Lal very quickly provided a fix in the form of a Pull Request upstream, so I was able to apply the same patch in Debian.


  • Prepared a merge of the latest blends package from Debian in order to be able to merge the multimedia-blends package later. This was sponsored by Daniel Holbach.
  • Prepared an application to become an Ubuntu Contributing Developer. Unfortunately, this was later declined. I was completely unprepared for the Developer Membership Board meeting on IRC after my holiday. I had had no time to chase for endorsements from previous sponsors, and the application was not really clear about the fact that I was not actually applying for upload permission yet. No matter, I intend to apply again later once I have more evidence & support on my application page.
  • Added my blog to Planet Ubuntu, and this will hopefully be the first post that appears there.
  • Prepared a merge of the latest debian-multimedia blends meta-package package from Debian. In Ubuntu Studio, we have the multimedia-puredata package seeded so that we get all the latest Puredata packages in one go. This was sponsored by Michael Terry.
  • Prepared a backport of Ardour as part of the Ubuntu Studio plan to do regular backports. This is still waiting for sponsorship if there is anyone reading this that can help with that.
  • Did a tweak to the Ubuntu Studio seeds and prepared an update of the Ubuntu Studio meta-packages. However, Adam Conrad did the work anyway as part of his cross-flavour release work without noticing my bug & request for sponsorship. So I closed the bug.
  • Updated the Ubuntu Studio wiki to expand on the process for updating our seeds and meta-packages. Hopefully, this will help new contributors to get involved in this area in the future.
  • Took part in the testing and release of the Ubuntu Studio Trusty 14.04.5 point release.
  • Took part in the testing and release of the Ubuntu Studio Yakkety Beta 1 release.
  • Prepared a backport of Ansible but before I could chase up what to do about the fact that ansible-fireball was no longer part of the Ansible package, some one else did the backport without noticing my bug. So I closed the bug.
  • Prepared an update of the Ubuntu Studio meta-packages. This was sponsored by Jeremy Bicha.
  • Prepared an update to the ubuntustudio-default-settings package. This switched the Ubuntu Studio desktop theme to Numix-Blue, and reverted some commits to drop the ubuntustudio-lightdm-theme package fom the archive. This had caused quite a bit of controversy and discussion on IRC due to the transition being a little too close to the release date for Yakkety. This was sponsored by Iain Lane (Laney).
  • Prepared the Numix Blue update for the ubuntustudio-lightdm-theme package. This was also sponsored by Iain Lane (Laney). I should thank Krytarik here for the initial Numix Blue theme work here (on the lightdm theme & default settings packages).
  • Provided a patch for gfxboot-theme-ubuntu which has a bug which is regularly reported during ISO testing, because the “Try Ubuntu Studio without installing” option was not a translatable string and always appeared in English. Colin Watson merged this, so hopefully it will be translated by the time of the next release.
  • Took part in the testing and release of the Ubuntu Studio Yakkety 16.10 release.
  • After a hint from Jeremy Bicha, I prepared a patch that adds a desktop file for Imagemagick to the ubuntustudio-default-settings package. This will give us a working menu item in Ubuntu Studio whilst we wait for the bug to be fixed upstream in Debian. Next month I plan to finish the ubuntustudio-lightdm-theme, ubuntustudio-default-settings transition, including dropping ubuntustudio-lightdm-theme from the Ubuntu Studio seeds. I will include this fix at the same time.


  • At other times when I have had a spare moment, I have been working on resurrecting my old Family History website. It was originally produced in my Windows XP days, and I was no longer able to edit it in Linux. I decided to convert it to Jekyll. First I had to extract the old HTML from where the website is hosted using the HTTrack Website Copier. Now, I am in the process of switching the structure to the standard Jekyll template approach. I will need to switch to a nice Jekyll based theme, as as the old theming was pretty complex. I pushed the code to my Github repository for safe keeping.

Plan for December


Before the 5th January 2017 Debian Stretch soft freeze I hope to:


  • Add the Ubuntu Studio Manual Testsuite to the package tracker, and try to encourage some testing of the newest versions of our priority packages.
  • Finish the ubuntustudio-lightdm-theme, ubuntustudio-default-settings transition including an update to the ubuntustudio-meta packages.
  • Reapply to become a Contributing Developer.
  • Start working on an Ubuntu Studio package tracker website so that we can keep an eye on the status of the packages we are interested in.


  • Continue working to convert my Family History website to Jekyll.
  • Try and resurrect my old Gammon one-name study Drupal website from a backup and push it to the new GoONS Website project.

John James Gammon (abt 1733) of Lunenburg, Lawrencetown & Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia

I just processed a comment on my old blog, where Charles and Angela Pelletier sent a link to their Gammon family tree (John James Gammon, abt 1733, Nova Scotia).

This will no doubt link to some of the other Gammon trees from that area which I have started, but not finished processing. I need to get back to that!

Open Source Contributions – April & May 2016

Due to holidays in London, and planning next the next one, the 1604 Ubuntu Studio (Xenial) release, doing the documentation to become an Ubuntu Member (most of which I have separately blogged about), and a recent stretch of fantastic weather in Denmark, I have not been so productive in the last two months. But here is some of the stuff I managed to get done, or at least started on.

Ubuntu Studio:

  • Dropped the redundant ubuntustudio-sounds package from ubuntustudio-look package and left for Kaj to upload. Then submitted a removal bug.
  • Changed the Ubuntu Studio seeds to use the new Debian Multimedia puredata metapackage, instead of having to manually add new puredata packages.
  • After the Xenial release, prepared the package tracker ready for Yakkety appliaction testing.
  • Updated the Ubuntu Studio backports list with the priority packages that we want to keep the LTS releases up to date with.
  • Improved the Ubuntu Studio backports wiki so that others can join in to help with the work.
  • Started the process to backport Ardour to Xenial and Trusty. Had to change the packaging for the Trusty backport, due to the automatic debug package migration options not being recognised in Trusty.


  • Uploaded the latest Gramps release (4.2.3), including providing a patch to update the appdata.xml file to the latest specification.
  • Continued helping to mentor Lucio Carreras with trying to package the sayonara media player application for the Debian Multimedia Team.
  • Sebastian Ramacher was working on an upload of the latest idjc package which needed the latest version of libshout-idjc. So I uploaded this to help out.
  • The was discussion (#825186) about which tasks from the Debian Multimedia blend to include in a new option in the Debian Installer. Hopefully Debian Stretch will be the first release where users can select which blends to install as part of the normal installation process.

Ubuntu Studio 16.04 Released

This is a few days late now, but I wanted to send out the message that a new version of Ubuntu Studio was released last Thursday 21st April 2016. Even though I have helped out a bit with some previous releases, this is the first release that I have REALLY been involved in. And I am very proud of the results, and what the Ubuntu Studio Team have achieved.

More details about the release and how to download it can be found here.

London – April 2016

Last weekend, we took a long weekend in London. I did a work trip in Hitchin on the Friday whilst Antje and Alexander did some site seeing. I caught up with Pat McFadden and John Alexander (old colleagues/friends) at the Fullers pub at Kings Cross. It was great to reminisce and find out what all my other old colleagues were up to as well.

WP_20160408_16_12_32_ProThe next day, we all visited the Harry Potter tourist spot at Kings Cross Station and bought Alexander a magic wand. We also went to Paddington Station to visit Paddington Bear.

WP_20160409_11_43_11_ProIt was also nice to have a good old curry and a pub Sunday Roast Lunch. The Sunday lunch was also great because it involved catching up with my old friends Andrew and Kath. We worked out that it had been more than 10 years since we last had a beer together. It will not be that long before the next one (I hope)!