Font Viewer fails to start from dash: Unknown option --gapplication-service

Bug #1607937 reported by Rinzwind on 2016-07-29
This bug affects 23 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
GNOME Font Viewer
Fix Released
gnome-font-viewer (Ubuntu)

Bug Description


While gnome-font-viewer can be started from command line, it fails to start via the .desktop file. The issue was fixed upstream via this commit:

The attached patch cherry picks that commit.

[Test Case]

Try to start gnome-font-viewer from the Dash and find that the launch fails.

After having installed the proposed upload, starting the application from the Dash works fine.

[Regression Potential]

gnome-font-viewer is an independent tool, which doesn't affect other parts of the system. Hence the regression risk should be low.

[Original description]

Ubuntu 16.04.1 Fully updated.

$ gnome-font-viewer --version
GNOME Font Viewer 3.16.2

- starting from command-line: no problems.
- starting from dash: application is shown in launcher but kills itself.
- /var/log/syslog shows ...

   Jul 29 22:18:08 schijfwereld org.gnome.font-viewer[3361]: Unknown option --gapplication-service
   Jul 29 22:18:08 schijfwereld org.gnome.font-viewer[3361]: Run '/usr/bin/gnome-font-viewer --help' to see a full list of available command line options.

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in gnome-font-viewer (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Gunnar Hjalmarsson (gunnarhj) wrote :

Dropping the line


from the .desktop file works around the issue.

Rinzwind (w-damen) wrote :

(Possible) fix:

Put a # in from of "DBusActivatable=true" in /usr/share/applications/org.gnome.font-viewer.desktop

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Font Viewer
Comment=View fonts on your system
Exec=gnome-font-viewer %u

One liner:

sudo sed -ir 's/^\(DBus\)/#\1/' /usr/share/applications/org.gnome.font-viewer.desktop

no longer affects: language-selector (Ubuntu)
no longer affects: language-selector (Ubuntu Xenial)
Changed in gnome-font-viewer (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Fix Released
Changed in gnome-font-viewer (Ubuntu Xenial):
assignee: nobody → Gunnar Hjalmarsson (gunnarhj)
importance: Undecided → High
status: New → In Progress
description: updated
tags: added: xenial
Jeremy Bicha (jbicha) wrote :

Gunnar, I suspect this is fixed with

Could you test to see if that commit fixes this bug?

Then please evaluate whether it's better to backport that commit to xenial or backport 3.20.2 instead. If you think 3.20.2 makes sense for xenial, then please link to the NEWS file in this bug's description.

Changed in gnome-font-viewer:
importance: Unknown → Medium
status: Unknown → Fix Released
Gunnar Hjalmarsson (gunnarhj) wrote :

Nice catch, Jeremy. Haven't tested (at least not yet), but given the error message the OP found in /var/log/syslog, that's most certainly it.

OTOH, other changes seems to consist of minor bug fixes and translations updates, so personally, and since there are no depencency issues involved, I still think this proposed backport makes sense.

description: updated
Jeremy Bicha (jbicha) wrote :

Thanks. I don't have the right permissions to sponsor this for you. :(

Changed in gnome-font-viewer (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Medium
Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

unsubscribing sponsors, there doesn't seem to be a debdiff or update ready for sponsoring

Gunnar Hjalmarsson (gunnarhj) wrote :
description: updated
summary: - font viewer starred from dash: Unknown option --gapplication-service
+ Font Viewer fails to start from dash: Unknown option --gapplication-
+ service
tags: added: patch
Jeremy Bicha (jbicha) wrote :

Thank you. I have the right permissions now and uploaded this to xenial's unapproved queue.

Changed in gnome-font-viewer (Ubuntu Xenial):
assignee: Gunnar Hjalmarsson (gunnarhj) → nobody

Hello Rinzwind, or anyone else affected,

Accepted gnome-font-viewer into xenial-proposed. The package will build now and be available at in a few hours, and then in the -proposed repository.

Please help us by testing this new package. See for documentation how to enable and use -proposed. Your feedback will aid us getting this update out to other Ubuntu users.

If this package fixes the bug for you, please add a comment to this bug, mentioning the version of the package you tested, and change the tag from verification-needed to verification-done. If it does not fix the bug for you, please add a comment stating that, and change the tag to verification-failed. In either case, details of your testing will help us make a better decision.

Further information regarding the verification process can be found at . Thank you in advance!

Changed in gnome-font-viewer (Ubuntu Xenial):
status: In Progress → Fix Committed
tags: added: verification-needed
Gunnar Hjalmarsson (gunnarhj) wrote :

I installed gnome-font-viewer 3.16.2-1ubuntu1 from xenial-proposed, and could successfully start it from the Dash.

tags: added: verification-done
removed: verification-needed
Rinzwind (w-damen) wrote :

I can confirm post #11.

The verification of the Stable Release Update for gnome-font-viewer has completed successfully and the package has now been released to -updates. Subsequently, the Ubuntu Stable Release Updates Team is being unsubscribed and will not receive messages about this bug report. In the event that you encounter a regression using the package from -updates please report a new bug using ubuntu-bug and tag the bug report regression-update so we can easily find any regressions.

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

This bug was fixed in the package gnome-font-viewer - 3.16.2-1ubuntu1

gnome-font-viewer (3.16.2-1ubuntu1) xenial; urgency=medium

  * debian/patches/gapplication.patch:
    Use GApplication commandline handling to fix Font Viewer failing to start
    (LP: #1607937).

 -- Gunnar Hjalmarsson <email address hidden> Wed, 10 Aug 2016 18:37:00 +0200

Changed in gnome-font-viewer (Ubuntu Xenial):
status: Fix Committed → Fix Released
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