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Microsoft Teams on Linux woes

At work we use Microsoft Teams to communicate. Of course I try to use this natively on Linux, since that is my platform of choice. Today I looked into an issue, that causes me to get an empty pop-up when receiving a call. Which effectively means that I can not answer incoming calls. (TL;DR: was not able to fix it)

Obligatory stats: Ubuntu 21.10 with awesome wm, running Microsoft Teams version 1.4.00.26453 using snaps.

Updates

I looked for an update, but the snap has been updated 7 October 2021 and I'm running that latest version. I'm glad there is a Linux version at all, to be honest.

Cache

Although it's a Windows tip, I still tried to clear my cache data of the snap. It resulted in my having to reset my preferences, but that is it.

Web version

Then I remembered that there was a web-version of Teams, so I tried to use that with Mozilla Firefox. When trying to initiate a call I get this lovely message:

Try a different browser
This feature isn't available yet for your browser. Try the web app with Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome, or switch to the desktop app.

So I installed User-Agent switcher and manager and pretended to use Chrome on Linux. That worked, so I can now can initiate and receive calls and get a notification thereof, which I can accept.

Then I tried to share my screen and receive a screenshare, but no such luck. Receiving screenshares did work in the snap version, but not sharing screens.

Screen sharing

Looking at the Share content in a meeting in Teams page it states:

  1. If you're using Teams on the web, you'll be able to share your screen only if you're using Google Chrome or the latest version of Microsoft Edge.
  2. Window sharing isn't available for Linux users.

So I am basically still SOL and so I switch back to the snap.

Known issues

Looking around a bit, I also found this gem with 'known issues' on Linux. The discovery date of the issues are "12/05/19" and the resolution is that Microsoft is looking at it. Looking at the date, the issues have probably zero priority and will receive no love.

Where is the love?

That made me think of "Microsoft ♥ Linux" from years ago. A quick DuckDuckGo search gave me this blogpost at Microsoft. Apparently it's server love. Would be great if this would still be a thing... (also for desktop apps / web apps / desktops)

postfix can deliver e-mails again towards Microsoft addresses

Recently I upgraded to my new, freedom-loving, pro-privacy Internet Service Provider Freedom Internet. I was already running a mailserver before I switched: postfix. For years I had no issues sending out e-mails towards other mailservers. After I upgraded though, it seemed I was unable to send e-mail to Microsoft e-mail addresses. I noticed it only after a few months, when I tried to reach someone with an @live.nl e-mail address.

TL;DR

So I decided to change my reverse DNS record from something.connected.by.freedominter.net to something.domain.tld And behold, my e-mail was now being accepted again by Microsoft.

So although Microsoft's policies and guidelines state "Email servers must have valid reverse DNS records.", that is not the entirely true. I assume that Microsoft rejects e-mail servers with rDNS records with more than 2 dots. Beware if you use multiple DNS zones.

Read more…

Microsoft Teams on Linux

For my job I am required to use Microsoft Teams. Preferbly I use it on a Linux desktop using the deb or snap packages (it is great that those are provided). However there are some issues which you should be aware of.

Meeting URLs not working

TL;DR if you want to be able to join Microsoft Teams meetings using a URL, you should stick with the older 1.3.00.30857 version and not update to the newer 1.4.00.4855 version.

Very recently I noticed I was not being able to join meetings using a Microsoft Teams Meeting URL anymore. This appears to be a small, but extremely annoying bug which has already been reported at Q&A here and here.

Unavailable features

I've also discovered some downsides for the Linux client (aside from it being closed source):

  • screen sharing is not possible
  • background blurring is not possible
  • sometimes the client likes to eat RAM for breakfast
  • automatic gain control cannot be disabled
  • "new meeting experience" feature is not available (e.g. the ability to pop-out a meeting)

No public bugtracker

Unfortunately there is no public bugtracker where issues can be submitted. So people are forced to use tools like the Microsoft Q&A or (in my case) Twitter.

So I have tried submitting bugs via Twitter, but it did not a trigger a response or fix:

Twitter question which received zero response

Wouldn't it be great if that could be possible via a github repo? ;)

Almost 10 minutes I will never get back

Yesterday my morning started with a little green icon in the system tray of my Windows 10 workstation. It was time to reboot to install mandatory (already provided) updates. Managed workstations are fine and I am not one to complain, but I am used to the luxury of Linux. There you just install updates and if you really want (and do not use kexec) you can reboot to activate a newly installed kernel. This keeps productivity at a maximum.

To make a long story short, I almost had to wait 10 minutes for the updates to install and was not able to get any work done. Some black magic happened at shutdown and some at startup and this is considered normal. Ignorance is bliss.

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