It is a new day and a new Linux distro pops out. And the new(old) question remains, DO WE NEED ANOTHER LINUX DISTRO? For the most part, the answer is going to be a very big NO! But for this latest distro on the block, I believe it is a step in the right direction. System76 remains one of the few remaining big players when it comes to selling great Linux computers (DELL also sell great laptops that ship with Linux).
For a while now, they have provided some really great Laptops that ship preloaded with vanilla Ubuntu with Unity as their default operating system. Yup! Ubuntu with Unity. So when Canonical decided to ditch Unity, System76 became one user to be massively impacted. So taking matters into their own hands, System76 has announced Pop!_OS as the new OS to ship with their Linux computers.
What is Pop!_OS?
Pop!_OS is currently available as an Alpha build. In its current form, it's at its core just Ubuntu with Gnome, much in the direction of Canonical. The only noticeable difference is the theme and icon set, which defaults to POP GTK theme and icon set. There are also custom wallpapers available to complement the theme. The initial release is slated for the 19th of October and hopefully, the developers would have brought their ideas to bare. I am not expecting whooping changes to be brought forward but some key tinkering with the details to streamline the experience. Ubuntu with Gnome is Ok, but not the best experience out there and even Canonical seeks to influence the development or tweak a wee bit to suit them. In the available alpha build of Pop!_OS, the direction can be seen. System76 is looking for an OS with a modern and simple look. The installation and setting up processes have seen some finesse and I believe most of the improvements in the future will be in the same direction. Once again, there isn't’ much on the show now and with only a few months before initial release, I don’t believe we will be seeing a lot of changes.
Why I think Pop!_OS might just work?
So how exactly is this different from any other Ubuntu fork? Couldn’t the developers have gone with another distro if they do not like the new Ubuntu with Gnome? Well Yes and Yes. The developers could have shipped with the new Ubuntu with Gnome, or they could have opted for Linux Mint or Elementary OS (2 awesome distros btw). Firstly, Pop!_OS is being tailored for developers and professionals. Sure it will be for replacing Windows, MacOS or any other Linux distro but that is not the aim. Pop!_OS is for people who use Linux for engineering, development and computer science, the areas where Linux really stands out. Pop!_OS aims to make their Linux desktops as productive as possible. Also, System76's laptops are pretty impressive when looking at the kind of specs and their prices. But they do not stand out in terms of their beauty, with both the hardware and OS. These laptops are quite bland and shipping with a customized operating system will go a long way in making them stand out or as I should say, pop.
Pop!_OS seeks to make it great. System76 PCs and laptops, in particular, are packing some impressive specs. Now it needs to match that with some impressive operating system. Gnome on Ubuntu is functional and for majority of the time, its just gonna be OK for most users. But with Pop!_OS surely are gonna make them great and hopefully, they will bring out the best solutions for their customers. Pop!_OS is only available as alpha build but interested folks can still download it from here. You can also check out the Github page and their subreddit for more on Pop!_OS.