Author Topic: Pop OS  (Read 68 times)

Offline fox

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Pop OS
« on: February 13, 2018, 02:18:30 pm »
For those of you not familiar with it, Pop OS is the creation of System 76, makers of Linux computers. It is based on Ubuntu 17.10. It received a positive review in Distrowatch from Joshua Allen Holm (view it here). It comes as a combo live CD/installer, which is easily run from a USB stick. (I used Etcher to get it on the USB.) I am running it from the live USB now.

My impression of it is very positive so far, but as far as I can tell, it is just a customized version of Ubuntu gnome, though it does seem faster. One nice thing about it is that it comes in two versions, one for Nvidia GPUs and the other for Intel/AMD. The former will apparently install the relevant Nvidia driver. The icons and fonts are unique and very nice. These and some of the customized apps (like the software store called "Pop! Shop" draw on the look and feel of Elementary OS. The isn't surprising since Daniel Fore and Cassidy James from Elementary helped design Pop OS. Unfortunately, like Ubuntu, the live USB won't recognize Broadcom wifi cards, but I have an Artheros on my 2011 iMac, which it recognized out of the box.

I think it's worth a look if you're a distrohopper. It apparently runs well on a virtual machine (Harry!). If we need a topic for the next meeting, I would be able to demonstrate it from the live USB and an actual installation.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 12:27:20 am by fox »
Ubuntu 17.10 on 2011 iMac
Linux Mint Cinnamon 18.3 on "late 2015" 5k iMac
Ubuntu 16.04 (Unity, Gnome) and Arch on Dell XPS 13 (4gb RAM, 250gb SSD)

Offline buster

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Re: Pop OS
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2018, 02:48:48 pm »
Does it include, or can it easily get restricted codecs?

Offline fox

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Re: Pop OS
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2018, 04:29:21 pm »
Excellent question! It doesn't include them, but as soon as you try to play something that needs a codec, it gets a whole whack of them. In that regard, the only app it installs that plays music and videos is gnome videos. So I installed rhythmbox and then clicked on a song that required restricted codecs to play. It offered to get them, and it did. All of my music plays now. What's interesting is that I'm doing all of this on the live USB.

On a related note, the Pop Shop is only functional for updates. It only has two or three programs under all of the various software categories it displays, so it's a work in progress. However, apt works fine on the command line, and once you install synaptic, it finds all the software in the Ubuntu repositories. I don't know if the problem with Pop Shop is because this is a live session since I haven't installed it, but since the Distrowatch review didn't mention this deficiency, it's likely to be a live distro issue only. Harry, since you're the VM king, perhaps you would like to install it in Virtualbox or VMware Player and report on it from that aspect.

With regard to default apps, Pop OS is like Bodhi in the sense that it doesn't have many apps on the live version; not even libreOffice or Thunderbird. (It does have a mail app, Geary, which works well.) The Distrowatch review also suggests that the installed apps are sparse. Some folks might not like that, but I prefer to pick my apps rather than to get to much installed by default.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 04:47:47 pm by fox »
Ubuntu 17.10 on 2011 iMac
Linux Mint Cinnamon 18.3 on "late 2015" 5k iMac
Ubuntu 16.04 (Unity, Gnome) and Arch on Dell XPS 13 (4gb RAM, 250gb SSD)

Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Pop OS
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2018, 11:53:56 pm »
Fox, I saw the LibreOffice suite on a the live version you lent me to try out. It's there. But I think it's in one of those folders that group multiple apps. It's like a folder icon with tiny icons inside, have to click it to see inside, like with Android.
Primary: Desktop Tower with Linux Mint 18.3 Cinnamon on Intel Core i5-3470 3.2 Ghz with 12 GB RAM, 64 GB SSD for OSes, 4 TB RAID 10 array for programs/data
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Offline fox

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Re: Pop OS
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2018, 12:24:26 am »
I think you're right, Jason. I saw this later in a folder as you described, but it "seemed" like I installed it. Incidentally, there is a good video by Brian Lunduke where he interviews Ryan Sipes of System 76 about Pop!_OS. (View it here.) One of the questions Ryan was asked is why not just use Elementary as your custom OS instead of making another one. He explains that the target user is different for the two in that Elementary is Linux for the average person who would otherwise use the MacOS or Windows for basic things. Folks that buy System 76 are apparently developers and content creators and their needs are different. Ryan indicated that System 76 created Pop!_OS only after Canonical gave up on Unity 8. System 76 is ultimately planning to bring convergence features that were planned for Unity 8 into the distro they created.

Incidentally, if all you're interested in is the Pop!_OS theme, it is available for Ubuntu and probably any Gnome distro. You can get it from github or from a ppa.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 12:30:30 am by fox »
Ubuntu 17.10 on 2011 iMac
Linux Mint Cinnamon 18.3 on "late 2015" 5k iMac
Ubuntu 16.04 (Unity, Gnome) and Arch on Dell XPS 13 (4gb RAM, 250gb SSD)

Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Pop OS
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2018, 08:22:50 am »
Thanks for the summary, Fox. I tried to watch the video but could only get about 5 minutes in with the breakup of audio (in the video, not my end) and the stop-start of Ryan Spies speaking style.

Note to System76: if you're going to introduce your audience to your product, get either a camera or phone with decent resolution or a better internet connection. If you don't have one where you are, go to where you can use one.

So now you understand why I especially appreciate your summary. I didn't have to watch the whole hour-long video :-)

Very cool that you can get the "look" seperately, too.
Primary: Desktop Tower with Linux Mint 18.3 Cinnamon on Intel Core i5-3470 3.2 Ghz with 12 GB RAM, 64 GB SSD for OSes, 4 TB RAID 10 array for programs/data
Secondary/Test: Toshiba Satellite Ultrabook Z830-00K w/ Linux Du Jour, (Intel i3-2367M 1.4 GHz, 4GB DDR3, 128GB SDD)

Offline fox

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Re: Pop OS
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2018, 09:38:15 am »
I had the same trouble with Ryan Sipes speaking as you did. I wasn't sure whether the problem was at his end of Lunduke's, but I persisted. It gets repeatedly better and worse, but you're right that it is a shame his part wasn't solid, since he is representing his company. Nevertheless, I got the gist of System 76's thrust with this OS, and I think that with Canonical's lowered emphasis on desktop Ubuntu, System 76 is looking at this as a way to provide a polished desktop experience on top of what Ubuntu provides; perhaps something akin to Linux Mint. And although Pop!_OS appears to be just a skinned Ubuntu Gnome, they have been doing some fixes under the hood.

I think this OS will be worth following. For one thing, they are keeping up with every new version of Ubuntu and planning to release their own new version on the same day Ubuntu releases their's. That means we'll get Pop!_OS 18.04 on April 19. What they didn't say is whether they will maintain an LTS version.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 09:40:01 am by fox »
Ubuntu 17.10 on 2011 iMac
Linux Mint Cinnamon 18.3 on "late 2015" 5k iMac
Ubuntu 16.04 (Unity, Gnome) and Arch on Dell XPS 13 (4gb RAM, 250gb SSD)

Offline fox

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Re: Pop OS
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2018, 10:20:53 am »
Incidentally, the kernel it installs is 4.13.0-32-generic. When I start up the live USB on my 2015 hidpi iMac, it will only start up (without a 4 minute delay) if I add "nomodeset" to the bootup parameters. This means that it will only run at 4k resolution, and the graphics driver is generic, so you notice a bit of shakiness when moving windows. This mirrors my experience with Ubuntu 17.10. The AMD-GPU-PRO driver may or may not work with it, as there are only three distros/versions it is made for (Ubuntu 16.04.3, Red Hat and CentOS).
Ubuntu 17.10 on 2011 iMac
Linux Mint Cinnamon 18.3 on "late 2015" 5k iMac
Ubuntu 16.04 (Unity, Gnome) and Arch on Dell XPS 13 (4gb RAM, 250gb SSD)

Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Pop OS
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2018, 10:30:10 am »
Interesting. I think I had a long delay when I was starting up with the live version on my ultrabook.
Primary: Desktop Tower with Linux Mint 18.3 Cinnamon on Intel Core i5-3470 3.2 Ghz with 12 GB RAM, 64 GB SSD for OSes, 4 TB RAID 10 array for programs/data
Secondary/Test: Toshiba Satellite Ultrabook Z830-00K w/ Linux Du Jour, (Intel i3-2367M 1.4 GHz, 4GB DDR3, 128GB SDD)

 

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