Author Topic: Pop OS  (Read 292 times)

Online 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 »
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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?

Online 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 18.04 and Pop!_OS on 2011 iMac
Linux Mint Cinnamon 18.3 on "late 2015" 5k iMac
Ubuntu 18.04 (Unity, Gnome) and Arch on Dell XPS 13

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.
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Online 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 18.04 and Pop!_OS on 2011 iMac
Linux Mint Cinnamon 18.3 on "late 2015" 5k iMac
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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.
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Online 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 18.04 and Pop!_OS on 2011 iMac
Linux Mint Cinnamon 18.3 on "late 2015" 5k iMac
Ubuntu 18.04 (Unity, Gnome) and Arch on Dell XPS 13

Online 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 18.04 and Pop!_OS on 2011 iMac
Linux Mint Cinnamon 18.3 on "late 2015" 5k iMac
Ubuntu 18.04 (Unity, Gnome) and Arch on Dell XPS 13

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.
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Offline ssfc72

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Re: Pop OS
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2018, 03:08:36 pm »
I am on the PopOS web page and the install instructions seem to indicate that with PopOS on a usb thumb drive, the Distro will be installed to the hard drive.

There doesn't seem to be any mention of a Live USB of PopOS.

I think at the meeting demo of PopOS, you did have it working as a Live USB.
Is there another download of PopOS, that creates a Live USB or is the download from their web site, an optional Live USB iso??

Edit:  OK, I see now further down on the install instructions, it mentions that the USB PopOS will boot up, into a Live version of PopOS!

Edit 2:  Etcher did not work for me, under Mint 17.3    Complained that it could not find the file (PopOS iso??, the iso was there)
I used the ROSA Image Installer and it worked fine.

Edit 3:  It appears that PopOS found my Broadcom internal card, on my Acer Aspire 1430 notebook.  WIFI works fine! :-)
PopOS works nicely on my Acer Aspire 1430, 11" notebook.


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.



« Last Edit: March 11, 2018, 04:15:56 pm by ssfc72 »
Mint 18.3 on an HP Pavilion X360, 11" k120ca notebook
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Online fox

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Re: Pop OS
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2018, 03:42:53 pm »
Download the iso and transfer it to a USB with Etcher or a similar tool. I used Etcher, which so far has worked with every distro I tried.
Ubuntu 18.04 and Pop!_OS on 2011 iMac
Linux Mint Cinnamon 18.3 on "late 2015" 5k iMac
Ubuntu 18.04 (Unity, Gnome) and Arch on Dell XPS 13

Offline ssfc72

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Re: Pop OS
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2018, 09:14:50 am »
OK, booting from a usb thumdrive of a Live version of PopOS.
I have managed to get the Realtek RTL usb wifi dongle, to work. :-)

Edit - I have since discovered that my Realtec usb wifi dongle, is not working well, with PopOS.
The Realtec wifi adapter keeps dropping out and I have to reboot the Distro to get a working wifi connection and then it keeps dropping my wifi service.
I am beginning to suspect that the Ubuntu Linux driver that the Device Manager installs from the Ubuntu repositories , is not working properly.  I believe either Jason or Mike had suggested this may be the issue.
So I would not recommend, doing the following steps.


I had to go into the Software and Updates window and select the Additional Drivers tab.  I needed to have the wifi adapter, plugged in, of course.
PopOS then searches for additional Drivers, so you either need a working wifi connection or you will need a Network cable connection.
The searching takes a while, so be patient.
In my case, PopOS came up with the RTL driver for my usb wifi adapter. It is de-selected by default, so you have to click on the small square box, to select the driver.
You then have to select, Apply Changes, and again you have to wait quite a while, for the Changes are done.  At the bottom of the window, is text saying "applying changes" and a very thin progress bar, is visible to the right.

After this is done, if you are using a working wifi adapter, you need to turn off the wifi and unplug this adapter.

I then had to unplug my Realtek ush wifi adapter and plug it back in again, to get PopOS to find the adapter.
You should be able to get a wifi connection window to show up and you just need to turn the wifi on and select the wifi network, that the usb wifi dongle has found.

Bill
« Last Edit: March 18, 2018, 04:31:07 pm by ssfc72 »
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Online fox

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Re: Pop OS
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2018, 04:53:19 pm »
I'm beginning to wonder if there is a problem with your dongle. Have you tried it in Windows and does it work OK then?
Ubuntu 18.04 and Pop!_OS on 2011 iMac
Linux Mint Cinnamon 18.3 on "late 2015" 5k iMac
Ubuntu 18.04 (Unity, Gnome) and Arch on Dell XPS 13

Offline ssfc72

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Re: Pop OS
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2018, 08:06:48 pm »
Seems to run fine under Win7.  I had to use the cdrom installer to get the driver installed. Win7 failed to find a driver, when it did a search for a wifi driver.

I also had to delete the built in wifi driver. It appeared to be interfering with the Realtec usb wifi.
Once the built in wifi driver was deleted, the usb Realtek wifi seems to be working fine, on the 5GHz (AC speed protocol)

Mint 18.3 on an HP Pavilion X360, 11" k120ca notebook
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Online fox

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Re: Pop OS
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2018, 06:59:30 am »
....
Once the built in wifi driver was deleted, the usb Realtek wifi seems to be working fine, on the 5GHz (AC speed protocol)

So is the problem fixed? Or are you referring to Windows here?
Ubuntu 18.04 and Pop!_OS on 2011 iMac
Linux Mint Cinnamon 18.3 on "late 2015" 5k iMac
Ubuntu 18.04 (Unity, Gnome) and Arch on Dell XPS 13