Within the Linux ecosystem we can find a wide variety of distributions, each with unique characteristics that differentiate it from the others. We have very complete distros, light distros for old computers, others designed to be easy to use and others, such as Pop! _OS , designed to offer a minimalist and lightweight environment focused 100% on improving productivity.
Pop! _OS is a Linux distro, based on Ubuntu, developed by System76. For those who do not know this company, System76 is a well-known manufacturer of computers and servers that has always opted for the use of free software. To save costs and give users freedom, their computers usually come without an operating system. Or, if you bring one, they come with this distro of yours installed by default.
This Linux distro is completely free and open source. And in addition to being installed by default on System76 systems, it can also be downloaded and used by any user, without restrictions.
Although it is not one of the most popular Linux distros that we can find, it has a more than acceptable development. In addition, being based on Ubuntu, we have Canonical always behind improving and updating the base of this distro.
Some of the most interesting aspects that this distro offers us, and that other similar ones do not offer are:
- We can download an ISO that automatically installs NVIDIA drivers on the PC.
- Very fast and easy installation, especially compared to other distros.
- No need to install PPAs to install popular apps and languages. Atom, VirtualBox, Steam, Spotify, Mattermost and Signal, among others, are installed with a single click or command.
This Linux distro opts for a custom GNOME desktop . And all users who come from Ubuntu claim that, despite being the same desktop, it shows much faster, smoother and lighter. An excellent option for those who like Ubuntu but find it too slow.
Updates are faster than Ubuntu, it is simpler to use than Canonical’s distro and, very importantly, everything is designed to improve the workflow, making it an ideal distro for all kinds of uses. The keyboard shortcuts are logical and very well thought out, it allows us to synchronize the calendar and contacts with GMAIL and it supports a large number of peripherals, printers and scanners without installation problems. This distro is intended to be used by “developers, manufacturers and IT professionals”. Therefore, Pop! _OS offers a complete disk encryption system by default, to avoid security problems.
Other very important features of this Linux distro are:
- Hybrid mode : allows us to switch between performance mode, to run heavy applications, or energy saving mode with one click.
- Steam, Lutris and GameHub allow us to use Pop! _OS to play any game available for Linux.
- Do not disturb mode to silence all notifications and avoid distractions.
- Light theme and dark mode, so we can choose the one that is most comfortable and pleasant for us.
If we had to highlight a drawback, we could say that more advanced users miss some configuration options. However, you can always use third-party software, or manual adjustments from the terminal, for this.
Programs for all kinds of work in Pop! _OS
Although anyone can install this distro to walk around the house, its developers have wanted to go further. Therefore, Pop! _OS comes with a series of professional software designed to meet the needs of any type of user.
For example, if we are dedicated to creating multimedia and media content , this distro brings us applications such as:
- DaVinci Resolve
- Godot Game Engine
- OBS Studio
If our work is related to engineering, Pop! _OS also offers us a large number of specialized tools to carry out our work, such as:
- VS Code
- Android Studio
- Arduino IDE
Even if you work within bioinformatics, this distro is also capable of meeting the needs of any user thanks, among others, to the following applications:
- Bowtie 2
Finally, Pop! _OS is able to help us even in the work of Deep Learning thanks to the tools:
Of course, this distro is compatible with any program available for Linux. And it comes with a series of software pre-installed by default, such as Chromium, Firefox and Spotify, among others, to be able to get the most out of it even within a domestic environment.
Security and privacy: two fundamental pillars of Pop! _OS
Of course, we cannot forget about security and privacy, two very important aspects of all Linux distros, especially Pop! _OS. As we have already mentioned, the developers have enabled a complete encryption system for the entire hard drive so that, from the first moment, all our data is protected. And to avoid security flaws, this distro is updated periodically and automatically by downloading and applying all kinds of security patches. An updated operating system is a secure operating system.
If our laptop has been manufactured by System76, we will also receive firmware updates through this distro.
As for privacy, this Linux does not collect or store any information about the facilities. Its developers collect anonymous, purely statistical data on the operating system and hardware to provide updates and verify the connection. All data is deleted when it is no longer needed.
How to Download Pop! _OS
Pop! _OS has two types of ISO images . The first one is intended to be used in systems with NVIDIA drivers, since they come with the drivers prepared for it, and the second one to be used in Intel and AMD graphics.
The latest version of this Linux distro can be downloaded without any cost from the following link . Once downloaded we must check that the SHA256 sum is correct to make sure that there were no problems during the installation. Once everything is correct, we can now create an installation media and install Pop! _OS on our PC.
We can also launch Pop! _OS in a virtual machine with VirtualBox or VMware.
This distro is not one of the lightest, but its requirements are rather low. In order to make it work, all we need to have is a 64-bit processor (any modern one is supported), 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of disk storage space.
Anyway, we recommend at least 4 GB of RAM to be able to use this distro fluidly without any problem.