System76’s operating system, Pop!_OS 22.04, isn’t drastically different from its predecessor, Pop!_OS 21.10, but it brings some improvements.
Pop!_OS is an Ubuntu-based Linux desktop distro developed by American computer manufacturer System76. The company sells PCs preinstalled with Linux and, since 2017, has offered its distro, Pop!_OS, a heavily modified version of Ubuntu entirely focused on desktop Linux users.
In addition, there is something else worth noting about Pop!_OS; it is probably the only Linux distro created and maintained by a hardware manufacturer.
Pop!_OS uses GNOME as the desktop environment, and their in-house made Pop!_OS COSMIC desktop. However, due to its customization option and built-in driver support, it grew in popularity.
Now that Ubuntu 22.04 LTS and its official flavors are available, it’s time to look at one of the best Ubuntu-based distros, Pop!_OS 22.04 by System76.
Pop!_OS 22.04 Highlights
System76, one of the well-known Linux hardware computer makers, has unleashed the latest and greatest Pop!_OS 22.04, which grabs a lot of attention.
The Pop!_OS installer is well-known from previous versions, offering encryption out of the box. But, again, there are no technical details. Instead, you must select between the two buttons: encrypt or not. That’s all!
We can’t help but note that this is probably the easiest-to-use installer among Linux distros, where it is clear that work has been done to make it as easy as possible for the user. A few clicks, and you have Pop!_OS 22.04 installed.
GNOME 42 & COSMIC Desktop
But the major highlight of Pop!_OS 22.04 is, of course, the customized version of GNOME 42. There are no significant changes compared to the previous version, but GNOME 42 is used as the basis for the COSMIC desktop.
For those of you who are not familiar with the COSMIC (Computer Operating System Main Interface Components) desktop, it’s a bunch of preinstalled GNOME Extensions developed by System76, which effectively results in a custom desktop.
Furthermore, the newly designed Light & Dark theme support in GNOME 42 with auto wallpaper change is not present here because Pop_OS! has had Light & Dark theme support since the inception of the COSMIC Desktop.
Of course, the auto-tiling feature is perhaps the most recognizable element of the COSMIC desktop. Keep in mind that the auto-tiling mode is off by default. However, in the top panel, you get an icon that lets you turn tiling mode on.
In Pop!_OS 22.04, automatic updates are now available in the new “OS Upgrade & Recovery” panel in Settings, where you can specify when and what day you want them to occur. Additionally, you can set a day and time for the upgrade to be completed.
On top of that, the notifications for updates are also now shown weekly, which they claim is to “reduce distractions,” but you can change that frequency as well. Finally, there’s good news for those who don’t like to be bothered by pop-up reminders; the automatic updates are disabled by default.
New Support Options
There’s also a new “Support” panel in the settings menu that lets you get help by leading you to the documentation or the distribution’s official chat channel.
Additionally, the ability to quickly retrieve the log files is provided, the information which can be of great help when reporting a problem in the system.
The Pop!_Shop can be used to install additional software. All you need to do is just search for programs or browse for them by category. In Pop!_OS 22.04, the app has received some small but handy improvements.
Outside performance improvements made, now the user can showcase recently updated apps. Moreover, the app also gains responsive design tweaks to improve its appearance during tiling and enhances the reliability of package operations.
Other Highlights in Pop!_OS 22.04
Under the hood, Pop!_OS 22.04 featured the Linux 5.16.19 kernel, but more important is that the distro now defaults to PipeWire for audio processing. Of course, PipeWire is compatible with any software designed to work with PulseAudio.
Apart from those mentioned above, we can’t fail to mention Pop!_OS 22.04 includes a better workspaces view and HiDPI fixes. Furthermore, the Pop!_OS Launcher, which was created in-house, has received some attention in the form of minor improvements.
However, if you don’t like the Pop!_OS Launcher, you can always install the amazing Ulauncher.
Download Pop!_OS 22.04
Of course, Pop!_OS is not exclusive only to System76’s computers so you can download Pop!_OS 22.04 directly from the System76 website, flash it to a USB and install it.
The distro is available in two different ISOs variants – one for NVIDIA and the other for Intel hardware. So if you have or plan to have an NVIDIA GPU in your system, you should select the NVIDIA version.
Pop!_OS 22.04 requires a 64-bit processor, plus a minimum of 4GB RAM and 16GB storage.