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GNOME Operating Systems Software Ubuntu Linux

System76 Unveils Its Own Ubuntu-Based Linux Distribution Called 'Pop!_OS' ( 117

BrianFagioli writes: Not content with simply following Canonical and embracing vanilla GNOME, System76 has decided to take its future into its own hands. Today, the company releases the first alpha of an all-new Linux-based operating system called "Pop!_OS," which will eventually be the only OS pre-loaded on its computers. While it will still be based on Ubuntu and GNOME, System76 is tweaking it with its own style and included drivers. In other words, the company is better controlling the user experience, and that is smart.

"The Pop!_OS community is in its infancy. This is a fantastic time to engage with and help develop the processes and practices that will govern the future development of the operating system and its community. The team is currently opening up planning for the development roadmap, code of conduct, discussion forums, and the processes surrounding code contribution. Progress made on Pop!_OS has established an inviting, modern, and minimalist look and has improved the first-use experience including streamlining installation and user setup. Work on the first release, scheduled for October 19th, centers on appearance, stability, and overall tightness of the user experience followed by adding new features and greater customization ability," says System76.
You can check out the project on GitHub here and download the alpha ISO here. For more information, the company has set up a subreddi.
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System76 Unveils Its Own Ubuntu-Based Linux Distribution Called 'Pop!_OS'

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  • by TimothyHollins ( 4720957 ) on Thursday June 29, 2017 @07:27PM (#54716171)

    Well done.
    Just like the overly enthusiastic parents that name their child "Jonn", or "Sarra", or "Madilene", you have now ensured that you will have to spell out the damn name every time you talk about it. And that "exclamation mark underscore" doesn't exactly roll off the tongue.

  • whoopie (Score:5, Insightful)

    by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Thursday June 29, 2017 @07:30PM (#54716197)

    >"While it will still be based on Ubuntu and GNOME, "

    Blech. So it is just Ubuntu with a few tweaks. Yawn. Nothing to see here, keep moving. Still, I wish System76 well- I like what they do!

    • Re:whoopie (Score:5, Insightful)

      by exomondo ( 1725132 ) on Thursday June 29, 2017 @09:57PM (#54716937)

      It is wasted effort!

      Carl Richell, CEO, System76 explains, "While our operating system and computers are great for any user, the ideas and features we develop for Pop!_OS will be squarely focused on the professionals and makers that use their computers to create."

      ^^ In that case invest in building applications for those users, they couldn't give 2 craps about the OS, they'd run BeOS if it ran the applications they use to do their work. As far as most of them are concerned the OS is just the bit that launches the programs they actually spend their time using. There's got to be over 100 Linux-based operating systems by now, we don't need any more because nobody cares about that. To increase the popularity of Linux and have it benefit from economies of scale what is needed is innovative programs that users want/need that work better on Linux than anything else.

      • Sigh. The reason they are probably "creating" an OS is to control the user experience and leveraging it from Ubuntu which is right now the most popular distro by far. The OS could then be crafted to be optimized to have drivers that work with the hardware on their systems. The whole thing is to make sure that supportability is scalable by being a gatekeeper. When you're going out on a limb and giving a product with an OS that is not mainstream, you need to curate it properly otherwise people won't buy y
    • I agree. Why can't they just take SteamOS, and make their computers gaming platforms? Load it up w/ something like LX/QT or Razor/qt or something.

  • Hope their installer has a option for choosing the init software suite. ...
    Systemd vs. Launchd :)

  • System76 is hindered by Ubuntu because Ubuntu is hindered by Canonical. Surely there's a better source for a fork. I get that they have lots of Ubuntu experience and a history there, but Launchpad [] should be EOL.
    • If they had any brains, they'd simply put ~~Debian~~ err Devuan on it.. Since Debian (and Ubuntu) have fucking up those distros with systemd, I've moved my systems to Devuan 1.0, I had high hopes when they forked Debian a couple of years ago, and now I couldn't be happier.. Debian WITHOUT systemd... Fuck you, Poettering...

  • by sombragris ( 246383 ) on Thursday June 29, 2017 @08:10PM (#54716359) Homepage

    The stubborness upon which Ubuntu and now System76 insist on choosing the clearly inferior choice (GNOME) when there's a much better option (KDE's Plasma), is impressive.

  • Modern vs. Retro (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zobeid ( 314469 ) on Thursday June 29, 2017 @08:29PM (#54716489)

    "...Pop!_OS has established an inviting, modern, and minimalist look..."

    Ugly flat interface. Probably with all the drop-down menus removed in favor of dumbed-down controls hidden behind cryptic icons. My experience with "modern" desktops has been uniformly negative. I mean, Windows, Mac, Gnome Shell, Unity...

    Am I the only one who thinks the desktop environment and user interface was pretty well figured out and perfected by, say, ten years ago? Since then it's just been change for the sake of change (under the holy banner of "innovation") and misguided efforts to make desktop computers work like phones. The only present-day desktop that I find attractive and comfortable to use has been Ubuntu MATE, and their motto is "for a retrospective future".

    • You might want to have a look at XFCE too. It has a proper, "Yeah, we solved this UI thing 10 years ago" interface. And, because it's been solved for so long, almost every knob and dial you'd want to fiddle with is exposed and thoroughly supported. It has quirks, to be sure, but, if you take a weekend to configure something like Debian+XFCE, you're unlikely to ever look back. That combo feels like a proper workstation and not some UI developers playground.

    • You're simply getting old.
  • In other words, the company is better controlling the user experience, and that is smart.

    Is that really smart? What attracts customers to System76 computers? Is it their superior software, or their (from what I've heard) sturdy, reliable hardware? You are given the choice between running Ubuntu or some obscure distribution that hardly anybody uses. System76 will probably not be able to make a community which is even the tenth of the size of the one for Ubuntu. If you run this distribution, few people will be able to help you if the issue happens on a component that differs even slightly from va

  • Here is a perfect example of why Linux was never a real competitor to OSX and Windows, instead of actually investing their time and money into an already established OS? Lets just follow a lame trend so old its an XKCD joke [].

    Because this is EXACTLY what Linux needed, yet another distro with just enough changes to make it incompatible with everyone else...sigh. Can you imagine how kick ass Linux would have been if instead of reinventing the damned wheel 600+ times everyone got together and invested their time into simply making ONE DISTRO that was the absolute best, cleanest, and bug free OS they could possibly build? It would make OSX and Windows look like DOS!

    But no, instead we have SSDD, one of 600+ distros to pile on distrowatch which will probably either be dead in less than 3 years or have less users than win98 in 2017, because God forbid people actually work together for the common good instead of more NIH bullshit...sigh.

    • Amen to that.
    • by r0kk3rz ( 825106 )

      Yeah and it would be great if unicorns existed too. The reason for the 600+ distros is that there is an increasing level of overhead the more people are involved in a project, especially if those people are volunteers.

      Now, get those people who are introverts to self select themselves and you can see why the OSS landscape is the way it is. Volunteer hackers want to write code, and not manage projects, and they're usually quite opinionated about the way-things-should-be and so its a lot easier to fork and get

    • by Zobeid ( 314469 )

      I used to feel this way, and I still do to some degree, but I think Linux fragmentation also has some advantages. Many of these obscure distros are trying out new ideas, they're experiments, and that kind of experimentation can't happen in the Windows and Mac worlds.

      Also, they give us a way to route around failure. Gnome Shell was not well received by many. So what happened? Ubuntu created the Unity interface. Well, that wasn't well received by many either. So what happened? Mint created Cinnamon, an

    • It is cute that you think something should be centrally controlled. If you disagree with my assessment, re-read your own words. Central control is implicit within what you are saying.

      For myself, I fail to see a problem, and in all actuality, I see the numerous competing distros as ideal. To me, this is just like evolution: lots of little variations with constant pressure killing off the less useful variations. Eventually, we will end up with some fairly advanced, possibly sentient, Linux distributions. It m

    • by knope ( 4837449 )
      or, you could look at it like this. Its Debian based, so all the things developed will at some point (if there good enough) find there way back into the mainline. Its Debian based, so all the things develop can be utilized in some form or fashion on other debian based distros. The thing to focus on here is this: System76 is still around, and still improving. They're still providing laptops that you can roll you own debian distro on, and find working supported drivers for. Stop focusing on t
      • by WallyL ( 4154209 )

        Stop focusing on the aspects that are designed to target menial users who wouldn't know why they're supposed to chose linux in the first place

        I don't think those are the clientèle that visit System76's retail site.

    • What if this had ALWAYS been done? We most likely wouldn't have many of the great things we have now. Would we have a single perfect linux distro? I think that is wishful thinking.

      Just have a look at this: Linux Distro Timeline [] and tell me that none of those things should have happened. Maybe SOME of them shouldn't, but that's a simple determination in hindsight.

      Just look at what Knoppix spawned, and what it inspired. Sometimes you have to let the ones passionate about something run with it. Otherwi

  • by Herve5 ( 879674 ) on Friday June 30, 2017 @04:08AM (#54718121)

    We now have two laptops that we bought with Linux preinstalled, and specs above Apple's at the time we ordered (in January). We didn't get them from Syst76 because delivering abroad from the US and with 'local' keyboards wasn't feasible for them, we ordered from Tuxedo in Germany. Honestly, from casings to processors they really look similar, there musn't be so many equipment suppliers.

    Well, Tuxedo explain they also raised this question of developing their own versions of linux flavors (you can select which linux you want with Tux), but they instead chose to prepare a separate package dedicated to their hardwares, which one can apply after a standard linux install.
    (Their commitment on this only works with a 'short list' of linux versions -most of them Ubuntu based IIRC.)

    I believe, if you are serious in proposing a range of hardware with linux preinstalled, sooner or later you cannot but consider you are at risk whenever any linux update is issued, and these are issued in a manner you can't control.

    Syst76 way is one reaction, Tuxedo's is another, but I do understand that when your full business is potentially killable by an unexpected update you think about it.
    And when I say killable it's very real, just imagine suddenly all your machines do not support e. g. bluetooth -a single, minor feature like that. Within hours, in ten forums, hundreds of posters will insult you, you sell sh.., doesn't work, don't buy that.
    I for one wouldn'd sleep before deciding for a strategy...

    • System76 has sold rebranded Clevo laptops for years. They've also offered their own apt repo for updates and drivers for years (at least the 5 or so years I've had my laptop).

      Personally, I think developing a new OS is completely wasted effort on their part. Especially considering they have an alternative means to push whatever drivers they need on their equipment via repos. They could also push configuration that way for whatever flat crap look and feel they want.

  • by kurkosdr ( 2378710 ) on Friday June 30, 2017 @06:58AM (#54718485)
    Mandriva, Xandros, Ubuntu, PCLinuxOS, LinuxMint, Steam OS and now this... There is always someone who looks at Desktop Linux and thinks "this is 85% percent done, all it needs is a new coat of paint and some drivers/codecs". The hard reality is that, unless Desktop Linux distros solve the "not compatible even with itself" problem (hint: The 14.04 LTS I use in work cannot even have the latest version of VLC), Desktop Linux isn't going anywhere. Unless Desktop Linux manages to drop the idiotic "one repo per version" approach (which is contrary to the industry-standard approach of picking a "base" version and launching a single binary that works from that version all the way to the latest version, with differences being worked with static libraries and shims, Desktop Linux isn't going anywhere. That's how Windows, OS X, Android and iOS do it. I can download the latest version of VLC on Windows Vista, and it is the same .exe that Windows 10 uses.
    • > The 14.04 LTS I use in work cannot even have the latest version of VLC)

      --You pick an LTS distro for *long-term stability*, not the latest versions of software. Things tend to break sometimes when you use the testing or unstable branches. I use 14.04-64-LTS myself, and it's pretty rock solid - but starting to show its age after 3 years. If I want newer versions of software, I put up a Vmware or Virtualbox VM and install Antix or MX (no systemd) or even go beyond my existing triple-boot setup if it re

      • "You pick an LTS distro for *long-term stability*, not the latest versions of software." Windows 7 allows me to have *long-term stability* and have the latest versions of software, which means it relieves me from having to go through the "to LTS or not to LTS" dilemma. From that perspective, the price of a Windows license is a bargain. I can stay with the old version for years till I am ready to upgrade and still have new software like VLC. And without having to experiment with VMs and whatnot. "Yep, and
  • Don't we have enough pop in our culture already?

  • Get rid of Systemd and I'll buy one ..

The trouble with money is it costs too much!