POP! OS Review (on Raspberry Pi and x86-64 PC)
I want to look at pop os its been turning into my kind of linux distro of choice recently, and i thought id share my thoughts about it here on the channel. So if you want to find out more, please let me explain Music now, one of the problems that confront people who use linux on a regular basis. What distro should they use now, if youre using a server distro the choices are fairly obvious. You know youve kind of got red, hat or centos ubuntu server, theres a few others, but theres some key ones, and really they are kind of dominant. But when it comes to the desktop there are lots and lots of different choices. In fact, a few months ago i asked on twitter, if i was to do a video about how you switch from windows to linux. What distro should i use – and there was just so many answers – i was kind of just like you know, overcome by all these different distros. Oh, you should use this one. You should use this one and of course that is one of the weaknesses of linux. I do cover that in my windows versus linux video, but over the last few years has been a a version of linux. A linux, distro thats been coming up called pop os and its maintained by and supported by system 76 a system 76 create laptops and desktops that run linux pre installed they come with linux pre installed, so they have an invested interest to make sure this distribution works.
Well on their hardware, and then, of course, it also works on a wider range, so ive been looking at popos its been kind of coming. My favorite distro, as i said, and it really is quite interesting now, ive also what i like about it is that it works on an x8664 intel or amd processor, but it also works on the raspberry pi. So this gives me a chance to try out this distro on multiple architectures and in fact it was a distro. I used in my windows versus linux, ram usage, video, okay, so lets take a bit of a deeper dive, so pop os is a linux distribution. It kind of its heritage is ubuntu and then debian before that its maintained, as i said, by system 76. now, the first thing thats great about it is: it will be familiar to all desktop computer users, whether you use windows or whether you use a mac. It will be familiar but its not trying to mimic mac os or windows 10 or windows 11. But you do understand. Oh look: theres the taskbar, oh look, theres a menu and it looks familiar without actually being copying and thats really good, because its unique and distinctive, but yet also familiar in all my testing with it. It has shown to be stable, its not a kind of a loosely thrown together system, thats going to be updated every day, because there are, you know it is actually pretty stable and they take the stability as a serious issue.
So ive never had any crashes or blue screens of death or anything like that, and, of course also it has good performance and you can see the memory usage is pretty impressive. Again. Please refer to my windows versus linux, ram usage, video and the other thing to mention is that the ui is generally pretty cohesive, youre, not kind of having to dive into the command line for one thing open some strange app for another setting go into the settings For something else, when you come to yourself, i want to do bluetooth. I want to do the network. I want to look at the display. I want to change the background, its all pretty obvious where everything is and from my general usage. Most tasks are there in the ui, where youd expect to find them and thats a real plus point for pop os. Now, of course, as a linux, distribution on the desktop youve got everything youd expect as a windowing environment. Youve got access to all the kind of standard apps that you would want at firefox, for example, is there on the taskbar when you install it ill talk more about the type of absolute support in a moment. So, besides the general desktop thing, there are three features that do stand out that make popos very interesting. The first is workspaces now this is not something new. This has existed on mac os on windows and on linux for for many many years, but their integration of workspaces directly into the desktop and its really easy to use is a great feature.
So that basically means virtual desktops. You can have your desktop open with some windows and then you want to do another task. You can open up a fresh desktop and then you can have just that one window in there or two windows in there and you can switch between them. You can move windows between the desktops, all very, very simple and very slickly implemented. A second great feature is auto tiling. So what happens is if you start up one application when you set up another one, it automatically puts them side by side or one underneath. The other and theres great controls, including keyboard shortcuts, which well dive into a bit more in a moment, thatll, allow you to rearrange the windows and change the focus great. If you have a very big monitor and you want to have different apps coming up kind of arranged automatically without any space between them, you can turn it on. You can turn it off, but its there. If you want to use it – and it works very well and another great feature – is the pop store so thats, basically a software center where you can download apps and things like that. Similar thing youd find, of course, on windows and on mac os. This is generally free open source software thats available, but the good thing is from a technical point of view. It supports both dot, deb files, debian files and flat pack files, which means theres a greater range of different packages available and sometimes the same package available in either format, and you can pick and choose what you want now.
The pop store is also divided up into different categories, so, if youre into media production, there is a category for that youre into you, know: productivity, theres, another category development, another category for that and its very easy to find the different packages. You need plus theres a recommendation from popos of some key applications that you might want to install that dont already come pre installed. So, overall, the workspace is the auto tiling and the pop store make it a very easy experience plus, as i said, that fact that its very familiar without actually mimicking or trying to copy windows or mac os so system 76 will put a lot of thought into Defining some keyboard shortcuts that are actually really useful were all course used to control c control v. That kind of thing, but here theyve actually developed some really really neat keyboard shortcuts that actually make using pop os much much smoother. Experience lets just go through a couple of those quickly start with a simple one. I do this all the time on windows. I want to leave the pc and lock the screen uh on this one. You use theyre, calling it the super key. The super key is really the windows key. It could be the super key if youve actually got a dedicated keyboard from a system 76, but basically super key and escape will lock the screen, which means you can then walk away from your workstation, knowing that it is now password protected, you can move up and Down through the different workspaces, by using super control and up and down arrow, and that works really smoothly, you can close a window using super plus q.
You can maximize a minimizer window using super plus m and then, if you are wanted to launch something quickly, like super t, just quickly gives you a terminal. Super b gives you the browser and so on. So these are some great ways to actually use pop os. With keyboard shortcuts – and you can, you know quickly – switch between the workspaces launch, the browser switch back, you know very, very smooth once you get used to using them now. The whole point of a computer, especially one with a desktop, is to be able to do things on it and, of course, theres lots and lots of software that is supported by linux in general and specifically by pop os. So, for example, youve got firefox for the web. Browser youve got blender. If you want to do that kind of thing. All of the language stuff is supported. Youve got c c, plus, plus youve got rust, golang python. You know the list just goes on and on, because this is true of many many linux distributions, but im saying here it is its brought to the front and center these different types of things that you would like to do. Theres also things like our android studio. There is the arduino ide. Of course there is microsoft. Visual studio code, youve got davinci, resolve, youve got vlc youve got obs studio if youre into deep learning, theres tensorflow pie torch cafe and then, of course, there are things like libreoffice slack and telegram.
Apps that you may find you would want to use normally on the desktop. So what has been my overall experience, pleasantly surprised and very encouraged, is the words that i would use. I sold it on a uh. The panther pico, pc and ive got a video review of that here on this channel. Its only got a quad core celeron processor in it, but yet it was very, very smooth and very, very easy to use, and what i really liked is, i also installed it on the raspberry pi and the experience is almost identical. If you were just to look at it, you wouldnt know whether you were using a raspberry pi or whether you were using a pc. In fact, all the footage that ive shown you here during this video is recorded on a raspberry, pi version of pop os. Now the raspberry pi version does suffer a little from performance, because the pi processor is not as fast because what you can get in much more high end and much more expensive because remember the raspberry pi is what 35 up to you know. 80 90. So its very very different price bracket, but of course it works very, very well. It can lag a little bit. Sometimes the biggest thing i found is there seems to be lots of i o going on and so its best to install it onto an external ssd, which is what i did using usb. I changed.
The bootloader to boot from usb boots are absolutely fine and thats been absolutely great. So a consistent experience across pc and the raspberry pi youve got consistent linux disk pro youve got access to all of the linux software, so overall definitely a thumbs up for popos, and i do recommend you check it out. If you are trying to decide what linux distro, you should use: okay, thats it. My name is gary sims. This is guy explains what did you think of a review of the distro? Would you like to see more linux distro reviews here on the channel? If you would please let me know in the comments below also dont forget, you can subscribe to the channel if you like these kind of videos hit that subscribe button. Dont forget you follow me on twitter at gary explained, and i also have a monthly newsletter go over to garricksbane.