After a pretty hellacious year of operating system and distro hopping, I very well may have found a new home with a relatively new kid on the Linux block, Pop!_OS by System76.

System76 is a Linux hardware vendor based out of Denver, CO. System76 shipped machines with Ubuntu through a partnership with Canonical and provided plenty of upstream changes to help improve Unity 7’s experience. With the restructure that occurred at Canonical to help right that ship, System76 found However, during the summer of 2017, they announced Pop!_OS, an Ubuntu derivative that offers their own take. In the earliest of days, it was easy for critics to see it as just a reskin of Ubuntu GNOME with a new theme and icons. However, quickly, System76 because building on their reputation for bringing forward that experience of enhancing the user experience, from power management to driver and display management. Even now, it’s still early days, but they the differences are visible.

Screenshot, Twilight, 2019-01-07 23:59, Pop!_OS 18.10

So far, I’ve managed to get everything I’ve needed or wanted installed, whether it be a snap, Flatpak, AppImage, source from git/GitHub, or from the apt repo installed. And the system has been damned snappy. All while having a LUKS encrypted drive from the get-go thanks to encryption-on-by-default in the custom installer that they’ve co-authored with the elementaryOS developers.

I’m still less than 2 months into the install on both my desktop and my Dell XPS 13, but I do not see this changing any time soon. There’s very little I’ve felt the need to customize. System76 has done a brilliant job of making an operating system that has mostly sane defaults, is easy to get up and running, and then lets me get on with what I want to do.

This should be an interesting adventure to say the least!