Yesterday, well-known Linux hardware manufacturer System76 released the latest version of its popular Linux distro, Pop!_OS, version 19.10.
Pop!_OS 19.10 features a customized GNOME 3.34 desktop environment with a minimal amount of clutter on the desktop so as not to distract the user and allows them to focus on their work. The distro’s target user base includes engineers, computer scientists, and developers.
System76’s newly released distro, based on the recently released Ubuntu 19.10 “Eoan Ermine,” includes a multitude of various enhancements and changes that include customized drivers, user interfaces, and more.
Some of these changes include a rebased default theme on Adwaita, updated sound effects, and a sleek new dark mode.
Pop!_OS 19.10 also has a new upgrade process for Pop!_OS 19.04 users. The new version automatically downloads to the user’s system, but unlike an automatic update, the OS will stay at 19.04 until the user chooses to upgrade.
Upgrading is fairly straightforward. The user needs only open Settings, scroll down the sidebar menu to Details. In the About panel of the Details tab, a button exists, allowing the user to download and upgrade their system. System76 says that this will be the standard method of upgrading Pop!_OS releases going forward.
Tensorman is a new tool developed by System76 to serve as a tool-chain manager for Tensorflow. Tensorflow’s developers describe the device as an “open-source machine learning library for research and production.”
With Tensorman, users can define their default version of Tensorflow not only user-wide but also project-wide and per run. This allows all Pop!_OS release to enjoy equal support of Tensorflow, including prereleases, and negates the need to install Tensorflow or the CUDA SDK.
Users can install Tensorman via the CLI.
# sudo apt install tensorman
Other enhancements include:
- Performance improvements, including a more responsive desktop and smoother animations
- In the Appearance settings, a newly designed Background panel allows users to see a preview of the background when highlighted.
- Refined visual style in the Activities overview
- Faster icon loading and caching
- When trying to past a file into a read-only folder, the Files application warns users
- The Settings application now includes a Night Light section
Initial user response of Pop!_OS 19.10 has been overwhelmingly positive with the Twitterverse scattered with praises such as:
” The new upgrade deployment process is very elegant. Well done System76!”
“New theming looks great.”
“Just upgraded. Loving it so far. Thank you for all the hard work! Love you guys!”
“Great work, and thanks a lot for this awesome update! Theming is better than ever, Gnome is far smoother than the 19.04, and Tensorman is a very great idea for ML/AI developers.”
Before writing this, I took the time to download and install Pop!_OS 19.10. The installation was simple and straight-forward. I love the sleek, yet simplistic, design of the desktop, and the new Dark Mode option is a killer feature. I plan on continuing my test run over the next few days and get Foss Linux readers both an installation guide and review soon.
Users can download Pop!_OS 19.10 from system76.com. Two versions are available for download, the Intel/AMD ISO and the NVIDIA ISO, which installs the proprietary NVIDIA drivers.