Anyone used Pop!_OS ?

What other apps and distros do you use to round out your studio?

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Death
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Anyone used Pop!_OS ?

Postby Death » Tue May 14, 2019 2:47 am

Mint is pretty cool but I'm getting the urge to try out a new distro. I'm liking the sound of (the Ubuntu based) Pop!_OS. Apparently they do a lot of kernel and driver bug fixing to issues that exist in stock Ubuntu releases. Kernel & GPU driver stability issues are the bane of my existence on Linux so it sounds worth a shot to me :) It's aimed at developers, apparently. But I don't see why you couldn't use it for other tasks.

https://system76.com/pop
https://pop.system76.com/docs/difference-between-pop-ubuntu/
Any of you guys used it? If so, what do you think? Just interested in general thoughts here. Cheers.
Last edited by Death on Sat May 18, 2019 2:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

varpa
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Re: Anyone used Pop!_OS ?

Postby varpa » Tue May 14, 2019 4:24 pm

Does it offset a low-latency or realtime kernel? One of those is essential for realtime audio. Also I see it offers automatic disk encryption, which is great, but not recommended for realtime audio. I would tend to think most of the enhancements are for hardware sold by System76. If you've got an extra partition available just and install it and see how it works (that is, install it without overwriting your existing OS).

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Re: Anyone used Pop!_OS ?

Postby ufug » Tue May 14, 2019 5:01 pm

When I tried it last year it just seemed like a brown themed version of Ubuntu (a color Ubuntu wisely moved away from years ago). There were no kernel tweaks that made it a better choice for audio work.

I got excited about Pop!_OS (what an awkward name) when they announced it because all the promo copy said that it was built for "creatives" and "creators".

I didn't know then that term "creatives" now means developers. That's absolutely fine, I just assumed it meant artists and musicians and I was bummed when I figured that out. I am so old. :lol: :roll:

I dig System76 (I mainly use an old Ratel) but I don't get Pop!_OS at all, mostly because they do such a bad job of clearly explaining what makes it different from Ubuntu. They put a lot of effort into marketing, but it's very fluffy.

Death
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Re: Anyone used Pop!_OS ?

Postby Death » Fri May 17, 2019 11:45 pm

I ended up just diving straight in and giving it a go, completely sacrificing my Mint install which I've spent months tweaking and making nice and functional :o But to be honest, I'm digging it so far!

I had to install gnome-tweaks because I couldn't stand the overview focused behaviour of the GUI. I like the dock to always show or to show on hover plus I like to place it at the bottom of the screen rather than the side. But aside from that, the GUI is really nice in this OS. It's got a very polished look to it! Still, I'm gonna do some more tweaking with Gnome extensions and get a more classic style program menu back for a start. I like stuff to look pretty, but functionality always wins, so I'll try have both here :P

As for the kernel, I think it's probably pretty stock. However, kernels from version 4.18 (?) onwards have the same latency that previous low latency kernels had, so it's cool. Good enough for me.

I'm not using disk encryption either because it just slows things down too much.

And the name "Pop!_OS", yeh, that's awkward as hell haha.. I hate having to type that!

The main thing that attracted me to this OS was their apparent hardware focused support (I have similar hardware to what they sell) and that they supposedly do some decent bug fixing on the Ubuntu base before pushing out their own OS versions.

And yeh, It seems to be marketed towards developers and Linux noobs at the same time, funnily enough.. it doesn't seem geared towards the arts out of the box. It comes with a very minimal set of programs installed, which I actually like! But I've found nearly everything I need in the repos so far. But I do want some things from the Kxstudio repos, though installing the repos is causing weird things to happen. I think it's screwing with the existing packages/repos. I tried installing Cadence and that somehow removed Qjackctl from my system, then Cadence was complaining about Dbus not being available or something like that. Couldn't get it working.. Going in for another shot now though :P

Edit: Ok. Got Cadence working and Qjackctl stayed in place. Then I did an apt update and then Cadence got removed somehow so had to reinstall it, then Qjackctl got removed from that. Repo Madness!. I don't know what's going on lol.. Hopefully it'll be ok because I'm nearly all set up now.

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Linuxmusician01
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Re: Anyone used Pop!_OS ?

Postby Linuxmusician01 » Sat May 18, 2019 11:31 am

No. I don't use exotic distributions. And I do not try them out. I use Linux seriously and not as a "hobby".

Death
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Re: Anyone used Pop!_OS ?

Postby Death » Sat May 18, 2019 12:18 pm

Hardcore, brah...

merlyn
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Re: Anyone used Pop!_OS ?

Postby merlyn » Sat May 18, 2019 2:02 pm

Linuxmusician01 wrote: I don't use exotic distributions.

Just out of curiosity : what is your list of approved distributions?

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Linuxmusician01
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Re: Anyone used Pop!_OS ?

Postby Linuxmusician01 » Sat May 18, 2019 3:02 pm

merlyn wrote:Just out of curiosity : what is your list of approved distributions?

  • Debian
  • Ubuntu (all flavours)
  • Mint
  • Fedora
  • openSuse
  • Raspbian
Any distribution that is made by a serious professional (team). I have no intrest in anything other than that. Neither should y'all.

I don't dig distro's made by somebody alone in a basement who still lives w/ his mother. He'll lose interest in support and development within a year or two. Don't act like y'all do not know what I mean. A little pet-distro project from a student or hobbyist is not meant for serious day by day use. God forbid that somebody actually wipes Windows from his/her PC to install such a non-distro because we serious Linuxers discussed it in a forum.

I ain't no tester.

merlyn
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Re: Anyone used Pop!_OS ?

Postby merlyn » Sat May 18, 2019 3:24 pm

You seem to have a different definition of 'distro' from me. I would consider Pop!_OS to be mostly Ubuntu, with tweaks.

10% Pop, 90% Ubuntu. So if Pop disappears into the digital abyss, you've still got a working and supported base. It's not like it landed on Earth from Venus. :lol:

Death
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Re: Anyone used Pop!_OS ?

Postby Death » Sat May 18, 2019 4:17 pm

So many hard assess on this forum eh.. :lol:

I get it though. There are so many distros (or whatever you wanna call them. I probably am using the term too liberally.) that barely do anything differently and it's kinda ridiculous and kinda unhelpful to Linux as whole at times. I agree! But System76 sell computers and they're designing Pop OS to work well on them, so if you have similar hardware (which I do), then I figure it could turn out pretty good. But maybe I'm wrong?

Now here's my issue. I don't want to use stock Ubuntu. The Amazon scandal years ago put me off and I don't like that they've added telemetry stuff, opt in or not. However, I want Ubuntu as a base because I'm somewhat of a Linux noob and it just makes my life easier due to the support, things just working better and the community knowledge of the OS which in turn applies to its derivatives.

So, I look to music distros because in theory they'd suit me best. Thing is, they all use minimal GUI's like xfce. I want something prettier to look at. I built a decent computer and it can handle it just fine. That's why I used Mint Cinnamon for the past year (considering going back to it as I'm having weird repo & audio issues right now) which I was able to setup just fine. Now I'm sure you're thinking - why not just get a music distro and install Gnome or whatever? Well, because I always have issues when I try that and I just like to avoid too much customising of the default OS state, because stability..

So what do I do? I'm really enjoying using Pop OS to be honest. I'm missing a few QOL things from Mint but it's good. I haven't used stock Ubuntu since about 2009-2010, so yeh, I'm not aware of just how similar these two are and maybe if I was more familiar with Ubuntu these days I'd just say "Meh" at Pop OS. But if it wasn't for the issues I'd mentioned, I wouldn't be considering hopping to something else anytime soon..

I'm open to suggestions though. If there's a good, well supported audio focused OS based on Ubuntu that has a GUI like Gnome - I'll check it out!

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Re: Anyone used Pop!_OS ?

Postby merlyn » Sat May 18, 2019 5:20 pm

Until this thread I was under the impression that Pop!_OS was for gaming after it featured in a Linus Tech Tips video:

Microsoft Should be VERY Afraid - Noob's Guide to Linux Gaming

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Linuxmusician01
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Re: Anyone used Pop!_OS ?

Postby Linuxmusician01 » Sun May 19, 2019 12:53 pm

Death wrote:So many hard assess on this forum eh.. :lol:

My reply was harsh and I apologize. You took it as a gentleman though which I respect very, very much. I should have replied like a gentleman too.

Death wrote:[...]I agree! But System76 sell computers and they're designing Pop OS to work well on them, so if you have similar hardware (which I do), then I figure it could turn out pretty good. But maybe I'm wrong?

I hear you. Years ago Asus sold so called "eeePC's". If I'm not mistaken some of them had their own Linux distro on them. And if I'm not mistaken with a proprietary video card driver. And you guessed it: that distro does not exist anymore of course and you'll have a hard time installing your average basic distro on them now-a-days. If a system is sold w/ a custom Linux distro I'm always suspicious. I'd rather struggle for a few days to get a "regular" distro to work on it because that'll help in the future when you have to upgrade to a newer Linux version (or Windows for that matter).

Death wrote:[...] I want Ubuntu as a base because I'm somewhat of a Linux noob and it just makes my life easier due to the support, things just working better and the community knowledge of the OS which in turn applies to its derivatives.

Very, very smart thinking! :wink:

Death wrote:[...]So, I look to music distros because in theory they'd suit me best. Thing is, they all use minimal GUI's like xfce. I want something prettier to look at. I built a decent computer and it can handle it just fine. That's why I used Mint Cinnamon for the past year (considering going back to it as I'm having weird repo & audio issues right now) which I was able to setup just fine. Now I'm sure you're thinking - why not just get a music distro and install Gnome or whatever? Well, because I always have issues when I try that and I just like to avoid too much customising of the default OS state, because stability..

That's strange. I always customize my GUI too. It's one of the big differences between Linux and other OS-es: you can customize the hell out of Linux. Anyway, I never had a problem w/ a different Desktop Environment. As long as you simply install it via the standard repositories that come w/ the distro out of the box. You log in again and the "greeter", at which you must type in passwd and username, let's you choose between desktops. I'd advise to "experiment" with that on an old, reserve, PC that is not essential to you.

Death wrote:So what do I do? [...]

Install Ubuntu and cusomize the hell out of it. That's a good learning experience too. Ask a lot of questions in Linux forums about it. I.m.h.o. one does not need a special audio orientated distro these days. The vanilla kernel is pretty low-latency and w/ the KXStudio repo you can have the latest and greatest music production software. Even stronger: KXStudio is pretty much obligatory for music prod. A Linux distro that isn't supported by KX is out of the question if you ask me. :)

Good luck!

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Re: Anyone used Pop!_OS ?

Postby CrocoDuck » Sun May 19, 2019 4:30 pm

Linuxmusician01 wrote:
merlyn wrote:Just out of curiosity : what is your list of approved distributions?

  • Debian
  • Ubuntu (all flavours)
  • Mint
  • Fedora
  • openSuse
  • Raspbian
Any distribution that is made by a serious professional (team). I have no intrest in anything other than that. Neither should y'all.

I don't dig distro's made by somebody alone in a basement who still lives w/ his mother. He'll lose interest in support and development within a year or two. Don't act like y'all do not know what I mean. A little pet-distro project from a student or hobbyist is not meant for serious day by day use. God forbid that somebody actually wipes Windows from his/her PC to install such a non-distro because we serious Linuxers discussed it in a forum.

I ain't no tester.
.

I do not wish to start a holy war on Linux distros, but I think that I have to comment on this maybe for the benefit of novice users which are less accustomed to the Linux ecosystem, if any come by and read this. Not that I am a Linux guru, but I think that living in Linux world for 15 years gave me some perspective, hopefully.

For one, I do not see why Arch and Gentoo Linux are not in the list. Anyway, I think that the dichotomy between "serious professional distros" and "guy in the basement" is false, and does not represent reality, as it always happen for black and white statements (a part for this last one, I guess).

I think there are too many distros out of there, a plethora of Ubuntu derivatives in particular, that seem pretty pointless to me as well. Many died out in the years, but I can definitely find examples of "one man distros" that managed to be long lived projects, with regular updates and a stable user-base.

One important example would be Slackware: it has been around since 1993. It is the oldest distribution to be maintained and formed the base for many other projects, also commercial projects, among which the first version of SUSELinux (maybe something to add to the list if commercial distros are to be counted).

AVLinux would be another good example of "one man distro" in the Linux audio distros subdomain which receives regular updates and has good documentation.

There are many minor distros, minor in terms of user base and development team size, that are not of the "guy in the basement" type, but attempt implementing cutting edge technology and are being developed by computer science researchers. Hence, by competent teams. One example would be NixOS. Others are developed with strong emphasis to run certain tasks, as Scientific Linux. At first sight, it might look like an out to date RedHat (another one missed in the list above, I would say, if we want to count commercial endeavors). In reality, it is a very sound option to setup and configure computing cluster systems for scientific modelling, experiment control and data post-processing. There is a reason why it is used at CERN, other than being developed by specialists at CERN and other research laboratories.

It is not that I am recommending any of the examples above, especially to novices. In fact I would recommend to novices to stay in Debian-land a solid amount of years. However, I think it is important to state that:

No, it isn't true that all distros out of that list are useless, although their scope might not be that of providing a stable system for day to day use, especially for audio. In short: know what you install and make sure it is what you need and want. No need to pick a side, or compile lists.

No, not all distros that are out of that list are developed by some random guy in a basement. Many have researchers behind and are pushing new technologies, or taking care of fulfilling a certain task.

No, not all one-man projects are useless. Many have been around for years or even decades, have regular updates and an user-base.
Check my Linux audio experiments on my SoundCloud.
Browse my AUR packages.
Fancying a swim in the pond?

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Re: Anyone used Pop!_OS ?

Postby Death » Mon May 20, 2019 12:03 am

Thanks guys. I feel a little bit schooled (in a good way) which makes me rethink things.

I said something similar to this in a earlier post, but I feel like supporting and using upstream projects like Ubuntu is generally a better idea (for various reasons) than going for any of the derivatives, unless the derivative really does something different that you require (specialist distros like KXstudio, for example) or for their ethics/goals/motivations. So I'd already had the thought that it makes sense to be using Ubuntu. But, like I said, I have some reasons why I don't like Ubuntu and that's why I used Mint.

I had a few reasons for ditching Mint. But one I didn't mention is that all I've ever known is LTS releases and never the most up to date Ubuntu base. I wanted a change so that meant I had to try something different. I wanted something similar to Ubuntu, but not Ubuntu, so there Pop OS was along with its promise to offer better hardware support out of the box. Thought it was worth a shot. If it turns to crap, I don't care, I'll just go back to Mint I guess. But again, I agree it's stupid to have so many Ubuntu derivatives around and it can really hurt the reputation of Linux. So yeh, we should probably avoid a lot of them

As for the KXstudio weird repo and audio issues I've been having, I think that's because my Ubuntu base is 19.04 which is a bit too new. So, I've removed them for now and am doing my best to set things up with Qjackctl instead of Cadence.

By the way, I'll admit, I haven't tried switching GUI's from a distros default in a long time.. years.. Maybe it all works better now. When KXstudio picks up again, maybe I'll go back to it and see if I can get Gnome running on it. I think I'll do some playing about with virtual machines for a while and see where I end up next.

And btw @Linuxmusician01 - no hard feelings! I wasn't upset by what you've said at any point and hopefully I haven't come across as a twat or anything :P I'm saying everything in high spirits, just enjoying the conversation really!

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Re: Anyone used Pop!_OS ?

Postby Linuxmusician01 » Mon May 20, 2019 11:34 am

Death wrote:[...]As for the KXstudio weird repo and audio issues I've been having, I think that's because my Ubuntu base is 19.04 which is a bit too new.

Hmmmmm. That's not good. I see that the LTS release of Ubuntu is 18.04. Which comes standard w/ Gnome by the way. Ubuntu ditched Unity in 2017 apparently. Very weird that ver. 19.04 doesn't work well w/ KXStudio...


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