System76 releases Ubuntu-based Pop!_OS 18.10 Linux distribution

System76 is making huge moves lately. The company used to just sell re-branded computers running Ubuntu, and while there was nothing wrong with that, it has much more lofty goals. You see, it released its own Ubuntu-based operating system called "Pop!_OS," and now, it is preparing to release its own self-designed and built open source computers. In other words, much like Apple, System76 is maintaining both the software and hardware aspects of the customer experience.

While its new hardware is not yet available, the latest version of its operating system is. Following the release of Ubuntu 18.10, Pop!_OS 18.10 is now available for download. While it is based on Ubuntu, it is not merely Canonical's operating system with System76 branding and artwork. Actually, there are some significant customizations that make Pop!_OS its own.

ALSO READ: You can pre-order System76's Linux-powered open source 'Thelio' computer next month

System76 shares the following significant Pop!_OS 18.10 changes.

New kernel, graphic stack, and GNOME desktop environment for Pop!_18.10

  • 18.10 will have lots of updated packages from upstream Ubuntu that 18.04 won’t get
  • Theme changes and visual tweaks to widgets give your favorite OS some extra Pop!

Pop!_Shop

  • Application previews now load faster.
  • Improvements to the UI to prevent it from freezing, like a down jacket sewn from phoenix feathers.
  • Oh, and before we forget, there’s also some resolutions for outstanding memory leaks.

CUDA and TensorFlow

We keep CUDA and TensorFlow up to date and easy to use. Now, you can take CUDA + cuDNN + TensorFlow installation from 100 lines of code to a single command. To install the latest Tensorflow with the CUDA Toolkit, please run the command:

sudo apt install tensorflow-cuda-latest

Distinst/Installer

  • A large number of bug fixes have been applied to distinst and installer since 18.04.
  • Distinst is currently being split apart into multiple Rust crates.

System76 Power

  • Improved CLI utility with new subcommands and arguments.
  • A new “–experimental” flag was added to the daemon to enable additional power-saving features.

Debian Repository Builder

  • Pop! now hosts its own repos built from our new open source tool.
  • Fetches, builds, and generates APT repos from a TOML config.
  • The debrep tool is also being split apart into multiple crates.

ALSO READ: Snaps for Linux are a massive success

Keep in mind, Pop!_OS is not just for System76 hardware. For the most part, all hardware that can run Ubuntu can also run Pop!_OS. If you want to give the operating system a try -- and I suggest you do -- an ISO can be had here. If you are already running Pop!_OS, you can upgrade with the following terminal commands. Keep in mind, however, version 18.10 is not LTS as 18.04 is. If you value long term support, you may want to sit tight.

sudo apt update
sudo apt full-upgrade
sudo sed -i s/Prompt=lts/Prompt=normal/ /etc/update-manager/release-upgrades
do-release-upgrade

Image Credit: Bobboz / Shutterstock

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