System76 - Pop!_OS

A Bit Background

Over the last few months I've slowly started moving away from my iMac for dev work as its a little shabby on its RAM and i don't have the cash to fork out a few hundred quid to upgrade an old iMac.

So what to do? well i happen to have a an old machine with 16gb of RAM in it...i used to use it as a NAS but moved away from that also and its just been sat under my desk doing nothing.

A bit of Research

I'm not urgently moving away from my iMac so i had time to look about, I've used Ubuntu in the past and never had any issues with it what so ever (even back in the PS3 Days when you could install it on them).

So do i stick with ubuntu, Move to something like Fedora Core or Debian itself?

I've recently got to grips with Twitter.... never really been interested in it but seem to have taken it up more recently and started following tech groups and people. One of these groups was a Linux group and they had posted about System76 computers.


So who are they?

On their website the refer to themselves as a small business who are innovating the next big things, a group of creators, builders and makers but also extremely hard-core nerds.

The Laptops and PC's they sell are beautiful, cases and hardware is top end stuff.... BUT it comes at a high price.... a very high price in fact.

Yes, that's right for a middle of the base range PC it costs $2,700 or £1938.28 wow....

after looking around at the hardware i found most places were hundreds of pounds cheaper for better gear in some instances..... so why is it so expensive?

Things like the cases are a custom edition and are incredibly well built but as far as hardware goes..... that's about it....

The main benefit i see with System76 is not there hardware at all but there Support and the Pop!_os.


In short this is just a shell of ubuntu and commands you run on ubuntu will work on this. The install is near identical to Ubuntu via a USB drive but does feel a bit "cleaner".

The OS is geared towards creators and makers in some way shape or form, gone has all the clutter and in with the basics you need.

There application store is pretty good also, its managed by there team and is literally just one click installs for everything.

As far as i can tell from my basic usage so far the aim of the OS is to make pretty much everything accessible via the keyboard and shortcuts. when you search for applications with the "windows key + /" it will give you suggestions with shortcuts dynamically generated to open your apps.

It all seems very nice and beautifully laid out.

Whilst testing it out i managed to setup my Laravel/PHP Dev environment and it worked flawlessly. The setup took no more than 45 minutes and that included sorting Visual Studio Code out how i like it.

But... Final thought

I've used linux for many years now, and although i'm not a "pro" i can setup and build systems fairly well. The server my blog is on is my own Ubuntu server setup, I've used Fedora, Debian and RedHat in a previous place of work

I like the idea of Pop!_OS its pretty cool, but as i wouldn't be getting the support from them as i would refuse to pay the "apple price" for the hardware. it seems pointless moving away from something i have used for years.... Ubuntu.

Why fix something that doesn't need fixing? the system76 stuff feels as though they are trying to do what Apple have done which for a linux distro doesn't feel right.... The hardware is just higher priced and as far as i can tell the Laptops are just Rebranded Clevo Laptops.... but at a much smaller price....

If you don't mind the price or aint tech literate id probably suggest an macbook or iMac over the system76 stuff.

If your not happy about the pricing but like the OS.... look for a similar specced laptop online and get it £600 cheaper.... then put Pop!_OS on it....

Or stick with good old ubuntu, Im currently flashing an ubuntu drive to put onto the PC as we speak. Pop!_OS feels good... but not for me, il stick with what i know.