Pop_OS website homepage (above fold) (screenshot: Eric Hepperle, 2022)

Pop!_OS: The Best Windows Alternative for Developers?

Could Pop OS really be the BEST Windows alternative for Web Developers, Coders, and Software Engineers?

Pop OS, or Pop!_OS, as it is branded, is a relatively new free operating system competitor to Windows and Mac that is targeted toward creatives (Designers) and developers. According to their website, “Pop!_OS is an operating system for STEM and creative professionals who use their computer as a tool to discover and create.

Pop OS is based on Ubuntu Linux and according to DistroWatch.com, “Pop!_OS is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution featuring a custom GNOME desktop. Pop!_OS is designed to have a minimal amount of clutter on the desktop without distractions in order to allow the user to focus on work. The distribution is developed by Linux computer retailer System76.

It looks like an interesting distro. One of my main pet peeves with Windows is that it forces updates on you at inopportune times. And even if you are quite tech-savvy, in the Home version, Microsoft has made it impossible to disable automatic updates in a safe way. In fact, there ar several articles online about how the purported “fixes” for this issue don’t work, because even when you select to not auto-update, some secondary Microsoft daemon tries to take control and override your choices.

Pop OS: Some of the software development / coding apps it comes with
Coding apps available in the Pop!_OS Pop!_Shop

As a web developer, graphic designer, author, and content creator, some of the promising features of Pop!_OS include out-of-the-box development toolkits covering areas like Deep Learning, Engineering (Software), Media Production, and Bioinformatics.

I’m hoping Pop!_OS can be my new daily driver, replacing the authoritarian Windows 10 that keeps trying to force you to move to Windows 11 and hides its source code. With Linux, all distributions are under the open-source GNU public license, so the code is available for anyone to look at or experiment with. Here are some of the programs that it needs to be able to run:

  • OBS Studio
  • Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator CS6
  • VS Code
  • NodeJS latest (18?)
  • WampServer (or Mamp, or Xamp)

I have downloaded the ISO file for my Dell G5 laptop with Nvidia graphics and look forward to creating a VirtualBox VM to test Pop!_OS on.  There is a bit of buzz and some early adopters of this distro have been disappointed that the newest version won’t release until next year. We will continue to keep an eye on this OS and see where it goes.

Date Published: 2022-11-12
Date Updated:

Eric Hepperle

Eric loves to write code, play guitar, and help businesses solve challenges with code and design.
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