System 76 has made the beta version of the Ubuntu variant available for users unafraid of bugs to try out the latest version of Pop!_OS.
Pop!_OS, a custom version of Ubuntu developed by Linux preinstalled PC maker System 76, has made beta images of the upcoming 22.04 version of the Linux distribution available. However, it’s only intended for users undaunted by the bugs that will inevitably be present.
What’s New in 22.04 LTS?
The developers have made beta images available on the Pop!_OS GitHub page, though they warn that this release is a beta and that users should therefore expect bugs. For impatient users eager to get a taste of the upcoming release, there are two versions, one that supports AMD and Intel graphics adapters, and another with proprietary NVIDIA drivers for System 76-built PCs.
The developers made an official announcement on their Twitter feed:
The announcement comes after another Ubuntu variant, Ubuntu MATE, announced its own beta 22.04 release.
The biggest change from the last version is the presence of newer user interface elements. The new version uses a customized version of GNOME 42, itself a new release. Under the hood, it also uses version 5.16 of the Linux kernel. This is one small increment higher than the mainline Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, which uses version 5.15. Since both of these distributions are still in beta, the composition of the software might change in the final release.
System 76 has heavily modified the GNOME desktop to appeal to creative professionals and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) workers. Their changes have focused on tiling windows automatically to maximize the efficiency of screen real estate.
As System 76 also manufactures its line of preinstalled Linux machines, the device drivers have also been tailored to the company’s machines. The company stresses that Pop!_OS will run on any PC, not just their own.
At first glance, the user interface doesn’t appear to have radically changed from previous versions despite the newer software.
The “LTS” part of the name means that with this release users will be able to get support for up to five years from its release date in contrast to standard releases that only offer six months of support. This makes the former better suited to enterprise users and those concerned with stability.
When Will Users See the Pop!_OS 22.04 Release?
As for when regular users will be able to get their hands on the latest Pop!_OS release, it will likely depend on when the mainline Ubuntu release finishes up. The release naming conventions follow the parent Ubuntu version naming of the year and the month.
The regular Ubuntu 22.04 LTS is anticipated to launch in April 2022, and System 76 will take some more time polishing its release based on what ends up in the upstream Ubuntu release.
An Alternative to Stock Ubuntu
Despite being a relative newcomer, Pop!_OS has won a following in the Linux world for its ease of use. When the final 22.04 LTS release finally appears, it looks like it should please the Linux distribution’s user base as much as the previous releases.