Why we switched to Pop!_OS and why we think it is ideal for data scientists

We’ve switched to Pop!_OS from Ubuntu after 15 years. On the one hand, it is not a big deal since POP_OS! is a Ubuntu-derived Linux distro, on the other hand we’ve fallen in love with its modern user interface and its ease of use. As an added bonus, installing machine learning goodies on Pop!_OS is a piece of cake!

Pop!_OS is a free and open-source Linux distribution, based upon Ubuntu, and featuring a GTK-based desktop environment known as COSMIC, which is based on GNOME. The distribution is developed by American Linux computer manufacturer System76. Pop!_OS is primarily built to be bundled with the computers built by System76, but can also be downloaded and installed on most computers.

Wikipedia

Pop!_OS has been on our radar for almost two years, but we just didn’t find time to install it and play with it. Thanks to our kids, one of our machines got broken and we had to reinstall everything from scratch so we have a reason to give a try to Pop!_OS. Just like any modern Linux distros, it can be installed using a bootable USB stick.

Pop!_OS added lots of goodies to Ubuntu! E.g. if you have a GPU, you can choose an install image which contains NVIDIA drivers. We had troubles with setting up CUDA and other tools in the past, so we really appreciate that the basic setup is done automatically during install. CUDNN can be installed with a single command; sudo apt install system76-cudnn-11.2

We’ve fallen in love with the user interface for first sight! The application launcher and the Applications menu are nice goodies, the Pop!_Shop provides lots of open source and free software to install with one click.

The automatic tiling manager is a must-have! If you are constantly switching between apps, you will love it!

To sum it up, Pop!_OS is Ubuntu on steroids! We can easily install our technology stack on it (e.g. Python, PyCharm, Julia, VS Code, Inkscape, Blender, QGIS) and its aesthetic design and user friendliness makes our days better. You don’t have to fight with Linux, you can just relax and enjoy it and you can focus on your data science tasks.

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