System76 has made Pop!_OS 22.04 LTS available to download.

The latest version of the flagship Linux distro from this US-based computer vendor is based on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS. It inherits much of that release’s foundations, including the lift to GNOME 42, but adds its own ‘Cosmic’ desktop experience and other embellishments.

In this post we detail what’s new in Pop OS 22.04, show you some screenshots of its (starry) new look, and provide a link to download Pop OS 22.04 so you can try it out for yourself (and no: you don’t need to own a System76 laptop or desktop to use it).

Pop OS 22.04: New Features

pop os 22.04 desktop screenshot
The Pop!_OS 22.04 desktop

Pop OS 22.04 retains the GNOME-based COSMIC desktop experience. This provides a tranche of (optional) tiling options, a non-full screen app launcher, a searchable quick launcher, and vertically managed workspaces. These, with the exception of minor workspaces tweaks, are as featured in previous releases.

But there are “new” things to see elsewhere.

New update schedule options are now available in the Settings > OS Upgrade & Recovery panel. Here Pop users can dial down to schedule a specific date and time for their system to handle updates to repo, Flatpak, and Nix software:

screenshot of os upgrade and recovery settings in pop os 22.04
Enjoy greater control over updates & upgrades

In a nod to Linux Mint, update notifications are now shown weekly by default. Those who want to see them sooner (or less often) can adjust the frequency. Update notifications don’t show at all if automatic updates are enabled (though this setting isn’t default).

Pop OS 22.04 also introduces a new ‘Support’ panel in the Settings app. From here, ‘Popnauts’ can get help with their system, find links to community chat, submit support tickets to System76 (only on System76 hardware, of course), and generate log files to help with troubleshooting:

screenshot of support settings and pop shop in pop os 22.04
A new support panel is included

Pop!_Shop, the distro’s default software manager, now touts an ‘improved storefront’ able to showcase recently updated apps. The client also picks up notable backend code tweaks, improves the reliability of package operations, and gains responsive design tweaks to improve its appearance during tiling.

Other changes in Pop!_OS 22.04 include an improved workspaces view with HiDPI fixes, increased performance, and ‘better multi-monitor support’; limiting the max capacity of the journald log to 1GB; and following Ubuntu and GNOME by making RDP the default for Remote Desktop usage.

Style and substance: Pop!_OS 22.04

Pop!_OS 22.04 defaults to PipeWire for audio processing. Any software designed to work with PulseAudio is compatible with PipeWire. System76 say “this change will open up the door for better audio quality, control, and customization going forward”.

A newer Linux kernel is provided than that found in Ubuntu 22.04. System76 endeavour to issue new kernel versions as software updates more frequently than Ubuntu does. At launch, Pop OS 22.04 includes Linux 5.16, but Linux 5.17 is expected to roll out in the coming months.

Finally, in a move something gamers in particular will appreciate, the “System76 Scheduler optimizes performance by directing resources to the window in focus” — nice!

Download Pop OS 22.04

screenshot of the workspace switcher in pop os 22.04
Workspace switcher in Pop OS 22.04

You can download Pop!_OS 22.04 from the System76 website. Two .iso images are provided: one for users with NVIDIA graphics hardware, and one for Intel/AMD and anything else. Make sure you download the correct one for your hardware to get the best possible experience.

Pop!_OS system requirements mandate a 64-bit processor, plus a minimum of 4GB RAM and 16GB storage.

Alternatively, it is possible to upgrade to Pop OS 22.04 from 21.10 in-place, directly, with no fresh install required. See the linked guide or refer to the System76 website for more details on how to upgrade safely.

Pop!_OS 22.04 Summary

  • New ‘Support’ section in Settings
  • More control over updates & upgrades
  • GNOME 42 + COSMIC UX
  • Linux Kernel 5.16 (at launch)
  • New System76 scheduler
  • Smoother Pop!_Shop
  • PipeWire as default audio handler
  • Improved Workspace view
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