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Pop! _OS 19.04 released, upgrade and expectations

A (very) short history

Pop!_OS 19.04 is the latest release of a great Linux distribution provided by System76. I'm using it on my old ThinkPad laptop (T420,i5 CPU,6GB RAM, 240GB SSD) since the version 17.10 when I decided to give it a try.

I must admit, I'm not a fan of "based on" distro's and I like thinks to be clear and stable, like Windows by Microsoft, MacOS by Apple and Ubuntu by Canonical. This kind of approach give me a hight level of confidence in using an OS. However, even being based on Ubuntu, Pop!_OS by System76 gave me the same level of confidence.
I needed a working, free, fast and stable OS, that look's and feel modern and round, with lot of available software, for my daily usage. This OS was Ubuntu 16.04 by Canonical and I have use it until they have decided to drop support for Unity and switch to Gnome as their Desktop Environment. And this is the moment when I have discovered the Pop!_OS and I'm glad I have it.

Upgrading Pop!_OS from 18.10 to 19.04

The upgrade process is straightforward and even if Pop!_OS doesn't provide yet an announced GUI interface for that, the whole process can be done using few shell commands.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install pop-desktop
sudo apt full-upgrade

That's it, just answer a few questions after running the do-release-upgrade command, wait for the process to finish and then restart the computer.

What should you expect from Pop!_OS 19.04

Being based on Ubuntu, all the goodies from Ubuntu 19.04 will be inherited, most important being Kernel 5.x series (New hardware support, significant power-savings improvements, etc) and Gnome 3.32 (Numerous performance improvements. Gnome should feel now faster and more responsive).

- Slim Mode/Dark Mode - an option added to the Appearance applet that allows Slim Mode (slim windows headers) and Dark Mode theme to be toggled on/off. Personally I'm not using this modes, I like the standard look of Pop!_OS and for some applications where I really need a slim header, eg Firefox/Chromium/Thunderbird, I'm do it within the applications
- Icon changes: I don't like this as I got used with the flat custom set of previously used icons (Papirus); now they have moved to a set of icons focused on Gnome design standards and have removed the custom icons for third party applications; this is also valid for top bar applications where all icons used to be grey, eg MegaSync icon (from the top bar) is red now, too red for an icon that sits on the top bar :)
- some after upgrade problems: maybe is just my case (have done the upgrade only by using the do-release-upgrade command) but I have encountered issues with Gnome Extensions just after the upgrade; have solved all of them by one line disable/enable all extensions, and some of them by reinstall and some by rebuild; anyway it is better to check first if there are updates available (
- battery life issues?: not sure if it is the kernel, the tlp daemon or my battery but the time spend on battery seems to be decresed to half; it's the second time I have this issue in a month, first time I have solved the problem by recalibrating the battery (sudo tlp recalibrate)


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