Pop!_OS Review: Optimized Ubuntu for Creative Professionals

Popos Review Featured Image

Pop!_OS is an Ubuntu spinoff that is optimized to ensure that users enjoy an efficient and fluid workflow. Pop!_OS 20.04 LTS was released shortly after Ubuntu 20.04 and offers features such as tiling, which organizes open windows to maximize screen space and to ensure that your workflow is optimal.

Pop!_OS 20.04 LTS Overview

Pop!_OS is marketed as being geared toward STEM users and creative professionals. It does this with a number of tweaks that let you navigate your workspace very quickly. These include window auto-tiling and the implementation of many handy shortcuts. Note there are separate images available for users who use NVIDIA graphics cards and users who have Intel/AMD graphics.


You don’t need to do anything complicated during the installation of this operating system. You will notice, however, that you are given the option of encrypting your hard drive during the installation process. This is a great measure from a security standpoint. It was thoughtful of the Pop!_OS developers, System76, to include this with the OS.

Popos Review Encryption Option

Automatic Window Tiling

Popos Review Automatic Window Tiling Settings

While you can certainly resize your windows manually, having this done automatically is more efficient. If you activate automatic window tiling in Pop!_OS, your windows will automatically resize and arrange themselves neatly in the space available on your screen.

Popos Review Automatic Window Tiling

If you have the “Show Active Hint” option selected, you will be shown which of your windows is active. It will have an orange outline. There are several useful shortcuts you can use to streamline your work, too.

Popos Review Automatic Window Tiling Shortcuts

For example, Super + Enter will let you enter adjustment mode, and Super + Shift + Up will move the current window up one workspace.

Popos Review Automatic Window Tiling Shortcuts

Extensions App

Pop!_OS uses the GNOME desktop environment. There are lots of different tweaks that are available for GNOME. Usually, you would have to manage these tweaks manually or with the GNOME tweak tool. However, Pop!_OS comes with an Extensions manager which lets you handle your extensions.

Popos Review Extensions App

Application Switcher and Launcher

The application switcher launcher that comes with this operating system is simple but effective. It shows you all of your open apps and also lets you search for apps and launch them.

Popos Review Application Switcher

Improved Graphics Support

Pop!_OS 20.04 has improved graphics options. If you want to conserve system resources, you can choose not to run apps with your dedicated graphics card. You also have the choice of launching applications using your dedicated graphics card. You can also choose to toggle between battery-saving and high-powered graphics. Having the option to turn down your graphics is great, especially for those using the OS on laptops while on the go.

Automatic Firmware Updates

Pop!-OS 20.04 also lets you update your device’s firmware automatically. This is important, since running the latest firmware usually means you get all of the latest bug fixes, performance bumps, and security fixes. This feature ensures that you are running a well-oiled machine.

Flatpak Package Management Support

Flatpak is a universal packaging format. It can run on any version of Linux and is similar to a solution like Snap. With Flatpak support, you will have access to more packages from directly within the Pop!_Shop. Some applications will allow you to install applications packaged with the .DEB format or with Flatpak.

Final Thoughts

Pop!_OS 20.04 is a beautiful operating system. It allows you to optimize your workflow with automatic window tiling and has lots of other neat features such as a handy extensions app, an effective application launcher and switcher, and Flatpack package management support. If you choose to install this OS, you will also appreciate the automatic firmware updates and improved graphics support.

Admittedly, you may have to spend some time getting used to the automatic window tiling feature. It is quite useful when you do, however. Optimizing the space that windows take up on your screen is something you may overlook, but it saves you from having to constantly drag around windows.

Overall, this distribution strikes me as one which can help a busy professional manage all of their various tasks efficiently. If you are keen to use the Unity desktop instead of Gnome on Ubuntu, you should also check out UMix.

William Elcock
William Elcock

William has been fiddling with tech for as long as he remembers. This naturally transitioned into helping friends with their tech problems and then into tech blogging.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox