This morning I turned my PC on to start my day with a cup of coffee in hand to find a notification from my OS (Pop!_OS). The notification was of course for the update to version 19.10.
The update info stated that I could keep all file and applications and do an upgrade. As a long time Windows user the idea of this scared me, as I have had some horrible experiences in this area with Windows breaking and causing me to loose many hours of work time to resolve problems as a result of bad updates.
The problem of lost hours due to bad updates from Microsoft was a big reason for me to switch to Linux on my main PC in the first place. I decided to give it a go however as this would be my first time experiencing a major update on Linux as an upgrade as appose to a clean install.
Everything went smooth as butter, the upgrade only took a few minutes and with no hours lost to things breaking! On top of that the update looks really nice. The expanded dark mode looks beautiful and I am digging the eye candy.
Pop!_OS 19.10 updates
- A new Dark Mode for Pop!_OS is available in the operating system’s Appearance Settings. Both the Light and Dark modes feature higher contrast colors using a neutral color palette that’s easy on the eyes.
- The functionality of Dark Mode has been expanded to include the shell, providing a more consistently dark aesthetic across your desktop. If you’re using the User Themes extension to set the shell theme, disable it to use the new integrated Light and Dark mode switcher.
- The default theme on Pop!_OS has been rebuilt based on Adwaita. Though users may only notice a slight difference in their widgets, the new OS theme provides significant measures to prevent application themes from experiencing UI breakage. This breakage manifests in the application as missing or misaligned text, broken widgets, and scaling errors, and should not occur with the new theme in place.
- The updated theme includes a new set of modernized sound effects. Users will now hear a sound effect when plugging and unplugging a USB or charging cable. The sound effect for adjusting the volume has been removed.
Tensorman is a new tool that we’ve developed to serve as a toolchain manager for Tensorflow, using the official Docker builds of Tensorflow. For example, executing a python script inside of a Tensorflow Docker container with CUDA GPU and Python 3 support will now be as simple as running:
tensorman run –gpu python – ./script.py
Tensorman allows users to define a default version of Tensorflow user-wide, project-wide, and per run. This will enable all releases of Pop!_OS to gain equal support for all versions of Tensorflow, including pre-releases, without needing to install Tensorflow or the CUDA SDK in the system. Likewise, new releases of Tensorflow upstream will be made immediately available to install with Tensorman.
Examples of how to use Tensorman are in the tool’s support page. Tensorman is now available on Pop!_OS 19.10, and will be coming to Pop!_OS 18.04 LTS soon.
To install Tensorman, enter this command into the Terminal:
sudo apt install tensorman
Additional Improvements GNOME 3.34
- A redesigned Background panel landed in the Appearance settings. Now when you select a background, you will see a preview of it under the desktop panel and lock screen. Custom backgrounds can now be added via the Add Picture… button.
- Performance improvements bring smoother animations and a more responsive desktop experience.
- Icons in the application overview can be grouped together into folders. To do this, drag an icon on top of another to create a group. Removing all icons from a group will automatically remove the group, too. This makes organizing applications much easier and keeps the application overview clutter-free.
- The visual style for the Activities overview was refined as well, including the search entry field, the login password field, and the border that highlights windows. All these changes give the GNOME desktop an improved overall experience.
- Some animations in the Activities overview have been refactored, resulting in faster icon loading and caching.
- The Terminal application now supports right-to-left and bi-directional languages.
- The Files application now warns users when attempting to paste a file into a read-only folder.
- Search settings for the Activities overview can now be reordered in the Settings application by dragging them in the settings list. The Night Light section has been moved to the Display panel.
New Upgrade Process
Offline upgrades are now live on Pop!_OS 19.04, bringing faster, more reliable upgrades. When an upgrade becomes available, it is downloaded to your computer. Then, when you decide to upgrade to the newest version of your OS, the upgrade will overwrite the current version of your software. However, this is not to be confused with an automatic update; your OS will remain on the current version until you yourself decide to upgrade.
To upgrade to 19.10 from a fully updated version of Pop!_OS 19.04, open the Settings application and scroll down on the sidebar menu to the Details tab. In the About panel of the Details tab, you will see a button to download the upgrade. Once the download is complete, hit the button again to upgrade your OS. This will be the standard method of upgrading between Pop!_OS releases going forward.
Alternatively, a notification will appear when your system is ready to upgrade. This notification appears on your next login on your fully updated version of Pop!_OS 19.10. Clicking it will take you to the About panel in the Settings application.
Pop!_OS Upgrade Experience
The update has made my PC feel snappier and more responsive. The updated UI looks really great in my opinion and I am no longer fearful of major updates on Pop!_OS at least. I think Microsoft could learn a thing or two from this process.
If you are using Pop!_OS give the update a try and check it out for yourself. If you haven’t tried Pop!_OS yet and are looking for a new distro to take for a spin, you should consider checking it out, it’s a great OS from System76.
Pop!_OS update 19.10 has arrived with an expanded dark mode, an updated theme performance improvements and much more.