System76 quietly released today their latest Pop!_OS Linux 22.04 distribution based on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS as a tech preview for Raspberry Pi 4 devices, and it’s now available for download for early adopters.
Pop!_OS Linux 22.04 LTS was released in late April 2022, shortly after the release of Ubuntu 22.04 LTS (Jammy Jellyfish), on which System76’s in-house built GNU/Linux distribution is based, but featuring a GNOME-based desktop environment called COSMIC.
While it inherits the base packages of Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, Pop!_OS Linux 22.04 LTS ships with Linux kernel 5.16 instead of the long-term supported Linux 5.15 LTS kernel series used upstream, as well as a new System76 Scheduler that optimizes the performance of the distribution by directing resources to the window in focus for a much smoother experience.
Other new features in Pop!_OS Linux 22.04 LTS include PipeWire as the default audio processing system, support for scheduling automatic updates for Debian, Flatpak, and Nix packages in the “OS Upgrade & Recovery” panel in Settings, an improved Pop!_Shop software manager, the ability to set Dark Mode and Light Mode backgrounds from the Background panel in the Desktop settings, and a new Support panel for quick access to various troubleshooting resources from System76.
Until now, Pop!_OS Linux 22.04 LTS was available for download only for 64-bit AMD/Intel or NVIDIA systems, but as of today you can also download the Ubuntu-based distribution for Raspberry Pi 4 boards from the official website.
The Raspberry Pi flavor is called Pop!_Pi and it’s only supported on Raspberry Pi 4 SBCs with 2GB of RAM or more, as well as on Raspberry Pi 400 computers. However, System76 told me that the Raspberry Pi version of Pop!_OS Linux 22.04 LTS doesn’t come with the “LTS”, which means that it’s not supported for as long as the PC version.
I took Pop!_OS Linux 22.04 for a test drive on my Raspberry Pi 4 board with 8GB RAM and I can tell you that things work well, but since this is a tech preview I should warn you that there might be some glitches, especially when attempting to update your installation, so refrain from updating it at the moment.
Compared to last year’s Pop!_Pi 21.10 release, which was the first Pop!_OS Linux port for Raspberry Pi devices, the Pop!_OS Linux 22.04 for Raspberry Pi 4 release uses the newer Linux 5.15 LTS kernel series, so you should be able to enjoy better and smoother performance.
Linux kernel 5.15 LTS also comes with better hardware support, especially native read and write support for NTFS drives, which means that you will now be able to connect a drive formatted with the NTFS file system to your Raspberry Pi and enjoy an out-of-the-box experience without needing third-party drivers