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Pop!_OS from Linux hardware vendor System76 is set to get a massive upgrade when Pop!_OS 21.04 releases, as they've announced COSMIC - their very own desktop environment.

"We’re providing a honed desktop user experience in Pop!_OS through our GNOME-based desktop environment: COSMIC. It’s a refined solution that makes the desktop easier to use, yet more powerful and efficient for our users through customization. The new designs are developed from extensive testing and user feedback since the Pop!_OS 20.04 release, and are currently being further refined in their testing phase."

Check out their animated mock-up (Credit - System76):

Much like Ubuntu do with their own adjustments to GNOME to add a proper dock, System76 will be adding one for COSMIC too. They say it will be adjustable to be available wherever you want it - be it at the bottom, the left or the right of your screen and you can have it stretch across if you want it to and auto-hide too. Traditional minimizing to the dock will also be a thing, which GNOME also lacks out of the box.

It will have the Activities Overview you get split into two special views of Workspaces and Applications. They say that "the Workspaces view will allow you to view your open windows and workspaces, while the Applications view will open an application picker". Why did they go with this design? The reason is simple according to the blog post as they "found that even GNOME veterans have a tendency to pause in their task after opening the Activities Overview" and that this split view allows "you to access the application picker in a single click, while the cleaner UI design prevents visual distraction".

Much like Pop already does, the team is focusing on letting users decide how to use it. There will be all the bells and whistles for both mouse-driven and keyboard-driven users. According to System76 CEO, Carl Richell, COSMIC will be based upon GNOME 3.38 for the 21.04 release then 40 for 21.10 (Twitter).

Since this is a big change, it's also going to delay the release of Pop!_OS 21.04 to June 2021 instead of April. Find out more in their blog post. Those interested in code can see it already on GitHub.

Very much looking forward to giving COSMIC a go when Pop!_OS 21.04 releases.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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riusma 13 Apr, 2021
Quoting: KohlyKohlThey should just switch to KDE and provide their own theme...

K-Pop!_OS ?
randyl 13 Apr, 2021
Quoting: dpanterI wish them luck, but my reaction was also along the lines of another one?!
I kind of get where you're coming from, but this seems different to me. For one thing I don't feel like I really have a lot of choice when it comes to Gnome 3. And I don't know how to say this without insulting other DEs, but to me only Gnome and KDE are robust enough to even consider.

I love Fedora but have come to loathe Gnome. I like a lot about what it could offer, but the team and their decisions and need to control their users experience drive me bonkers. I want Gnome to look and behave how I want it to not how they, the Gnome team, want me to. I finally gave up on them because nearly every Gnome update broke Dash to Panel, the extension that let me make my DE look and feel how I like.

This is a great development for System 76 users in my opinion. It doesn't solve the Gnome control freak issue for anyone else, but it's good for S76.

I've been waiting for KDE to actually work well with Nvidia, and it's coming along, if not very slowly. Fortunately at work we don't even use desktop environments for the servers. We remote in. I know I could roll Arch and not have to deal with any DE, but I don't want to put that amount of effort into building and maintaining my desktop.
Xpander 13 Apr, 2021
More choice is always better!
Default Gnome is just awful imo (You don't have to agree ofc)
slaapliedje 13 Apr, 2021
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Quoting: riusma
Quoting: KohlyKohlThey should just switch to KDE and provide their own theme...

K-Pop!_OS ?
Not that I like KDE. But this cracks me up.

Curious... why do people like Docks? Personally I use the default Gnome setup because I like that it isn't constantly on my screen by default. I come from a long line of systems that didn't have task bars, and quit frankly like it that way. Windows 95-XP had a nice minimanlistic one that didn't take up extra vertical space. Gnome 2 was odd because they had the smaller panels, but were top/bottom. The gnome dock being off to the left and set to autohide makes so much more sense to me.

1) it is closer to the activities hot corner. So in one fluid movement I can fling the .ouse to the upper left, then straight down to the dock to launch something without touching the keyboard. Or if I want to only use keyboard, meta key, then type, maybe some arrows, and enter. Boom launched application.
2) with the dock moved to the bottom of the screen (in both gnome 40 and Cosmic), you would have to go up, then down (assuming auto-hide is on, which for me it would be...)
3) now that screens are more commonly wide, ultrawide and super ultrawide... having a goant dock at the bittom with grey space around it looks REALLY hideous...
slaapliedje 13 Apr, 2021
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Quoting: randyl
Quoting: dpanterI wish them luck, but my reaction was also along the lines of another one?!
I kind of get where you're coming from, but this seems different to me. For one thing I don't feel like I really have a lot of choice when it comes to Gnome 3. And I don't know how to say this without insulting other DEs, but to me only Gnome and KDE are robust enough to even consider.

I love Fedora but have come to loathe Gnome. I like a lot about what it could offer, but the team and their decisions and need to control their users experience drive me bonkers. I want Gnome to look and behave how I want it to not how they, the Gnome team, want me to. I finally gave up on them because nearly every Gnome update broke Dash to Panel, the extension that let me make my DE look and feel how I like.

This is a great development for System 76 users in my opinion. It doesn't solve the Gnome control freak issue for anyone else, but it's good for S76.

I've been waiting for KDE to actually work well with Nvidia, and it's coming along, if not very slowly. Fortunately at work we don't even use desktop environments for the servers. We remote in. I know I could roll Arch and not have to deal with any DE, but I don't want to put that amount of effort into building and maintaining my desktop.
I'd suggest Debian and pulling in one of the many desktop systems in there. Then just keep a backup of your configs so you can move it around. Easy! I may go back to wmaker. :p
Cioranix 13 Apr, 2021
Quoting: vipor29no what linux needs is options.you get stuck with one option then it gets boring.i like the fact there is options for different environments.

There are already enough options out there. Too much already in my opinion, because we have more desktop environments than existing use-cases.

One can only imagine how incredibly polished and beautiful Linux would be today if it had been limited to a handful of Linux distributions and desktop environments.

Gnome was designed in such a way that you can customize it with extensions. Gnome needs stable extensions, maintained by people that know what they are doing. This was the way to go. Instead we will now have a future with more unstable extensions, broken icon-sets/gtk-themes, and more work for package maintainers as well.
Lofty 13 Apr, 2021
Quoting: randylFor one thing I don't feel like I really have a lot of choice when it comes to Gnome 3. And I don't know how to say this without insulting other DEs, but to me only Gnome and KDE are robust enough to even consider.

I love Fedora but have come to loathe Gnome. I like a lot about what it could offer, but the team and their decisions and need to control their users experience drive me bonkers. I want Gnome to look and behave how I want it to not how they, the Gnome team, want me to. I finally gave up on them because nearly every Gnome update broke Dash to Panel, the extension that let me make my DE look and feel how I like. This is a great development for System 76 users in my opinion. It doesn't solve the Gnome control freak issue for anyone else, but it's good for S76.
I've been waiting for KDE to actually work well with Nvidia, and it's coming along, if not very slowly. Fortunately at work we don't even use desktop environments for the servers. We remote in. I know I could roll Arch and not have to deal with any DE, but I don't want to put that amount of effort into building and maintaining my desktop.

If they are so robust then why (in your words) aren't your preferred choices ready for you to use in the way that you like ?

QuoteRobust definition: strong; able to survive being used a lot and not likely to break / synonym sturdy

Is XFCE not sturdy ? MATE is that not sturdy ? they seem quite so. LXQT .. that's a lightweight QT environment and it feels pretty sturdy (what about i3 / Awesome, BSPWM). And cinnamon desktop, well seen as it is default with the much used Linux Mint id say it's pretty sturdy and robust.

Im Not trying to get into a desktop environment war as (that would be dumb) everyone should use what suits them, but the two DE's you mention being the only robust options for yourself are the two in which most people would historically claim are the least robust.

I think it's fair to say that every DE has it's bugs, 'features' and occasional instability. No DE is perfect.


Last edited by Lofty on 13 April 2021 at 9:34 pm UTC
mmstick 13 Apr, 2021
Quoting: sprocketAs someone that is happy with Gnome 40 on Fedora 34, I question the wisdom of yet another Gnome fork.

Good for them and I hope their user base will be happy. But i feel this will just cause needless fragmentation.

It's not a fork. We have always had a customized GNOME session that differs from the default GNOME configuration.

Quoting: DorritYeah, what Linux needs is yet another desktop environment.

This is GNOME. It's not another desktop environment. It's a large improvement to our existing GNOME session experience.


Last edited by mmstick on 13 April 2021 at 9:51 pm UTC
wvstolzing 13 Apr, 2021
Quoting: CioranixGnome needs stable extensions, maintained by people that know what they are doing. This was the way to go. Instead we will now have a future with more unstable extensions, broken icon-sets/gtk-themes, and more work for package maintainers as well.

'Hyperextensibility' (as the neovim folks call it) with easy to use, well documented, stable apis, is really what people building on GNOME/GTK should strive for, not 'customizability'.

GNOME/GTK already has the technologies -- the GObject model, with bindings for every major language, which would allow end users to extend apps in whatever way they like, provided that the base version exposes a good range of functions, events, signals, whatever. It then becomes a moot issue as to whether Nautilus has an info bar or split panes in the base version -- someone with modest Python skills could provide that as an extension to the community easily, IF Nautilus were to expose more than bare bones 'MenuProvider' & 'ColumnProvider' objects for the extension to 'talk to'.

I strongly believe that what hinders GNOME developers from exposing more of the base apps like this, & document them, is the lack of manpower. *That* is where the resources of a company like System76 can be helpful.
Joeg1484 13 Apr, 2021
Quoting: KohlyKohlThey should just switch to KDE and provide their own theme...

I was thinking the same thing!
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