Ubuntu vs Pop!_OS – What’s the Difference? (Pros and Cons)

Ubuntu vs Pop! _OS – What’s the difference? (Pros And Cons). When selecting your preferred operating system, you might find it easy to choose one from the various solid Linux distributions. However, it might be a bit confusing to compare and contrast two Linux distros of a similar nature such as Ubuntu and Pop!_OS.

You may find it interesting that Pop!_OS is actually a Ubuntu based operating system. Consequently, many people consider it to be a reskinned Ubuntu, overlooking all the features and improvements that are associated with the OS. So what exactly is the difference between the two operating systems? In this article, I will tell you about Ubuntu OS and Pop! _OS, their features, their differences, and the pros and cons of using them.

Let’s start with Ubuntu vs Pop! _OS – What’s the difference? (Pros And Cons).

What is Ubuntu?

Firstly Ubuntu is an open source, Linux based operating system developed by Canonical Ltd, which can be for both Personal Computers (PCs) and servers. It was designed to ensure development in smartphones, computers, network servers, and other such devices. It is also an easy to use OS for beginners.

Although there are different variants of Ubuntu (e.g., Ubuntu server edition, Edubuntu, Xubuntu, etc.), the default user interface is GNOME (GNU Network Object Model Environment).

Features of Ubuntu

Ubuntu Software Center

Well Ubuntu comes with the pre installed software during the initial installation. Software such as Web Browser, PDF Reader, Thunderbird, etc. However, if you wish to install more types of software, it comes with the Ubuntu software centre, which contains a wide range of software you can install on your PC.

Hardware Auto Configuration

There is already installed and configured hardware drivers, making it easy to work with connected hardware. Makes it easier to work without looking for drivers after installing the operating system and is faster to use your PC with hardware’s such as Modems, Serial ports, and Disc drives which require direct connection with your PC.

Support from Canonical

Canonical is a software company that developed Ubuntu. It helps pre install Ubuntu on hardware through its hardware enablement team. Moreover it also offers users paid technical support on Ubuntu.

Pros of Ubuntu

Low Cost

OS of  Ubuntu is free and open source. You can use it without paying and do not need to buy a license. Available and open for anyone to use and in addition, the source code is also modifiable. This is an advantage for beginners who are only trying out the OS.

Wide Device Support Range

There is a wide range of devices on which you can install and use Ubuntu such as PCs, servers, phones, IoT devices, robots and other virtual devices. Furthermore, even computers produced by companies that have their own operating system (e.g. Apple’s Mac computers) support Ubuntu operating system. 


Also Ubuntu has different options for customizing the OS to your style. Customize the icon size, desktop screen, themes, notifications, updates, look and feel of the operating system. In addition you can also customize features like your cursor size, panel settings, desktop lock, Hot corners and window snapping.

Regular Updates

In Canonical there are regular releases and updates for the OS. This ensures you are working with an updated version of the software program. In effect it also reduces the number of bugs you can come across. Also, the updates are free and appear every six months.

In built Anti Viruses

Built in antivirus that makes it immune to malware that affects your PC. As a result makes it less vulnerable to malware so that you can work freely without fear of BSODs. In return it saves you the cost of installing an antivirus. Additionally, it comes with a built in firewall to keep your pc more secure.

Cons of Ubuntu

Lack of Community Support

If any issue comes up with the operating system, you will not be able to get help from the virtual Ubuntu community quickly. It could take as long as a month or more to get a response from the community on the problems you encounter. 

Limited Applications

You will be able to install a limited number of apps on Ubuntu because it is not one of the really popular operating systems. Popular apps such as Adobe reader, Adobe Photoshop, etc., are not available on the operating system. 

Unimpressive Gaming Qualities

If you are a gamer, Ubuntu is not the best option for you since it does not have a lot of games available on the OS. Furthermore, the few games available are not impressive and are not advanced. What is more it also lacks configurations that are specifically for gaming purposes, and most video games do not run on the OS.

Hardware Compatibility

There have been reports about the incompatibility between the operating system and certain users’ hardware. This causes issues with using the system with other devices such as printers, graphic cards, etc.

MP3 Format Restriction

To use or work with mp3 format files on Ubuntu, you need to add external codes or install external applications because the OS does not run with MP3 format. However, formats such as Mp4, WAV, AAC, and others, are compatible with and accessible on the OS.

Now with Ubuntu vs Pop! _OS – What’s the difference? is time to introduce Pop!_OS

What is Pop!_OS?

Pop!_OS is a free and open source operating system created for STEM and creative professionals. Features a customized version of GNOME desktop GUI called cosmic and is designed to allow the user to work easily and without distraction. Furthermore, it was developed based on Ubuntu and is considered a modern version of the Linux based OS.

Unlike other Linux distros, System76 maintains Pop!_OS, which is not community driven. So, this operating system is mainly supported by System76, although programmers can check, modify and develop the source code.

Features of Pop!_OS

Support Panel

Additionally Pop!_OS comes with a support panel for you to easily get help when a problem occurs with your operating system. You can connect with System76 and generate log files for troubleshooting if anything happens with your PC while using the OS.

Automatic Updates

Like most Linux systems, this OS provides regular updates to ensure you are working on a current update. In addition, Pop!_OS now has a feature that makes updating easier with the ‘update and recovery‘ tab that includes the option for updates to happen manually or automatically.

File Extensions

All in all Pop!_OS comes with extensions that identify and open different file types, for example, .SVG extensions which can be used for .SVG files. These files are also used to get the best pictures. For instance, you can zoom in without compromising picture quality.

Pros of Pop!_OS

Improved Gaming Qualities

Not only it is easy to get a great gaming experience on Linux by installing Lutris, Wine, and Steam. Bu also the installation of these applications takes a long process on other OS, but with Pop! _OS, you can easily install them.

Easy Installation

The installation process for Pop! _OS is uncomplicated and quite straightforward. No additional software or configuration is needed to install it on your system since it can easily be installed with a click, thus saving a lot of time and effort that you would need to do the actual work.

Pop Shop

The Pop!_shop is in the form of an app store. From the shop, you can install applications as well as system updates. This makes updating easier than getting random notifications that you are likely to miss.

Easy to Use

Unlike other forms of Linux, Pop has applications that automate certain tasks that normally require a tech savvy person. It is built so that anyone with basic knowledge of how to use the computer can use it easily.


Faster than most operating systems. Because it is open source, many developers can easily send their code to the source code to improve the speed of the operating system and help it start up faster.

Cons of Pop! _OS

Minimize Option

It does not come with a default minimize and maximize option. However, installing Gnome tweaks may come in handy if you wish to add and use this function on the Pop operating system. The Gnome tweak apps would enable you to use the function on your PC.

Full Disk Encryption

Basically Pop! does not handle full disk encryption and custom partitions. However, for effective encryption, default partitions can help and may be used to achieve the desired result using the Pop operating system.

Limited Processor

Only a 64 bit processor available. This is a disadvantage for users who use older PCs that can only install and run on 32 bit processors, although this feature may be as a result of the modernization of the OS, however, users with old PCs have been excluded. 

Software Support

The only technical support available for Pop!_OS is provided by System76. Consequently, this limited option for tech support reduces your options, and puts you at a disadvantage which having access to community support might have prevented. 

Does Not Support Dual Booting

Another key point is that Pop!_OS does not support dual booting. Also it does not support the third or fourth OS on the same device. This limits your options if you want to operate more than one OS on your device, making it less likely to be suitable for heavy workload and dual booting.

SO Ubuntu vs Pop! _OS – What’s the difference? 

Differences between Ubuntu and Pop!_OS

Installer Interface


On one side Ubuntu allows you to configure and customize almost everything in its installer, although this increases overall installation time. Thanks to that it allows you to customize the operating system installer to your choice, without much stress.


On the other the Pop! _OS comes with much simpler and more lightweight installer and UI elements than Ubuntu. Offers simple options for customization so you can customize features on Pop OS with a simple click, saving time and reducing your workload.

Theme Configuration


You must install GNOME tweak apps in Ubuntu to configure the operating system’s theme, even if you want to go from light theme to dark. This is going to take more time, and would easily discourage a first time user who has no experience using such apps.


But Pop! _OS, on the other hand, has an option that allows you to switch easily from dark to light themes without installing or adding anything. This makes customization easier and faster. One important feature that really differentiates it from Ubuntu.

App Store


Here the Ubuntu has several preinstalled apps especially when compared to Pop! _OS. Even so, you can install more apps from the app store. The app store is available by default and has a fair number of apps available for installation. 


Although Pop!_OS comes with fewer preinstalled apps than Ubuntu, you can download more apps from the store. Pop!_shop is a lightweight app store for Pop!_OS, which also comes with the OS by default. In essence it provides a handful of packages which can be easily installed into your PC.



Usability in Ubuntu has it built in to make it easy for beginners as well as people new to using Linux. In addition, it is easy to use and is available for free to those who are just trying it out. Although not a lot of customization features are made available for the user interface, it is recommended for beginners.


Besides Pop! _OS is for Ubuntu or Linux users who need a gaming distro. Since it is an improvement from Ubuntu, it makes up for the bad gaming qualities of Ubuntu. Apart from gaming, Linux has generally appeased its users with the features of the modernized software. 

Hardware Requirements


With Ubuntu it gathers data from its users and has low system requirements. Requires a minimum of 2 GB RAM and a 2GHz dual core processor to work on your PC, and because of the Snap Apps which it comes with, it uses more space than Pop OS.


Where with Pop! _OS, on the other hand, does not gather any data from its users. However, as a requirement for PCs, you need a 2GB RAM, 20GB storage, and a 64 bit CPU at a minimum. 



Because Ubuntu comes with many unnecessary programs that degrade user experience and performance and ultimately lead to bloatware. However, the operating system provides a minimal installation option that comes with the most required programs.


As has been noted with PoP!_OS, on the other hand, has fewer pre-installed programs. Therefore, there is no bloatware in the OS. The operating system also comes with its own official Personal Package Archive (PPA) with all apps that you can install using the APT command. In addition, Flatpak packages are available in the PoP!_OS Shop.

Thank you for reading Ubuntu vs Pop! _OS – What’s the difference? (Pros And Cons).

Ubuntu vs Pop!_OS - What's the Difference ? (Pros and Cons) Conclusion

Linux distributions

Summing up both Ubuntu and Pop!_OS are both open source Linux distributions with Pop!_OS being a modern version of Ubuntu. The two operating systems are not that different from one another except for a few specifications and features. Therefore, the one that will benefit your project more depends on your needs and the requirements for that particular project. Remember Pop!_OS is your best option if you are a gamer. However, if you’re not a gamer and you have a budget, Ubuntu is also a great OS.

Take a look at more Ubuntu content here

Avatar for Kamso Oguejiofor
Kamso Oguejiofor

Kamso is a mechanical engineer and writer with a strong interest in anything related to technology. He has over 2 years of experience writing on topics like cyber security, network security, and information security. When he’s not studying or writing, he likes to play basketball, work out, and binge watch anime and drama series.

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