• Pop!_Planet is still very much under development. Data for the wiki is being sourced from the Arch Linux and Ubuntu wikis, along with a bunch of completely unique content specific to Pop!_OS, and sourcing, converting and updating that content takes time; please be patient. If you can't find what you're looking for here, check the Arch Linux and Ubuntu wikis.
  • Welcome!

    I'll get straight to the point.

    When I started Pop!_Planet, I launched it because I saw a need for a centralized community for Pop!_OS. To be frank, I never expected the level of popularity it has achieved. Over the last year, we have gone from under 50 users, to almost 400 users. That's awesome! However... it also comes with a downside. We are rapidly running out of disk space on our server, and the bandwidth costs go up every month.

    Pop!_Planet is not affiliated with System76 in any way, and is funded completely out of pocket. From day one, I said that I'd never use on-site ads (I hate them as much as you do), so the only monetization we get is through donations. Right now, the donations we receive don't even cover our overhead.

    I know that most users will ignore this message, and that's ok. However, if even a few of our users are willing and able to donate a few dollars to help offset our expenses, it would be greatly appreciated.

    Support Pop!_Planet

    Thank you for your time,

    Dan Griffiths
    Pop!_Planet Founder

System76/Pop Vs. Mac


New member
Sep 16, 2020
Apologies if this has been done to death.

For my next machine I'm going to go desktop (first non-laptop in ~15 years), and I'm weighing an iMac vs. System76 machine.

I've run Macs for 15 years. I'm a professional developer, and will be using the machine for personal development and the other typical stuff (surfing, writing, light gaming).

I have recent experience with Ubuntu on a Dell laptop. I had no major issues with it. For the most part, everything worked as expected. Intellij IDEs as well as VS Code ran perfectly, as expected (and as on OS X).

I can get around OS X and Linux equally well.

The S76 platform has a clear advantage from the cost/performance standpoint. I see no downsides. But, before I plunk down well over $3K for a powerful machine, I thought I'd see if there's a pioneer ahead of me who'd pull me away from the cliff. Anybody?


Aug 24, 2019
Beaverton, OR
I'm writing this on a mid-2012 MBPr and I've got Linux desktops and servers as well so I can understand the ability to use either OS. In fact, my wife just called and instead of running to find my phone I just picked up the call on my MBP (video too if desired). That is hard to beat with Linux.

If you buy an iMac you know what to expect with OSX (MacOS?), but you do pay a premium and this is a interesting time to be buying a Mac with the Intel to ARM switch over about to begin. In my mind they are a glorified laptop with a large screen stuck to the front of them, but I wouldn't hesitate to pick one for a casual user workstation or for the typical consumer.

The Thelio isn't anything special except for the case. It is beautifully designed and has that nice backplane for 2.5" SATA drives and fans. But it has one fatal flaw - they borrowed from Apple's play book and put form over function. The I/O shield (that no one ever sees) is cut into the case and thus the case and motherboard are forever locked to each other. If the existing motherboard dies you must find the exact same motherboard, or at least one with the exact same I/O placement. A decade from now when you can't put modern components into the case it becomes scrap.

So why not build your own Thelio compatible desktop? Thelio uses a Gigabyte motherboard (Gigabyte B450 I AORUS Pro WiFI for AMD and Gigabyte H370N WiFi for Intel). Pick your own power supply, CPU, CPU cooler, RAM, storage, and graphics and you're done. Sure, it's easy to select the boxes to configure the system, type in payment info, and $3k later you've got a system ready to use. But consider this; I recently purchased a 1TB Samsung 970 EVO M22 drive for $170. To upgrade a Thelio to that drive is currently $270 ($299 normally). To bump up to the Ryzen 9 3900X is a $589 upgrade versus $430 if you were to buy it yourself. So even if you want a Thelio and its case you are far better off buying the base system and then replacing the CPU, RAM, storage, and graphics. But by the time you've done that you could have just built it that way from the beginning but using a case that will still be relevant in 5 or 10 years hence. To be fair, the iMac is a disposable appliance as well and has massively overpriced upgrades. The Thelio does compare favorable to Apple in those regards.

I'm not against System76 and the Thelio, I just think that if you can build your own system then they have little to offer you. Go to YouTube and search for "Thelio" and watch the video "A REALLY weird PC!" by Linus Tech Tips to see what I mean (especially his comment at 0:31).


New member
Sep 16, 2020
"The Thelio isn't anything special" - but, they test (and write!) the OS with the hardware, which makes them special, right?

"So why not build your own Thelio compatible desktop?" Cause I don't have the time. :) That's the only reason.

My Thelio machine is being built now.

Thanks for chiming in - I very much appreciate it.

I spent a bundle on this box and really hope it delivers.

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