Installing and Setting Up Pop OS 19.10

Installing Pop OS is fairly straight forward and easy. I didn’t notice any differences between 19.10 and previous versions. I have installed this on an Asus and System 76 Oryx Pro, which is my main laptop. Asus setup was also easy; although, the Asus required some more work to get gaming running smooth but even out of the box most Steam content just worked. I do not have any ATI cards so I cannot comment on that hardware. You should have similar experiences in Ubuntu and other Ubuntu derivatives.

I will go through some apps that I think add value to the experience and some settings to get some hardware to work. Pop! Shop icon if you are unfamiliar:

popshop

Hardware

After install I only needed to do a couple of things to get my hardware going. One being a couple of HP printers, which do not scan without installing a plugin from HP. I have a LaserJet 200 Color MFP m276nm and smaller 3700 series 965CAD on my network but I only installed for the LaserJet, both worked fine.

To install scanner support run ‘hp-setup’ in the terminal and follow the instructions. Usually it fails to download the plugin. It worked for me this time. If it fails for you simply download the plugin here, just match the plugin version to the version of Hplip on Pop and get both files with extensions .run and .asc. Document Scanner is installed by default and it may take a second for the scanner to appear but you can test in that once they show up. Here’s an older more detailed post on getting this done on the Asus running an earlier version of Pop.

In order to get my second drive to auto mount I open Disks located in the System folder in Activities, Show Apps. In Drives select your drive and click the gears. Under Mount Options turn off User Session Defaults and tick Mount at Startup if it’s not. Done.

The last piece of hardware beyond my midi keyboard that I care about is my Wacom Intuos BT S tablet. I connected via Bluetooth and all was fine accept the stylus was not found. I turned it off then on in Bluetooth and it is working as expected. This did not work in earlier versions. This made me happy.

Java JRE

Next I installed Java. I don’t need Oracle so I just installed the open JRE. Check for installed:

sudo update-alternatives --config java

See what’s available to install:

sudo apt-cache search openjdk*?

I installed version 14 with the following commands:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install openjdk-14-jre

OS Enhancement

At this point Gnome 3 is getting on my nerves. I like easier access to things so I installed Synapse (quick search/launcher) and Plank (a desktop docker) available in the Pop! Shop. To get to Plank’s settings hold Ctrl and right click anywhere in the dock bar. To quickly access Synapse I assign the menu key, usually looks like a square with lines on the keyboard on the right side of the space bar. Preferences in Synapse are accessed via the little dot on the right. I assign the key under Shortcuts, Action then click the current shortcut then pressing the key you want to assign.

Next thing I do is install Gnome-Tweaks. Open up the Pop! Shop and search ‘tweak’. Install that bad boy! Once installed open it and add Plank and Synapse to Startup Applications. Make any other changes you prefer. I like having shade and min/max buttons in my windows. I also add hot corners. Now everything is a swipe, click, or tap away.

Time to add some theme prefs. In Pop’s settings I choose dark made and change up the wallpaper. I leave everything else as is. Not a lot you can do unless you want to get into css under the hood.

I found weather not displaying in the notifier – accessed by clicking the date and time on the top status bar. To fix that you may need to turn off auto location and manually enter your location. Worked for me.

Now that the big things are out of the way I want to connect to Google. This also did not work well in previous versions. This time I find that mail, contacts, and calendar are all just working! No manual setup at all if you keep the default apps shipped with Pop.

Software

For music production I use Bitwig and Renoise. Both just work very well with Linux and my MIDI boards. I do, however, change a couple of settings. In /etc/security/limits.conf I add the following settings. Open the terminal and issue:

sudo nano /etc/security/limits.conf

Add the following two lines at the end of the file replacing YOURUSERNAME with your user name.

YOURUSERNAME - rtprio 99
YOURUSERNAME - nice −10

On to some software I find to be useful and very good. These are my personal preferences. I do find that most are fairly recent so I didn’t need to do a lot of work that I am used to when installing apps.

I always install TimeShift to do auto backups but Pop has a restrore option for the OS. Never hurts to backup your files though. I also install Gufw Firewall and turn it on.

I install Rythmbox and in Plugin select Alternative Toolbar. It’s setup similar to iTunes. To get music on my iPhone I setup a Samba share and use Flacbox on my phone.

I then install Shotwell. It works very well with my iPhone for getting my Photos onto my system.

For graphics work I install Blender 2.80, Krita, Gimp, Scribus (I did opt for the 1.5.5 version using a PPA), RawTherapee, and Inkscape. That pretty much gets anything I need to do done. In Shotwell I set Krita as my external editor and Raw Tharapee as my RAW editor.

For the miscellaneous things I like Raven RSS reader, QownNotes, OBS, Calibre, Odio, etc. Most are in the Pop! Shop but some you need to grab from the SNAP store. To set up snaps and the store issue the following commands:

sudo apt install snapd
sudo snap install snap-store

Some of the above I also added PPAs if you can’t find them. Easily found on the net with simple searches.

For gaming I mostly install or acquire older games from GOG. I usually only need to tweak minor things to get them working. I am not a big fan of Steam. I do install Lutris for ease of use. Just install Wine and Winetricks from the Pop! Shop also, no need for all those crazy instructions you find all over the net. You should be set for anything. You might want Vulkan too, but I’d only go there if you really need to do so. If you’re into older ROMs for platform gaming check out RetroArch. Here’s a 3DO setup in RetroArch I wrote up.

That’s about it, at least all that I can think of. I can say with utmost certainty that on my machine and my son’s Asus, Pop! OS 19.10 runs absolutely awesome!