How to Install Pop!_OS from System76

Pop!_OS is a new Linux distribution developed by System76. This company has the best options when it comes to Linux laptops. The fact of having an OS developed by the company for the specific hardware used on their laptops results on a reliable Linux laptop that works like a charm out of the box.

Prominent features

  • Ubuntu-based
  • Built from scratch
  • Nicely customized Gnome 3 as DE
  • Better support
  • No bloatware

These features result in a perfect Linux experience.


  • RAM: 2GB minimum / 4GB recommended
  • Storage: 16GB minimum / 20GB recommended
  • 64-bit processor (on x86 architecture)

Installation Steps

1. Download the ISO image

Go to System76 website and click "Download". There are two options: "Intel/AMD" or "NVIDIA", choose the one that fits with your computer.

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In this tutorial, we will use Pop!_OS 17.10 Intel/AMD edition, with kernel 4.13.0-16-generic.

2. Download and install Etcher

Now you can use any of your favorite tools to create a bootable USB. Here I am using the Etcher tool.

Go to and download the AppImage installer. Then, just execute the file and you'll get Etcher installed in a few seconds.

3. Burn the ISO image to a USB drive

Insert your USB drive and then run Etcher software. It'll pop up a window like this:

run etcher

Just click on "Select image" and choose the ISO file that you have previously downloaded from System76 website. Make sure your USB drive is selected as the destination device and then click "Flash!".

The process lasted me about 5 minutes in a Sandisk Cruzer Blade 2.0 USB drive, as a reference.

4. Change BIOS settings

Turn off the computer and go to your BIOS settings. Set the USB drive as the first device in the boot order list.

Don't forget to set your BIOS boot mode to UEFI. The configuration process may vary depending on your computer brand.

5. Boot the Live USB drive and install the OS

Once the OS has booted (in Live mode), you'll be brought to the Gnome 3 desktop. You'll see a CD icon, double-click it and the installation process will start.

Note: Designs of the installation screen may change from time to time depending on the version you are installing.

First, choose the installation language:

select language

Then, select the keyboard layout:

select keyboard layout

Now choose the installation type. If you don't have any OS installed, the GUI will show you the item "Install Pop_OS".

If you have an OS installed and you want to remove it, please make a backup of your important data in another disk, and in this step select "Erase disk and install Pop_OS".

choose installation type

But if you have an OS installed and you want to keep it, select "Something else". This option will show you the next window:

manage partitions

Here, you can manage disk partitions as you want. You will have to create the necessary partitions to make a Linux installation possible: root, swap and home (this one not required). Make sure you place the bootloader installation on the disk which will have the OS installed.

There are lots of tutorials about disk partitioning for Linux installations on the web, the process will vary depending on your needs.

Then, no matter what installation option you have chosen, you'll be guided through the next step, OS installation:

installation process

Finally, a dialog will pop up telling you that the installation has finished. Click "Restart now" and immediately after the computer restarts, pull out the USB drive.

The OS will ask you to do some final configurations, like region selection. Then, you'll have to create a user:

create user

Click next, and set your password.

And that's all! Now you can start enjoying this cool distribution!

What's Inside Pop!_OS



When you click the "Activities" tab, on the top left side of the screen, you'll get an overview of the activities. In this mode, you can see all the current windows, the dock, and the workspaces. It is a useful tool to keep everything more organized. You can also type the name of an application that you want to use, hit enter key, and open it in a glance.

Desktop icons

desktop icons

Unlike some other distributions that use Gnome 3 as DE, this one allows the user to put icons on the desktop, such a useful feature!


pop shop

Pop!_OS comes with an "AppCenter" called Pop!_Shop. AppCenter is a project developed by the Elementary OS team and helps the user to have a better search experience by organizing the software in categories.

Wrapping up

Pop!_OS is a very polished and eye-candy distribution that runs very well, especially on System76 laptops. It has lots of software packages available due to its Ubuntu core, which is really nice and useful.

System76 has done a great job with Pop!_OS UI, which gives a similar experience to Google's Material Design and makes the final user feel very comfortable with it.

So give this Linux distribution an opportunity, I'm sure you won't regret it!

10 Comments... add one

  1. Every time I try to boot from usb with
    POP-OS .iso it runs for a few seconds and freezes with glitching and screen tarring
    Any suggestions?

    • Hi Gwalsh,

      Which version ISO ( NVIDIA ISO or Intel ISO)? Which model hardware using ?
      The good chance issue might be with Nvidia drivers

  2. Hi
    What to do when I can not set my bios to "Set the USB drive as the first device in the boot order list." there is no boot list.
    I was hoping for an easy install on my quite new Huawei matebook D (2018 model) with Nvida mx150 graphic card and win 10 installed?

    • You don't have to change the boot priority, just press F2 or F12 or whatever your PC's key is to get into a one time boot menu. Once in there, select the USB with the iso file on it and it will load into popOS.

  3. If I have a laptop with Intel CPU and integrated graphics, but I use also thunderbolt eGPU with nVidia 1070 with it - 90% of the time, what version do you recommend to install? intel and install nVidia drivers or should I go with nVidia version?

    • Hi Janusz,

      Depend on your requirement, if you using your laptop for multimedia works like video editing or graphics or graphic hungry games etc for sure you need to use Nvidia, otherwise intel drivers all good for normal use.


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