Did System76 just hint at a possible Arch+PopOS in their latest video?

Original video here:

At the 0:22 mark, if you pause the video, you can clearly see a Linux penguin using the Cosmic desktop on the right laptop and on the left desktop they’ve got a neofetch of Arch open, with what appears to also be the Cosmic desktop as well judging my the Gnome desktop colors.

Any thoughts on what y’all think of this possibility? An Arch+PopOS combo would be a worthy addition, especially for Nvidia users and gamers. They’ve never publicly said they’ve ditch the Ubuntu-base, but one can always wonder about “what if” possibilities and this video does seem oddly suspicious.

It could be something, but it could just as easily be nothing. What do y’all think? System76 just throwing out Easter eggs? Possibly hinting at an Arch-base? Assuming all tech support using Arch?

It does make me wonder… :sweat_smile:

Edit: Here’s a freeze frame of the shot in question:

Screenshot from 2022-02-10 22-23-57

Feel free to draw your own conclusions, if any, into the matter.


Can’t see System76 exposing noobs to a rolling distro like Arch.

I think its as simple as someone uses Arch in the office.

Possibly an engineer developing on an Arch system then testing on a System76 laptop.


Manjaro is porting Cosmic

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I like PopOS, and if there was a rolling release version I would like it even more, but I can’t see S76 drop Ubuntu and doing a second release with a different base seems like a lot of work for little to no benefit. If it was it’s own thing, like OpenSUSE, having a rolling and stable branch make some sense, but I’d be surprised if S76 decided to release Pop w Arch. The most plausible answer is, to me, what was said earlier:

For those of you who have been around for a while: Is there, or has there ever been, a Linux distribution which had two different releases, each with a different base?

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PopOS is really intended for the hardware they sell. So they have full control over that. In my experience, if you have compatible hardware, Linux is super easy to maintain.

If they went EndeavourOS route, and just pulled most of their packages from the Arch repos, it would be very manageable for them, much easier than having the 'Buntu base. And since they are selling gaming PCs, having the freshest support for new hardware makes total sense and Arch just makes that super easy.

So from that perspective, it makes total sense for them to switch the base of their distro to Arch, especially since Arch has been getting so nôôb friendly, recently :rofl:

They are already dropping ties with GNOME, it wouldn’t be so far fetched to drop ties with Canonical. Now, whether they are actually intending to do that or not, I haven’t the foggiest idea. A simple explanation that someone is just using Arch at the office makes perfect sense, just as much, if not more (Occam’s razor).


I’m pretty sure there have been - If I remember correctly, OTB (Old Tech Bloke) did a video on a new release with exactly that characteristic not long ago… I’ll see if I can find it again :grin:

Edit: Apparently it’s Stormfish - Ubuntu base or Arch base, your choice… (at least). Here’s a quote from SourceForge:

Featuring 3 Different Custom Respins Of Kde Neon and 2 Custom Spins of Xfce based on Ubuntu 20.04. Intended for Older PC's and One Arch Xfce Distro for more modern machines.

That’s interesting. I’ve never heard of Stormfish.

Honestly if they become the better Manjaro and have a cleaner interface than Garuda, then it would be so great. Just…imagine…

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Maybe they partner with Steam and sell “certified” Steam Deck dev machines. There must be some money in it.

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Personally, I think it would be quite sad if PopOS were to switch to an Arch-base. PopOS is one of the few Ubuntu-based distros worth using and provides a good stable environment for someone who wants a PC that “just works” without having to learn anything about it.

Since the Cosmic shell is already available on Arch-based distros. I am not sure what would be interesting about their distro if they switched.

That being said, supporting an Arch-based distro would be much harder for them so I am not sure what the benefit would be for them to do that.


According to @mmstick (PopOS Engineer)

“No. It’s just that not everyone at System76 is using Pop!_OS. Some use Arch, others use NixOS, someone might be using Gentoo. Most are using Pop. Particularly those developing and supporting Pop.”

So nothing to see here :sweat_smile:

I was aware it was more than likely just some wishful thinking on my part being a former PopOS user myself, but everyone here has made some very valid points, from both sides of the coin.

There have been a few distros in the past and some more recently that have gone from using a Ubuntu-base to switching to a Debian-base.Peppermint OS is a distro I know that have made such a switch very recently. Linux Mint has LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition) which is based off of Debian Buster, though the main version of Linux Mint still uses Ubuntu, this is just a separate Edition.

I haven’t the ‘froggiest’ idea either! :frog:

Honestly, I couldn’t gobble gobble with you more :+1: . Truth be told gobble gobble would be great. Just imagine gobble gobble did that too, it would be interesting for sure! But for now my real thoughts on it are gobble gobble! :turkey:

There’s always money in the banana stand, but it doesn’t appear like System76 and Valve have the same visions, so I collaboration at this time at least doesn’t seem viable. But it’s possible their interests might align more in the future to warrant a type of collaboration or maybe even a partnership. System76 is fiercely independent, so it seems most unlikely, but never say never, anything could happen.

I guess with all things said, at the end of the day though, I’m just happy to say I use EndeavourOS, of course :wink:

That place seems already to be taken :wink:

The Minis Forum UM700 is a AMD Ryzen Mini PC that ships with Manjaro Linux. This is the exact computer that Valve recommends games developers to test with for the Steam Deck.


Not all hope would be totally lost, there’d still be the easy going Linux Mint/ZorinOS/elementaryOS distros, but I do also see the point you are making.

Since the Cosmic shell is already available on Arch-based distros. I am not sure what would be interesting about their distro if they switched.

That being said, supporting an Arch-based distro would be much harder for them so I am not sure what the benefit would be for them to do that.

From a user perspective, IF they did switch (they aren’t), I’d say it’d be a lot of the same reasons for why people choose PopOS now. It’d come down to brand recognition and the knowledge that System76 is an established hardware vendor supporting Linux so you also get some peace of mind knowing your hardware and software will be taken care of by a company you respect and/or trust. The things that make PopOS special like the nvidia support out of the box, zero snap, latest kernels, updates on the fly, etc would still apply even if they changed base. I’ll be honest my train of thought is a bit wonky on this, so my apologizes if I didn’t really get my point across my brain feels like jello right now :sweat_smile:

From a developer perspective I can only speculate, but I would imagine a small dev team, a stable fixed release would be ideal and more manageable, but if a dev team is large enough, working on a rolling release type could more than likely be feasible. But I’ll admit I have no idea if an ideal dev team for that task would be 20 or 100 people, so kindly take this all with a big grain of salt bag.


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I don’t think it is all that much different from a development perspective. I was talking about user support. Since System76 is a commercial organization that has to support their customers think about how much more often issues pop-up on Arch than on Ubuntu. Before someone panics, I am not talking about system-breaking problems. I am referring to the fact that since Arch gets new packages much faster than Ubuntu it is more common for Arch users to find the bugs that will already be fixed by the time the packages get to Ubuntu.

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Maybe EOS Cosmic is right up your alley then

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What’s up with manjaro drifting towards vivaldi as there default browser in most new releases? :thinking:


System76 might be a little jealous of the recognition it could have in place of manjaro during this steam deck hype. They have the resources so they still can collaborate and make a way for themselves in the field. On a side note - switching from your base distro which is ubuntu isn’t easy. Ubuntu as base is already a bad choice as debloating it and making it your own can’t be 100% done. Peppermint has swiched to debian as base instead of ubuntu maybe pop os can too.

Let’s not rehash that issue here please. Feel free to read this topic if you want more opinions on that.

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Peppermint has always been debian based as far as I can remember. They are one of the few who still do 32 bit installs.

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Peppermint OS 11 RELEASED! Ditches Ubuntu.

Peppermint OS 11 RELEASED! Ditches Ubuntu. - YouTube