A collaboration between Linux computer and software firm System76 and HP, is pushing for commercial adoption of open-source software and hardware optimized for Linux.
System76 and HP on Thursday announced a new premium computer line designed to attract a wider audience to the developer-focused HP Dev One laptop computer.
HP’s new Dev One, System76’s popular Pop! _OS Powered by the Linux distribution, enables developers to create their ideal work experience with a range of tools to help them function at peak efficiency not available on other computing platforms.
The Pop!_OS platform features auto-tiling, workspaces and easy keyboard navigation. This flexibility allows software developers to create unique customized workflows, freeing up their coding capability.
Typically, Linux users install their preferred Linux platform as a replacement for the default Microsoft Windows on the computers they purchase. Relatively few OEMs create their own hardware line and tune it for specific Linux offerings.
Denver-based System76 developed its own customized version of the GNOME desktop environment to help propel Linux as the future of computing. The company developed Pop!_OS when Canonical decided to stop development of the Unity 8 desktop shell in 2017 and replaced its default desktop with GNOME 3.
“By bringing together our engineering, marketing and customer support, System76 [and] HP is introducing HP Dev One to combine powerful hardware with Pop!_OS optimized for the app dev community,” announced Carl Richel, CEO, System76.
HP’s Dev One laptop has a strikingly classic appearance that thwarts Linux hardware and software optimizations designed for developers.
Software developers want devices optimized for the way they code, added Tylitha Stewart, vice president and global head of consumer services and subscriptions at HP.
“By working with System76, we are meeting this need and delivering a premium experience with Linux Pop!_OS pre-installed to deliver the new HP Dev One. The device has important features for developers including an optional Linux keyboard tuned with a Super key and designed to be more efficient at the core,” offered Stewart.
The companies hope the collaboration will accelerate the usefulness of Pop!_OS, pushing its limits beyond normal mainstream use for home and office computing. Pop! _OS development and innovation has always been a top priority for System76, says the renowned Jeremy Soler, System76’s lead engineer.
“We are working at a much faster pace than ever before to develop new features and adapt existing features to Pop!_OS,” he said.
Unique plan has potential
This interesting announcement shows HP realizes that there are enough markets for developers to focus on specific products, said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.
“Although the company has certified its laptops for Linux for many years and has offered Ubuntu as an option on some high-end mobile workstations, it leaves the installation and configuration work mostly to end-users. This new AMD-based solution and the partnership with System 76 changes that,” he told LinuxInsider.
The bigger question, however, is how much of the market there is for HP-branded developer laptops, given the long and deep involvement of other vendors in this area. Consider that Dell has been providing developer-focused Linux solutions for more than a decade, King observed.
Provides Dell XPS 13 and Latitude laptops and fixed and mobile Precision workstations with Ubuntu Linux pre-loaded and certified for Red Hat Linux. In 2020 Lenovo expanded access to its Linux-ready solutions that were previously only available as a special order to enterprise customers. The expanded product range includes more than two dozen ThinkPad laptops, ThinkStation PCs and ThinkStation Workstations.
A handful of specialty OEMs, including System76, are full in this space, King observed.
“Overall, it qualifies as HP moves from twirling its toes to its ankles in the developer endpoint market. Depending on how it finds water, HP may eventually take a deep breath. may and may dive,” predicted the king.
The HP Dev One is a premium laptop built for coding. It is not designed for casual computing.
HP’s new Linux-based laptop is built for the way software developers work. It is equipped with 8-core AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 5850U Processor 1 and AMD Integrated Radeon Graphics.
The Dev One’s internal specifications provide much more power than laptops developed for casual and business computing tasks in general. It is packed with 16 GB RAM memory provided by DDR4 @ 3200MHz and offers 1TB PCIe NVMe 3×4 NVMe M.2 2280 solid state drive storage. Its Full HD display shines with 1,000 nits brightness.
Multicore processors are designed to improve the performance of certain software products. Although not all customers or software applications will benefit from the use of this technology, HP said. Performance and clock frequency vary depending on application workload, hardware and software configuration. AMD’s numbering is not a measure of clock speed.
The Dev One maintains HP’s classic layout with ample ports on both the left and right sides of the 3.24-pound lightweight 14-inch mineral silver-colored clam shell.
For software developers, however, multicore performance allows coders to seamlessly multitask between the IDE and photo editing software while testing their releases. The 16 GB memory supply provides transfer rates of up to 3,200 MT/s of speed and response for developers.
Greater storage size and speed means developers can spend less time managing their files. High speed sequential transfer – up to three Gb / s – makes it possible to experience very fast loading and saving of files.
The Dev One laptop measures 12.73 x 8.44 x 0.75 inches (32.34 x 21.46 x 1.91 cm).
Giving birth to a collaboration to develop Linux
A group of HP engineers contacted System76 about the possibility of installing Pop!_OS on one of their laptop computers. According to a spokesperson for System76’s public relations department, after some initial discussions, the two companies saw the potential for a real win, if they made Pop! _OS and Linux work together to bring a wider audience and allow HP to break into a whole new segment.
“The rest, as they say, is history,” the spokesperson told LinuxInsider.
But even casual coders and non-professional users can download a free open-source operating system without spending cold cash for a top-end laptop. The version of Pop!_OS that comes with the HP Dev One is the version that will be available for download on the System76 website.
There is no specially modified software version available. Users can freely download and install any Linux distribution. Linux runs on a variety of hardware configurations. It breathes new life into older computers, especially those that can no longer run current versions of Microsoft Windows.
The added advantage of Pop!_OS is its optimized User Interface (UI) which makes it simple and exceptionally intuitive to use.
“There is no doubt that HP has a far reaching reach in terms of its audience. By bringing Linux into its portfolio as a viable option for its customers, it also wants Linux and Pop!_OS to reach a larger audience. Allows, ”said the spokesperson.
Matter of time
Only time will tell how successfully the HP-System76 partnership will drive Linux adoption. History shows that the lack of coordinated advertising and some of the major OEM providers of hardware preinstalled with Linux have slowed mainstream Linux desktop adoption.
“At this point in time, it is too early to say. We think this is definitely linked to the above question, however, a larger audience learning about the benefits of Linux will lead to greater adoption of the platform in time, ”According to System 76.
But the collaboration with HP has actually greatly expanded the potential of the System 76, offered the spokesperson.
System76 POP!_OS is not a skinned version of Ubuntu GNOME as a replacement. It includes much more.
System76 has an impressive track record in pioneering this optimized Linux operating system. This created a uniquely branded GNOME-based desktop environment designed for the company’s own hardware.
The collaboration with HP fixes both the hardware and the software so that the computing platform isn’t available anywhere else. Seasoned Linux users have many reasons to be attracted to the POP!_OS integration of the GNOME desktop.
Selecting this unique Linux desktop System76 emphasizes continuous improvements to the GNOME UI. Optimized special features can make this collaborative effort a winning proposition for coders and related industry settings.
Pop!_OS version 22.04 LTS is designed to have a minimal amount of clutter on the desktop to eliminate distractions. The layout lets users focus completely on using it more productively.
The latest POP!_OS System76, released prior to the Dev One announcement with HP, added the ability to assign applications to run on a specific graphics card. In addition to switching between Intel and Nvidia graphics, users can choose a hybrid graphics mode. In this mode, the computer runs on a battery-saving Intel GPU and uses only the Nvidia GPU for user-specified applications.
Extended keyboard shortcuts create a fluid experience. It’s a refreshing way to navigate the desktop without emptying the keyboard rows to perform mouse actions. These new keyboard shortcuts let you launch applications and switch between them, toggle settings, and more. It should work well for coders.
get it and more
HP Dev One is now available with a starting price of US$1,099.
This laptop comes with full-disk encryption, hall sensor and ambient light sensor. It also gets a dual-point backlit spill-resistant premium keyboard with a glass click pad and gesture support by default.
Wireless connectivity includes Realtek RTL8822CE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2×2) Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5 combo. There is no fingerprint reader in this device.
Audio configurations include dual stereo speakers and two multi-array microphones. The power supply is a HP Smart 65W External AC Power Adapter. Battery type is an HP Long Life three-cell, 53 watt Li-ion.
Ports and connectors include two SuperSpeed USB Type-C 10Gbps signaling rates (USB Power Delivery, DisplayPort 1.4); two SuperSpeed USB Type-A 5Gbps signaling rates (one charging); a headphone/microphone combo; One HDMI 2.0; One AC power (HDMI cable sold separately).
It also includes a 720p HD camera.
For more information or to order visit hpdevone.com.
POP!_OS Distro is available for free download in two versions. An ISO is for Intel and AMD systems. The second ISO is for the Nvidia graphics system.
Both installation ISOs boot the computer in a live session that does not change the current operating system or the computer’s hard drive. It is set up with the click of a button from the live session.