System76 seems to want to become the Apple of Linux, with all the differences that being based on open source software supposes … more or less, because there is everything. Thus, while on the one hand it is announced that the company is developing its own desk , on the other it is denounced
But let’s start at the beginning: System76, the Apple of Linux? It is a way of speaking. They were one of the first brands to sell Linux computers; they later promoted their own Ubuntu-based distribution, Pop! _OS ; They adapted GNOME to their demands, modifying it and renaming it COSMIC … Which did not take shape until recently , it should be noted … And now they announce the intention of developing their own desktop.
But it is that in between System76 has collaborated with the elementary project developing a new system installer , has launched peripherals such as the Launch mechanical keyboard , they have integrated into their equipment -in their facilities, rather- free alternative components such as Coreboot … And now they announce the intention of developing his own desk, I repeat, which suggests that his medium and long-term plans are ambitious.
However, this was not an announcement as such, but rather an acknowledgment by one of the Pop! _OS developers that they are on it . It is reported in this regard that the new System76 desktop for Pop! _OS is not based on any other and is being written from scratch in the increasingly popular Rust programming language, known for providing greater efficiency and security.
That said, it would in effect be a desktop and not a full desktop environment, at least initially. Thus, what they are developing in System76 is a shell in Rust , but the rest of the components such as the composition manager, the basic applications and others, would be based on already existing extended alternatives. To the question why System76 wants to get into such trouble …
… The answer lies in COSMIC, more than a desktop, a set of extensions with which to modify GNOME according to the requirements of those responsible for Pop! _OS. And we already know that the ‘GNOME Way’ does not favor satisfying everyone when it comes to functionality and features, and trying to solve the deficiencies with extensions does not always offer good results or is even viable.
“There are things we would like to do that we cannot simply accomplish through extensions in GNOME. Extensions in general feel like a hack . And what we want to do with our desktop differs from GNOME, so it’s not like the option to merge Pop! _Shell and COSMIC in GNOME Shell would be a welcome thing, “writes Pop! _OS developer Michael Murphy in theat the one who has made everything known.
Among other things, it is mentioned that there is a long way to go or that they will continue to use different GNOME technologies to fill the gaps they have, which are many. Finally, it is also worth asking if the future COSMIC Rust will be available to all Linux users or will it happen as with the current COSMIC, or with Pop! _Shell, which outside of its mother distro becomes difficult , although the situation has improved a bit. .