Don’t hate me, but I have some bad (if not totally surprising) news for the Pop!_OS fans planning to pounce on the likely impending 22.10 release: you can’t.
Before anyone moans, I’m not about to deliver a corny “…cOz vAnILLa ‘bUnTu is better” punchline.
Unfortunately, I have to inform you that Pop!_OS 22.10 won’t be released this fall – well, it’s not even in development.
System76’s software engineers want to take the time and effort to prepare for the next release and instead plow through building their own Rust-based COSMIC desktop environment.
The news is confirmed by Pop!_OS developer Michael Murphy. In a Reddit comment, he explains, “We’re going to focus our development time on COSMIC’s Rust implementation instead of 22.10.”
He adds, “It takes a lot of effort to support multiple releases of Ubuntu, and the 6-month release cycle really eats into product development time and stability,” he adds.
While the news that there will be no Pop!_OS 22.10 this fall is disappointing, it’s worth remembering that Pop!_OS 22.04 exists. Pop!_OS 22.04 is a long-term support release, regularly receives new Linux kernels and updated mega graphics drivers, and Flatpak support ensures that the latest versions of popular software are readily available.
For now, there’s also a big glittering question mark .gif hanging over System76’s plans for the next two interim releases (Ubuntu 23.04 and 23.10). Murphy says a decision about whether Pop!_OS versions of those builds will be “made when we get there.” I imagine that will depend on how quickly the new COSMIC experience comes together.
In short, this is (probably) the best long-term decision for Pop!_OS as a distro. A custom COSMIC is a real differentiator among distros and worth taking the time to prepare. If you’re a Pop!_OS user, let me know what you think about this news in the comment.