Pop!_OS Cosmic | A New Desktop Environment?

The popular Ubuntu based distribution Pop!_OS is set to introduce some interesting changes in their 21.04 release which should land around June. One of the main features of their newest release is the introduction of a new way to use your GNOME desktop called Cosmic. As described on the release announcement from System76 Cosmic is a ‘GNOME-based desktop environment’. As it currently stands it appears to be a custom GNOME extension which expands on the out of the box look and feel of GNOME.

The main aim of Cosmic is to provide Pop!_OS users an easier to use desktop which is ‘more powerful and efficient’ than standard GNOME. It does this by introducing new features to the desktop. Cosmic separates the ‘Activities’ overview into to parts which are ‘Workspaces’ and ‘Applications’. Clicking ‘Workspaces’ will reveal your workspace picker which by default is on the left side of your screen as well spreading your application windows to the right of it. The ‘Applications’ view is where you will find your application picker which now sports a dark background to make it easier to see and select applications. You can access these views from the top panel or by clicking their launchers on the newly installed Dock.

The Super key by default will now display your launcher. Here you will be able to launch new applications as well as switch to currently running ones. In the launcher you can also execute commands and calculations.

Last but by no means the least we now have the Dock. Out of the box your Dock will span across the whole of your bottom screen edge to edge with the pinned applications centred. You can further customise the docks position and size in the settings. The Dock has 3 preconfigured sizes of small, medium and large and it also offers users the ability to set a custom size. As we all the usual features you’ll find in a Dock like ‘Autohide’ you can shrink the dock so it doesn’t expand to the edges of your screen.

As it’s still not at its point of final release there were some settings and features that weren’t quite ready on my setup. However with that in mind I still very much enjoyed my first look of Pop!_OS’s Cosmic and am excited to see how it progresses. Click here to read the release announcement for Cosmic to learn more.

What do you think of Cosmic? Let me know in the comments below!

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One thought on “Pop!_OS Cosmic | A New Desktop Environment?

  • 5 May 2021 at 8:16 am

    I love it! It’s much better than GNOME 40.


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