Today I pulled the Windows 10 Pro out of my UM250 computer and installed Pop!_OS 21.10. I’d ordered a 1T WD Blue 3D NAND SATA M.2 2280 (WDS100T2B0B) drive to replace the original existing Kingston 512 GB drive on which Windows 10 Pro came preinstalled. The 1T drive was cheap enough at around US$90 from Amazon; Amazon and Western Digital were running a special at the time. And I’d been wanting to do this ever since Microsoft through a Windows 10 update started to nag me about running Microsoft Edge in place of my other browsers of choice, among other annoyances. Microsoft had worn out its welcome with me yet again.
I downloaded the Pop!_OS image from System76 ( https://pop.system76.com/ ) and flashed an old 8GB USB drive. This is definitely old had; there are more than enough tutorials on how to do this, so check elsewhere. After switching the two SSDs, I powered up the UM250 which almost immediately dropped me into the BIOS configuration screens. I tabbed over to the Boot section, and made sure to change the boot protocol from just UEFI to UEFI&Legacy, then saved the change. I plugged my 8GB USB drive into one of the two USB ports on the UM250’s front panel and then reset the UM250. The next boot was into Pop!_OS on the thumb drive. From that point I proceeded to install Pop!_OS.
It took about ten minutes to get the base system installed, then another ten or so minutes for me to tweak a few things to my liking. I’ve just gotten started but I already like the environment a whole lot better than Windows 10. More than likely I’ll need to go back into Windows 10 to pick up some development projects I was working on, but these are written in languages and with tools that are portable across operating systems. The only thing that won’t run on Pop!_OS are Microsoft Visual Studio projects (obviously). I don’t care. If I did care I wouldn’t have switched away from Windows 10.
I picked Pop!_OS primarily because it’s Ubuntu derived. I also picked it because it’s beating back the really bad bits of Gnome 4. I would have preferred to install Fedora 35 primarily because of Fedora’s up-to-date tooling, but I installed Fedora 35 on my big MBP as a Parallels VM and I came to intensely dislike their Gnome desktop. Pop!_OS has reasonably current tools. If I need bleeding edge on Pop!_OS I’m more than capable building and installing them if needed. Pop!_OS might not be perfect in your eyes, but for me it’s more than good enough and it’s not an constant annoyance like Windows 10 evolved into. It will more than do for me.