Zorin OS - July 27 through August 3, 2019

New Challenge Format

This challenge marks the switch to a two week review cycle. This will allow us to accommodate everyone’s feedback. If you are able to test during the first week then you can provide feedback during the first week’s stream. The rest of the participants who review are welcome to provide their feedback during the second week. It will also provide a chance for people who used it for both weeks to provide any updates they have.

Current Challenge

We will take a look at Zorin OS. They offer free and ultimate versions. The free version is 100% functional with the ultimate edition adding some new layouts as well as some additional software.

DistroWatch

According to DistroWatch.com, Zorin OS is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution designed especially for newcomers to Linux. It has a Windows-like graphical user interface and many programs similar to those found in Windows. Zorin OS also comes with an application that lets users run many Windows programs. The distribution’s ultimate goal is to provide a Linux alternative to Windows and let Windows users enjoy all the features of Linux without complications.

Zorin Forum

I posted a thread in their forum to let them know we are testing it. I’m not sure if there will be any interest on their part but I hope they stop by and say hello.

Destination Linux

Destination Linux had Artyom Zorin as a guest on episode 65. Well worth a listen to get some background on the project.

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I already have Zorin OS 15 in a GNOME Box so I will do further testing. In earlier versions it did seem slower…

Just an FYI if you are interested in Zorin Lite it is on version 12.4 and is built on Ubuntu 16.04.

You can update it to 18.04 with the HWE kernel.

Here are the steps <this may or may not break your system use at own risk!>:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y
sudo apt dist-upgrade
reboot

edit /etc/update-manager/release-upgrades
change Prompt=never to Prompt=lts

sudo do-release-upgrade

sudo apt install --install-recommends linux-generic-hwe-18.04 xserver-xorg-hwe-18.04

Only crazy people would do this. In the short time since I’ve done it everything works so far.

YMMV

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I haven’t quite figured out what it is but any Ubuntu-based distro prior to 18.10 does not run well on my Dell XPS 15 9570. I’ve looked a bit at the release notes for 18.10 and 19.04 to see what changes they made but I only found vague references to improved battery performance and power management. Since Zorin is based on 18.04 LTS it doesn’t run cool so my fans are always running. It’s not the video driver and I even tried the 5.0.0.20 edge kernel with no luck. TLP doesn’t help either. I’ve checked the clock speeds and they are idling where they should be.

Luckily, you can install the Zorin themes and icons on any GNOME desktop. Combine that with a few extensions and you basically have the Zorin desktop. In my case, I installed Pop OS 19,04 and it’s working great. I’ll keep tinkering with Zorin in a VM but that’s about all I can do with it for now. Maybe I should get one of those cheap Thinkpads off eBay for testing. :wink:

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Zorin installed well on my Alienware M15x laptop, the Broadcom wifi was discovered in the install, and the Nvidia 340-107 driver was easily found in apt.
Touch to click works great.
Theming is a breeze.
Overall a very easy to use Ubuntu based distro, but I still prefer Peppermint in that regard.

For reasons I decided to upgrade Zorin Lite now to 19.04

Here are the steps:

sudo apt update && sudo apt dist-upgrade
sudo apt autoremove
reboot

edit /etc/update-manager/release-upgrades
change Prompt=lts to Prompt=normal

sudo do-release-upgrade

Working thus far.

I tried this on the core edition and none of the packages from the Zorin repos are brought forward. I tried to re-enable the repos but they don’t have a disco repo from what I can see. Is this not an issue on the lite version?

I re-enabled the PPAs.

The longer I play with it the more unstable it seems on 19.04. Obviously this was just for the heck of it. I might just try and push it to 19.10 developmental and see how badly I can break it.

I’m throwing lots of dpkg errors trying to get it to 19.10 developmental.

I am Captain Kirk and Zorin Lite was a Red-shirt…

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RIP poor little Red-shirt guy.

tenor

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Went back to testing Zorin 15 this afternoon.
Since it is apparently designed for Windows users moving to Linux, I tried running a Windows program.
Downloaded the .exe setup file for e-Sword, my Bible program of choice.
When right-clicked on the file, I was given the option to “Open With Install Windows Application”, which led to the system downloading a lot of Wine and Lib files and not surprisingly PlayOnLinux.
As normal Wine downloaded Mono and Gecko.
Nothing unusual for me, a long-time Linux user, but Windows users would be wondering what is going on with all these downloads and installs after clicking on an .exe
After the e-Sword install an e-Sword.desktop file was created on the desktop, which when ran brought up another window “Untrusted application launcher.” with “Trust and Launch” as an option. Again, not a surprise to me.
The program did run fine after all that.
Basically saying that it may look like a Windows a replacement, but Windows users testing Zorin for a move to Linux may be confused by the process.

I will try the esword install… One of my favorite windows programs.

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Uh oh - In the hour before today’s BDLL show, I booted up Zorin OS and updated from last week on my Alienware M15x laptop.
Noticed that the kernel updated to 5.0.0-23, and when I rebooted the startup gets stuck on the Gnome Display Manager line.
Shall see what I can do to test and fix.

I’ve tried Zorin (downloaded the Lite-iso from the website) on a spare laptop, but for some reason it has been a very slow and laggy experience. After installation, the system took ages to boot and once it was up, applications also opened very slow (it took more than a minute). The whole system got unresponsive at one point and I gave up. Maybe it’s because of the laptops Nvidia-card, but since Zorin is based on Ubuntu, I’m quite surprised, because I never had this sort of problem with Ubuntu, the flavours or Linux Mint, so, don’t know about that …
But I think it looks very good out of the box. :slightly_smiling_face: