A new installation of zorin

Hi everyone,

A year ago I was trying to install zorin and was not satisfied.
This time I tried it one more time and again I am not happy (saw DistroWatch not moved).

I tried to install zorin on my ssd external drive (connected via USB), so I can take my drive everywhere when I travel or visit my friends. I always can boot it from any device. Bellow are issues I encountered during the installation.

  1. On installation step I chosen to create my custom partitions. There wasn't any option to have swap and root partitions encrypted with one password, I had to create two passwords (and enter two passwords on boot):

  1. The EFI wasn't marked with "esp" tag after the installation so the boot wasn't working properly. Then I did some test and found this so I had to tag it with gparted:

  1. On startup it is showing some weird message after the grub menu selection:

  1. Ok, After I finally booted into the system my monitor started flickering, and that is because the system detected my monitor with 75Hr, while it doesn't support such frequency (Aser RG240Y, DVI->HDMI cable)

  2. After I entered my user password and reorganized my displays and changed the frequency to 60Hz when I logged out (rebooted) the display settings disappeared on login screen, but came back to normal when I logged in back. Disappointing :frowning:

  3. My internal WiFi (AC9462) is not that great so I usually keep using other one Cudy AC1300 (USB). But another frustration in zorin Wifi settings I cannot see any option how can I use the particular (external) wifi over my internal one, there is not settings (like fedora or other distros have). So I ended up with my slow and not well supported on linux Wifi :frowning:

Other my frustrations:

X. Screenshot is terrible. I press PrintScreen key and what is next? Where are my screenshots? and how am I supposed to crop them, annotate them and paste on the forum?

P.S. I really like Zorin appearance and glance but when it comes to use it every day, it is full of bugs and it feels like it is not ready for my production distro for my everyday work. I hope zorin team can make it better in future. I will come back year later and see if it's improved (as well as DistroWatch gain).

Screenshot from 2023-10-18 23-44-38

Is it USB 3.0 at least? I'd say there will be issues hosting a full install over USB; very limited on speeds and bus width over USB.. I used to have an external to do that very same thing with, but was eSATA; ~3ish-Gbps at the time..

Would using Ventoy and creating a persistent image on the USB device be better? Likely that swap won't be very.. functional, either. The only way to make persistent Zorin I believe is with Ventoy though - boot, use, remove, repeat.

Just thinking out loud..

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@fairking , I have moved your post to Feedback as it appears you are looking to provide helpful feedback you wish the ZorinGroup to see and consider, rather than seeking installation help from the community.

I notice that you are using encrypted drives with BRTFS file syste, and your ESP is /dev/sdc1, correct?

In this, are you saying that prior to Logging in, on the Login screen, your display settings were not following the display settings saved in your ~/config - am I understanding this correctly?

By default, screenshots are saved in ~/Pictures directory.
You can open the App Menu ans type in screenshot to select and open the GUI Settings manager for Gnome-Screenshot tool.

With any tool you like... I use GIMP or Pinta, usually. But there are many to select from. You may have some favorites already.

I agree, that can be a bit of a bottleneck.

Yes and the user also wishes to have an encrypted drive.

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Would using Ventoy and creating a persistent image on the USB device be better? Likely that swap won't be very.. functional, either.

I believe it is 3.0 or greater, cos I don't notice any difference from my internal ssd drive os. Sometimes I put my USB SSD into 4GB RAM laptops, so swap is very important to me even if it's going to be a little bit slow. But in most of the cases such ("net" laptops) has very good usb (A and C) ports.


I actually wanted to see what your thoughts were :smirk: I did try this once.. lol complete fail though.

Yes, it is correct.


I'm gonna get some food - I'll see if I can dig up what I have seen working with this kind of thing but, likely not going to be a full-out install; still think Ventoy with persistence would be the best option for this..

I'll return in a bit.

still think Ventoy with persistence would be the best option for this

never used it before. I am not sure if it's some kind of ISO/IMG virtualization which adds some complexity to how the os runs and performs.

I wish there is an option to create a bootable (encrypted) USB without interfering the main EFI, and without creating all those partitions manually. I also used to keep few Gbs free space at the end and format as a shared drive between PC and USB (not encrypted).

Please see those topics as examples:

Live OS with persistent option - Here's a Zorin post about it and a few suggestions.

One thing is speed, even with 3.0 - still limited; throw swap on top of that.. might be crawling around 200Kbps - bi-directional OS operations over one bus.. And aware of the SATA connection, but also being hindered by the USB bus - like breathing through a straw during a jog, heh..

Another big point with doing a full install on USB is: are you using it with just one machine? If not, you'll have to reconfigure your system before booting every time. Say you get it going with an Intel system - gotta grab the right drivers, and for the most part will be there.. but not all; then, you stick it into an AMD machine. You'll have to reconfigure the drivers to work vs with Ventoy - live boot, apart from specific GPU drivers, would outperform having to run some configs to get going every change.. just throwing out ideas on it..

Why not just install and swap HD's when you wanna run encrypted Zorin; does the machine accept 2.5in drives (I'm assuming a laptop FF with the USB converter)? I really do get the ease of wanting to have this work.. The ones that I do see recommended for this kind of thing are Xubuntu, or xfce DE's - Install a Full Linux OS on Your USB Drive: A Step-by-Step Guide - LinuxForDevices - little more on which ones are working kind of well. Didn't think to even ask - were you using Core or Lite? Seems like Core.. which has quite a bit of desktop enhancements. I haven't even heard this one thrown out in so long - DSL (Damn Small Linux) was one of my favorites for USB runs..

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This would be nice.
Sadly, once the user begins adding complexity and customization, automating certain things become harder.

With the choice of deviating, comes the responsibility of having to take charge of the controls.
It's a trade off that has always been in computing and I suspect always will be.

No, it does not add any complexity to how the OS runs and performs. Ventoy launches and runs the .iso and simplifies the process by not necessitating burning the .iso as a bootable disk. The Ventoy program is installed on the USB.
However, running a distro on Ventoy with an encrypted drive - I would not risk this. It would be a great way to lose access to your data irrecoverably, IMO.

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The problem with this approach is multifaceted.

  1. Are you encrypting your SSD/HDD in the event it gets lost?

  2. It may be the kernel is new enough on the machine you create your installation but it is possible the machine you try to use at your friend's house is too new and the kernel does not recognize some or all of the hardware.

It would be better to use a newer kernel or a Linux distribution with the newest kernel to mitigate complications logging into your friends computer.

Prt Sc - Captures the full screen.
Alt + Prt Sc - Captures the active window only.
Shift + Prt Sc - Let you select an area on the screen to capture it.

You can use the 3rd one since you are looking for a way to crop screenshot.
All of the Screenshots will be stored at ~/Pictures

Or you can directly copy the screenshot to the clipboard from the preview dialogue box and paste it to forum


The reason for encryption is simply, if your drive lost/stolen, nobody has an access to your private stuff (documents/photos/passwords/history).

I wish there could be an option to encrypt home/user directory on logon. So every time you create a new user you can choose to encrypt that account based on the user's password (proof of work could be used to minimize a risk for short passwords). Every user has it's own password for encryption.

Sadly not all user's data stored in the home directory. Linux done in such old fashion way that one application's data can be stored in dozens different directories. :frowning: Windows is better in a way there are ProgramFiles and User\AppData folders.

Tried 3 different computers/laptops and everything was fine so far.

It is still better than old HDD drives with limited RAM thought.
I would need to find some 2 or 4Gb RAM netbook and see how it performs.

Yes, as long as the kernel recognizes the hardware all is good. But when the kernel can’t recognize the hardware, then you will have problems. You happen to have 3 older computers that the kernel recognizes.

In Windows, it is ProgramFiles or maybe ProgramFiles(x86). But Files may also get placed in the Windows folder. The user/AppData may contain some configuration files, but the rest might be in any of the other folders.
Not to mention the Registry.

Software that is not part of the system is in /usr/share or ~/.local/share. Configurations are stored in that programs file in the above or in ~/.config. Some software may be placed in /opt.
There is no registry.

Will Windows, you have .dlls, often located in the two Twain folders. With Linux, you have shared object files, often located in in the two /lib folders. Binary files are in /bin.

They are very similar and I would say there is a slight edge to Linux, lacking a registry and the folder names being more likely to match the thing you are looking for.

Hope this helps to make an easier time finding files in your experience.

Maybe this analogy will help.. Little bit of networking..

You just got a 1Gbps fiber line to your house! NICE! Now, you've got a high speed connection; let's get that going - so that goes to the router, cool - into the INET port.. but all of your ports, except INET, are only 100Mbps ports.... :thinking: So, what's going to happen? It's going to hit your router at 1Gbps, over to your switch ports - that are only 100Mbps ports.. That's what you're doing by running a full-out OS over USB; you're bottle-necking the information being used, slowing everything down in the process being squeezed through a 100Mbps switch port. Still works though, but definitely not that 1Gbps you're paying for.. 10 times less than what you're expecting, because of link speed.. which is going to happen with a full OS install on USB. Yeah, 100+/-Mbps on transfer speed is good, right? Well, you have to match your interface speed to see that working - your USB 3.0 doesn't do GB/s transfers, but an internal drive does, with SATA. And think - with USB, you're not hosting applications - you're storing information, one way direction either reading, or writing. Not bi-directional traffic like with a dedicated bus on PCI, SATA, or even PATA IDE drives, disk cache.. This is why small devices use NAND and flash memory; these images are compressed and specifically made to run on a limited amount of RAM - you're trying to use a whole desktop ........... over USB. It literally doesn't matter how fast that external drive is, or how capable it is - or how fast the RAM, CPU, PCI, PCIe, NVMe, EMMc, and GPU are.. USB simply can't match the bus speeds of internal devices..

In the very least, you'll have nothing but issues and / or IO errors..

Like I mentioned the really old-school way of doing this kind of thing - an eSATA drive would be the best, or even a PCI/e SATA expansion card to plug the external into an actual SATA port..

I hope that helps - in any case, I really wouldn't suggest doing this at all.. (edit) Except for a persistent-live USB.. If I wanted to do what you're wanting to achieve: would use a persistent-live setup, use the external as an XFS partition or ext4, and then use something to encrypt it as to lock / unlock when used. I know it can be done (external drive encryption) but, not how it's carried out - haven't had to use it. And.. that flash drive is gonna die within a few hours lol they're capable of a lot but, they aren't as robust (chip / board wise) as an SSD; and no cooling.. might even get hot enough to melt some solder :smirk: Assuming flash media - the SATA to USB adapter might get really hot and stop working from overheating. Mine does it; was using it for Timeshift but I ended up not using it like that..

And just thought: you may be able to just use the USB SATA setup - use an 8GB partition to install the live boot to, then the rest as permanent storage in ext4 or XFS with LUKS. I just tried an old USB I have, formatted and setup LUKS via Disks - acts like BitLocker: when I plug in the USB, it asks for a password to unlock the drive for use. I'm assuming after booting live, just mount your permanent storage, enter pass, use, etc.. Might be a better option - I'm gonna try that out and see what happens...

That was interesting - works! But..

That's hawt.. compared to some things, no, not hot - but, heat = friction = slow.


I tried to get the screenshot uploaded with the password prompt when mounting the 'test' drive that's encrypted.. huge file for some reason, 2.9MB!

But, would suggest however much space you need for the live partition, then leave the other space you want to use for encryption blank until you boot the live OS. Then, use Disks to create the LUKS partition, set the password, and done.

One thing to remember - when you reboot, everything in the live portion will be gone. Unless you use Ventoy and have the small live space as persistent space in which you can create users that stay.. which I didn't try.. Because I just thought about it lol... All I did was make a small partition, 8GB, mount the 16.3 Core .iso, copied contents to the 8GB space (NTFS btw), then leave the rest blank and did the encryption from the live boot. And it's good to go for any machine! Drivers willing lol I chose to use the Nvidia graphics the first time - took a long time to boot.. But, second time around not using the Nvidia stuff was pretty quick, no issues.

And in any case, this was just a test to see what I could do - I'm sure there are tons of different ways to go about doing this and have the same outcome; or even better! Definitely a good idea though - very versatile.

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