We have experienced a severe shortage of semiconductors and I think it could become chronic. Various forces are now trying to force us to waste hardware. Windows 11, Chromebooks, and Apple Silicon Macs are good examples. And the vicious cycle of increasing wealth gap leading to information gap is already a reality.
Free software has the potential to stop this, but unfortunately, I feel that its power is being misused to widen the gap rather than correct it. Can Zorin OS address this issue?
The answer is - Yes. The ZorinGroup can indeed make strides toward helping to address these issues (and have done so before).
However, in order for ZorinGroup to do anything, it needs the support provided by Zorin OS users.
It really is up to us, more than anyone else, the users, to make our voices heard.
The existence of Zorin OS Lite is an indication of their willingness to do so. However, since desktop environments are completely different between editions, I feel that it is not easy for users who have been using Core to switch to Lite as their hardware becomes obsolete.
It is also a bit harder on troubleshooting.
However, almost all distros offer various Desktop Environments. It may not be helpful to limit the D.E.
Some users may have luck using Cinnamon (It runs great on Zorin OS). Others may prefer Plasma (KDE).
If I had my way (Which i don't) Zorin OS would move away from the Core and Lite names. The name and the description are misleading and as they currently stand, actually dissuade usage of Zorin OS Lite.
I tried Cinnamon but it did not work well. After removing the applet, I added it again and it would not display with an error. I then switched DE back to Zorin Desktop, but this time I could no longer switch IMEs. I could not find a solution to that, so I restored it to before Cinnamon installation with Timeshift. I installed it in the terminal, sudo apt install cinnamon, but was the version mismatched?
I wholeheartedly agree with you. To reduce e-waste further, 32-bit versions of GNU/Linux are still present. Not available in Zorin because Ubuntu on which it is a fork dropped support for 32-bit systems.
Perhaps the input methods of Gnome and Cinnamon conflict, but I don't know what to do because I don't know which one has the problem. Japanese support in open source projects tends to lag behind, and Cinnamon is still partially translated.
I tried KDE Plasma, but it did not work either. For some reason, the dark mode did not work in a number of apps, including the Plasma setting, and sometimes the text was unreadable as white text on a white background. And Zorin Desktop's IME stopped working again.
However, I have a good impression of KDE Plasma, and I think a distro that adopts that DE from the beginning would do well.
KDE actually has a Strong Learning Curve.
To give it a fair chance, a person must really use it for a while. It stands apart from other Linux D.E.'s.
Really... I support and love the Plasma Desktop. And I absolutely hate it and cannot use it.
I hope, someday, to smash my mental inadequacies enough to do so.
I had not thought about it.
And you surprised me with this question. You may have nailed it.
I will be blunt:
Plasma desktop is configurable and very... "fun". It has lots of features and animations.
However, in spite of all the settings that make it configurable, it is not very configurable.
The above statement makes sense when you think about it.
Being configurable means that the user can change, modify and alter things. With Plasma Desktop, there are lots of settings allowed to the user, but anything beyond those settings are much harder to alter. And many of those settings are a bit... frivolous. In gtk2 and gtk3, the settings may not cover everything but that is ok. I can go into the files and do it.
But on KDE, it is much harder to go into the files and change it.
Moreso, Plasma Desktop is highly disjointed. As a desktop, the user can organize their own workspace. But when working on the desktop itself, I often compare it to an explosion in a kitestring factory. Everything is disorganized and all over the place. Related configurations are stored separately in very different areas and in very different ways. Things are not consolidated where an operation runs from contingent parts. Pieces of the desktop are all over the place. If you want to change something, you have to find all its bits and pieces that are scattered all over the map.
As a Linux Working Environment, KDE sets a strong and very well developed experience.
But... Yes, I am disappointed that moving past the surface plunges you into chaos. It makes it much harder for users to really know their desktop which is not really what we want in FOSS.
I strongly support what KDE represents. But its methodology leaves much to be desired.
But at least KDE is open and direct and honest.
Or as near to it as a bunch of humans can get, anyway. It is a stark contrast to Red Hat, Gnome foundation and Canonical.
I can't evaluate it as clearly as you, but I have a similar impression; Plasma is fun to use, but not sophisticated.
As a matter of fact, I installed KDE Plasma on Zorin OS for trial purposes, and it doesn't matter that it doesn't work well. Most of the features of Zorin OS that I like depend on Gnome, so there is no reason to stick with this distro if I use another DE.
FOSS is an intellectual curiosity for me right now, and I'll be keeping an eye on Zorin OS to see how it progresses in the future.
THIS! I started to use "Lite" version because the low spec of my laptop, bought the pro version planning to use gnome version on my main pc (currently PopOs!) but after using lite for almost a week i don't see reason to not install it instead of Pro / Core.
I always made XFCE as second choice mainly because it looked "old" but now I discover that it depended only by Xubuntu.
Speaking of KDE, I too would like to understand how it gets this attraction. I've tried it many times on different distros (Kubuntu, Manjaro, Slackware, Mandrake and others) but in the end I always abandoned it for something that didn't satisfy me. Some time passes and here I am again downloading a distro with kde (I still don't trust me to change the d.e.)
Back in topic, thanks to the low system requirement and the functionality,I have already convinced two people to switch. Them had given up using a computer because they had old models that became unusable due to window, but with Zorin Os they could use them like the newest ones.
So I think that with open source could be useful to solve the "gap", but there is need to spread the word
I think that it's likely that Core users won't feel that their hardware is getting obsolete too quickly. Unless their focus is on gaming, Linux users don't face the slowdown of their systems that Windows users do, nor the forced obsolescence Mac users face.
When I very fist moved to Linux via Zorin OS, I hated XFCE. @swarfendor437 may just remember those days... I was unkind.
I persisted in trying to get the Zorin Gnome edition to work, for months.
I had started distro hopping and during this, I bought an old Panasonic ToughBook for shop and outdoor work. Mechanical diagnostics and stuff.
So, I set out to find a distro that made that toughbook run like a dream. One on which everything worked and I got the best performance. I, at that time, announced I would be sadly moving away from Zorin OS in this effort.
I tried a lot of distros- and finally found a Lightweight distro that worked perfectly. It not only worked, but it excelled. Processor usage would be utilized as needed instead of retaining high use. RAM was excellently managed.
It was (drumroll please....) Zorin OS Lite.
After using Zorin Lite on that machine, I then experimented on Zorin Core by installing the XFCE desktop on it. Later, I reinstalled Zorin OS as Lite on my main rig. I have never looked back.
Switching to Zorin OS Lite solved so many standing issues for me. It finally opened up the Linux world that Gnome left closed.
All I had needed to do was let go of my assumptions, biases and preconceptions. Not so hard, really.
Now, I test and really give a chance to software before forming an opinion on them.
One of the put-offs for new users might be the way panel editing works in xfce. There isn't always a description other than a recognisable icon. This is one of the shortcomings of xfce version of MX-Linux which has the panel on the left of the screen in live mode. Moving the panel to the bottom reverses the layout so you have to move the menu (whisker) up to the top of the interface which means it will be in the correct place on the left. KDE and Cinnamon have better panel editing. I must say I prefer LXQt over xfce. The 2 minor issues with LXQt is the failure of the former LXDE devs to include mouse cursor sizing that was present in LXDE, and that if you use the search bar in the kwin menu is that it does not clear when you press the super key it brings back the last search so you have to backspace to clear the search bar to get the menu back. I do like the fact that you can stretch the wallpaper across two monitors. In respect of KDE, the problematical issues are Discover that doesn't always work in much the same way Software doesn't work, which is where apper takes both updates and software installs crown - updates are the fastest I've ever seen in a GUI updater. The other bug bear is Kmail as anakondi breaks regularly so I only use Evolution on any DE these days. In terms of customisation by that I am not a themer but what I do mean is installing new themes is a lot easier to install than Gnome or xfce. If I enter theme in the search bar it offers me Global desktop themes which I select. Then it shows me what is installed. I can then select 'download new theme'. I can search by newest, popularity or I can do a custom search. It is so simple to use. Then if I want to change cursors I enter cursor theme in search bar and the same method as before. Most cursors include a size box at the bottom of the main theme interface if the theme was created with multiple sizes, the maximum usually being 48. Another plus for KDE is Font Management, no need for sudo, just need to enter admin password once add has been selected. You then have the option to install as a system wide font or as Personal, so that only you can access that font and not all users. But one of the greatest KDE applications has to be Okular. Working from home in lockdown until I retired Okular saved me an awful lot of time, that and the paid for SoftMaker Office, my workflow was far faster than using a combination of proprietary OCR software and appalling M$ Office.