Can Zorin replace macOS for me?

First of, this is not a vs discussion. This is just me trying to see if i can switch to Zorin.

I have been an Apple user for almost two decades, and before that i was a Linux user. At one point in time i even got a Samsung Galaxy phone with Android. I was pretty much trying to stay away as much as possible. But the truth is, i was done with the tinkering and modding and all. Doing work in IT, when i come home i just want to throw my shoes in the corner and be done with it. And for the most part, Apple provides just this. The integration of Hardware/Software is nowhere else to be seen, there's just nothing that can beat it. If you are all in the walled garden, its just blissful tapping on your screens, no worries about anything else.

That said, Apple, in recent years made some moves that question my loyalty to it. And i find myself more and more looking for alternatives that just arent there. I suppose i could move to the windows ecosystem, but thats incomplete and.. well i deal with Windows daily, i just dont want that "Windows Experience" in my private life :wink: Same goes for Android. Its the Windows of mobile platforms.

I tried DDE, Budie, Elementary OS, etc etc. But when you're coming from an Apple ecosystem, its just "not it". Elementary OS is the closest one yet, but it looks "cartoonish" from my point of view.

This past week i've been using Zorin OS, and im rather impressed. It's a bit rough around the edges, but one hopes this is smoothed out in future versions.

  • I think the Zorin Store should use ratings so users can decide if its safe to install software from the store or not. I can imagine its not possible for the team to curate all the softwares, so letting users add ratings and possible comments could offload some of that burden.

  • Creating its own apps gives the Zorin team some power over the looks of them. Especially "core apps" which also brings the benefits of introducing some form of "Zorin sync" tool, to synchronize between desktops and in the future possibly (HOPEFULLY!!) Linux tablets with Zorin. For those of us with less technical advice or whom are simply too exhausted to tinker with Linux after worktime :wink: Would be a nice combo with Zorin Grid ofcourse, especially for company's where users often switch devices.

  • The Zorin store should remind my sudo password for a while.. having to enter my password for everything i want to remove (especially after a fresh install) is cumbersome. Maybe it could remember my password for 15 minutes or so.

These are ofcourse all dreams of some weirdo perfectionist who likes linux, but at the same time craves perfection and ease of use.. And hopefully this thread can provide me with some "replacement" tools so i can completely move away from Apple in a year or few.

For now, im moving most of my cloud stuff to a Nextcloud instance. works nice on my mobile. I have not yet found a way to export my Safari bookmarks to Chromium, and i desperatly need a replacement for Omnifocus (a tasklist in Gettings Things Done style). I'm using Royal TS to manage my RDP and SSH sessions, i have replaced it with Remina but if someone knows something better (prettier?).

I understand Apple is in a unique position because they sell expensive hardware AND the software to go with it, but who knows.. Maybe Zorin can become a rival of Apple but Linux based (as opposed to Apple's Unix foundations). i SURE think its possible :slight_smile:

For now.. i'll keep macOS as my main OS and tinker around with Zorin. i am looking forward to see this project grow!

And oh yeah.. if someone knows of some hardware that looks beautiful as modern macbooks.. i'm all for it :slight_smile:

I edited your post slightly to correct for a word that is disallowed by the Forum.
If a poster finds that a word is blocked, sidestepping it in order to continue to use the blocked word is probably not going to work out...

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thanks, i editted it some more :slight_smile:
i also found Gettings things GNOME!

Not sure if its something, but i be testing :slight_smile:

I am a heavy MacOS user and still use it as my main driver. I put ZorinOS on a mid-2012 Macbook Air and was impressed on how easy the load and installation was. I think Zorin is adding the right value to the distro to make it a mainline platform.

My experience has been its pretty polished and stable. To continue on its vision, it needs to take a core set of applications baselined off of Gnome versions and create an integrated set of apps with additional features that link them together not just in look and feel but capabilities. Basically, the mail, calendar, reminder/todo and notes applications and make "Zorin version" that is tightly integrated with the OS. Like they have done with some of the utilities. This integrates with the overall direction of Gnome and will create a platform and a standard that will attract application developers.

At the application level - this will make the complete platform greater than the sum of its parts. That is the remaining delta between the Linux desktop and a platform like MacOS.


Integrated proprietary nature?

A person may as well just use Elementary OS.

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No - not a proprietary feature at all. Zorin OS is built on top of Ubuntu which is a customized build on top of Debian. Correct?

Well take the baseline Gnome apps and customize functionality - open source - into the Zorin platform. Simple - no change in approach. But then you have real value attached to the use of ZorinOS. Otherwise each distro is a slightly different visual interface with the same collection of federated applications.

Taking this approach - ZorinOS and every other distro can provide a unique value proposition to users and provide a truly cohesive experience. Still open source.

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I realize that Proprietary means closed source. However... integration that causes the user to be unable to remove applications at will mimics proprietary nature. I stand by what I just said.
Currently, users already post on the forum complaining about the inability to remove unwanted software, like Firefox, without it taking the whole desktop with it.
That is not a direction that the users want; and the users ultimately make the call by choosing whether to use an OS or not.


On that point I agree with you. Again - what I am suggesting does not equate to that. You can remove the baseline apps if desired. But having a consistent set of apps with additional functionality invested in by a company like Zorin would increase the value of a distro above just the cosmetic. These are not mutually exclusive goals. And even if they did do what you suggest - other distros would pick up those users.

The barrier to general Linux use is not the quality of the OS as an operating platform - its the consistency and integration of key applications that create a rich platform that is stable. Offering that as an option - one amongst many is not a totally bad idea.


Your store comments would be better directed towards Ubuntu as it is their software store. Zorin OS is built upon Ubuntu. And the software store that Ubuntu uses is Gnome's. Zorin doesn't tinker with the store in that fashion so therefore it can't make it remember your password.

I'm not sure what you mean by installing software that is "safe". If it wasn't safe it wouldn't be there. The store doesn't pull software willy nilly from the internet.

I get many people like star ratings because they base their decisions from strangers on the internet, but I never really understood this. So for me, I don't really care about star ratings and would pay zero attention to them. I do believe though Gnome is already working on something like this to come in an updated software store.

Zorin actually creates many things themselves. What people don't want is things that are "core" and can not be removed or changed without breaking the system.

Install Synaptic from the store and use that.

On my Chromium install I have the ability to import bookmarks. I don't know how Safari works but that seems to be a Safari issue.

One of things I like about is Zorin is I don't tinker with it. I've stated previously on here that I'm over tinkering with systems to get things to work. I bought my laptop from Dell and did not have to tinker with one thing to get it to work.


So, act in a way that is not conducive to the minds of Linux users and drive the users away to other distros? I fail to see how this is helpful.
If a person wants that sort of thing; that niche is filled: Elementary OS.

The biggest instability in Linux is not in the apps, at all.
It is in the Kernel pure and simple.


I am not sure about that - there are plenty of bugs at the application level.
There are even more apps that are simply outdated as developer interest has waned in many projects.

If we were still reliant on just two DEs - Gnome and KDE - I would agree with the risk of Gnome going in its current direction. However, we have many more than 10-15 years ago. I want to see how these different approaches pan out because there are rationale's for each. More choice and options is better than two. It also might help drive more developers to the platform for the desktop space.

I am not arguing Gnome's current path is right for everyone or will be successful. However, it might be. Just as what POPOS is doing. Or KDE Neon. Or Cinammon, etc. What Zorin has done is great. Installing and getting started is very quick and easy. I think what Gnome is doing is good as well. Divisive ? Yes. But sometimes making a decision to stick to a concept will do that. Are their motives evil/good? I don't know. I have no information to make that assessment. But as for their stated goals -- there is some merit.

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Look into the changes made to GTK4 and the D.E.s that rely on it. :neutral_face:
I think you may be unaware of this key issue that Gnome controls and its effect on all other D.E.'s. Interestingly, KDE is the most isolated from this.

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You are correct on that point. But it hasn't stopped others from doing new things - Ubuntu, Linux Mint, etc. I think there should be more core DEs that will be platforms. What POPOS is doing is a good thing as well.

I think that this hits on the core of the problem... and how we can define "proprietary."
You pointed out how sometimes, an application gets dropped or abandoned.
In another setting, like Mac or Windows, a developer losing interest in maintaining an app would mean nothing, as they would transfer maintaining that app to a new developer as long as the app is profitable.

When it comes to D.E.'s in Linux... it's not so easy.
Can you make a Desktop Environment? Would you even know where to begin? What is involved? How to mesh it with Wayland and with X?
What makes something proprietary is not strictly to whether it is limited by a Legal Copyright. Something is proprietary when it is restricted from being developed by an outside source. That restriction can take many forms and if a Core Group is smart, they know how to develop something to make it very restrictive to outside development without dirtying their hands with a Legal Proprietary label.

On top of this, even if you develop a new D.E., it must be used. You need users. Distros and users alike must be willing to adopt it and put it to work and people are far more likely to stick with what they know than to learn a New Desktop Environment. They may love it... IF they try it... but getting people to try it out is not so easy, either.

These facets of human character are easily exploited.

Many people like to point toward profitability and say, "Linux should be more like Windows because Windows works because it is profitable."
This is true. Windows does work. It has its problems, but it works, over-all.
But the more proprietary, like Windows, you get... the more Profitable it is, the more greed will corrupt the core value.
What makes Linux great is not that it is profitable (though it admittedly can be... You don't think the Zorin Brothers are scraping by on Ramen, do you?); it is that each development is often driven by a real and genuine desire to develop an app, see a need and fill that need, Learn programming and Help Others.
Add profitability and that goes right out the window and Greed corrupts the user experience. The companies involved seek ever growing profit margins and begin refining ways of ensuring they get it.
From less security - selling data - even spying... To overcharging for apps that are admittedly great and very well supported and developed but are... closed source, locked in and leave the user utterly helpless, too.

This is already happening within Linux. Red Hat. SystemD. Gnome. Ubuntu and Amazons spying that they got busted on... It remains up to us users to not be complacent, like our Windows-using counterparts.


I have been a Mac OS user since 1988. I think the OS was 6.5 then. I don't do a lot of power user stuff. I surf the net, I do spreadsheets, Powerpoint, a little project management, lots of files, photos, etc. I do printing and scanning. Listen to music. Not really a gamer. I'm extremely ticked off at Apple and big tech so I am motivated to put them all in the rear view mirror. So for my pretty simple uses I don't really have to tinker with the system and Zorin OS has completely replaced Apple. I dual booted for a couple weeks and then tossed out the apple altogether and for good. I don't really miss it. I do think I might be a little more enamored with the beauty of Zorin than some due to my Mac background. I can't really put my finger on the specifics but Zorin, to me, has its own elegance in ways that Apple does not. Just a general feel to me. I think this is also why I like a few of the things Gnome does as well more than probably most. For example, Nautilus just has an aesthetic eye appeal that I like. For users who think like me, Zorin can definitely replace MacOS. Of course, I am sitting here staring into a 27" iMac monitor so the hardware still has a hold on me. But that was paid for years ago.


(Please read this post with a tone of passion. I AM actually very passionate about FOSS and Linux, and Zorin a bit also)

i actually agree with @AllDayinVA's remarks about core apps. If Zorin had its own set of apps, follwing a preset HIG then i think soon others would follow. It'ds one of the things Apple did right. there's simply no discussion about that.

I also understand this isnt an easy task for a group of volunteers, working in their spare time on things. Apple has a relativly large RD department, paid professionals, its in some ways not fair to compare Linux to Apple. The remark "If you don't like it, move to a different distro" is fair and valid. But its also the reason why no Linux distro will ever be as big as Windows/MacOS. Linux developers in general are too much focussed on their own corner, and rightfully so! but that does present challenges to people who are "less geeky". Granted, i was much suprised with the fact that Linux has app stores now. Linux really has come far the past decade :slight_smile: its a pleasant suprise for me! But would i tell my mom to use Zorin.. no, not yet :slight_smile:

In regards to @Aravisian's remarks about Elementary OS.. ive used it a bit. and yes, they do many things right with their own app store and their own set of programs, they just have very ugly looks (thats my opinion. im not stating it as a fact) and i have to look minimal 8 hours a day to my screen, so looks ARE important. :slight_smile:

When it comes to people complaining about removing core apps.. this is true, people do complain about that. But people also complain about Safari. and its still the most used browser on iOS. Simply because the general population dont care what they use. if its on there by default and it works good, then they'll use. The people you DON'T hear are the people who "open the internet" instead of Safari or Firefox. Most people still dont care how their computer works, they just want it to work. i still do Servicedesk work every once in a while when there's a lot of sickness, and still noone ever came to me and said "can you explain why it isnt working, i like to know" they say "fix it, i want it to just work!"

@DeanG thanks for clearing that up :wink: i wasnt aware its not a Zorin specific store.. You dont care about star ratings, and i can quickly figure out if something is good or bad.. but again, my mother could not. She would open the store and go "oh, if so many people rated it good, then it must be safe to use right!" She wouldn't know how to check where the software came from, let alone run any CLI tools to check outgoing connections you dont want. For most people its "if its in the sotr, then it must be good." And since no Linux distribution can ever pay enough people to check all the software in the store's.. hence my comments about letting users rate it.

I feel i'm in the same boat as @zGnOmaha i'm getting more and more frustrated with big tech, and how they try to control the world.. So i went from bad Windows experiences, to a lot of tinkering with linux, to Apple because i became too tired to tinker.. But still, my principles are getting in the way more and more often. Apple went from beeing a vision to beeing a shareholders pet. its that simple. And if you dont care much, then its still good stuff. i still advise it to most of the people i come in contact with. But to me.. other things matter as well.

I have to believe that Zorin is looking towards the bigger marked, given that they are working on Zorin grid. i am close to ordering a Starlabs laptop with Zorin Pro, both because the starlabs guys have convinced me it just works and i dont have to tinker around to get sleep working etc. But also because i dont mind paying for good stuff. And in this i am not alone. So even though i will remove most of the stuff that comes with Zorin pro, i will still pay for it to support the dev's. I could get a much cheaper laptop, but they don't look as good as the starbook. Again, looks matter. It's something Apple understood from very early on. People are visual animals. Something i learned to exploid when i worked in the food industry. No matter how much high class cacao you put it in, if the cake looks like poop, people will not buy it. no matter how great the taste.

@Aravisian you speak about corruption and greed. And much of this is true. But it only takes one person with a vision and good leadership.. :wink:

I believe it is possible to have these good quality and well integrated apps that @AllDayinVA and i speak of (dream of) and still stay true to the core beliefs of FOSS.

If i was a milionair, i would instantly buy Elementary OS, pay the dev's to change the GUI into something nice to look at (again, this is subjective.. but 7 out of 10 people will chose the macOS gui over Elementary's.. so looks ARE important) Get into business with some hardware vendors (like starlabs) look into making it proffitable..

I work in IT Security, and i recently got a job at a very small firm, saw half my salary vanish into thin air, and i have NO regrets. why? because my two collegues do the same. No big car's, no fancy suits. We use much FOSS tools to keep the prices low so we can help the SMB become more secure. We could easily use the same FOSS tools and charge big bucks to big company's (what my former company did) so we can buy big cars.. But for me and my collegue's its not about money. We want to earn enough to live good lives, but we dont care about becoming rich. You can't take it with you in the end anyway. I now get to spend time with my clients, and actually talk with them, understand their worries and their dreams, and not be bothere by targets and managers. To me, this is more important then money. I only care for money because you need it to pay the bills.

In fact, if i was rich i might even stop working all together and get the whole country op Zorin OS because i had enough time to help everyone, and pay some people to do Servicedesk as well :slight_smile: ahh the dreams i have :slight_smile:

Look at my long post.. and they say IT people dont know how to communicate, tssk.

Also, please dont see my posts as complaints, or attacks. if anything, see them as a compliment from someone who thinks Zorin can be something, and who wants to think along how to do that :wink:

AND.. while im still dreaming, imagine if we had Zorin Tab and Zorin phone.. WHOOOO! one could finaly get rid of the big tech! Something i believe more and more people are beginning to realize. the most heard (and true) excuse is "but what else is there, nothing that works for me".

In the end my "loathe" of money is also my biggest achillisheel.. because if i had money, i could do with Linux what Apple did :slight_smile: If there's one thing big ol' Steve and i have in common, its that we where/are both HSP people. And those people tend to care for perfection and detail (a very handy trait when you're in ITSec :slight_smile:

@AllDayinVA I'm no programmer (i'm learning Rust though) but it seems to me you and i are on the same page when it comes to core apps etc.. maybe we should brainstorm a bit, what if we could figure out a way to provide high quality core apps, but with the freedom for users to use them?

I found a very briliant young designer who designed a complete touch GUI. we just lack the funds to pay for programmer's, otherwise i would have had my linux tablet already :wink:

And now im off to bed..



Thank you for your post. I think you captured my thoughts accurately. I am a big fan of Linux and FOSS. I have a couple of linux servers running my home email/calendar/contacts application server. I would like to see this approach to software and technology grow. My point was that to achieve more use and implementation does require focused projects. What raised this thought for me was the ease of installation and use of ZorinOS. Being used to using ubuntu and Suse Linux 19-15 years ago - I was amazed how quick it was to set up and get my email connected and recognize and use my networked printer. The modern linux desktop is far more refined than just 10 years ago. So the biggest issue back in the day was just getting it to work - is now solved.

Then I started reading about the controversy on the direction Gnome is going with enforcing standards and reducing scope of customization to provide a more stable and consistent platform to attract developers. And I realized that the constant desire for unlimited customization is what held Linux desktop/laptop back and hampered grassroots application development. The OS in its current form is excellent. But the OS itself does not provide the value - its the application layer that attracts users. I believe that focus, particularly in FOSS software is important in a resource constrained environment.

As stated, if Zorin took the baseline Gnome apps for mail, calendar, contacts, and notes and enhanced them into a "Zorin" version that eliminated bugs, developed integration, and added sought after features and included that with their baseline OS - that would add value and attract users. These apps could be open source like their Gnome baseline, they could be removed just as any other app can - but they would be there and reflect the goals and objectives of the Zorin Linux project. Once that is done --- they could do the same for the photos app and music app. Now you have an open source platform that creates an enhanced user environment. Everything working and configured out of the box.

Now other distros could the same or not. Vive la difference.

But Zorin seems to have a coherent UI and have created their own apps to enhance the simplification of using ZorinOS. Hence I am willing to pay for a Linux distribution to help a project such as this. I believe the "free" part of FOSS is liberty not free as in beer. I would also like to see security and online anonymity engineered and designed into this distro/platform.

I would be willing to work towards this end. I have done programming (in youth) and have worked in the IT industry leading teams implementing financial management/enterprise systems. There is a lot of opportunity here and a way to free people from big tech spying, censorship, and control.

Let me clear - I don't expect every distro to do this or saying they should - I think a focused program with a clear vision and objectives would produce something of high value for the linux/FOSS world.

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Very well said.

This reminds me of:

As a mechanic... I can tell you:
Many people may not care how their car works; they just want it to work. This often means that they Do Not Understand Proper Maintenance.
They have high expectations. They demand getting what they want and feel entitled to get it, whether they have worked to earn it or not. You do not need to know Torque Physics to know When and How to change your Oil.

Like a two year old throwing a Tantrum, and only cares about getting what they want; Humans will try the path of least resistance while attempting to have their wants fulfilled. Which brings me back to:

If you don't care; you just feel entitled to get what you want - Then you better be prepared to Open your Wallet Wide. Because you do not deserve any other consideration.

If a person only cares about getting what they want with no concern for Ownership Of The Problem or Personal Responsibility, then they are not entitled, they are just an Easy Target.
Pandering to this mentality - Already Exists. It's marketable and exploitable and wildly fallacious. Microsoft and Apple have got it thoroughly covered.
Simply put:
Who Cares if Linux isn't taking their market away from them? Is this an issue? If so, Why?
Windows Exists and they Have the market. Just like eBay exists and eBay has the online auction market - period. No other competitor has ever had any luck cutting into eBay. Because all the buyers and sellers are on eBay. It is established. If you want to reach the most bidders and perform the best, you need to go where the bidders are. If you want to get the best pickings, you must go to where the sellers are. So it is not possible to take the market away from eBay. There is no way of establishing it, after the fact. It's already been established. It's done.
MS Windows established the global OS market. It dominates that market to this day.
Apple is probably the strongest contender - ever - to provide competition against Microsofts Established Position and the most they ever attained was... about 07.00%.

But Linux offers something that Windows and Apple Do Not Offer.
And turning Linux into Apple or Microsoft is utterly Pointless. Making it offer what they offer is absolutely counter-productive.

So, all of the above considered, why would someone want Linux?
There are two primary reasons:

  • It is free
  • It is less intrusive

Ok so with the first one... If someone doesn't care about anything except getting what they want, then here we have someone that does not care about anything except their Entitlement Attitudes but to add insult to injury - They Want It All for FREE.
I have Zero Sympathy.


The second is that they find those that exploit human laziness and personal self-interest to be intrusive because they are Easy Targets by not caring to bother learning or picking up a book or actually putting some effort in which... I am sure you can guess...
I have no sympathy.


Linux exists for the geeky.
It exists for those that are the Motivated.
The doers.
The ones who care.
If a person isn't any of those things, that is fine. There's Microsoft right over there - go use it and enjoy that massive market and Leave Us Alone.

If you do care... Pick up a book, prepare yourself for some learning and Welcome to Linux. Appreciate us, but do not try changing us. We do not owe you anything. We do not owe you an OS done your way and with no learning or effort on your part all done for FREE.


@Aravisian - You statement is full of preconcieved notions and reflects an attitude of "us " versus "them". You have a lot of preconceived notions about other people who have different ideas from yours.

My understanding of the FOSS movement and Linux in particular is that it was for everyone who was interested in a different model of development. You complain about others forcing their views on what Linux should be and then turn around and do the same thing. Self awareness is a noble trait - try it.

Linux is for the geeks -- of course.
Linux is also for those who want to get real things done in the best ethical way possible - that is true too.
Linux is also for those who want an easy and secure way to access technology, content, and data. -- This is true too.
Linux is also for corporations - they use it, make money off of it and they also fund it. -- This is true too.

All of these perspectives are valid and not mutually exclusive - that is why we have so many linux projects and activities. That is the beauty of it. Just because someone presents a different use case or objectives for linux does not mean it destroys yours.

In this model there is room for all.

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This should be put on signs!!! I love this..