Discussion on Zorin Upgrade Tool

With the upgrade tool you cannot upgrade Zorin OS Lite to full flavored Zorin OS Core.

According to the upgrade tool Zorin OS 16.3 Lite can only be upgraded to:

  • Zorin 16.3 Pro Lite
  • Zorin 16.3 Education Lite

Probably wise to put that in the documentation.
Would be nice to have that option

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This is because moving from Zorin OS Lite to Zorin OS Core is not an upgrade.
Upgrading means to move to a newer version. Core and Lite are equivalent in available versions.

Zorin OS Lite is a Full-Flavored Operating System (in fact... it has more customization options and settings than Core. This is because XFCE in general is geared toward customizing whereas Gnome is geared toward Simplicity.)

Any user can change their desktop on Zorin OS by installing the Core or Lite Desktop Environments.

For Zorin OS 16 Lite to Zorin OS 16 Core:

sudo apt install zorin-os-desktop

For Zorin OS 16 Core to Zorin OS 16 Lite:

sudo apt install zorin-os-lite-desktop

Further clarification on the Naming Scheme...

Zorin OS Lite is named "Lite" because it has a lighter footprint than Gnome (Core) does.
Gnome, which is the Desktop Environment used on Zorin OS Core, is considered a Heavy Desktop Environment because it depends on systemd resources rather heavily, which results in higher CPU usage and higher RAM consumption.
Gnome-Shell is single threaded.
The Gnome Devs did some clever coding, however, that dumps processes quickly and kills background services with more discrimination allowing heavy Gnome to be quick on its feet.

Zorin OS Lite uses XFCE which relies less on services and only uses services when they are called. Base XFCE has less startup programs associated with it. XFCE does not use a Shell, which allows processes to use multi or hyper-threading.
This means that unlike Gnome, XFCE cannot make use of Extensions. However, this is largely a non-issue since XFCE has the settings built in that the extensions add to base Gnome.

So, by and large, the preference for Gnome (Zorin OS Core) or XFCE (Zorin OS Lite) comes down to user preference in WorkFlow or User needs on Performance given their computer specs. A user may prefer Lite if they have minimal specs or if they prefer the offerings XFCE has (Such as myself, I have good high end specs but prefer Lite for WorkFlow and Performance). Another user may prefer Core if they like minimalism, simplicity, and Independent Extensions to change the desktop to suit their own needs.

Zorin OS Core and Zorin OS Lite are both full-featured editions.


Can Core users install and use XFCE safely?

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Yes, Core and Lite users can install the alternative desktop safely with the commands given above.

I did for a long time, actually - to assist in troubleshooting user issues on the forum. I had both desktops installed so that I could just switch between them to look at issues that a user might have on Core, then switch back to Lite for my own work and use.


Perhaps with ZorinOS 17 there should be a new naming for these two versions to avoid this misunderstanding, although I'll admit is a bit hard to accurately describe them using a catchy term.


I suppose it will be accessible on login screen like Wayland, right?

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Yes, you would select which Desktop version you like like a session


Dunno if this belongs here or not but ... Just completed my purchase of Zorin 16 Pro. I'm using the "Upgrade Zorin OS" tool and it's rejecting my "support code." I get the message "An order of Zorin OS 16 Pro was not found. Please check the details below." I do [check the details] and they're fine.

Never mind. BAD FONT CHOICE BY ZORIN Cannot distinguish 0 (zero) from O (capital oh).

Zorin can its you're inferior human eyes that can't :disguised_face:

Joking aside fonts are - idk - tricky- you have to balance aesthetics, with readability, with compatibility, with usability and good old preference, everyone has their own preferred - MS loves cleartype - most programmers and devs hate it - but looks good to end users, We have a mid level manager that uses a disney font for emails - i want to lock their account everytime an email comes through most annoying thing ever

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