I bought and installed 16.01 over the weekend. I had a few questions before I got started and people were helpful in answering them. The experience over all has been great. I would recommend the Pro version to anybody.
That being said I have two small gripes.
It would be nice if there was some way to try out the Pro GUI addons in the live version basic disk before you have to fork out $39 for it. The MacOS GUI (with the options of the other ones) was the killer feature here for me and I was quite hesitant to fork out the money till I had had a play with it. It all honestly, I found an older install on a torrent site of Pro that I spun up in a VM to try first. I was always going to buy if I liked it, but I had no way of getting a look at it before buying. I understand why you wouldn't want to include it in the base install but is there any technical reason why you can't install it in the live version? If there is then so be it, just thought i'd mention it.
I did the "minimal install", and it had some games, libre office and other junk in it. Is the minimal install broken or is that actually part of it? It made for a lot of junk I had to uninstall. Heck, I would have been happy if minimal didn't even include a web browser and installing one of my choice had been part of the install steps after first boot.
Those grips aside though, it is a beautiful product that works well and the option for the different window manager layouts means when my wife uses my desktop for something she can choose one of the windows style ones and be happy with it while I have the MacOS one. I don't know why other distros don't do this?
The store works really well too, easy to find and install everything and it is pretty obvious which are debs, snaps and flatpaks.
This is a result of user feedback, much like yours. Users had noted that using the Software Store, it was difficult to know the source. Beginning in Zorin OS 16 beta, the Software store came with the necessary plugins to allow a Source Button on the headerbar that users can quickly and easily reference what source the package was coming from.
One of the best additions, in my opinion.
It is not broken. What comes with Pro is quite a lot of software. Libreoffice is standard on Zorin OS, along with the Browser, etc. This comes with Core, as well as with Lite and Education.
The simplest point is - You cannot please everyone. Some users may complain that the minimal install is not minimal enough even as others complain it is too minimal. Most users prefer the OS to come with a Browser, hands down. Since your primary interest was in the MacOS Layouts, anything else would seem more superfluous from your perspective.
Others may not care at all about the layouts and be eyeballing the other goodies.
Including the layouts in a trial is essentially the same as including it in Core. It provides all the necessary code.
Given this, the reason for not including the offerings of Pro in a trial is - Piracy. Which in these times, is quite rampant.
Including all the code would make the piracy that much easier.
Zorin OS, Core, Lite and Education are all 100% Free of Cost.
In order to support development, the ZorinGroup opted years ago to include a Paid Version. By choosing Zorin OS Pro, users enable development to remain steady and have a long term future.
Having been a Zorin user since version 4, it would be good if they could reintroduce the Zorin Browser Chooser, have Firefox ESR as the main browser but also include privacy respecting browsers such as LibreWolf. Interestingly Feren OS adopted the Zorin Browser chooser in earlier iterations, as did Pear OS. I always thought it to be a great application. On a wider note, Windows users have the advantage of https://ninite.com for freeware without the adverts and avoid clicking on the wrong download link. It would be great if the wider GNU/Linux community setup a similar site. That said we do already have access to something similar in the form of https://pkgs.org.
No I agree you wont be able to please everyone. Suggesting no browser was probably a reach. The "minimal" blurb though says "basic tools and a web browser" so I didn't expect the office suite and some games to be included. It makes me wonder how much stuff is in the standard install?
That was my guess. I didn't mean in the install version though, just on the live disc. But I guess if they are on the live disc you can copy them across.
I have no problem paying for it, the product looks good and i'm happy to support the development. I was just iffy on installing it without being able to see it first. So I made mention.
I did try the Core version when I was considering other distros. I didn't care for the window manager layout. I love the Mac one though. I got used to it when I switched to PopOS! about a year ago. I was looking for something else because their PopShop keeps being broken and I was getting sick of it. I tried a couple of other "looks like a Mac" distros but wasn't happy with anything I found.
I get the reason for not including them, especially if you can just copy the files across from the live version. I only made mention because an inability to try it was stopping me from buying.
Perhaps a live only disc? Probably more hassle than it is worth? I don't know. I've never built a linux distro.
It makes a lot of sense. It is very helpful to try something out, first. An image chosen for you can only relay so much.
Any user can create a custom Mac Style layout on their own. It's not proprietary. Choosing Zorin OS Pro allows getting the layouts made for you, expertly. But it is true any user could make the layout if they wished and looked into how to do so.
But it is also true that including it in the Live Version, which is also the installer, it would make things very easy on those that pirate.
You have gotten me thinking about a website that used to allow Trial Demos of many different distros. It was called distrotest but sadly, it is no longer functional.
But the concept is valid. I wonder if a webpage could host a trial version of Pro...
To be honest, i'm not sure how true that is in practice. Someone who is intent on not paying for the software is probably not going to bother with the hassle and find a copy of the pro one floating around somewhere.
Admittedly I don't know how easy it would be to copy the software from the livecd.
Anyway, I am enjoying Zorin OS at this point, the experience has been very positive and i'm glad I made the switch.
The checksum is generated on the ISO. It is publicly posted on the download page of the official zorin website. It is to verify that no one tampered with the files (any changes will cause a different checksum). You already know someone tampered with the files if you downloaded a pirated version.
Trying pro features is permitted by some software, but to ensure there are not any easy ways to turn the freely distributed versions of Zorin into pro, the developers choose not to offer that. While it is understandable to want to try something before purchasing, there are many things that don't allow this and usually for good reason.
The entire point of getting pro is to support the developers. The bundled software and themes are a perk, but not the purpose. The idea that you have to cheat developers out of well earned money for a desktop layout and bundled software (that is freely available) is ludicrous. That you had to "try" a layout by pirating the software first strains credulity. "I had to make sure it was good enough"... really? Are you just saying you purchased it as well to get assistance on a pirated version? You see how this is a valid concern, since you are not the first to ask for aid after downloading from piratebay?!
Your excuse to validate your actions is not valid nor accepted. Please stop justifying your misdeeds.... you will not convince us... only yourself.
So...you became guilty of piracy just to see if the software was a good value for you? It is great that you bought PRO ( I did as well ) but hundreds or thousands more will simply use the Pirate version. Not good for the developers.
I do agree about the abundance of extra software included and I have spent a rather small amount of time removing said software but...the stuff I removed I will never have a need for whereas someone else will certainly have a need for some of that software. It is better to have two or three tools for photo management to try out than to have no tools and to not know what to look for. Double edged sword but certainly the edges are dull and inflicts no pain on the user.