Installed Zorin 16.1 and constantly troubleshooting

I so badly want to have Windows out of my life but I can't seem to find a Linux distro that is remotely reliable. Used earlier versions of Zorin on various PC's and it was always a constant battle troubleshooting every time I installed a new program. No difference with the latest 16.1 release. Is this just the nature of the beast? I built a Raspberry Pi streamer to bypass the lack of a Tidal app for Linux but at the very least I'd like a functional EQ program. Every single one was a battle to get to the point of kind of working but there was always some feature that would freeze the system. Totally frustrating. Bleach bit would occasionally lock it up. Protonvpn was a nightmare and now has my system unable to connect to anything even though its uninstalled. I can go on but you get the drift. Are there any Linux distros that just work without having to troubleshoot each new program I install ? It shouldn't be a constant uphill battle. I spend more time trying to get things to work properly than actually using them.

I know this frustration. It is something I dealt with a lot when I first left Windows behind and started on Linux via Zorin OS.
Eventually, I got so frustrated that I tried to find another distro that works better than Zorin. I tried a large number (there's a thread going right now about the distros we have all tried...) and ended up right back on Zorin OS...Lite.

What I am about to say may be too blunt. OR impolitic. But in life, we must occasionally accept the Facts -without personal bias.
What I discovered on this journey was where the problem was: Me.
I was so busy trying to install things by any means necessary, that I tried all manner of guides without knowing what they did; some were outdated, some assumed you know things already even if you don't... I tried commands one after another... and just cluttered things up and gave my system conflicting configurations.
In the end, I needed to learn to

  • Step back and relax
  • Stop looking outside for what I must trust within
  • Be willing to learn.

I needed to slow down and face installations methodically - research them, learn about them, then apply them the Right Way instead of forcefully. When I did, my installation troubles faded away...
On Windows, everything is Standardized. Same System, same Desktop Environment, Same Dependencies.
And it still has these troubles. Linux has many variations of Desktops and while this bears the great gifts of a user finding exactly what suits them - it has a cost of Learning More Information.

I can and do recommend many different distros. For many reasons. But in the end, it does not really matter which you use... the results you get will depend largely on You, not the distro. So pick whichever one tickles you the most.
Then, set forward on learning your system and installing the right way, each time.
This forum is a resource you can use to seek help on installations and configurations; as are many forums. Some users of this forum may not use or know much about a piece of software you want to install. But it doesn't hurt to Check in and find out. And there are other forums.
First points:

  • Note the date of an installation guide. If it's pretty old, avoid it.
  • Avoid dependency hell - if you find yourself falling into a dependency hole - it means you misstepped somewhere. Do not continue down that path... back out of it and seek another method. For me, this often happened when I was trying to install a package that was abandoned and no longer maintained and I did not realize it.
  • When installing from Source, make sure you have cmake, make, ninja and git-essentials installed already. Most any source should be as simple as ./configure, make, sudo make install. If it is not that simple, something has gone wrong. Back out of it and explore why...
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Not sure what you mean by dependency hole? In this most recent install I primarily used the Software Center for programs other than Proton VPN. I was under assumption that if they were available there they were tested and stable, but I was obviously wrong. I tried some of the same software from reputable sources using terminal that didn't work when installed from the Software Center but encountered the same issues as the Software Center installs. Protonvpn was a nightmare so I currently researching VPN's that are Linux friendly. I have a lot to learn when it comes to networks, protocols ect and setting it all up via terminal. Getting a VPN working reliably is priority one right now. I have Windows and Linux on 2 different drives on the same PC so I have a stable fall back while I experiment and learn but right now I'd be happy with the programs it comes with that seem to have no issues but a reliable VPN and a functional EQ for audio are essential and elusive at the moment.

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Hi @SamIam can you elaborate on your ProtonVPN issues? I'm a happy customer and have been using it with Zorin for many months without issues, now.

IIRC (If I Recall Correctly), I followed the instructions over at How to install the ProtonVPN Linux app on Ubuntu 20+

Note that the Software Center will show you a lot of things, not just "vetted" by Zorin or Canonical/Ubuntu. Depending on your configuration, you can be shown Flatpak or Snapcraft versions that aren't maintained and aren't necessarily "plug-and-play". You should look at a package's source at the top right (for where it's coming from) and bottom (to see who maintains/publishes it).

I hope that helps!

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ProtonVPN is a nightmare. I have used it, too. This is also true with other VPN services... OpenVPN seems to work well. Personally... I prefer a different approach: I do not trust leaving my port management to someone else.
I use TOR and set up my proxies myself.

The Gnome-Software center most resembles the Windows App Store - for this Reason, Zorin OS uses it to provide a familiarity to Windows Users migrating to Linux.
However...
Gnome-Software is buggy. It gets a lot of complaints. It needs work.
I recommend using Synaptic for a powerful and versitile GUI package management tool. It has never failed me.

sudo apt install synaptic

Admittedly, I only use Synaptic for the trickiest of uninstalls or installs. I generally only use the Terminal for package management. Usually APT, sometimes Aptitude.

We have many audophiles- Please feel free to start a thread looking for recommendations.

I remove snapd and flatpak immediately, thereby solving this problem. :stuck_out_tongue:

IMHO .... one of the biggest hurdles in switching from Win to Zorin is that it is extremely hard to let go of how Win works and that is just download and install any app you want with no thought as to anything not working .....

When you use MS Windows you are as a small child because all choices are made for you and there because everything is just Plug & Play so to speak .... plus Win has a tremendous army of software companies writing software for them that works right out of the box .....

Linux on the other hand is very small with few software companies contributing to it's development .... and some of these companies just do the bare minimum to partially make their software comparable with little or no updates .... I mean if you are producing BMW's with 90 % of the world market share why would you start making VW's with a 2% share ..... same thing the software companies do is go to where the money is ....

While more and more people are switching to Linux because of the stupid garbage M$ is now doing it will take some time before the software trend changes .....

As to VPN's I used NordVPN on Win for years but they don't have a Plug & Play version for Zorin .... everything is done by way of the terminal .... so I took the easy way out and went with ProtonVPN because they just have an app that you can download and install .... but like you I had all kinds of problems and finally gave up and because I still had a year left on my Nord purchase (of a three year purchase) I went about trying to install NordVPN ....

Not to much info on this board as very few folks use Nord here ..... getting my head unscrewed from Win I went to their website and through trial and error I learned how to install NordVPN on Zorin .... I wrote a little tutorial in the Tutorials & Guides here on the board if you want to read it ....

NordVPN requires the use of the terminal if you want to use it .... and no it isn't difficult .... after installing the app and logging into their website to validate my account info or open a new account I logging in to Zorn by opening the terminal and simply type in "nordvpn c us" ..... c for connect and us for US if you want to connect to the US .... jp for Japan etc .... if you want to disconnect just type "nordvpn d" .... but if you just disconnect from Zorin it will disconnect automatically and you must reconnect when you restart Zorin .... there are a whole list of commands you can download and save to review later .... I'm finding new stuff to do with NordVPN all the time ....

Anyway don't get discouraged and give up on Zorin .... it is the best OS I have ever used and once you get used to it you will I hope think so also .... just get your head out of Win and start thinking like you never ever used MS windows ....

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try it:
protonvpn-cli config -l && protonvpn-cli s
protonvpn-cli d && protonvpn-cli killswitch --off

Yes Proton VPN sent me the same solution but it still didn't allow me to get my wired connection to work. I nuked the HD and tried Mint Cinnamon. Every Issue I had with Zorin is gone using Mint. Protonvpn suggested the switch because they don't support Zorin. Glad I took their advice because it solved every single problem I was having with Zorin not just vpn.

Protonvpn suggested I switch to Mint OS because they don't support Zorin. Glad I took their advice because it solved every single problem I was having with Zorin not just the VPN issue. Every program was installed directly from their Software manager and works flawlessly. Five days into using Mint and it's working flawlessly. So I'd have to say for my small experience the Distro matters. I prefer the Zorin desktop but that's a small sacrifice for a headache free experience. Thanks for your input tho.

I've never had any significant problems while using protonvpn , nordvpn, surfshark and expressvpn on linux. only expressvpn experienced a bit when disconnecting then reconnecting. in my opinion, surfshark is not quite complete than others(that I've tried) when used on linux.

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I also recommend Mint. It uses the Cinnamon DE which is by far the most user-friendly and "stable" desktop. The mintinstall which is quicker and smoother than gnome-software. It has the kernel switcher setting, which I must admit did not seem appealing to me before but I had a problem with the kernel recently and now I have more respect for Mint for adding that feature. They have a huge community support and a huge team that develops Mint. They removed every bit of Snap and Flatpak completely, thus, making their OS faster.

I will be posting a feedback on Zorin OS after a few days when I will be completing exactly 3 months without Zorin OS because that would give me enough time to decide whether Zorin OS has reached the mark where all other distros are.

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Moved to feedback because the problems listed by the OP are not going to be solved because they moved to a different distro (Linux Mint).

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I use Cinnamon DE also but on Zorin .... no fuss no muss .... and I do agree on it being the most stable and user-friendly ....