My experience as a 1st time linux user

So I’m a long time Windows user, as probably most that are new to Linux. I have a reasonable technical knowledge.

So. Install was fine. simple enough.

Desktop. 1st thing I like to do is change my desktop background, make it personal. right click desktop, nothing happens. Go to load an internet page to look up some help, nope…no internet. instinctively I go to bottom right corner, look for a WIFI button, nope… not there. Open settings, go to network… nope not there. has its own “wifi” section hidden within the settings. 1st impressions we not great.

so get internet connected, try to find a fix for my right click, yay finally I can my desktop background… 2 hours later. got instructed to open up a terminal, install gnome tweaks. As a new user, this is already starting to overwhelm me.

now I need to chillax a bit, go to watch a YouTube vid, to realize my resolution is stuck at 720p. Tried searching updates, zorin was all up to date. searched for drivers in start menu, they said all up to date. I have to admit, at this stage I had enough, I moved on and installed a different linux OS. I’m not going to say what, but the experience has been a lot better. it is a shame because Zoran to me, looked beautiful, even at 720p LOL

Keep working on it guys, need to appeal to new users a little better.

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gnome tweak in zorin? for what?

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To get right click on my touchpad apparantly lol.

Pains33k3r, my first time experiencing Zorin was about as rough.
I struggled along though and stuck with it, mainly due to the fact that as a first time Linux user, I had no knowledge of what to make of other distros. I did not try distro hopping until months later.
But about three months in, I removed Zorin Core and installed Zorin Lite.

And then everything changed.
Right click on Desktop- get a full menu of options.
Right click on Panel (Taskbar) Full menu of options, ability to add and remove applets.
Bottom right corner of panel- Network Connections icon.

The experience you just had is one I have already argued with Artyom Zorin about. He made a lot of good strong points, but in the end, my mind is unchanged.
Gnome Desktop is THE WORST desktop to start a new Linux user out on. It is clunky, balky, buggy and very user-unfriendly. The options, settings and tweaks are hard to find. Making adjustments is counter-intuitive. And it is nothing at all like Windows. And why would we need to download Gnome-Tweaks in order to make adjustments, anyway? And how is someone supposed to even know about Gnome-Tweaks?

Zorin Lite uses XFCE4 desktop - Which is user friendly. Settings are easy to find and adjustments and customization is easy.
And I am all about customization.
In the time since, I moved away from XFCE4 for other reasons. Now, I am using Cinnamon desktop, installed on Zorin, giving the best of both worlds. The full functionality and customization with Cinnamon and the speed and performance of Zorin OS.

Good to know that you explored and find a distro you like. That is what Free Open Source is all about.


@Aravisian Please advise how to install Cinnamon desktop as I would like to try it out. Now my comp is with Ultimate 15. Thanks.

I use the embrosyn stable;
Add the repo

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:embrosyn/cinnamon

Then install:

sudo apt-get install cinnamon-core

sudo apt-get install cinnamon-desktop-environment

sudo apt-get install cinnamon


I couldn’t agree more about GNOME. Also, the XFCE implementation on Zorin Lite is just, hands down, the most beautiful experience out there. I literally don’t need to do any tweaking after a fresh install. If a Windows user wants to experience Linux for the first time, I always refer them to Zorin Lite.


Ya, I hate Gnome, I much prefer XFCE, cause it gives me the power of flexibility through customisability. As long as you don’t have a brand new 2021 computer, OS 15.3 is the way to go, otherwise, go POP OS if your computer is brand new.

gnome tweak is on the software store. somehow I tried to use it the first time using linux. I prefer and feel comfortable using the MacOS-style desktop environment than Gnome and Windows-style. I’m a little confused when using gnome.

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When I start knowing Linux I failed to install it Multiple times in my desktop only knowing that my computer isn’t capable of running Linux. I stop then tried and fail again. 4 years have passed and I decided to fully devote myself on using open-source software, so yeah I tried CentOS… And it is very rock solid! Realizing that CENTOS Linux will be gone this year… So I hop and hop and hop that I master some of Linux Distros installation procedures like, dealing with permissions, LVM, Gdisk and Fdisk, all booting stages, systemd, systemv, Filesystem and File systems hierarchy, and many more (Anaconda is my favorite install interface) the only thing I failed to install is the ArchLinux which took me 1 week only to fail. So because of the bad experience in Installation and Configuration, user desktop experience isn’t much a problem to me. And I don’t have a problem with zorin, I use the lite release because I don’t like heavy software due of owning a pretty old laptop back in college.

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I thought gnome was to much like windows. I love xfce4… best window manager/ desktop in my opinion, but I’m new to the Linux community. I’ve heard of other window managers, but am enjoying the simplicity and light xfce to much right now to explore other options. I can be rather picky about my customization. Currently I’m looking into embedding a few things or creating views with python so my desktop shows a little information. (I’m a fan of rainmeter on windows)

It is a shame that people expect easy and no learning curve. The point is to try and learn something new… you’re going to in life anyway so may as well learn what you want to and try something, i mean really try it, before giving up. Nothing worth doing is easy, it can seem that way though. Shouldn’t be bitter just because something requires the user to do something.


I have some bad news- your enjoyment is short lived.
XFCE 4.16 has taken a “gnome-clone” direction and also switched to CSD’s, as well. This is something I have argued (Heavily) with the developers of XFCE4. And they are irresolute.
It got more heated when they claimed that the decision to change XFCE as they had was voted upon by the XFCE team when their independent developers spoke up and said, “Uhh… you mean it was a vote only between you two because we got no vote, only orders.” Outed.
Mark gave a slew of misleading statements and in the end, it became clear that their motive was that they felt that they were understaffed and overworked, leading to the decision. It would have been fine if they said that openly; But misleading readers and declaring that We WANT them to do what they are doing was way out of line. Constantly changing their story as to how they knew the XFCE user crowd would react added much injury to insult. It resulted in me leaving and quitting the XFCE4 permanently, which stands to this day.
At that time, I did switch to another desktop that I find to be a bit heavier than XFCE, but as customizable and enjoyable and the dev team is much more supportive. I won’t name it- though it is no secret. You are enjoying your desktop experience right now and no need to blight that- When the time comes, you will know all about other D.E.'s.
Also have been looking at a project I gave only a working title to of XFEX, or XF EXtended; to fork from XFCE maintaining its original design in most ways. One focus has been to solve the inability to click and drag to resize window borders on a 1px width border in XFWM4, which I managed to clobber together a way of doing so by adding a window widget carrying margins- But only works on gtk-3.24 and up. For now.
But that has been somewhat back-burnered lately.

You code also? Is there anything you don’t do Aravisian? I’m in the process, as I’ve said, learning Java, python, c, Javascript, typescript and xml. Was trying to brush up on my perl and the finer details of c++…i can read the code just fine… solve the problems of tutorials without to much difficulty… but assembling an entire program, where to begin… that’s where I’m at a loss. Most likely because of lack of knowledge of all the apis available and what they do, how they interact.

If you’re ever in the mood to talk icon customization or development I’ve got ears.

That sounds like a wonderful project you’re working on… it’s it on git?

I will likely take you up on that offer. I am also Learning Novice, not an Adept Expert. But motivated.
When I look at how horribly mangled themes I ported or made were in the beginning, for example, I am embarrassed I ever uploaded them. I have come a ways, but it is also clear I have far to go.

It is not, mostly because of what I just said above, not due to any secrecy. Also because my mind likes to say I would be better off leaving it in the hands of Real Experts, not Imposters like me.
Also because since MS bought Git, they now charge fees for carrying files of such sizes and it makes my middle fingers twitch.
I am pretty intolerant of Big Dogs growling at my work. I recently pulled everything off OpenDesktop as well (with lots of dramatic flair… They really ticked me off). Am in the process of making my own webpage and server to upload my work on to keep downloads free and fair.

I didn’t realize that ms was charging according to repository size… but i haven’t made any large contributions… mostly school related, functions, classes and such.

I don’t know why they’re so secretive, (developers), when they are supposedly so open. I find it difficult to discuss code with any seasoned developer i come across…i get the i remember when… but not a lot of direction. Read this and Google it are not answers… they’re evasions. Direct answers either take to long, no time for that, or i guess they feel it’s best i put it together on my own some how. The ones willing to talk are not all that far ahead of me.

I believe there are several innocent reasons and time is a big one. Even if a person has the time- they kind of don’t. Repeating yourself over and over just isn’t fun, when you get asked over and over for the same thing over and over. After a while, you may, even brusquely, refer the inquisitor to the reference material on a net search.

But there may be less innocent reasons, too. I see this one in many fields, from Science to Software to Web development; Humans like to leave some mystery to give an air of superiority. By not disclosing how easy something is, it makes them appear smarter.
I see this in the sciences a lot. It is true that there are moments when even I have said, “It’s hard to explain without a lot of math.” But usually, it can be explained decently without a lot of math.

When you get the site live let me know… I’d love to take a look, not that i could possibly contribute. Though I’ve beenreading a lot of uncle Bob, agile coding and refactoring

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You might also Feedback the idea to the Zorin Team to create a Coding Discussion category right here on the forum to encourage active development and individual growth.

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While I still enjoy XFCE if its available, for example, POP OS with XFCE, I will say that I am annoyed that XFCE handled things the way they did. They could have been more upfront and more transparent. When I first began learning about Linux, I learned that it was open source.

I further learned that Linux gives the user choice as well, and that Linux is for the user, not a companies bottom line. But seeing the path of several Linux developers now, going the way of Microsofts philosophy, I can’t but help to think, Linux is beginning to lose its way.

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No, not Linux. Linux can’t lose its way. Again the only possible fault is in human beings. Linux isn’t perfect, and won’t get there without the dedication and conviction of people to do the right thing instead of the profitable thing. Don’t need to go the way of Sun Microsystems… now Oracle.

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