My one month with Zorin

Like many people, I lost a whole lot of trust in Microsoft and other big tech companies during 2020. I've dabbled with Linux for years (my first go was Mandrake), but didn't commit to anything because prior jobs required proprietary software that wouldn't work in Linux. But I'm now working on my own and get to choose my OS and software.

I began with Ubuntu. It was ok. But I wanted something a little more user friendly.

After some research, I settled on Zorin. The installation was fairly easy, though I had one issue with it. It got stuck with this error: "Error informing the kernal about modification to partition /dev/sda1 -- device or resource busy..." etc. I got around that by not allowing it to connect to the internet while installing the OS. I then installed the updates once the OS was up and running.

Zorin was by far the closest to a Windows experience that I had on Linux. What I mean by that is everything is ready to go out of the box. The program selection and utilities were mostly in place with the "Core" edition, and there was way more than enough with the "Pro" edition that I purchased. The night light worked well and could be configured just like Windows' Night Light. Tweaking the settings felt far more familiar than any other version of Linux. The GUI itself was well designed and pleasant to look at. No complaints there, only compliments!

After a month of playing around with the Pro edition and liking almost everything about Zorin, I ended up not sticking with it for three reasons:

  1. It was a bit buggy. Sometimes desktop icons just stopped being clickable until I restarted (I could use the keyboard to select and open programs, but not the mouse). Other things like the software center would hang up for several minutes (probably partially due to my slow internet connection). It was kind of like Windows in the 90s - charming but a little buggy. While Mint is not nearly as lovely to look at (and took more time to configure), it's currently more dependable for me.

  2. Even with the Linux driver from Xerox, Zorin still wouldn't print anything. It recognized the printer was there, but the generic driver that it insisted on using just couldn't print. So, I was faced with a decision to either replace my fairly new laser printer or try a different distro (I have to print lots of stuff for my job, and switching back and forth between Windows and Linux every time I need to print something is a deal breaker). By contrast, I downloaded a Fuji-Xerox package in the Mint Software center and my printer worked perfectly as soon as I plugged it in (that package isn't available in Zorin).

  3. The OS itself was a bit slow. For my small business, I bought two identical off-lease Dell Latitude laptops. On one I put Zorin, and on the other I put Linux Mint. The Mint laptop felt more "snappy" and completed tasks quickly. The Zorin one would lag. Software center and updates completed quickly on Mint; they completed... most of the time on Zorin. Coupled with icons frequently not becoming clickable, I sometimes wasn't sure if the system was being slow or if it stopped working.

My conclusion: Zorin is set to be the best Linux distro for people coming over from Windows. I think it just needs a bit more work under the hood. When new versions come out, I plan to try them. It's by far my favorite Linux distro, but I need a bit more reliability and printer support before I can switch.

System Specs:
Dell Latitude 5490
i5-8350U CPU
16GB memory
Graphics Intel UHD 620

Hard drives were wiped and only Linux was running on each laptop. During installation, I encrypted the hard drive with Zorin and only encrypted the Home folder with Mint since they offered that option. Perhaps that contributed to slowness and bugs in Zorin?

Printer: Xerox B205


Are you referring to icons on the desktop (not the app menu)? This may need a bug report filed with the gnome-extension-desktop-icons

I have commented a lot on the Gnome Software Store. Many members have. It is great as a simple interface. I personally view it more as a starting point or stepping stone toward something else.

Excellent feedback.
The package is available and can be installed. But I think you are right that it does not appear in the Software Store.
With your feedback, perhaps we can see if the ZorinGroup can include more essential packages in the Zorin Repositories that are lacking in the Main Ubuntu Universe repo.

Linux Mint uses Cinnamon Desktop or XFCE desktop.
Zorin OS Pro (and Core) use the Gnome Desktop.
Gnome is considered a Heavy Resource Desktop Environment. Cinnamon is considered mid-range and XFCE considered a Light Resource Desktop.
For this reason, and in spite of my new computer with good high specs, I always choose Zorin OS Lite (Zorin OS Pro also includes Pro Lite) as my daily driver.
It is a personal preference in many ways. But I also greatly appreciate the very quick response that Zorin OS Lite gives me.

I also am notorious for installing the Cinnamon Desktop on Zorin OS Lite and using it.
It runs very smoothly.


Can you explain this a little bit more ..... do you mean if you have Zorin 16.3 Pro installed you also have Zorin Pro Lite installed .... or do we need to pay extra to get Pro Lite ?????? ......

From: Your most conf-usable fan ..... :sunglasses: :laughing:

Zorin OS Pro as a product includes two installable Operating Systems as a bundle.
Zorin OS Pro - which is an OS you can install.
Zorin OS Pro Lite - which is an OS you can install.

Both are not installed at the same time. A user can partition the drives and dual boot them if they wish.
They are bundled together so no user needs to buy a separate copy.

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Thanks ..... I'll start a new thread asking how to do this you know I already have 16.3 Pro installed and Zorin Lite installed I would rather have Zorin Lite Pro or would it be better for me to just wait until Zorin Pro Lite comes out and just purchase it instead .....

Aha ..... decisions decisions .....

You wouldn't need to.
You can use the new Zorin Upgrader Tool to put in your Pro Lite verification and set your installed Zorin Lite to Zorin Lite Pro.


Yahooooo ..... I finally get to try the new Zorin Upgrader Tool ..... in a few .... gotta read up on it first ......

Houston .... Please Stand By .... 10 .... 9 .... 8 .... 7 ...... :scream: :rofl:


The desktop icons stopped becoming clickable. It does seem like it might be a weird bug. Funny thing is, when I first started playing around with Zorin, it was on a 1st Gen i7 computer (so a very old one!). I used the Core edition and - besides it being a bit slow (and the Software Center being extremely slow) - it worked fine. I seemed to have more bugs when running on more modern hardware.

The Zorin Software Store has a lot of great stuff in it, but yes, it does seem like it could use an expansion in driver-type packages.

I'm presently using Mint with Cinnamon Desktop, which I think runs on Gnome, so it should be fairly comparable (except Zorin is a lot prettier!).

@Aravisian I think that was a warning. Run for the hills!

EDIT. I was not wrong :rofl: Well Zorin Lite Pro ---- No Go


I agree with everything you have posted. I also started out with Zorin and have always been impressed with the quick and accurate responses I have gotten on this forum when I had a problem. But the software store drove me nuts. It just didn't work for me a lot of times. So I tried some other distros and settled on LM20.3 with the Cinnamon DE. I also found that almost any hardware I had just worked with LM. Not always the case with Zorin. With the help from this forum I could usually get my hardware to work but with LM most of the time it just worked without me having to do a lot of work finding the right driver. Something I would suggest to Zorin is that they include the Driver Manager that is included with LM Cinnamon edition. It makes it much easier to get the right driver. The only drawback I have found with LM is the forum responses can be pretty slow and they sure aren't as friendly toward newbys as this forum is. Some of the people there can be downright rude with their attitude.


Cinnamon does not run on Gnome, no. Cinnamon is forked from Mate which itself was forked to restore the Gnome 2 environment due to Gnome 3 being a disappointment to users at its introduction.
A lot has happened since then... but currently, Cinnamon is not as resource heavy as Gnome / Gnome-Shell and they handle things differently.

Because some users use Cinnamon on Zorin, I created the Zenith (So far, only the dark) versions of the Zorin themes for use on Cinnamon. You might find them useful.

I have a lot of respect for Mint and the devs. I think their choices were initially far more user oriented.
I agree with them about Snaps. The force applied on users to make them use Snap Packaging by Canonical was disturbing. The first thing I do when I install Zorin OS is remove SnapD.
But I disagree with them about disregarding Snaps on the users behalf. To me, this is no different from Canonical forcing users to use them. It's just two sides of the same coin.

As a side note: Experiences vary. I have never had any trouble with drivers. I have only ever helped others on here trying to fix drivers. I have installed Zorin OS and Mint both a lot and neither required additional installation of drivers. Many users have commented on the forum the same; that Zorin OS worked out of the box. Everything just worked.
In helping research other user issues, I come across those same issues being asked about on the Mint Forums frequently enough.
I do not know whether the Mint Team is including a large number of drivers that Zorin OS, Ubuntu and Other Derivative teams are not. It may be that they do contain a few. I also think perceptions based on personal experiences weigh in on this a lot.


I think I remember reading that somewhere now that you mention it. Cinnamon is ok, though I prefer the Zorin desktop look and feel.

My printer issue might be from buying a printer that's far from being a best seller. I don't know anyone else who has a Xerox B205. I have a feeling that the more common a printer is, the more widespread support will be for it (just like any hardware).

That's Zorin's biggest selling point for bringing people over from Windows. If everything works out with your hardware, then you're good to go with little or no knowledge in how to set things up.

I've frequented this forum and many others innumerable times in the past month or so. And yes, very often veteran Linux users (outside of the Zorin Forum) seem impatient with people who are switching from Windows. It's really quite hard though when - for decades - you've only ever had to download .exe files, double click, and enjoy.

On Zorin OS, at least, it generally is similar - Download .deb files, double click and enjoy.
But most any Linux user can attest to there being occasional packages that are trickier to install.
I highly suggest that any new GnuLinux user bookmark the webpage and search it for an applicable .deb package prior to jumping through some other (often unnecessary) hoops.

As a Windows user, I had to, on occasion, install a package using Ninja in the command prompt, too.

I like Cinnamon but a lot of that 'liking it' is based on its principle.
I like its configurability for the user more than stock Gnome. But Zorin OS adds much of that ability back into Gnome in Zorin OS.
Cinnamon still uses css2, rather than css3 which makes it harder to theme and style which is a downer.

I prefer XFCE on my daily driver and Zorin OS Lite comes with that.

This may be. Xerox...
However, I see members posting for help with Brother and Canon Printers, too.
CUPS leaves something to be desired.
Over-all, GnuLinux could use a bit more support in printers generally. We've come a good way but still have more distance to go.

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