My thoughts on zorin os

I've been using Zorin for a couple of weeks now, (Pro Lite to be exact), and I wanted to share my thoughts on it.
Things I love:

  • aesthetics.
  • this forum :slight_smile: .

Things I would change:

  • software store: compared to others I have tried it is slow and at the end of each installation it reports an error to me, even if it does not affect anything.
  • the name "LITE" for the XFCE version is misleading. It has little to envy to Gnome, but it offers unmatched speed. A bunch of other distributions offer XFCE as a main "de" or as a derivative without detracting from its functionality
  • the payment system: although I agree to support the efforts to maintain a distribution (in fact I bought the pro version), I believe that an "elementary os" style donation proposal is more honest.
  • lack of "killer features": ok and nice and it has Zorin Appareance that allows you to switch desktops in an instant, but what does it offer more than, for example PopOs?

Things I hate:

  • proclaim the rebranding of KDE connect / GS Connect as an exclusive feature of Zorin (or so it looks like looking at the site). ̶ ̶I̶ ̶f̶i̶n̶d̶ ̶i̶t̶ ̶a̶ ̶t̶r̶i̶c̶k̶ ̶j̶u̶s̶t̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶j̶u̶s̶t̶i̶f̶y̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶e̶x̶p̶e̶n̶s̶e̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶p̶r̶o̶ ̶v̶e̶r̶s̶i̶o̶n̶,̶ ̶i̶t̶'̶s̶ ̶d̶i̶s̶g̶u̶s̶t̶i̶n̶g̶.̶

That said, unfortunately I don't see a bright future for this distribution.
In my case, for example, I will continue to use it on my laptop because despite the limited resources it makes it look better than a new pc, but I see no reason to replace my current distro on my main pc.

all this without wanting to offend anyone and IMHO


I could not agree with this more.
I believe that the intention was originally led by focusing on a Lighter D.E. for reviving older machines and limiting e-waste. Originally, Zorin OS Lite used LXDE.
However, the current wording describes Core as the Full-Featured desktop and Lite as... for old stuff.
I agree that this is highly misleading and shows favoritism toward one D.E. over the other, while detracting from Zorin OS's own product.

Pro is a want, not a need. Zorin OS offers a Donation only option, by any donation amount the user wishes to give.

I agree that in the way of apps, it may not be as uhh... filled? as other distros.
I choose Zorin OS due to its speed and performance. I do not use the Software store at all...
But Zorins quick speed outpaces other distros quickly along with its power management.
For me, this gets my attention better than flashy apps. Especially as I have apps I prefer, anyway.
Secondly, Zorin OS is easy to work on. Many distros try to lock in and lock down what they want to keep as Distro Specific brand image. I deeply appreciate how little Zorin OS does this, allowing me as the user better access and control over the system.

Zorin Connect is included in the Free Core version, as well as in Pro.
The question of branding has been raised before...


Zorin OS is based on Ubuntu and I have concerns about the future of Ubuntu and Gnome. But I hope Zorin OS will solve those problems.

Isn't it the point of open source licenses to share and modify the work of others?

In my experience, that's the killer feature in itself. The target audience of this distribution are people who aren't necessarily looking for something new or "more". It's meant for those shying away from Windows or MacOS, just curious enough to take a bite, but don't want to deal with more than they can chew.

This point kinda relates to the Zorin Connect topic: make it nice and simple to the user to find things and start working.

Agreed. I actually downloaded the Core version because of this at first. Although I after trying both I do prefer Core myself.

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Zorin OS could be based on Debian easily enough.


Like what exactly?
The latest and greatest is more often than not not great and comes with tons of issues that people expect others to fix. No Ubuntu based distro offers "Killer Features" if I'm being honest. And Zorin is geared towards people who just want a stable system that works. If you're looking for killer features and the latest and greatest I would suggest an Arch distro. You certainly will not find it on any Debian system.

Unlike PopOS and others you are free to change or add whatever you like easily. I've tried PopOS and was not impressed with their "modern" look at all, and even less impressed how deep their customization went.

I get why they call it a "Lite" version, but they're not the first and won't be the last to do this. But I don't think there is anything to envy about Gnome. Personally I would like to see them ditch Gnome all together. I'm using Cinnamon and would rather see KDE over Gnome.

I don't use the software on Zorin or any distro for that matter, I use Synaptic.. never an issue.

I have it on core (free, no cost or donation required), though I don't use it..... as for the rest.... huge eyeroll. :roll_eyes:

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Okay, I was wrong about Zorin Connect, but I still argue that I don't find it correct not to give credits to whoever made the base.


This is more like a sale, not a donation (by the way, how many people do you think that close the tab after seeing the price?)

This instead is more like a donation (even if it is written "buy" it is possible to put 0)

Now, what i want to say is quite complex, and English isn't my firs language, so please have patience if I can't be clear.
For killer feature I was meaning a feature that could be shown like as "advertisement" , perhaps that stands out in reviews. For example Linux MX has a lot of exclusive graphical tools, Elementary Os has the gesture 1 to 1, PopOS has the own windows arrangement (whatever is called) etc.
As told before, in my main PC, I have PopOS, and there is nothing that could make me said that switching to Zorin is worth the time.

Regarding the store, I know many people who are unable to start a program if the desktop icon is removed; imagine if they should just use synaptic.
Even Microsoft has found that a App store is what (most) people want/need.

All this not as mere criticism, but my two cents for the future of Zorin OS

That's a fair point, after all one of the greatest things about Linux is that you can choose whichever you like best. I've been using PopOS myself for the past 4~5 months or so and really like the built-in tiling manager.

One thing that I think will be a killer feature, still in development, is Zorin Grid which could be used to manage large networks of computers running Zorin. Not for the every day consumer, but interesting to see a built-in feature with businesses in mind.

Zorin OS is Zorin OS. It is based on Ubuntu. It is not Ubuntu... Ubuntu is its base.
What can you say that makes Zorin Connect different, that it should instead be named by its base, where Zorin OS not be named by its base?
If we look at other software as examples, we run into the same problem. No one single developer writes all the code for the software. It is built using many components and it also relies on many components that it depends on.
It is exceptionally rare that a piece of software or even an OS, is built solely from scratch. One example might be Temple OS and it is... a phenomenon across many levels.

This is a valid point. Perhaps the ZorinGroup may consider a different method of how to support Zorin OS.

I respect MX Linux a lot and should i switch away from Zorin OS, MX is my next choice.
Elementary and POP_OS are not even on my candidacy list, at all. I will never use Elementary OS. If I wanted to be treated like I was using Microsoft, I would have just stayed on Windows.
In fact, Windows allows and supports far more user customization than Elementary OS does.

I am one member who has been openly critical about the Software store for ages.
But it is easy to replace with Synaptic or the terminal, so it's just not a big deal to me at all.


I believe FOSS is free because it is not dominated by anybody as even the founder is not authority.

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Or even Devuan! :wink:

For me the issue with FOSS is lack of ethics policy, cf. FSF.

@swarfendor437 Thanks to you (and your continuous talking about Devuan) I've read about the init system. Well,IMHO systemd is not bad.
Always by your criticism , I'm also trying Btrfs :grin: :grin:

You mean that?

This is provided in the core versions however the kde connect for the Lite version isn't as re-skinded/tweaked as the zorin connect as for the gnome based core & pro desktops.
That said one of the goals of open source softwares is to build off them and prove them customize them for your application which is what they've done here.

What does Zorin offer over Pop OS alot and nothing just like popos offers nothing over ununtu or parrot os or Debian or fedora that's the beauty of Linux as you can configure package repackage and do whatever you want. However zorin OS is beautifully pre packaged has been tweaked & customized I find it runs games just as well as Pop OS it has all the repository benefits that come with Ubuntu and the zorin team has done a good job of just making it look clean.

What I find most useful from the zoran team are things like the Windows app support package they've gone out they've done all the work to get the right libraries dlls and run times to work with the right wine version so that most apps just run. Saves a lot of time from you having to go do that yourself which you could. But it's the extra work that they do for you to make things just run smoothly out of the box that's the most value here.


What if i took the entire Zorin distro, change all and only the name / graphical reference to "whatever OS" and proclaiming it's my work ?
This is what seems looking to zorin connect. I don't see any other change than rebranding

Please follow my reasoning:
no user = no awards(money) = distro dead.
If Zorin offers only the appearance as plus, the fact that one user choose this distro instead of mint or other is just random. So this doesn't grant a growth.
Furthermore, this attract mostly noobs like me, as more advanced user choose distro by other parameters, cause they could make they own customization on almost any distro. This lead at poor community support so a leak of users in case of troubles. (This is also to underline my gratitude to those who spend their time helping us mere mortals)

I would stay with Zorin because it bring me the willing of using my old laptop, that with Xubuntu looks like an old, stink shoe. But I am also willing to learn and adapt to make the things works. I think that who is in "disto hopping phase" has poor chance to stick to Zorin, cause the reason I wrote before

I really hope that Zorin Grid will be the feature that could bring a lot of user to this distro ( if you use it at work and it works well, users will try it at home as well). But until that I'm worried about the future.

I haven't try it yet, also I didn't see this function so advertised, so I'm thinking that is just Wine that could/ couldn't works, right?

You do realize that is almost all distro's. Yes? No? You are really not understanding how open source works. Ubuntu took Debian, slapped Gnome on it with little tweaks and added some drivers and called it their own. What's the difference here? Nothing, nothing is the difference here.

A person makes something, they put it up for anyone to use as they desire per the open source license. People are free to make any change they want and put it up for others to use. That's in basic terms how it works. There's no kudo's, there's no let me make sure everyone knows all about the person who originally made it (even though it could be dozens of people), there's no nothing. An application can have anywhere from 1 person to thousands adding to it, are we supposed to acknowledge every single person?

Do you think Ubuntu designed everything from the ground up? Debian? Arch? Red Hat? No, they went to open source, found something tweaked it and called it their own like has been done for decades. PopOS is nothing more than Ubuntu which is nothing more than Debian with a convoluted DE slapped on it.

You may not see it but that doesn't mean changes haven't been made. Not all changes are seen, they are in the code. And even if they didn't change one thing aside of the name, it doesn't matter. That's the way it works.

It may be helpful to instead look to Zorin OS growth and expansion that has been steadily rising over the last decade.
While your statements have merit for logic, it is contradicted by the rapid growth and increased usage of Zorin OS as a distro, especially since the release of Zorin OS 15 and Zorin OS 16.

I choose Zorin OS simply because I am not new to Linux. Zorin OS is simple and easy to modify. It is not locked down like many distros aim for. It is user-friendly at the outset, but has all the development tools and workflow assignment that an advanced user needs to take off running.


This is what I can not agree. Even if it is legal and tolerate, in my opinion it always would seem as stolen.
I know that all open software (except some) is a fork or based on something that was made before, or using some service created by somebody else, but for making it legit there is some change that isn't present on the original version. Toking your example, ubuntu is ok because it added some feature to debian, and popos added/modify something to ubuntu. You can't have the same experience of ubuntu on debian without making a (lot) of work.

Anyway, it's my personal opinion, not a statement of truth. Don't take it personally. After all I'm still here arguing with you and using zorin :slight_smile: And I am open to change my mind if you point that something was change even if I don't notice it.

That's very nice to know! Before switching I just look at my personal check list (it's ubuntu/debian based, it isn't a brand new distro, it has a decent support) without interesting about other things. I'm knowing more by days.
Hope this trend will continue!

Honestly, I can see both sides on this one.
I see the merit in @DeanG 's position. Free Open Source means exactly what it means: Free to modify, release and distribute Open Code.
But I also see the merit in yours: That if a product in FOSS has no changes made whatsoever, it seems to be like plagiarism. It's copying someone else's work without effort.

The question I have for you is... Has GS-connect been changed in any way to become Zorin-Connect? Is this an assumption on your part that it is utterly unchanged?
Why do we use KDE-Connect on Lite? Why doesn't it have Zorin-Connect?
And... Do you use the Zorin Connect App on your phone? Is this app changed? Does it cost the ZorinGroup anything to host this app in Play Store?

These questions are integral, I think, to the perception of whether or not it can be viewed as simply "stolen effortless product without work".

And to refer back to @DeanG 's point: Sometimes porting something is not about changing the product, but about creating availability and distribution of the product. I could make a nice lever for a machine, but that lever needs a machine to work with in order for it to have use and meaning.
That being said; I can settle the debate neatly: Zorin-Connect is changed from GS connect.
Its form and function and user experience is essentially unchanged.
But the very fact you must use it in combination with the Zorin Phone App demonstrates the necessity of change.

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