Today Zorin OS disappointed me

Today, I had a very bad experience with Zorin OS. Today my Mom had some emergency work & there was no power in the house. My Mom office uses Windows & MS Office Apps as all typical offices do. My Mom is a Charted Accountants by profession so, she always get many Excel Files & Word Files to be processed and accountant. So, as she had very imp. work, Laptop was the only option left in a power outrage. So, she asked for my laptop where I use Zorin OS as my daily driver & I gave her laptop as it is with Zorin OS booted up as primary. She asked me for her office files & I had all the files backed up on my Seagate 1TB External HDD and I connected it and as soon as I tried to open couple of excel files, I started getting errors that these are not supported. I first tried to open Excels with OnlyOffice as it usually supports all MS Office extensions, but this time it failed to open a basic .xlsx file. Then I tried to open that particular file with LibreOffice but I started getting error that, "the columns exceed limits". And the files never opened. Now, My Mom is so angry that she called an IT Professional to reset my Laptop fully and install basic Windows 10 in it. And my Laptop is taken away from me and I can't use my Laptop without my Mom sitting on my head. This kind of experience was not expected by Zorin OS as I always preferred Zorin OS first and even told my friends to use it as well. I thought Linux is enough matured for Office Work but I was proved wrong.

Sorry guys if my words make you feel bad, but that's how my experience went. I just thought sharing this experience with you. I hope I didn't offended anybody and I really didn't meant to honestly. At last, I just want to thank everybody of you for providing enormous support to me whenever I needed it and I will never forget it for sure. You were there when I needed you the most and I really appreciate it from bottom of my heart. I look forward to use Zorin OS when I grow up and buy my own Laptop, but for now, I won't be able to use as long as I'm on my Parents things.
Thank you once again everybody,
Have a great day ahead.


Sorry to hear your struggle. You are welcome to stay on the forums or visit us from time to time.


Are you sure it was Zorin's fault? looks more like conversion errors to me,
Have you tried other Office apps? Like WPS office?
It is too early and to easy to blame it on a (or any) Linux distro, dont you think so?
I understand her anger, but hey, come on....


WPS Office have I found the most compatible with MS Office compared to the rivals of other office suites.


I know WPS Office is good, but it's proprietary & top of that it's made in China and India don't support Chinese Applications.

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Ah okay. Thanks for the clarification.

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Your right about most offices using Windows 10, and will soon be using Windows 11 if not already as well. Business's go with what they know, and what they can get professional IT support for. As great as Linux is, Linux does have its issues. And there is no magical Linux IT department that I ever heard of.

Most people train and get educated on Windows, thats just the way it is sadly. However, where things could be different, is if the office completely converted over to Linux. Then there wouldn't be any Windows files to convert, because you will be started over on Linux, using Linux based files.

So, whatever open office uses, WPS office, Lebri Office uses, thats what you use. But, I haven't heard of any office converting to Linux completely before, not sure I ever will. But I could be wrong, will have to see.


Still trying to see how any of this is Zorin's fault.... Oh, Because it isn't the fault of Zorin

Zorin OS is an Operating System not software to run office. This would be better posted to Open Office, Libre Office, etc, etc, etc. This also has nothing to do with Linux, but with software and MS.

It's also known that all of those programs for Office do not open or work with all the formats that MS uses. But it does open basic files, so that sounds like something is missing from the install of whatever it is you installed.

A simple way to solve this though is to put Windows on a Virtual Box and when you 100% need something in Office, you use that or you just keep a dual boot. I do this because I have some programs written in excel that do not work in anything but excel. This is not once again not a Zorin OS or Linux issue, this is a software program issue.

For every problem there is a solution.


Wouldn't it be good if you could use Excel in Wine without having to perform back-flips and cartwheels, then it stll not working. I gave up trying and so sadly continue to dual-boot.

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It would, but wine only supports office until a certain version. I've never particularly cared for wine though.

What would be best is if MS would just release an Office version for Linux like they do Mac. But there's always the online versions for office if you only need word, excel, etc.

I have Win 10 in Virtual Box for Outlook, Adobe Pro and my Brother Utility. It's been working out fine for me. Easy Peasy, no fuss or muss.


FreeOffice 2021 for me has been exceptionally compatible with Microsoft formats
and installs very easily.


We must know windows software not always must be compatibility with linux. They are two diffrents a world. Office is popular everywhere and this is software not operating system. Backup full hard disk with windows and open on virtual machine can gived another problem with not recognize a hardware components. Blame Zorin Linux distribution that means you can blame any Linux distribution. Propably on office in linux you need installation some extension to be recognize or i can be wrong. I know your mom need that to working on office software. Here is answear why not reading and solutions.


Maybe I’m the only one here but I didn’t understand why you can’t use WPS because it’s:
(a) proprietary - Why not just pay for it? If it’s ok to pay for MS, should be ok to pay for WPS too.
(b) made in China and India doesn’t support it - Is this just a political position or are you actually banned from using anything Chinese? I’m guessing the former. Because you likely have a lot more stuff in your home (and computer) that’s made in China than you realize.


Some Chinese apps are banned in India. But WPS is not one of them.


So, the obvious solution, is to pay for and use WPS Office. WPS Office, stress free, when you can open your Windows office files. Linux, experience the freedom. :grin:

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How about online MS Office 365? Is this an option?

I've been working for a while now with MS Office suite in Zorin with good results through two main apps: Edge Browser to open all MS office apps (outlook, one drive, Word, excel, powerpoint) and MS Teams standalone app, which is working great.

I have never paid for MS Office, I use pirated/cracked version of MS Office. I will never use WPS Office. China didn't killed your countrymen in front of your eyes so, it's easy to comment on why you can't use Chinese Softwares. And don't you think Chinese Softwares will collect personal data and send them to their servers in China, which can be easily accessed by Chinese Govt.? So what's the point of using Linux if you have to ultimately give up your personal data in hands of others.

There's no need to mock me, I just shared my experience & the things happened with me. Sorry, I did a very big mistake by pointing out some bugs or things which are needed to be fixed in ZorinOS. U can't give feedback on this forum, okay, I understand. I'm really sorry to post things here, from now on I will not utter a single word against ZorinOS, Sorry.

You had a bad experience that extends a bit beyond Linux or Zorin OS here.

  • Microsoft runs its proprietary nature.
  • Your mom was hurried and frustrated and just needed it working

The apps in question are not Zorin OS apps. They are common open source apps available on most Linux Distros.
@DeanG was pointing out - fairly - that Zorin OS did not develop Libreoffice.
Personally, I also avoid LibreOffice. I find it to be... quite undeveloped in my own opinion. And contacting the LibreOffice developers does not get anyone very far.

Your experience may have been very different had Only You confronted the issue and not during a power outage. You did not know about the issue until there was an emergency and when you did learn of it, you had another dependent person that was not in a position to wait. It was not a Calm Moment in which to confront an issue calmly.
It makes sense that you would be frustrated.
But please keep in mind that taking that frustration out on all of us... Isn't helpful.


I was just peeking into the forum today...
@MysteriousVampire, I am sorry to hear (read) what happened.

There is no need of geting political here and I found it hurtful. If I were Chinese I would have been severely hurt. But I do understand that using Chinese softwares are risky but don't you think Microsoft does that too? And WPS Office is totally free but the PDF viewer comes with a paid plan which is resonable and I would like to mention that the .deb application has improved a lot after the last update. I however don't use WPS Office .deb version for the same reason (getting my data stolen). Instead, I use the snap version which is created by an independent developer.
Description of WPS Office Snap created by an independent developer:
2019 version

To prevent leakages of private data, the plug for internet is disabled, which prevents WPS to call home in China. Enjoy WPS securely !

2016 version:

Because I'm security freak and I don't trust chinese's privacy policy, I made this package without internet plug, which means that this version of WPS in unable to connect to the internet. I made this in order to keep your computer backdoor free and your data private