Upgrading from 15.3 Pro to 17.1 Pro


I've been on 15.3 Pro for a few years now and really appreciate it. I'd like to upgrade to 17.1 Pro but I had some issues when I originally tried to install 15.3 which the clever peeps in this forum helped me through.

Just wondering if there's anything I need to know before going thru with this?

  • Do I just upgrade via the upgrader thing?
  • Can you upgrade from 15.3 to 17.1 or do I need to go thru 16 first?
  • Would you clean install or upgrade?

Any tips for a total newb to this OS would be super appreciated! I'm still very much a novice. Been using it. Love it. But don't know jack about it really. TYIA!

Form 15 to 17 directly doesn't work as far as I understand that. So, you should have to go 15=>16=>17.

I would save my Data and make a clean Install of Zorin. To make an Upgrade over 2 Version would be for me a too error-prone Process. But if I undertand the Licence Stuff right, You have to pay for the 17 Pro Version again. If that is wrong someone please correct me here.


Gotcha. So for someone who's never really done a clean install of Zorin over something already running Zorin, what's the protocol here? Is it an automation option once I download the install file/s?

When re-installing/clean install you get the options to install "along side", "erase and install" and "other". Pick "erase and install", then it will make the whole HDD to Zorin OS and set up the partitions automatically.


Before you make it, please don't forget to save Yor Data! Then You download the ISO and create a bootable USB Stick. Then start it and run the ''Install Zorin'' Option. Then You have - like @Storm explained - a couple of Options.

When You have another System installed, you should get the ''Install zorin alongside ...'' Option. But when You want to erase all what is on the drive the ''erase and install Zorin'' Option is Your Pick. This will automatically erase the stuff what is on the Drive, create Partitions and format it.

The third Option ''Something else'' is the manual Option where you have to do the Stuff manually by Your own.

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Here's what I think:


  1. Back up the necessary data. In this process, you need to copy it to another disk [1].
  2. Prepare a new installation media for Zorin OS 17 [2]. Use another PC or the native OS (built-in Windows, etc.).
  3. Boot the live version of Zorin OS from the installation media. Be careful not to make mistakes in the BIOS settings.
  4. Follow the installer. Proceed until just before the disk (partition) settings.
  5. Set up the partitions custom. Select and delete your Zorin OS 15 partition. Then create a new ext4 (mount point: /) and an EFI partition (the EFI partition may not be necessary depending on your PC). The EFI partition can be small (at most about 1GB).
  6. Follow the installer.
  7. Complete the process.


  • [1]: The destination for the copy must be secure.
  • [2]: Use a USB or CD/DVD to write the installer. You need to download the Zorin OS ISO file (disk image) and write it.

Thanks very much all who contributed. Unfortunately I don't feel super confident taking @DiamondGotCat's advice as that's way above my pay grade. :sweat_smile: I think I need to stick with the auto-install as much as possible.

So, just a few follow-up questions:

  1. If I do a clean install do I need to upgrade from 15 to 16 to 17? Or can I just skip to 17? Ignore potentially needing to pay for it. I don't mind.
  2. When backing up data, would you suggest manual? (I know how to do this, just collect all the stuff I want to keep from various places.) Or do I use the Backup tool? Never used it and don't know what the benefit is. Ideally I'd be able to use something that could then restore all my data and user information the way I have it now on my computer.


You don’t have to pay for Pro if you install Core. The only difference is the extra software included on Pro which you can install with Core. Pro does have a few extra layouts. Buying Pro is a way to contribute to the continued development but not necessary. I suggest installing ZOS 17.1 Core first and if it all works to your liking you can upgrade to Pro later.

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Do you reckon if I go Core then want to upgrade to Pro that I'll need to clean install again?

When backing up your data, it's safer to do so manually.
Also, regarding upgrading, if you're upgrading from version 15, you may need to go through version 16.
Please check the "Update" app (the name may vary) to see if automatic updates are currently available.

When you make a clean install, You don't have to make the Upgrades because You would install the newest Version. You download the Zorin 17 ISO, create a bootable stick, start it and install it. And then You have the newest Version installed. You could use the Core Version first to take a Look at it and when You happy with it, You could upgrade to the Pro Version if you want.

You can, but you don't have to.

That it is up to You. You can use a Backup Tool or You save manually your Data on an external Drive. I make it manually because I see what I coppy and what I nt need anymore, I don't copy. It would be a waste of Storage Space.

No. You can do an in-place upgrade from 17.1 Core to 17.1 Pro. The upgrade tool works fine. Regardless, backups are always recommended.

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In respect of backing up the crucial element will be the hidden folders. They are indicated by starting with a '.' e.g., .mozilla.
To view hidden files press Ctrl+ H. Now select all of your files and backup to a new folder on external drive or if you have a small amount of data a large thumb drive.
Once you have installed your new Zorin, replace the installed hidden folders with your backed up hidden folders which contain your app settings.

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Thanks for this tip. Would you just backup the entire Home directory for this? Would that cover it? I'd love to be able to keep my app settings like profiles in Brave browser with all the addons I have installed, history, passwords, etc.

So long as you remember to backup hidden folders it should do that. As an extra precaution you could look at your passwords stored and copy and paste to a text file, print off the passwords and delete the text file afterwards. If you have favourite sites I would export them, I think usually there should be a specific method for doing this. After you have installed your new Zorin, replace the hidden files created with the ones you have backed up. Be sure to update your system, including any third party apps such as your Brave browser before backing up because if you don't your hidden app settings might not be compatible with newer versions of the apps.

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