Very Happy with Zorin 16 Pro

Hey all, I've been using Zorin 16 Pro for many months on my laptop for general home use and I have to say it's the most well-rounded, stable linux OS I've tried (and I've tried so many).

I'm running it on a Dell Inspirion 5406 2n1.

Some quick GOOD feedback points:

  • My battery life has roughly tripled on Zorin compared to WIndows 11. I'm running auto-cpufreq from git source and I get about 5 hours of solid life.
  • The app store is stable and has a huge selection compared to other distros. Also, apps that don't run well or at all on other distros seem to run just fine in Zorin.
  • The theme is consistent and use-able. I can sit in front of it all day (working) and not feel like I'm either in WIndows 95 or a Fisher Price laptop or something so foreign (Gnome 42) that I'm forced to learn a whole new way to use my laptop.
  • Zorin 16 Pro is stable (with an exception - see below). I can't think of the last time an app or the OS crashed.
  • Everything works out of the box. OS/Gnome features that sometime work or don't work at all (eh hem...Manjaro) all seem to work as expected on Zorin.
  • My Dell Inspiron loves Zorin. I've had to do absolutely nothing to my laptop. All hardware functions work exceptionally well. My two printers and my art pen/tablet all work great. No issues.

Only one bad piece of feedback:

  • Please move Zorin to it's own repos. Using the Ubuntu repos and tacking on PPAs is not working well when I want to add another PPA. Example, I have a System76 Thelio desktop and really want to use Zorin 16 Pro on it, but the System76 driver PPA breaks Zorin's gdm. I'm not interested in tinkering anymore so I just use Pop_OS on my Thelio - reluctantly.

Thank you for an awesome product!

yetimaan

7 Likes

I owe everyone an apology! I was able to install System76 Drivers without any issue (so far). Zorin does not work at all with System76's instructions to pin their PPA - don't do this!

Just install the PPA and drivers after updating Zorin to latest.

3 Likes

Interesting. Do you keep the PPA enabled after installing the drivers? I previously used the System76 PPA, installed specific packages manually and removed the PPA to avoid potential conflicts. But if possible, I’d like to keep it enabled for updates, so I’m curious about your experience.

Also… Glad to read you’re enjoying Zorin OS so much. :smile:

1 Like

Hey @Stal, I disabled the PPA today. System76 has not updated some dependencies in their focal PPA so the result is Zorin wants to do a dist-upgrade by downgrading the newer Zorin packages.

I will keep the System76 PPA disabled until I'm forced to re-enabled it. Then I'll likely use Synaptic to pick and choose what I want to upgrade.

(shhhh...Pop!_OS is too unstable for my business...so Zorin gets the win)

If you do that you can better switch to Pop! OS instantly :joy:

Haha! I know, right? I love my Thelio, but it is VERY LOUD without the System76 drivers. I’ve actually considered selling it sadly since I feel so bound to PopOS/Ubuntu.

Time will tell.

2 Likes

Hmm. I wouldn't go that far... :laughing:

I just like some of the things System76 does. I do enjoy auto-tiling, easy GPU switching and power management in any distro. But I like cherry-picking :cherries:. I prefer the general aesthetic and use of Zorin over Pop!_OS's COSMIC. :milky_way:

Hey @Stal , was thinking yesterday, there's a possible way to use PPA pins to exclude the packages that blow up Zorin and just install the packages required to run the basic drivers. I can't guarantee it would work as expected on a System76 laptop, but I'll give it a go on my Thelio.

This way we could just leave the PPA on.

1 Like

I was just thinking of the same thing! :grin:

But, I'm not sure how to work with pins yet... :thinking: it just occurred to me because this is the proposed method to ensure you can install Firefox as a deb on recent Ubuntu installations (instead of snap).

I communicated with System76 devs and they gave me a short list of necessary GitHub repos to run a Thelio minimally. I'll checkout the optional dependencies in code and see about ignoring them in the pins.

Give me a few days and I'll post back.

@Stal I think I got it. Not certain. It works in VM. I may try it on bare metal this weekend. I'd like Zorin or System76 to drop some updates and see how it handles.

Bummer. Zorin 16 Pro became unstable with the System76 pinned PPA packages (blacklist). The Zorin power profile broke making the screen always on and automatic suspend did not work either.

So, I'm bailing on Zorin with the System76 Thelio. Sorry!

Pity the two seem to be conflicting.

If i was in your position I’d probably do the same thing to get most out of System76 hardware.

You could reach out to their customer services if they know of a way to make it work.

If not, well i guess Pop!_OS is pretty good too. I feel Zorin OS is easier and more beautiful, but Pop!_OS is also great for productivity once you know the keyboard shortcuts. (Which is why i try to blend the two).

Agreed. S76 support pointed me to their github repos that I can use to build my own Zorin drivers. I think the primary issue is around getting the power settings as generic as possible.

However, PopOS is ok too - they've really worked super hard to stabilize the system. It's running smooth now, but that PopOS store....ooooof.

Whats wrong with it ??? Working just fine here.

Perhaps it's my network connection? It crashes on me when I try to do more than one action at a time. For example, if I'm installing a large program and then I decide to search for another (then maybe install that one too), it would crash or lock up on me intermittently.

@Stal I came back to try Zorin 16.2 on my System76 Thelio again. This time I downloaded the latest binaries for Ubuntu Focal from the S76 Stable PPA. I installed (for my Thelio) the system76-io deb and system76-power deb using dpkg -i.

So far, I've had no issues upgrading 16.2. I was able to install the new Nvidia drivers from 1-5-23 without issue. The S76 drivers stay intact and functional. Just have to manually download and install when there's updates (if that really matters at all).