Want to get away from Windows


I'm a native Windows user, since Windows 95, and have wanted to switch to Linux but with all the distributions and command line, etc. I have always been frustrated out of Linux.

Then I heard that Zorin OS is "most like Windows" and thought I'd try it. My questions are these:

Getting started should I use the Live CD or VM?
Should I dual boot with Windows and if so how?
Can everything be done with a GUI?
What are dependencies and how do I know where to get them? - This is mostly a potential issue for installing my HP printer, I hope

My computer usage is simple but my hardware is too old for Windows 11 and even though Windows 10 will be around for roughly 4 more years I'd like to be 4 years into using Linux by then.



I am running Windows 11 on circa 2012 Netbook.

Also it is possible to install Windows 11 as a virtual machine in Linux host on unsupported systems.

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These are entirely based on personal preferences. I cannot even give a reasonable Pros vs Cons opinion for you, really.

The vast majority of things can. However, I would encourage you to be Bold and question the aversion to CLI. When I moved over to Zorin from Windows, I had almost never used the command line on Windows (except for ipconfig /renew-all).
Sometimes I wonder if Windows deliberately trains users to shun the cmd line simply because it is such a powerful utility that allows direct control of the system.
In opening yourself up to a New System, open yourself up to enjoying learning New Power, too. I recall that trepidation over the Terminal; I still feel the liberation each time I use it.

A dependency is when a newly installed software depends on existing mechanics in order to run. An example in Windows might be your .dll files or the .NET framework.
In most cases, installing the software will install the dependencies along with it. The Vast Majority of times a user runs into a dependency nightmare is because they are unknowingly installing outdated or unmaintained software. You know... They Google Searched for something, found it and tried to install it without noticing that package is from 2009.
This is one of those cases where using the Terminal really helps. The command install -y will seek out and install needed dependencies. And you can see: -y. Not a lot to that. Two characters; nothing terrifying there.:wink:
If you run into trouble- Ask Here. We'll be happy to help.

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HP printers should be well supported in Linux, as far as I know.

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I second to that.
HPLIP makes printing in Linux easy:

What's your computer specs?

@randdmart I'm kinda in the same boat but with macOS instead of Windoze like you.

I suggest you continue to use Windoze and use Zorin 'on the side' -- whether in a VM or installed on a separate computer (I bought a cheap pc just for this). I wouldn't recommend using a live cd.

As you go about your day using Windoze, try and replicate the same workflow in Linux. For example, do you spend your 'computing day' editing documents and spreadsheets, or marking up & signing pdf files? Attempt the same task(s) in Linux.

Whatever you do, I highly recommend sticking with Windoze until you're completely ready to make the jump. I still use macOS and right on the same desk I have a mini pc running Linux that also shares the same monitor with my macOS setup. I try and do as much day-to-day stuff on Linux but somethings I haven't figured out yet or I'm too slow so I quickly go back to macOS to get my work done then I revisit the task in Linux to investigate how I can make it better. I would've quit Linux ages ago if I didn't have the option to quickly switch back to macOS when I got frustrated.

I estimate it will take me a year of this back-and-forth before I can dump macOS entirely.


I have a very different viewpoint. I dumped Windows in one day.
I left Windows to Linux (Zorin) all at once. I had little choice, as my HDD had gone out. I bought a new (blank) hdd and loaded Zorin onto it, lacking Windows. And I believe that is the best way to do it.
Linux is not harder than Windows. Windows is not easier. What it is, is that the OS you are most familiar with is the easiest one on you.
Having the option to switch back to the familiar removes the motivation to learn. Everytime the going gets tough, all a person needs do is... quit.

It's kind of like if a person learned how to drive on an automatic transmission car and never drove a manual. Manual transmission is not any harder. But if a person was given a car to learn how to drive stick with that had both Manual and Automatic options available, they simply would never use the Manual option. They would persistently stick with what they already know.

If it was my call, I would install straight Zorin, no Windows. And on the rare occasion something Has to be a Windows app, use Zorin Windows App Support (W.I.N.E.)
And use this Forum as the resource to really get in and learn at every opportunity.


Let’s not forget that lack of support from some pro-ish apps might also be a huge barrier to make the jump. I also keep a Mac on the side for photo and music production apps. You can always argue about alternatives but in these two areas I feel there’s still a long way until Linux can be seen as a real alternative. I mean, you can do a lot of stuff with Linux but depending on your need you might want to keep other Os for certain needs.

Gaming is another area I hear about. Linux is not as well supported for gamers.

So far it goes well for me as gamers, but again I mostly play indie games. Got some big titles as well running with Proton on Steam.

A good place to see if your Windows game can run through Proton on Steam: https://www.protondb.com/

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Have been ableto use Zorin for all my stuff except: World Of Warships (I know, right?) and finding a BI tool like PowerBI ... Other than those, I'd be 100% Windows free!

I have Zorin and Windows 10 set up on my computer so I can choose which system I want to run when I boot the computer up. When there are things that I really need to do, I do it in Windows. I am gradually trying to switch to Zorin.

I've used Windows for about 35 years and Linux for about 15. I've lived in a mixed Windows/Linux environment for years, and I've become ambidextrous, moving back and forth during the course of my day, half the time having to remind myself which environment I'm using.

What makes this work is that I use the same applications in both environments. I use LibreOffice, Edge/Firefox, Steam and other core applications in both Windows and Linux. I read e-mail in my browser rather than using a standalone e-mail reader. Because I use the same software/applications in both environments, my usage environment is essentially identical.

You will have a learning curve moving from Windows to Zorin, but I suspect that you will find the transition easier than you think.

I would suggest this as a transition method:

Keep using Windows (rather than Linux) for a while, but change the applications you are using in Windows to applications that are used in Zorin. Stop using Microsoft Office and start using LibreOffice. Stop using Microsoft Mail and start using your browser for e-mail. Do it across the board, to the extent possible.

When you are comfortable using open source applications in Windows, then -- but not until then -- cut over from Windows to Zorin. You will face a learning curve after the cutover, but Zorin is so similar to Windows that the transition will be (I suspect) relatively painless.

The reason that I suggest this method for transition is that trying to transition both your operating system and your applications at the same time can be overwhelming. A lot of people end up clinging to the old operating system like a life raft, when the real problem is not the operating system but the change in applications. I've helped friends transition (both directions, oddly enough) and I think that a gentle transition -- working environment first, then operating system -- is the least painful.


This is a different perspective and a very smart one. Human minds are quite diverse and what works for one well, may not work for another as well.
Your method is different than mine, but also different from those that just use both or use Windows on VM or VirtualBox. It is more structured and organized and probably could be very helpful for many. Thanks for posting.

@tomscharbach I have myself approached Linux (Zorin) in the same way as you have, by transition rather than a big bang switchover approach.

I understand you prefer to use Browser for email than a Email client app, but for others reading this, you can use Thunderbird for both email and calendar on both Windows and Zorin. Just keep away from Snap versions.

Thunderbird is fine. I prefer using the browser because I use Windows, Linux, Android and iOS, and want my e-mail and calendar to be available anywhere anytime on anything. I don't know whether Thunderbird currently supports iOS, but it didn't when I looked at it a few years ago, and now I'm in the habit using the browser. Works fine.

Linux has really developed since I began using it. At present, it is hard to think of any major application in Windows that doesn't have a Linux equivalent as good or better. The small stuff (e.g. MyRadar, a simple radar app available in Windows, Android and iOS but not Linux) sometimes drives me nuts because a Linux equivalent doesn't exist, but that's the small stuff.

i was windows user since 2007 first time i used as kid but awarness towards FOSS and Privacy i moved to zorin os 16 , im new to linux im learing how to use terminal based insatlling and i looking forward for tips as newbie to linux.
i installed brave,proton vpn,fdm,telegram,signal,vlc.
did miss anything for as basic user.

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Firefox comes with zorin but other alternatives are waterfox (long term support version), opera, Chrome and dolphin. Thunderbird and evolution are both great email apps, though evolution simulates outlook on calendar integration. As far as i can tell you have the basics covered and only need to worry about what you use in the regular that isn't a part of the everyday installation that most would have.