Why should I stick with Zorin?

I've played around with Mint and Ubuntu before. I've always wanted to have some linux going on in my setup. Looking at some videos of Zorin 16, some features seemed really good to me, so I thought I'd run it alongside my Win 10 on my desktop.

Install was missing some instructions about GPT and UEFI, but I got through those. Things are looking good until 3 glaring issues have arrived:

  1. Every time I reboot, I have to re set the sound card. I have a Corsair Void wireless headset. It always defaults to that. It would seem to me to be a very simple fix to just have the OS boot up into the same sound config you left it...like every other OS does. It boggles my mind that there's not even a checkbox to make a sound output a default.

  2. No way to span a background across two monitors. Not sure why this, or separate backgrounds on each monitor is difficult. It's just not as "cool" to see the same background duplicated on the 2nd monitor.

  3. The touted "windows compatibility" literally always fails. I can't get one thing to install with it. It just gives me error after error. I'd think this would be beta tested, but if it's only a limited select number of compatible apps, then Zorin really isn't a "Windows killer". It's linux with a nicer Wine shell that still doesn't really cut it.

So please. After you're done being mad at me for being negative about Zorin, please tell me...

"Why should I keep trying Zorin instead of say...Mint? Or Elementary OS?"


No reason at all. About 250 Linux distros are available, among them about 15-20 are reasonably popular. Not every distro is a good fit for specific use cases and/or user requirements. The trick is to try various distros and figure out which is the best fit for you.


Good point...but secondary curiosity is why such glaring issues would still be in any distro? These problems seem like out of 2005

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Prophesy <<<--- I am not mad at you. And I think anybody who respect other points of view arn't mad at you either. And lets add to the fact that not everybody has a squeeky clean Linux experience, sometimes we have issues, just as you have.

Lets start with number... (1) Every time I reboot, I have to re set the sound card. I have a Corsair Void wireless headset.

I have to do this too, I don't know why Linux is like this, although I think it might have to do with something in regards to Gnome DE. I am on POP OS, and this is something I have to do on it.

Make sure that you have Gnome integration enabled in your browser.
Sound INPUT/OUTPUT Device Changer...

With this extension, start of the computer or reboot, I can simply go to my taskbar and choose the sound output device, without having to load up an app and take extra steps.

Is there a way to supposedly fix this whole thing by editing config files? Yes there is. But the overly complexity nature of it, prevented me from figuring it out, even with online guides, so I gave up.

What is most rediculous about it honestly, is even if I have HDMI output set to default in Pulse Audio, it still does not respect the option after reboot. So, having the input/output sound chooser extension, was the next best thing for me to ease my pain.

(2) 1. No way to span a background across two monitors. Not sure why this, or separate backgrounds on each monitor is difficult. It's just not as "cool" to see the same background duplicated on the 2nd monitor.

This is not entirely accurate, and you may not have noticed, that there are special DISPLAY options in the SETTINGS menu. I am not on my Zorin machine right now and don't feel like getting up, booting it up, just to get a screenshot. So posting this from the net.

In the displays menu, you can either choose to use either or displays, join the displays in mirrored mode, or extend the desktops.

If you have further needs then that, there are things we can do with terminal commands, Gnome-tweaks, or Dconf editor.

(3) 1. The touted "windows compatibility" literally always fails. I can't get one thing to install with it. It just gives me error after error. I'd think this would be beta tested, but if it's only a limited select number of compatible apps, then Zorin really isn't a "Windows killer". It's linux with a nicer Wine shell that still doesn't really cut it.

Yes, I never had much luck with Wine either. Any Windows software that requires interfacing with the hardware of the machine will always fail, as it requires services to be loaded in. Its the reason why Adobe Photoshop cannot be used, and also apps like that partition cloning software, god I can't remember its name anymore. Its a famous piece of Windows software that allows you to clone hard drives and do partition backup and all that stuff.

It is what it is, its not perfect, and its never going to be. Linux has miles and miles to go before it can ever completely compete with Windows in every category, and do it just as good if not better.

Having said that however, one of the areas where Linux is far supperior, is in security. Sorry, but I am going to tell it like it is, Windows absolutely and completely sucks, in security. It will never possible compare with Linux. Especially since Microsoft actively breaks your security and privacy all the time to spy on you and data mine you!

Linux will always beat Windows when in regards to security. Now in regards to hardware support, Linux has much improvement to do there. Linux also has more improvement to go in the way of GUI APPS available. But if Microsoft infringing on yoru right to privacy every single day isn't enough to keep you off Windows, I don't know what is.


I agree. Linux/Desktop is not yet, in my opinion, as well-developed as it needs to be to succeed in the consumer market, for many reasons. I use Linux daily, but I sometimes think that I've been retro-tossed back into the days of Windows XP -- as you put it, "out of 2005".


Thanks for the hefty writeup there. I'm looking into the first part of your response. It doesn't solve the problem, but it helps. So thank you for that.

One the second part of your response, I have it at "join displays", but it doesn't combine them at all. Still treats them as two separate displays, but only using the same background on both monitors, rather than spanning the background to the 2nd monitor. I was hoping at least to have separate backgrounds.

On the 3rd part, I've always known Wine was flaky at best. But the promo videos and review videos all showed this just working wonderfully. It came off as a feature being touted when, in fact, it just doesn't work anyways. Even software that you wouldn't think would have much hardware dependency, such as Scrivener, fail.

On the last part...I've had good experiences with Mint before. It's been a solid experience for me. I want to have linux going. I just question if Zorin was the right choice if there's no simple fix to these issues.

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True. And you'd think that whoever was putting together the sound output portion in the least would have thought "what if they want it to stay the same" or "what if they want to switch devices quickly?" Literally having to go into the settings every time just to switch the sound output device seems like a huge oversight to me...rather like an unforced error.

I've seen a couple suggestions here, and will try. But I'm hoping there's some real substantial solutions or...even better...a response from the team that might make sense.


Your welcome! When you asked a question like that, that demanded a full response from me, and thats what you got. lol I forgot to post this screenshot that I have already posted on the forum, its of me doing dual displays in join mode.


Now it sounds like you want to have separate desktops on each monitor, there should be a way to do this. But this is the kind of thing that may require a tutorial read on terminal commands, or messing about Gnome-Tweaks or Dconf. I don't use monitors in that way so I can't provide the guide, but I know it can be done.

Thank you for giving me a chance to post my opinions, I think we need more stellar posts like yours on the forum!


Your Tech Support Guru


A problem with Linux on the desktop is that distros are just one layer in the mix. Many of the problems encountered at the user level are actually upstream issues that are out of the control of the distro developers.

Zorin 16 Core is a solid distro intended for new adopters, but it is built on a Ubuntu/Gnome base, and that base isn't anything to write home about. Neither is the kernel, for that matter, when it comes to consumer-level hardware support.


So the real problem is that this is just a Gnome limitation at the core of Zorin's additional layer? That does make for a good argument for moving away from it, and doesn't bode well for a distro wanting to be a "windows killer"


Yes, I think they might be true. You see, Zorin OS currently has CORE released and PRO.

PRO and Core are practically the same thing, because they are Ubuntu based, and they run on the Gnome desktop environment, and uses Gnome Shell 3.38.

And POP OS 21.04, which also is Ubuntu based, also uses Gnome Shell 3.38. So guess what? Would it surprise you that many of the problems with Zorin OS can also be found on POP OS?

So, when you start looking at it from a outward perspective, its not hard to deduce, through pure logic, that the problems our distro's face, are more then likely due to Ubuntu or Gnome.

Cause at the end of the day, those are what are at the core of these operating systems. Now you see why some people, who can't get Zorin or POP OS to work for them, switch to XFCE.

Now here's the thing you may not be aware of. Zorin team are currently working on XFCE in development for Zorin OS 16 LITE. Once LITE is released, that will use the XFCE DE.

So what am I saying here? You could wait, give the Zorin team sometime, (meaning be patient) and wait for them to release Zorin OS 16 LITE. Then try that, you might like XFCE more.

Or you could do what Aravisian sometimes suggests people to try, and install the Cinnamon DE over the top of Zorin OS 16, which might make you happy as well, if you don't want to wait on Zorin OS 16 LITE's release.


Well, I'm thinking the XFCE might fix one or two of those things, but not sure on the Wine issue. I've used crossover before on mint, and that seemed to work. Of course, the license expired and I was hoping to find an alternative with Zorin. It may just be that going back to mint and getting Crossover is the right solution, at least for me. But, I'm still going through distrowatch and youtube to make sure. Good answers in this thread. I really appreciate taking the time to respond.


Adopting a different desktop environment won't fix Wine. Like @StarTreker, I've never had any luck with Wine -- as he noted, anything that requires hardware interaction fails -- and don't bother with it any more. I run Windows and Linux in parallel instead of trying to run Windows-optimized apps on Linux. It is just a bad fit.


I agree with that. That's why I'm thinking it may be best to go back to Mint with crossover. It seemed to work well enough. Right now, it seems to me a bit more of "overhyped selling points" with Zorin. The sound issue alone seems to be common knowledge with Gnome and should have been addressed long before announcing as a "windows killer"

I use Nitrogen for this:

sudo apt install nitrogen

Another option is to use a Different Desktop Environment. If you are already familiar with Linux Mint, then you can use XFCE or Cinnamon D.E. on Zorin OS.

It may be to do with systemd and PulseAudio.

Have you installed Pavucontrol and adjusted the settings?

sudo apt install pavucontrol

Another option is to remove PulseAudio and just use Alsamixer straight.

If you hang around here long enough, you will quickly learn with bleeding ears exactly what I think of Gnome.
Yet, I use Zorin.
Zorin OS comes with XFCE as well as Gnome. I use XFCE. However, as above, I use Cinnamon on Gnome and unlike Linux Mint, Zorin OS does not bog down with heavy usage on Cinnamon desktop.
There are good reasons to use Zorin OS that extend beyond just first impressions. As with many Distros, you can use it as a base to customize it to be just as you want it to be.

Crossover and Wine are the same product, by the same company. Crossover is just the commercial pay-for version.

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I did install this, but don't see much to do. I've changed it from automatic to something like "centered", hit apply, and no change. Maybe there's just some trick I'm not seeing?

If there was a simple, layman's guide to this, I'd be interested. All I've done is the standard "install alongside windows" install. I'm still very new to Linux, so I dont' even know how to tell which environment I'm working with, let alone how to convert it over.

I installed this, and I can see all the settings there, but nothing to make the HDMI sound output the default. It shows that I'm playing a video through the web browser, but if I go to "output devices", my headset is the only one listed in that section.

I'll look into this option

A lot of "greek" to me...there's just a lot I don't know how to get it from first install to all of that....let alone how difficult it would be. This always begs the question...why is Linux insisting on being so hard to install and use? Most people have the impression you need a PHD in computer sciences just to run Linux. I know I'm no programmer, but it feels like I have to be just to install simple programs.

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I am sure some may disagree with me on this but... It doesn't seem any harder to me than when I very first used Windows.
Talk about lost and confused.
And Mac? Felt painted into a corner.
Any new and unfamiliar thing will seem hard. Like the first time you had to do Division in Elementary School. everyone complained that it "is hard.'

It feels this way when the method is new - or as you put it, in Greek. :wink:
When you first drove a car, how did you know how much pressure to put on the clutch? It seemed so scary... Yet, with a bit of practice, now you can do it without putting any real thought into it. It seems so easy.

Let's start with an installation now - since the question was asked, presenting the opportunity for you to explore:
Open a terminal with ctrl+alt+t
Then enter into it:

sudo apt install cinnamon-desktop-environment

You will see a lot of text. Since this is your First Foray into Linux, do not worry too much about things like hard drive space or making mistakes. Keep back ups of your personal files and be prepared to enjoy having the power to do what you want to do, even if there is a learning curve.
Once you get a feel for the clutch, you can settle down and worry about making your system more stable and long lasting.

Once Cinnamon is installed, you can log out, then select Cinnamon by clicking the Gear Icon at the Login Window. Select the Cinnamon desktop, then log in instead of logging straight into the Zorin Desktop or Gnome desktop.
Once in, try testing out Nitrogen and see if that works.

It was recently that I switched from Windows to Linux and I felt much the same way. You'd need a couple of sticks of dynamite to get me to feeling that way now.


Number 3 is easy, place the windows app in a linux partition. Sometimes wine has a conflict with windows partitions (ntfs).

But so far i install alot of windows games through wine without any problems, the only issue i had was directx on ntfs, refused to install (sometimes a reboot worked). Copied the folder to ext4 and installs directly


Well, this definitely fixed some issues. Reboot keeps the sound preferences (That was huge to me). Also, as it's been a while, it was a good feeling customizing the desktop environment with Cinnamon. Still can't span the background, but I'll live with that. Another reply said that Crossover and Wine are the same company, so I'm going to have to fumble with that one until I learn Linux more.

At the core was the argument of ease of use. Your reply did answer the question of how to do it, but we're still at an impasse of "why", as in why it takes line commands in terminal to add or change applications, rather than built in utilities that a moderate user could find and use. I don't say this as a knock to Linux, but as genuine wonder for what most would assume as an OS that wants a bigger share of the computing world.

People just want to get in, do their daily driving, play some games, shut down their PC. But when I try to convince friends to give Linux a try, I'm always blocked by this brick wall of terminal command requirements.



Well, the thing is...I'm running Zorin on it's own dedicated 256gb ssd drive, and so the install file is on a linux partition. It's giving me resource issue errors that I don't understand.