ZORIN 16 - some feedback for missing/additions

I have been tinkering with Linux, for a few years, from Linux Mint 8 to present use Mint 20 Mate. Finally transitioned from Windows to Mint 18, 19 then 20 on Microsoft messing up WIn 8 and 8.1 then 10 and cease of support for Win7.
Been very happy with Mint... but it took a long while to get "into" how to work it, and how to get WINE installed, so I could use my favourite Windows progs
Pity that MInt has to be so hard to update to the new serial number version... not seamless, from what I have found... but never mind.. I can cope with it.
Now, about a year ago, I found ZORIN and started play around with that on a spare machine. gaining experience and knowledge on how it works and what it does, and doesn't do. I am especially impressed with being able to run .exe files without going through all the trauma of copying and pasting loads of "terminal" instructions, and then waiting for about 40 minutes for WINE to install.
This is something that I "kinda" found out by accident... and should be "shouted about" in the intro pages of the main ZORIN site.. ( maybe it is, I haven`t looked....yet ! ).
Some things I do miss about ZORIN, compared to Mint.. as follows...
Missing from the Main Menu... Control Centre... I know that "most" of the subjects in that, are listed separately.. ( but newbies to Zorin, would not necessarily know what or where to look for them.... ) . but not ALL ... for example ...

  1. SCREEN SAVER..... I cannot find how to disable the "screen saver".. or to set a given time before it is activated.

2.FILE MANAGEMENT... It would be good if there was a facility for being able to Change the VIEW on ALL folders/directories with one click from Folders to LIST.... Rather than having to do that to each individual folder, due to the "default" being ICONS
3.Preferred Applications.... this gives access to a list giving "permissions" to various applications...
4. Lower "taskbar" aka "Panel".. on Mint... you can right click and get a menu which shows " Add to Panel"... and a series of useful appsthat can be added as an icon there... Particularly useful, is "Force Quit"... to shut down any app that is misbehaving, or has seized.
Another useful one, ... Windows Selector, where it keeps a list of open but "minimised" windows, which you can access quickly from the list.
Another useful one..... Shut Down... Yes I know you can do it from the Z logo, but using the "Panel" Icon on Mint, seems to be a much quicker access to the shut down menu.
5. Windows programs Installation /icons.... coming from Windows to Linux and using Windows programs via WINE was a big learning curve.. however. after installing a windows type program... it displayed the "correct" desktop Icon, and a lnk file on the desktop... Very Confusing with ZORIN 16... as the ICON does not show UNTIL you try to "open" it with a right click, and you have to then "Allow launching" or something.
To a Linux user the lnk file icon is obviously not executable, but to a "newbie" from Windows, it is totally confusing as it only shows the "terminal" text.. and nothing happens.. it "does not work"... "ZORIN is rubbish"...
. .the confusion would be less, if ZORIN were to show the "correct" desktop ICON, as "normal" part of the install process, making it obvious to any user that it was where you went to "open" that particular application/program, without the need to figure out what the pop out menu was trying to tell you to do, to get it to work/show properly.
It is only through my previous experience that I know that the lnk file icons can be deleted from the desktop with no ill effects ! ... but it was confusing without the proper display of the application icons.
6. Terminal icon for the "lower taskbar/panel". On Mint, this is there by default. but it took me some time to locate "Terminal" as an app, in the first place, and then it took more confusing time, in trying to figure out how to get it to appear on the panel.
In the menu ... against any particular app.. when you right click on it... there is the "option" of "add to Favourites"... confusion here with the name, as this is generally used for "favourites/bookmarks" on the Browser task bar... change the name to read "Add to Panel" or "Add to Lower taskbar"... problem solved.
7. Synaptic Package Manager.. could not find this.... and spent a long time trying to... eventually, I found a "Help" note about how to install it as an option on this ZORIN OS site. Seems to be a bit strange that the subtitle on the help page says ...... Installing system packages and libraries would only be necessary for advanced users. When this is generally considered to be an essential part of Linux working..... I only found it by accident.. and was very disappointed that I could not see it in the Menu, and had to waste a lot of time searching.

By the way... I am 77 years old... ! so learning about Linux has been very long and hard . I don`t understand a lot of it... but seem to manage to stumble along, and get there in the end... Perhaps some/all of the above can be addressed on any future "updates". Thank you for reading.

1 Like

Sparker, apologies, I needed to edit your post to correct a small punctuation typo that managed to run afoul of the Forum markdown language.

As to your points; Several of these deal with transitioning from Cinnamon desktop Environment to the Gnome Desktop environment. There are some aspects of Gnome that are really not user friendly... Much less new user friendly.
I always use Zorin OS Lite (XFCE), but am currently on Zorin OS 16 Core (Gnome) since Zorin OS 16 Lite has not yet been released. However... I installed XFCE and Cinnamon Desktops onto it. :wink:
Which is probably why I have been so patient waiting for Zorin 16 Lite.

You also have the option:

sudo apt install cinnamon cinnamon-core

And use the Cinnamon D.E. on Zorin OS since it is the one you are most familiar with. Currently The Zorin Themes are not yet available for Cinnamon on account of the fact that I have not gotten around to making them. A few people have asked... but no one with any enthusiasm to the point I felt the pressure to up the priority on it... Zorin OS does not come with Cinnamon Desktop.

I agree with you that Synaptic Package Manager should come installed.
The ZorinGroup feels that Gnome-Software is more Windows-Store like in its resemblance. Whether it is easy to use is a bit iffy... given that Software Store will delete essential packages without warning the user of the risks. We recently had a case of that happen to a member...

Thanks for taking the time to register and print out a lot of helpful feedback. :slight_smile:


Welcome Sparker to the community! Aravisian's advice to install Cinnamon is spot on. I too have argued for as far back as Zorin 15 when I wrote the Unofficial Manual for same that Synaptic Package Manager should be present by default. That said I can't help but wonder if this is not possible for Team Zorin to address because of the way the Gnome DE project is being run which they have no influence over. You may also at some point wish to give KDE (Plasma) a try but I would stick with Aravisian's advice for now. :wink:

Welcome to Zorin Os 16 Sparker! :slightly_smiling_face:

Ouch, you shocked me :zap: You build up such ESD in the winter time don't you? :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Anyways, thank you for providing the Zorin brother's some solid feedback. Please count me among the many who has been wishing, that Synaptic Package Manager came with Zorin OS pre-installed. I've never understood why it hasn't.

You are right though, Zorin OS is supposed to be the most beginner friendly OS in Linux. However, there is always room for improvement. So, hope that some of those improvements are seen in Zorin OS 16 LITE, or in the next version of Zorin OS, Zorin OS 17.

Aravisian.. Thanks for your reply... ( and others too ! ).. with respect to ..

You also have the option:

  • sudo apt install cinnamon cinnamon-core*

And use the Cinnamon D.E. on Zorin OS since it is the one you are most familiar with

I did the install, and restarted...

  ( incidentally, no choice to "Restart" on the shut down/Power button...... another "tweak" that needs addressing methinks !) 

but after restart, nothing seems to have changed...
You say... use the Cinnamon D.E. ( presumably that D.E. stands for Desktop Environment ? ? ? Linux speak needs a proper dictionary on line somehwhere ! ! ) . so HOW to I use Cinnnamon Desktop Environment, Please ? ? ? ?

On my Linux Mint.... I use MATE ! but really have no idea what the difference is between MATE and Cinnamon, or any other ..... It was the first one that I used, and have stuck with it over the years of messing about, so am really in the dark about any advantage/disadvantage over the other.

I also used XFCE, Mate and Cinnamon on Mint.
The big difference is that nice log-in sound Cinnamon desktop which others are lacking :crazy_face:

Joke aside, Mate continues a development of GNOME 2 while Cinnamon took that controversial GNOME 3 and added the functions back to make it behave like GNOME 2. The end result converged to very similar desktops.


That's what the problem is.... @Aravisian assumed that you used the cinnamon edition of Mint, since you did not mention which desktop environment you used earlier. Don't worry Aravisian will help you out.

I wanted to mention that most of your problems can be solved or rather tweaked in Zorin OS Core (which uses Gnome DE)

Your screen should go blank after a period of inactivity. Gnome does not ship with screensavers anymore....I miss the feature too. I am sure others will know how you can do that by some other way.

That can be done too!

Just click on the "Toggle View" button.

I could not understand that. Perhaps others can help.

You can do that by right clicking on the app and then adding it to favorites.

No solution for this, that I know of.

Could not understand this one either.

You can also use the system menu to do that.

The features that you mentioned and I am not aware of, probably existed (or still exists) in gnome. As @FrenchPress said MATE is a fork of GNOME 2. Gnome is known for removing essential features.


Can't we find the process number in top command then run kill-all?

1 Like

The OP asked if they could do it by using the panel/taskbar. Well, actually we can do that by right clicking on it and clicking "Quit" but it isn't the same (I think) because it would not kill the process but close it as you normally do by clicking the "x" button of the title bar.

Got it!
If you mean "How to set default applications?", you can do that by going to the settings and clicking on "Default Applications" from the sidebar.

Ah, I see.
I missed that part :sweat_smile:

When the system got some hiccups (could happen time to time), I resort to Terminal since GUI could also be a part of the hiccups.

I think these terminal commands are useful ones to remember, just like that famous key combination for a graceful rebooting.

Raising Skinny Elephants Is Utterly Boring.


Lots of comments there, guys... Thanks very much for your inputs.. will need some time to cogitate them, Get back to you later.


GNOME let you change very few default apps that way.
The easiest way to assign (almost all) default application is:

  1. Right click on the file (such as jpeg, mp3 etc).

  2. From the top tab, select "how to open" (or something like that, my menu is in Japanese).

  3. Select the preferred application from the list.

1 Like

Certainly. I will wait to address the questions you directly asked me.


O.K... Been messing with Zorin 15.3 LITE and also with Zorin 16 CORE ( comparing them to each other, as they are "supposed to be".... the same operating system .... )

It`s strange, but they feel like two different operating systems... they have different ways of displaying the menu, and also the "panel"....on 15.3.. is the same as MINT ( apart from the apps list) .. but on CORE is is known as the Task bar ( same name as WIndows, but more useless... ! ) cannot right click and "add to panel" .. to add items, you have to find the application title and then ... as previously reported " Add to Favourites" ... confusing with that being the thing you do with your Bookmarks/Favourites on your internet browser task bar !.

Still have no idea what the differences are between MATE, ..... Cinnamon.... or XFCE is... as for Gnome 2 or Gnome 3... again... sounds like a meetup in the garden with the fairies...


. on 15.3 LIte... there is a mention of it in the "settings" menu window ( why is it so different on 16 CORE ? ? ? ? where it is not mentioned at all.... ) On 16 CORE... you have to delve into the "power" settings ( which I cannot find, now, after trying to re-search it ! ! !) .. and then you have to disable what happens when the power button is used, or something to do with the screen being "dimmed"...

How to view all folder contents as LIST VIEW... the page shown by Elegant Emperor does not exist on my version of ZORIN 16 Core..

However... after a lot of "pratting about"... clicking "this and that" and getting nowhere... I clicked on ACCESSORIES.... then in the drop down menu "Files"... opens a new window.... Showing "Home" (selected) and the folders. using the three bar icon ... in the top taskbar, on the drop down menu... "show hidden files... (select that, as it is useful to find them ! ) .. then click on Preferences.... another window opens... where you can "select" List View.... You can then Close all windows ! ... Job Done...

But what a difficult thing to do, compared to how it is done on Windows ... and I know that Linux likes to be different... but ... again ... Zorin is supposed to be "windows newbies friendly"....

FORCE QUIT ... Why cant the ZORIN team use the same **"add to panel list"** as the one on LINUX MINT? it would be good if this particular "addon" was a "universal fit" across all Linux Distros...or at the very least... all flavours of ZORIN.... and as ZORIN is supposed to be the most "windows newbies user friendly"

The only way, that I can see, at present, is to find the TaskManager... (windows version of Force Quit ) and see if you can get that to settle on the "lower task bar"... ( aka "Panel")... (once again, I cant find it ! .. even though I know its there "somewhere" ! ! !...)

(for French Press and Elegant Emperor)
"Kill-All"... sounds a bit drastic... like that is intended to shut down the machine, in an emergency situation, when nothing is responding to the X close this app..or Right Click on the app does nothing, or the "quit" does nothing... . but the Power Button on the machine does that readily enough, so cannot see the point of it .
Force Quit... does it with ease... !

One final thing.... Regarding the first occasion to try and install a Windows .exe file on Zorin (both 15.3 Lite and 16 Core) ..

On clicking the .exe file... a window appears to suggest opening it with Windows Application Support... ( or similar) and then it proceeded to "updating cache"... after which.... and a long wait... nothing happened... so I tried it again, this time with a .zip file.... again... same thing happened... retried with the first .exe file and then got the "authenticate" window for my password... after which it then installed the Windows Application Support software... then it proceeded to install the WINE Gecko and other application bits... .... .... .... after which it installed the actual program ...

subsequent .exe and .zip files installed with no problems...

Maybe there is a "glitch" in there somewhere, that needs addressing by the writers of ZORIN software ?

And Finally ! ! ! ( Late Edit ! ! ! ) ....

Why is it that Thunderbird is installed ( as standard) in Zorin 15.3 Lite .... but is not available as standard on ZORIN 16 Core ....
Just another (annoying) little difference between the two versions of the same operating system ....

1 Like

This explanation might help you understand that it is not for complete shutdown the system. The killall sends a signal to all processes running any of the specified commands.

@Sparker with all your distaste for Zorin and the new improvements plus your reference to others why do you bother ?

When I find something that isn't "my can of worms" I just go.... maybe you can meetup in the garden with the fairies... :+1:


I think @Sparker could find more befitting OS here (link courtesy of @Bourne):

1 Like

I think this is good idea what is good,bad or ugly in Zorin. The developers don't have a time to search that things. They are focus on code. That is only opinion what for me is full respectfull.

1 Like

Actually I think a lot of people( and not all) that join in a few days and post negatively with LONG DRAWN posts are here for other reasons. I look at all this prior to even answering. I cut that off at the chase.