Zorin OS 16 and beyond

With the upgrade process in place for 12.x to 15.x is this direct upgrade process a permanent feature from now on if v16 gets released and then those after that will we always be able to do direct upgrades without the need to reinstall. Also what will happen eventually to the repositories will the Ubuntu repositories be replaced with Zorin’s own in the future and will this be an easy out of the box experience someone on Twitter on Zorin’s own Twitter account said to me once that Zorin would replace Ubuntu’s repositories fully is this still the case?


Currently, there is no option to perform a direct upgrade either from Zorin 12.x to 15.x or from 15.x to 16.x
While some sources on the internet can be quoted as saying such- it remains not the case.
To upgrade your current version of any Zorin to a New release, a fresh installation is the only viable method.

The possibility of Direct Upgrade is a project in the works that, to the best of my knowledge and I am no authority on it, that Zorin Team is working on.

I do not foresee any likelihood that a Zorin Repository will replace the Ubuntu Repository anytime in the near future. For one, such competitiveness would be unnecessary and redundant. Working together, the Ubuntu Team and the Zorin Team are able to put forth their best.
However, while that one example may not be the next new thing (And Zorin comes with the sources.list containing the Zorin Repo’s), this does not mean that Zorin OS has no room for growth, either. The best way for Zorin to grow is with community support. More active and even full time developers joining the team means more work, more development and more innovation can be forthcoming in future releases.
Supporting Zorin OS by choosing Zorin Ultimate is one way to help fund the expedition and provide Zorin OS the means to not only continue, but to grow.


That contradicts to what they’ve been saying to people on Twitter about Zorin OS 12.x to 15.x and 15.x to 16.x and what the team on the “official” Zorin Twitter account said to me and they also stated in the past that the repositories would be replaced with zorin’s own repository instead of using Ubuntu’s.

Perhaps a member of the Zorin Team can clarify things.
Are you able to post a link to the Twitter account that stated that Zorin OS 12 can be direct upgraded to OS 15?

The Ubuntu Universe repository is huge. And I do mean HUGE. While Recent releases of Zorin OS contain the sources for the Zorin OS stable repo ( and I link to the Zorin Repo on occassion), I wonder if ‘how something is worded and how it is interpreted’ may be a factor in this topic.
The Zorin repository contains everything you will find on Zorin that comes with Zorin. But a complete replacement of the Ubuntu Universe Repo?
I am fine with being corrected.

We had originally planned to develop an upgrade path from Zorin OS 12 to 15, however there wasn’t enough time during the last development cycle to finish and test this feature. Zorin OS 15 was a rather ambitious release with a lot of new improvements which caused us many delays. Adding this would have delayed it even further, so we decided to not spread ourselves too thin.

However, we’re planning to enable upgrades between Zorin OS 15 and 16, as this feature is now one of the most high-priority items for this development cycle.

Moving away from the Ubuntu repositories isn’t likely to be of much benefit to the Zorin OS project (in balance against the costs of doing so) and is currently not a priority for us, so I doubt we will make this move in the foreseeable future. However, if anything happens to the upstream Ubuntu repositories, we should technically be able to replace them with either Debian’s or entirely our own ones in a way that would feel like a regular software update from the end-user perspective. We already operate our own repositories on our own servers, so most of the infrastructure is there today. Nevertheless, as this would detract significant resources away from developing and improving Zorin OS from a user experience standpoint, I don’t think we will need to do this anytime soon.


However, we’re planning to enable upgrades between Zorin OS 15 and 16, as this feature is now one of the most high-priority items for this development cycle.

While the question of direct upgrades is an often asked question, what priority it holds with the Zorin Team is the Next most often asked.

When Zorin 15 was first introduced, I admit that I was not impressed. But after I began using it heavily and really relying on it as a “daily driver”, its strength, assembly and advanced features began to transition from ‘subtle’ to necessary.
I am the sort that is never eager to “upgrade” an OS. I never have been, usually sticking to a long outdated OS many years after it has been replaced by three versions.
When Zorin 16 is released, I suspect I will be first in line to try it out. For me to say such a thing is by no means a small compliment. If 16 is anything like how 15 has been, I am certain it will manage to drop pleasant surprises even many months after installation.

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That would be great if from now on it was always like this
Or if it is in the case of last minute as happened in relation to 12 to 15,show the new repositories so that users can replace the repositories and update normally

What about if the developers did something similar to what Linux mint has done with mintupgrade but do one that’s zorinupgrade with similar functions and then allow the direct upgrades through that particular feature?

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Supported You have my full support for that idea.

That way zorin could create a small ecosystem without relying too much on Ubuntu
(I don’t mean the repositories
Because in this regard I think I prefer to add repositories of debían in ubuntu derivatives than ppa

I would be a huge fan of the direct upgrade option! :smiley:

Just like Aravisian, I don’t like the idea of doing a whole new install. For those who just use their computer to surf the web, watch youtube video’s, do email, installing new, won’t be as much of a big deal to them.

However, to a person who is a gamer, and has many games installed, all their game saves, and added to that, total OS customization like I do, I am the kind of person least likely to install new. Its because its so much work to install new.

It will be awesome once the Zorin team can get a direct upgrade system going. But even if and when they do, I know full well, with me being on 12.4, there is no way I will get a direct upgrade option, I’ll be forced to do a new install.

And trust me when I say, I’m not the only one who wants this. If you were to do a pole today, I’d wager to say, at least 80% of people using Zorin, would be in favor of direct upgrade. :wink:

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Just like Aravisian, I don’t like the idea of doing a whole new install.

I need to correct this; I DO like the idea of a Fresh install. Yes, I would need to install all the root installed software again. However, all my home stuff is safe. My method of backing up is to only back up what I need and when I change things in Pictures or Documents folder, I just put a new copy of that directory in the compressed back up, no problem. So I am now always backed up for most changes in the Home directory at all times.

But a new install is a Fresh Start on a clean slate without the clutter buildup I can create when testing and installing and removing software a lot. Sometimes, I just wipe and reload to get that fresh start, irrelevant to releases or upgrades or updates.

I decided to do some independent testing on Direct Upgrade (a risky move on my part, I will probably have scars to show later…)
In using Direct Upgrade on the equivalent of Zorin Lite to the equivalent of the next release up, I made a few discoveries about the pros and cons of doing so.
The pros are really likely to be summed up in one point:

  • Keeping previously installed software. This carries a possible con if the upgrade results in some of that software being considered obsolete.

The Cons are a bit more daunting…

  • The process took me well over three and a half hours. YMMV. It is much slower than a wipe and reinstall is. If a user is performing this action on a notebook on Wifi and battery, this could be a pretty big problem.
  • Outages of net during that lengthy process could render the hopes moot, resulting in a necessary wipe and reinstall anyway.
  • The user must be present during this process to answer ‘yes’ or “no” questions during the direct upgrade. May need to kick back with a book and keep a corner of your eye on the screen.
  • The process cannot be done if you are using an apt-hold on any packages. You must remove the hold, first. Then upgrade those packages first. Only then will it allow the Direct Upgrade. After that lengthy process is complete, you may then go back in and force a downgrade of the packages you had a hold on and replace the apt mark hold.
  • Any previous clutter remains.

This was done with the Ubuntu Direct Upgrade and the fully supported Canonical version. My experience suggests that I would not recommend this procedure unless a user has particularly numerous installs they cannot remember how they installed or particularly troublesome installs that they do not wish to go through installing again. Even so, the Direct Upgrade may even consider some of those installs obsolete, so any installations you wish to preserve should be researched carefully, first.


While really interesting, it does sound like a very risky approach. However, I feel that the risk is minimized, if a person had just installed a previous version of Zorin, but didn’t install anything else during the several years of use, I would consider the direct upgrade to be more reliable.

The problem someone is bound to run into, is if they install a bunch of software, and remove some software, and install other software, add repositories sources to the system, and add 3rd party software not using the standard repository system, using DEB installers instead.

I have done all of those things, so attempting a direct upgrade, I conclude a 99% chance, I will brick my system. And no, I don’t like those odds, and neither does Spock. Its risky Jim, I can’t recommend it. LOL :joy:

The problem someone is bound to run into, is if they install a bunch of software, and remove some software, and install other software, add repositories sources to the system, and add 3rd party software not using the standard repository system, using DEB installers instead.
I have done all of those things, so attempting a direct upgrade, I conclude a 99% chance, I will brick my system.

That is quite a leap. No, I do not think using .deb files makes a difference and the Direct Upgrade looks at what is currently installed, not the life-history of installations.
It is the loss of net connection during such a lengthy process that is the greatest concern.

I may have jumped too quickly.

After the Direct Upgrade using Ubuntu’s Direct upgrade tool (not a Zorin thing at this time), I am seeing the following:

  • Gimp does not work, no matter what I do. It keeps saying the GEGL version is too old. I reinstalled the latest version of GEGl, removed the config files for the old GEGL and removed and reinstalled gimp completely three times. Still giving that same message.
  • I got fed up and decided to use Synaptic to remove and reinstall all components. Upon Opening Synaptic, it flashes a brief complaint about sources being Bionic and closes,never allowing access to Synaptic.
  • Just about everything is slower. Vivaldi takes almost a minute to load and start, now. Boot up time for the system takes a very long time. Terminal loads and opens ridiculously slowly, now.

What is the point of preserving installs if they end up broken and unfixable or must be removed and reinstalled anyway? In the case of the two above, removal and reinstallation does not fix them. So, I cannot make the argument that merely two programs needed to be reinstalled, either.

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@Aravisian, I know you are referring to Ubuntu Direct Upgrade and not Zorin, so that is a relief.
Can I assume your conclusion from that little exercise that the result is 1 step forwards and 3 steps back ?
Lessons learned for Zorin going forwards me thinks.

I would not take it as far as 1 step forward and 3 steps back. However, it was an experience in aggrevation.
I did manage to eventually resolve all those issues. There were other smaller ones. For example, I have an applet on my panel for “Places” that shows my home folder and the primary folders within like Documents, Downloads, Pictures, Videos… After the Ubuntu Direct Upgrade, it suddenly included the “Panel” folder from within the gtk2 folder of AzenisBlack in .themes. I have no idea why that one obscure folder was added to the Places list. I resolved it merely by deleting that folder.
My terminal is much slower to launch than it was before.
My take away from it was:

  • It does work, assuming you keep a net connection for several hours. I did “upgrade” the OS after a Lengthy process that did not warn me it would be so lengthy and attention demanding. I kept most of my installed software though some needed major corrections to work again or had to be reinstalled. Like the genie in the bottle, it does what it claims to do, but not in the way you expect and your granted wish may not be the benefit you hope it will be.
  • I had to redo my sources list afterward.
  • The lengthy process was not just annoying but risky.
  • The strange little problems left me with uncertainty about the rest of the upgrade. Did everything else work or have I not noticed other problems yet?

I think many people have a more romantic view of how it works, as I did, before I actually tried it and had my expectations meet hard reality. Yes, it does spare the user from the usual steps of a wipe and reload; but a wipe and reload may provide a faster experience that leaves more confidence in the result. I think that for many users, a wipe and reload with a good recent backup and a list of installed software would be better off. I think that for some users with a lot of complex installations in root that they would prefer to never do again can benefit from a Direct Upgrade, as long as they plan ahead for it. Though it begs the question: If my Synaptic installation and GEGL were scrambled, what if it was one of those very complex installations they have that got scrambled? They would be fuming.

Lessons learned for Zorin going forwards me thinks.

This is a good question. Many users are eager for this feature. As I state above, that eagerness may be based on romantic expectations. Having the Direct Upgrade Option may be worthwhile, given that the users understand what it will entail. Otherwise, they may be disappointed in it.
It does work but can require some advanced twiddling afterward. Can Zorin OS improve that experience? In my novice opinion, I would consider it a miracle. But Zorin OS has produced some of those over the years.
I think it is viable as long as the user knows what to expect and has a reasonably good understanding of their system or good support to confront problems afterward.
For some a fresh start with a wipe and reload still may be more beneficial. It is faster, it removes any problematic software still in root, it removes clutter and software that the user has abandoned but not removed, it allows for “lessons learned” to be implemented such as creating a larger partition at time of install and so on.

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@Aravisian. Thanks for your verbose answer. I know you love a challenge and this appears to have been a real one.
It sounds almost as scary as submitting to a W…10 Feature Update, when you leave the PC running all night in the hope and expectation that it will not be a lump of coal next morning.
I think I will seek advice here and do some sort of basic Risk Assessment (do you feel lucky punk) before proceeding with Direct Upgrade on Zorin when the time comes.
At the moment, I think I prefer the controlled simplicity of wipe and renew OS leaving Home intact. I already save screenshots of my “Installed Software” and backups of Home in case of disaster and subsequent need to rebuild my Zorin system from scratch. That low tech but simple solution has kept me out of trouble (so far).

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It gets worse sometimes. I have learned to repeat myself a lot too because many people do not seem to listen the first time. Or they imagine I said something very different.
It’s either smack 'em or inundate them more words than they can ignore.