Hi Zorin Community,
now I am a Zorin user myself and I would like to share some first impressions.
For many years I have sticked with debian sid distributions such as aptosid and siduction. I used this "near bleeding edge" because I like latest up-to-date software but not experimental stuff that breaks everything, and also because debian sid for most cased came with all needed hardware support I needed. Debian is supposed to be rock-solid and never break, but this definititively does not cover KDE, the beautiful desktop environment that I like a lot but have now given up using. KDE killed mails when transitioning from kmail to kmail2, it is mostly a pain in the a*** to re-install a broken KDE-installation, let a lone do a backup. Plasma as KDE's latest environment is beautiful and has a lot of functionality, but even now a simple Bluetooth file transfer from an expensive smartphone to my computer caused some havoc: you cannot just tell your phone to send a file to your computer and simply have the KDE application receive it in background, you also have to open system settings to make this work. Yes! That's right! And I already have found out this bug is in Zorin as well.
I by no means want to put down Zorin (I like it a lot already for its simplicity for getting things done and also for its beautiful desktop environment) and I want to provide helpful feedback.
This distribution claims it is for beginners. So why are there several steps I consider too difficult for a beginner to answer? Take my mom, for example. My mom has been using a Windows notebook for several years and she can create artful beautyful christmas cards and similar greeting cards way better than I could do myself, but she would not be able to tell if she has an NVIDIA graphics adapter or what else. Or how much RAM, what type of CPU. She is a beginner and wants to use her notebook, not analyze it. She expects all hardware to just work with no endless fiddling around.
(1) Find the right installer
At the beginning Zorin asks which system should be installed. So if you were my mother you could not say if you have an NVIDIA card. Why isn't here a starter that first checks if you do have an NVIDIA card and then recommends using the binary driver for it which is part of the separate NVIDIA installer anyway and otherways hides away this from the beginning user?
(2) CTRL + C not working during sanity check
When the USB-Stick boots it is checked for sanity. This process can be cancelled and skipped by pressing CTRL+C - at least that is what it says on screen.
This did not work here, I tried on a standard PC and on notebook, no success.
Pressing CTRL + C either has no result at all or after some lengthy pressing time results in breaking the checking tool and changing its output on screen to single lines of text and continuing sanity check eventually. It cannot be stopped/skipped to make booting into Zorin faster.
(3) Language Clutter in Zorin Appearance Settings Dialogues (and probably elsehwere, too)
I am on a German speaking system (i.e. both keyboard and dialogues), so it should say "Zorin Erscheinungsbild" or "Zorin Darstellung" etc.
"Zorin Appearance" -> "Programmoberfläche" -> Erweiterungseinstellungen" actually leads to "Zorin Taskbar" which is not what I would expect when selecting "Erweiterungseinstellungen" (Addon Settings).
"Zorin Taskbar" has some English entries that have not (yet) been translated:
Tab "Position" -> "Order and positions on monitor", some entries below such as "Left Box", "Show Applications button", "Activities button" etc.
Yes I know, I do not seem to make lots of friends here by being that picky, but isn't it Zorin 16 already which could have these items fixed?
(4) Multiple / duplicate entries for same software in Software
When I open Software and search for "signal" (the popular messenger) there are two entries "signal-desktop". Which is the one that installs the full application from no fork and simply the original? I would like this so that there is a better comment text that explains what are differences of these installers. It could simply be a matter of apt-get vs. flatpak, but who knows?
(5) No Mono-Develop but Mono libs?
That is one for me as a developer
I have noticed that mono as an environment (libs?) is available for installation, but no Mono-develop application for developing in C#.
OK, that's enough for now. Don't worry, Zorin really looks great and I plan to use it from now on