Zorin OS 16 Core Frustrations - Not For Me

I've been using Zorin OS 16 Core as my daily operating system for over a week now in my quest to leave Windows 10 and dodge Windows 11, but I have decided to try something else. For posterity, I thought to leave this short list of all the niggles I've butted heads with while using Zorin, which seem to require an inordinate amount of time to research and fix for what are, really, minor UX annoyances. With Zorin OS 16 being projected as a simple and user-friendly Windows replacement these days, I don't think they should exist or at least they should be trivial to rectify for the average user.

For some background, I'm a tech enthusiast and have played with various Linux distros over the years, including brief periods of dual-booting but primarily via virtual machines. I have education and previous employment in web programming, so it's not like I'm scared of using command line tools or following complex guides for things, I just never felt that Linux was right for me on the desktop. My PC specs are:

  • ASUS TUF B560-PLUS WIFI
  • Core i5-11600K
  • 2x 16GB 3000MHz RAM
  • 12GB RTX 3060 (yes I installed Zorin with the proprietary nvidia drivers)
  • 512GB Intel 660p NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD
  • 2TB Seagate Barracuda SATA-III 7200RPM HDD

However, the last couple of years have seen great advancements on the desktop Linux front, along with my growing discontentment with Windows, so I thought it was time to seriously try and switch. Anyway, here's my list, and apologies in advance for each point being fairly brief:

  • I have a Logitech G910 keyboard so I installed piper / libratbag to stop it constantly vomiting rainbows at me; they don't seem to remember my keyboard LED settings or start on boot, so I have to re-do it every time I login (this may not be Zorin's fault, but the whole point of piper / libratbag is to control Logitech peripherals so it seems odd they literally forget my settings every day).
  • Setting the default system date format without changing the entire locale to en_DK or similar seems to be impossible (see my other thread purely on this topic).
  • Some system application windows don't re-open where I last closed them but do remember if they were maximised when closed, which is really annoying if I want it to be maximised on my right monitor (1920x1080) but it opens maximised on my middle and primary monitor (2560x1440).
    • This is very inconsistent as Discord and WhatsAppQT (installed from the software store) as well as the baked-in calculator app are all fine, but the software store itself and the Files app don't. The windows that don't remember where they were last closed also don't remember if I resize them; sometimes immediately forgetting their new size on close, sometimes they stay resized until after a reboot.
    • I thought it might be the "Centre New Windows" option in GNOME Tweaks, but when disabled they just tile down from the top-left corner of my primary monitor, still not remembering where I last closed them or their sizes.
  • There seems to be no setting for the default file manager to re-launch open windows on login like Windows has. I use this feature a lot and while I could learn to live without it, this alone is almost a deal-breaker for me.
  • What Zorin detects as the 1st monitor is my left screen that I have rotated to portrait; some programs launch on there instead of my middle (primary) monitor every time. The main example of this is the whatsdesk client for WhatsApp, installed from the Zorin software store, and this behaviour lead me to swap it out for WhatsAppQT.
  • Zorin's built in "night light" feature only works on my middle and right monitor, not the rotated left monitor. Even if I disable the rotation settings and reboot, still no orange tint.
  • When I first installed Zorin, despite the live environment booting from the USB using my middle screen and then setting up the monitors after installation, Zorin kept booting with the login screen on the portrait left monitor... but without rotating it! Everything was sideways and it was a nightmare. I had to copy some monitor config file from my home directory to ~gmb3 or something.
  • I have an SSD currently split in half for Windows 10 and Zorin, and a HDD for data which is formatted NTFS as originally this was a Windows-only PC. Dragging images from my the HDD using the default Files app into Discord or WhatsAppQT does not work, but if I open the image and right-click copy from the Image Viewer or copy the file to any directory in the Zorin partition then drag to Discord, it works fine.
    • Opening the file picker dialogue in Discord to manually select a file also doesn't honour Zorin's dark theme or icon settings, thought that's likely an issue with this Discord app than Zorin itself.
    • That file picker also gives "permission denied" errors when I try to navigate to the internal HDD or my NAS, which never appear in the normal Files app, but I don't know how to tell if that's an issue with the Discord app or Zorin or something else.

I think basic OS features shouldn't be this frustrating or prevalent if you truly are trying to attract average Windows users to migrate. I want the basic user experience to be smooth before I start customising things; users shouldn't have to fight for simple things like the baked-in night light not working on 1 of 3 screens, trouble sharing old files from other drives in Discord, or application windows resetting size and position every time they're opened.

This is doubly frustrating for me because I actually really like the look and feel of Zorin overall; I immediately wanted to love it the first time I logged in (after fixing my monitor positions and rotation). I just feel drained from fighting against it for over a week now, so I'm going to try something else.

I may end up coming back to Zorin and just putting up with all of this, if the alternatives aren't any smoother, but the first impression has been rather poor for me.

7 Likes

This is some very detailed feedback. A lot of people would have just moved on to something else. That you took the time to really lay out what improvements could be made and how to address them shows strong character.

Glancing over your list, I know we can solve a large number of those as some of them are issues I had first encountered in Migrating to Linux (Which was not very long ago at all).

7 Likes

I'd like to say that there's no point in just complaining without detail or suggestions to improve, or that if no one points out potential issues then they'll never get fixed, but mostly it's just that I'm British and love complaining so I make it as long and detailed as possible for maximum enjoyment.

That's [mostly] a joke, I actually do believe in providing detailed feedback when making a complaint rather than staying silent or being petulant and entitled. That said, I acknowledge some of my points may not be Zorin issues (piper) and others may be personal preference (date format) rather than actual bugs, but things like window close position and size or night light only working on 2 of 3 screens are things the Zorin team - and prospective new users - need to be aware of.

On a side note, I have been booting a few other distros from USB in the last few hours to decide which one to install and test next, and encountered the same night light issue in pop!_OS while running live from USB. This could be a GNOME / Wayland issue, or even from the nvidia drivers, and might not be something Zorin can directly fix, but here's a photo showing exactly what I mean:

I don't actually have the tint set that strong in daily use, but you can still imagine how horrible it is to use the computer at night or in low-light conditions with all that bright glare coming from the left.

2 Likes

I suggest sticking Zorin OS 15.3 Lite on your list of Distros to try.
It's not Gnome Desktop so - again, you will find yourself in unamilair terriroty. But I find the XFCE desktop to be eeasier to configure, use and also to Remember Your Settings (Save session on logout).
Please LightDM operates with greater strength and less glitch than GDM.

3 Likes

Similar boat for me. The daily frustrations simply got the best of me. It's the little things that sour me on Linux every time. And the mostly low quality/abandoned apps in the 'app store'.

That's not true. Well, not in my case. I just installed Opensuse Tumbleweed and, oh, that's right, I didn't install it. I tried to install it, but the good folks at Opensuse decided that #2 font size is the best option. Unfortunately, I don't have a telescope handy to read the installation instructions so I canned it and am still running Z16 Pro.

The fact that Opensuse can release an OS in 2021 with an unreadable installation GUI is Linux in a nutshell. I would see garbage decisions like this distrohopping in the early 2000's. Same story today.

I've relegated my Zorin box for torrenting purposes only and run my daily computing tasks on macOS which is a hundred years ahead of the Linux desktop. Do I like Apple? No. That's a hard no. In fact, I absolutely cannot stand Apple as a company. Ditto for Microsoft. But, the Linux desktop is not very good at all (I won't tell you how I really feel) so what choice do I have? You want me to run Windoze? No? Then macOS it is.

You listed having multiple options to install as somehow a problem. You elude to a large variety of problems, but don't say what the rest of them were. We cannot help you if you do not say what the problem actually was.

Having troubles or a learning curve or needing some help - these are normal. For all of us. I post on this forum seeking help and advice, too.
But this requires us to actually post what the trouble is, address solutions and examine their merit. Not just hand-wave at unstated problems.
Yes, Linux operates Differently from Windows. That is to be expected and being frustrated that you must learn a new thing or do something in a new way is also normal. Calling developers work "garbage" is not normal.

Please do not use this forum as your soapbox for your disgust with Linux as an Operating System.

4 Likes

Try Feren O/S, Ultrabs - it seems to have most things covered and no Gnome. Online help from the developer too on discord.

@tomscharbach thanks for the thoughtful reply. At this point, I'm running three computers on my desk:

Macbook Pro for everything computing.
Minisforum i5/GTX1050ti Win 10 mini pc for gaming only.
Z16 Pro on HP mini pc for torrents only.

My plan was to migrate from macOS to Linux and relpace my aging 2015 Macbook Pro with a StarBook Mk V.

The funny thing is, the only games I play are actually native to Linux (98% CS Source and 2% CS:GO), so if I could get around my daily 'Linux obstacles' I could run Linux exclusively and kick Gates & Cook to the curb.

95% of my daily workflow involves manipulating images, resizing images, and compressing images.

Manipulating images is me mostly using the 'retouch' tool in the default macOS Photos app to remove logos and other identifying marks from pictures of machinery.

Then I export those images to a folder.
I Select All and open them with Preview.
Select All within Preview and > Tools > Adjust Size > Change Width to 600px > Select All > Save.
Lastly, I drag all images into ImageOptim and I'm done.

Working with 20 - 30 images at a time I can get the job done in about 5 minutes.

Using Linux, any flavor of Linux, would mean hours of work. I'm not exaggerting -- it took me about 2 hours to do the same work but I didn't even finish. I gave up, opened up my Macbook, and got it done in no time flat.

I think I have every photo editing app available currently installed on Zorin but I haven't found anything that actually is worth using.

Regarding image compression apps that are quick and easy to use, I installed Trimage, Image Optimzer, Converseen, OpenResizer, and Squeezeimg but none of these apps are very good, some are ok, others are just terrible -- like the developer just didn't care.

The other 5% of my daily workflow involves manipulating pdf files, adding/removing content from pdf's, and signing pdf files. I can do it all quickly and easily and for free using the macOS Preview app but at this point I will have to pay for Linux pdf software to accomplish the same because every FOSS pdf tool or pdf editor I've tried is simply not very good. How's that for irony?

all this works awesomely on my computer, i guess it is because you are running the core and i am running the pro. i guess zorin is rolling just like windows, mac and other companies; they didn't provide basic features to the core(free) downloaders but made an overall awesome distro for the pro($39). i tried everything you said, the files, software app, red light issue,apps launch on multi screen mode,reopening on apps and they reopened the same place they were closed,discord everythings works well
i just didn't try whatsapp QT and windows 10 and zorin dual boot. but i am sure even this will works effortlessly.

zorin actually gave life to my 7 year old pc, i love it i tried every linux distro,windows 10 but zorin was the best with wireless file transfers, fast speeds, seemless interaction between android and zorin, mac/windows 11 like interface and mac like airdrop features which make computing so easy i cannot even compare windows and zorin pro.
i have zorin on my pc and am planning to install it on new laptop too(haven't purchased it yet, but will do soon).

there is only one thing i guess would be good to have that is whatsapp calling, though it really doesn't matter but this feature is in one of my 'would like to have' list.
tho trust me you should try zorin os pro once :+1:

No, this is absolutely Not the case.
Zorin OS Pro and Zorin OS Core are identical except that Pro features more preinstalled Applications like Barrier and Cad. Pro comes with more Layouts.

3 Likes

Mostly companies use this tactic and I know zorin gave most of its softwares for free, so a little tweaking is fine.

If that's not the case then why everything ran on my pc perfectly but didn't run on his ?

By his; I am not sure who you mean. Ron_Jeremy or The Original Poster Ultrabenosaurus...

Much of what they said deals with different hardware and... different expectations.

By 'his' I meant @Ultrabenosaurus .

But problems like red light effect,software app and files app not working properly,reopening apps,not able to set a dare format; etc It all feels like an software issue. Mostly hardware doesn't contribute much.

My point is that some companies do keep premium features for premium users and always add problems in the free or budget versions. Like apple's iPhone se has same processor as of iphone 11, but still iphone se is being limited by the software so that it doesn't give that performance of the much premium iphone 11/iphone 11 pro. Same happened with the m1 ipad and doesn't matter how much you deny it same is with iphone 12 and iphone 12 pro and recently this happens in every other company.

Even samsung has the same strategy with their note and galaxy line ups. Leave these big companies even small companies like xaiomi, vivo, oppo, asus,etc. Use this to differentiate between premium and budget customers and there is nothing wrong in it.

Windows give different treatment to the pro,home and education users. And the free windows downloaders are treated like trash on windows. Companies need to do this so that they prevail both in the budget segment and in the premium segment too.

Zorin for years gave their softwares for free, I had some problems while using zorin 15(which was based on Ubuntu 20.04 Same as zorin 16)education on my desktop like files and software use to lag, etc(I don't remeber them all) but after installing zorin 16 pro my desktop feels like new, it even run heavy games like minecraft with very high graphics,fortnight with medium graphics which wasn't possible on windows 10 pro and zorin 15 education and core.

You can see here I compared zorin os 16 pro to windows 10 pro and zorin is so much better.

I am not saying zorin is like other cruel companies but zorin has to do this to survive in this sector. Windows and Mac os are pretty powerfull and too much funded sectors zorin in order to be able to beat Mac or windows has to use these tricks to be the most powerfull one.

Being regularly on troubleshooting on the forum, I see the same gnome-software issues in Pro users as Core users, for example.
The ZorinGroup consists of two people and capable they may be... They are not capable of developing All Versions of Zorin OS and keeping track of what is supposed to be broken in Core but not in Pro.

Zorin OS is still available for free.
Zorin OS 15 is based off Ubuntu 18.04.

Zorin OS is doing quite well without being cutthroat to survive.

It is a quality product that promotes success, not dirty underhanded tactics.

And Zorin os is not motivated to Beat Windows. Windows dominates the market with average 80% of the Operating System user base. Even the most cunning of tactics will not change that.
Zorin OS appeals to those who migrate away from Windows, nothing more. It is not about taking down Microsoft.

4 Likes

What is zorin group ? You mean 2 people made the operating system :astonished:?

Actually I tried zorin 15.3 which was based on 20.04 same as zorin 16 pro.

Well that's good to hear :relaxed: but mine was just a theory, I would be glad to know if that's not the case. cause Ubuntu is community based and it is very important to not be money minded in this community.

But deep inside every operating system wants to be the best operating system that's what drives people from bein better to the best. Let it be a community based or a business operating systems shape life

1 Like

I must correct this again, as it cannot be left to create misunderstandings.
Zorin OS 15 is based on Ubuntu 18.04, not 20.04.

I think that Canonical (Ubuntu) is certainly not above performing some shady tactics.
What is relevant, however, is that it is not tolerated here.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 90 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.