Try to think of it this way: updating to a freshly released version may come with some unexpected bugs, so delaying that decision may actually turn out to be a good idea. Even with Ubuntu itself there's often a hot fix released shortly after every major version.
But yeah I know what you mean, if you are looking forward to use things like Gnome 40+ and such.
I'm not sure if you can directly install a new OS directly on top of an existing partition, is that documented in ZorinOS's website? I would still make a backup copy of those files either way, just to be on the safe side.
Gday @Leslie , Welcome to the community!
Yes we are all patiently awaiting the updated release, "Zorin OS 17".
As you have not used Zorin before, may i suggest you "TRY" Zorin first.
As to install Zorin OS, you will need to go through this process anyway, This has both "TRY" & "Install".
In the "TRY" Mode, Zorin OS will only run from the usb/cd device, & not leave a trace when you remove then device from your machine.
It's a great way to have a look,
Zorin OS is based on a user friendly interface, just like windows, ( If you didn't know you had Zorin OS or Windows, you wouldn't know the difference)
That is the cool thing about Linux. I have used Ubuntu, Fedora, and others. I just think Zorin is more of a complete package for me. It will be a couple of months before I can get another laptop, so I will wait patiently. I work from home on the computer and use Windows 11. I just don't like it at all. Looking forward in migrating to Linux.
If you are planning on installing on a new laptop, make sure you test ZorinOS first before installing it.
Different hardware may have different requirements so it's possible that something may not work exactly right. This is especially true for newer hardware, or components that are purposefully made for a particular model.
For example some Asus trackpads have a the number rows of a physical keyboard integrated in the trackpad, and that may not work properly (I haven't tried it, it's just an example of something "unique" to some models).
I tried upgrading zorin 15 to 16 by installing it in the same partition without formatting (tested in a VM). It mostly worked but with some quirks. Snap and flatpak apps were missing in the menu after the upgrade, and apps excluded from the default installation had to be reinstalled too with apt after the upgrade. Everything else was happily working. I wonder how this procedure compares with the alternative (standard) method: backup of the home folder (maybe with deja dup), fresh install (by nuking everything) and restore the home folder and all the apps.
What you are describing seems about right: installing an OS overwrites the contents of the partition, so losing installed programs is expected. Unless there was some direct upgrade option available but I don't think there was one for ZorinOS 15, was there?
I guess there's not much of a difference since programs are not normally installed in the user's home directory so those would have to be re-installed separately.
My only concern, when using something like DejaDup, would be that if it can still read files made from previous versions. I'm not saying this is the case to DejaDup at all, but I've been there with another program called Cryptomator where I had to downgrade to an older version in order to decrypt files made with it.
I just hope they fix the Samba Issue. It seems like its not a problem on distros based on ubuntu 22 Jammy, but it sucks. Linux mint can do a network share in 2 minutes with samba, zorin gives me endless error 255 only have not found work around.