ZorinOS Flashed Successfully from VirtualBox to USB Flashdrive - Additional Questions on Secure Boot, KDE & Essentials

Hi all, I was able to use VirtualBox (VB) through Windows 11 to install ZorinOS as a permanent installation (no live session) on my USB flashdrive.

I enabled EFI Mode in VB, connected my flashdrive, and then did the install using the "something else" installation mode, and I created the following partitions:

Column 1 Column 2 Column 3 Column 4
/efi fat32 1 GB
/ ext4 w/ journaling 40% of my remaining USB space
/home ext4 w/ journaling 60% of my remaining USB space
swap -- 8 GBs
encryption -- 500 MBs

It boots just fine after disabling Secure Boot, though - as a USB - it's just a tiny bit slow. It'll work for testing it out, though. Hopefully, I'll find it'll be a good replacement for Windows 11 and will install it on my main SSD (my internal one).

I have a few questions, though:

  1. So that I don't have to turn Secure Boot on and off each time I switch between Linux and Windows, is there a way to enable ZorinOS to automatically boot correctly with Secure Boot enabled? If so, how can I do this?
  2. How can I correctly, smoothly, and completely migrate from the GNOME environment to KDE - mitigating issues with the change of environment?
  3. What are essential tasks I should complete now that I have ZorinOS installed?
  4. Is there a guide I can follow that will teach me the essentials of Linux that I need to know if I'm going to use it as a daily driver?

Thank you very much, everyone. :pray:t2:

If You prefer KDE maybe KDE Neon as a Distro would be a better Choice. There You have an Ubuntu LTS Base like on Zorin but You have the Plasma Desktop directly from KDE supported because they develop them.

When You want to use it on Zorin, you can it install. For this You have 3 Options:

  1. kde-plasma-desktop
    That Option delivers the KDE desktop without a lot of Programs

  2. kde-standard
    That delivers the KDE Desktop with some Programs

  3. kde-full
    The is the full KDE Desktop Package with a lot of KDE Programs and Stuff.

When You have chosen what You want simply open the Terminal and type sudo apt install [Package-Name] and the Download and Installation will start. In the Installation Process will open a Window were You must choose what Login Manager You want to use. There should be the choive between gdm3 (Gnome) and lightdm (KDE).

After the Installation of the whole Stuff you have to reboot Your Machine. And when you have tested everything and it works for You like you want and you say taht You want get rid off the Zorin Desktop open the Terminal and type sudo apt purge zorin-os-desktop gdm3

That will uninstall the Zorin Desktop and the Gnome Login Manager. After that You could have some additional Work to uninstall some Programs that are still on the System. There You have to look for.

@Ponce-De-Leon , thank you very much for the support on the KDE versus GNOME part; a few extra questions regarding that specifically:

  1. Following your instructions, is kde-full always the best option since it has everything? Is the latest update to KDE? Will it install plasma as well?
  2. Is kde-full guaranteed to work on ZorinOS - even when it's not officially supported?
  3. Should I automatically choose lightdm as the login manager? Or, is it preferred to continue to use gdm3?
  4. Will it be a problem to keep both Zorin desktop and KDE desktop installed - meaning, should I most definitely run sudo apt purge zorin-os-desktop gdm3 to evade any problems in the future?
  5. How will I know that KDE is working correctly?
  6. What would the additional work be that I need to do to uninstall some programs still on the system?

As for the other questions (i.e. secure boot, essentials, guide), I'll let you and the team answer them if you like.

Thank you very much, @Ponce-De-Leon and everyone else.

Every Package installs KDE Plasma Desktop. The Difference is between the Software what comes with it. With kde-full will come a lot of KDE Software. Is it the best Option? I mean when You don't need the Software you could uninstall. But this would be additional Work.

If You say, that you only want the KDE Plasma Desktop the kde-plasma-desktop Package would a good choice. Then You can install the Rest of the KDE Software so like You want it. Or You go the Way with kde-standard what brings some Software with it. That could be a good Compromise between the Packages.

It isn't the lastest Update. It is the LTS Version from the Ubuntu 22 Version. So, it is not the newest. For that would be KDE Neon the better Choice because it gets newer Updates for the Desktop.

A Guarantee I can't give You. It should run properly because it is the Version from the Ubuntu Sorces.

That is up to You. If You want the whole KDE Experience choose the SDDM Login Manager. I mean, You can choose it and test it and when You don't like it, You can change to gdm3 back with the Terminal Command sudo dpkg-reconfigure sddm

Theoretically it shouldn't be a Problem but ... Theory and Practise isn't the same. Updates could maybe causing Issues but it don't have to. So, you should uninstall the Zorin Desktop too fast. First test the System. And take Your Time to test it.

That is a Test thing. When Your System works without Problems all is good.

When a Program doesn't remove when You uninstall the Zorin Desktop You have to do it manually with the Terminal or with Synaptic.

For your other Questions I can't give you any good Advices. With the Secure Boot Thing I have no Idea. The Guide ... maybe @swarfendor437 could give You a Link to his Unofficial Zorin Guide. Maybe this will help You.

Essential Things to do ... I mean update Your System after the Installation. Look if You need additional Drivers. Install Codecs from the Software Store. Install the ubuntu-restricted-extras Codecs over the Terminal if You need them. Install the Software that You need.

Okay, awesome, @Ponce-De-Leon ; I highly-appreciate this. I'm going to boot into Linux now and give it a good look around.

What are the main differences between KDE and GNOME, though? Anything that KDE has that GNOME doesn't? Or, why do a lot of people prefer KDE over GNOME?

Gnome is build upon GTK framework where KDE is using Qt, but you can use apps that are written for both in both DEs. But they may look out of place - thematically.

If you want a reliable version of KDE with a long-term support version, you cannot beat Kubuntu or MX Linux KDE. I like both more partial to MX Linux KDE - solid Debian base with backports of new Sofware and MX Linux testing along with Flatpaks available too by default.

If you want something with KDE Plasma 6 and above, I have used/liked Fedora-based Ultramarine and Ubuntu-based Tuxedo OS with very postive results. KDE Neon is a good option too for some - it is very similar to Tuxedo OS but I have not had good results. I stick to LMDE 6 primarily (Cinnamon) and ZOS 17.1 too (GNOME). KDE is still too complicated for me. I like simplicity.

Using KDE Plasma on-top of ZOS means an older version of KDE. But there seems to be compatibility of using newer versions of KDE on ZOS per this link:

Like @Storm wrote is the Framwork different. That could make some visual Issues, but don't have to.

The Main Difference is the Out of the Box Experience. KDE Plasma delivers there a more ... how can I say that ... complete Usage. You have Things like a Taskbar or Startmenu built in. And You have a lot of Option to configure and customize the Desktop.

Gnome - Vanilla Gnome - is the Opposite of that. When You would use the Vanilla Gnome Desktop what comes directly from Gnome, You would see not much. Only a Wallpaper and a Top Bar. That's it.

That what You see on The Zorin Desktop are Extensions. Gnome Extensions. And that is the Point here. These Extensions doesn't come from Gnome. They come from Third-Party Developers. And Customization ... isn't an easy One, too. To get an Impression of Vanilla Gnome, You could deactivate in Zorin all the Gnome Extensions.

I personally like Gnome. I like the Design and the Menu Structure. BUT: Only Gnome with Extensions. Vanilla Gnome is from the Usage not my Thing.

If you don't want full kde/plasma then it's:

sudo apt install kde-standard

What is interesting to note is that kubuntu 22.04 comes with Plasma 5.27. For a point of information, I believe Plasma was a replacement for it's predecessor, Trinity Desktop Environment. Historically, a lot of users in the past opted for KDE due to the Desktop being similar to Windows. A lot of Windows users did not like the twin panel setup with the main one being at the top in respect of the Gnome DE. Where KDE failed was in the accessibility side of things but now that elements of Gnome can work inside of Plasma, such as the Orca screen reader it is not such a big deal. Font Management is superior to Gnomes, as is installing cursors and cursor themes. Only Q4OS is the only distribution offering TDE (Trinity Desktop Environment); PCLinuxOS has a Trinity spin but it has been garnered by Community of PCLinuxOS. PCLinuxOS KDE 5.27 is the lightest implementation of KDE, at idle only consuming 661 Mb, and suspect this is down to there not being any systemd garbage present. They also don't implement Discover. All apps and updates occur graphically via Synaptic Package Manager, but you can still use the terminal. I think because it's base is founded on the defunct Mandrake Linux also helps to keep it very light.

Thank you, everyone; a lot to know - and, still not sure which to use.

I installed KDE yesterday, but I found some compatibility issues through KDE in ZorinOS - such as mouse touchpad not working even after changing important settings, "Windows Key + S" not working for search from any window (like in GNOME), no automatic dark mode (like in GNOME), no manner of changing size of fonts, and others. Looked to me like GNOME was easier to manage - though, I'm sure I'd rather have some customization options that aren't available natively in GNOME. I might go back to GNOME, though, for my testing.

Not sure how to revert from KDE (kde-full) - as, I uninstalled GNOME after installation?

Likewise - completely off topic - but, I need native Android app support. Apps - like Microsoft Teams, WeCom, and WeChat, for example (which I use for work) - don't install through Bottles, Wine, or Windows App Support.

What can I do for native Android app support (fully functional - and for multiple apps)?

@Ponce-De-Leon , @Storm , @C141ZorinOS , and @swarfendor437

No idea, as I don't use that. but I have seen people using Android emulators.

1 Like

For android emulation I believe it is Anbox. As for Teams there is a third party desktop app that works just like Windows (I installed MX-Linux 23.1 KDE for my eldest on an old Notebook (Dell Latitude E6500) and they need Teams for work - works with no issues. Also due to medical condition needs everything to be white on black which I could only achieve on Plasma. Also needed Comic Sans Font - that is now throughout the whole Plasma desktop, including Apps, Menus, login. Took a while to sort out Evolution but even all of that is now white on black throughout. Oh yes and also SoftMaker Office 2024 Pro - again, all white on black. Job done.
I posted elsewhere on here about Teams for Linux - will post back when I find my post.

Here you go:

In terms of touchpad, are we talking gestures? If so, gestures only work under Wayland:


Automatic dark mode for Plasma:

Note that this means you have to have 'night colour' settings enabled:

No manner of changing font sizes? Oh so not true - I had to setup my eldest's notebook with Plasma to be consistently 14/16 point Comic Sans:

@swarfendor437 , how does Anbox work? Will it be resource-light and still offer consistent performance (as I could receive notifications from my communication apps I use for work at any time throughout the day)?

@swarfendor437 , is this app safe to use and doesn't run the risk of data leakage? Also, it's a 3rd party app - but, you use your regular Teams account? How's performance?

@swarfendor437 , how can I get KDE Plasma on ZorinOS?

@swarfendor437 , what software is this?

@swarfendor437 , what is Wayland? I heard that Wayland offers Android app support also - so I wonder if it might be a viable option also?

@swarfendor437 , I must have overlooked this; I'll check and then change the settings. Thank you for letting me know.

I can't comment on Anbox, I am just aware it exists.

In terms of Teams leaking that really should be something to ask Microsoft, not the Dev who wrote the app for GNU/Linux. Teams is actually a rebranding of Skype for Business. I always found the official Microsoft Teams for Linux to be poor. I much preferred Jitsi over Teams. It is free and can be synched with Google or Outlook calendars. In the past all you needed was a browser with Chrome extensions but now you need to have a GitHub account before you can host a meeting. Ironic isn't it that Microsoft own GitHub!

In respect of Plasma, when you install kde via synaptic or via the Terminal, the Plasma desktop gets installed. It is my preference to install via the terminal as during install you are asked whether to use Plasma's Desktop Manager (SDDM) or your current one; gdm(3) if you are running Zorin Core, or lightdm if you are running Zorin Lite. Personally I detest SDDM so usually go with gdm. That said there are better implementations of kde provided by other distributions that don't default to SDDM, such as PCLinuxOS KDE or Q4OS KDE, both of which use the stable version of Plasma, 5.27.

SoftMaker Office 2024 Pro is proprietary office suite that is in mine and another member of this forum, the only Office Suite that is fully compliant with Microsoft Office:

I used it whilst working from home during lockdown until I retired. The workflow of TextMaker is far superior to MS Word.

Wayland isn't a Desktop Environment, it is a 'compositor', it is what draws the Desktop Environment. For many years, xorg/X11, was the default software for drawing the desktop. My preference will always be for X11/xorg. But I cannot make a valid comment about it in relation to Android emulation such as Anbox under Wayland as have never used Anbox.

@swarfendor437 , is Jitsi another 3rd-party Microsoft Teams app that's better than "Teams for Linux" - or, is it not Teams related at all?

Yeah, I figured that as well; I was recommended above by @Ponce-De-Leon to use lightdm - but, it wasn't available when I installed kde-full. I don't like SDDM either - but, since I removed GNOME, gdm is not available to use.

That's actually pretty cool! Kudos to you and your colleague! I was taking a look at the link you provided, and it seems like an excellent choice.

What's the difference between it and Microsoft 365 Personal (w/ Copilot Pro)? Also, what's the difference between the trial version and the subscription version? How does it compare to OnlyOffice? I might consider it as a replacement for Microsoft 365.

Leaving Anbox out of it, is Wayland a good compositor in comparison to xorg/x11? Also, have you done Android emulation through Wayland (I believe the Android emulation software is proprietary to Wayland - maybe called "Wayland" from what I've heard)?

I'm very sorry for the tons of questions; please forgive me. :pray:t2: It's just that I'm very much a noob and don't know hardly anything.

That was a Mistake from me. the lightdm Login Manager is from xfce not from Plasma. Sorry for that.

That is a Question ... it sound so small but is a VERY big Theme. At the End it depends on Your Hardware if it runs well and if the Software supports Wayland. I have only a Ryzen 3200G and have no Problems with Wayland. But when You have an Nvidia Graphic Xorg could be a better Option.

On the Nividia-Wayland Situation the things are now changing trough new Technologies but this is for Zorin with the LTS Base at this Point not relevant.

Jitsi is open source. It was bought out by 8x8. You never used to have to have a GitHub account a few years ago, but the system was being abused by nefarious users, hence the change. People invited to a jitsi meeting donct need a github account only the person hosting. Encryption only exists once a meeting is made private, the downside to this is you cannot record the session if using it for training purposes. It is not a derivative of Teams.

If you have Zorin Core installed it should have gdm or gdm3 ibstalled. If you install kde via the terminal, part way through the process you would be given the option of choosing either SDDM or gdm/gdm3.

I don't know what the trial version offers you, but it will be limited. They also offer FreeOffice but won't have all the bells and whistles that the Pro has. Finally 2024 Pro now has image compression. When I was modifying documents for low-vision students I had to rely on LibreOffice Writer for compressing images to keep the file small. The NX (subscription) version offers DeepL Translate as part of the Package. Whichever you choose, when you save a file in MS Office file extension, it shows up correctly by those who use Microsoft Office.
What I likeabout SoftMaker Office is a better thought out ribbon than Microsoft, you can actually delete tables, Word only offers to cut tables, when extracting table from Okular into TextMaker, even though you have say made the default for the documen as let's say Arial 18, the table extracted defaults to BasicRoman 10 - easily resolved by highlighting the whole table contents, press Ctrl+ Space and the contents are instantly changed to the font selected as the default for the document. 2024 also includes a barcode template and a QR Code template.

As @Ponce-De-Leon has explained, nvidia tends not to work well with Wayland. Another issue is that some applications have been written with xorg in mind and either won't run, or run poorly under Wayland. Wayland is not a new Project but when the big boys in the GNU/Linux world are trying to push it through without user or developer consent it smells like Microsoft techniques to adopt or move to something else.

Lastly in terms of BSD, my preferred version is GhostBSD.

Not a problem, @Ponce-De-Leon ; I'm still learning - so, I'm glad to get all of this by mistake also.

@Ponce-De-Leon & @swarfendor437 , what if I wanted to transfer over to GNOME again - just in case; would I have to reinstall ZorinOS, or simply re-install GNOME? I had gotten rid of GNOME completely after installing KDE.

My computer uses an Intel graphics card, so it's not Nvidia; would I still have issues with Wayland?

Okay, I'll try Teams for Linux from GitHub then; thank you, @swarfendor437 .

I'll give it a try then; only thing is I'm not a German speaker, and it seems like certain features are geared towards German speakers (not English speakers) - such as live grammer & punctuation checking, certain translation features, etc.? I also notice from checking reviews that it doesn't have online collaboration features; is this in the works?

What's BSD? And, what is GhostBSD?

Thank you, guys. :pray:t2:

FYI. Swarf was talking about Jitsi Meet not Teams.