Windows 7 is hailed by many as the last good version of Windows, and now Windows 7 is officially retired. The creators of Zorin OS know that this allows a large number of users to choose between two equally uncomfortable solutions: upgrade to Windows 10 or migrate directly to Linux. This is mainly the user group of Zorin OS, and, as we will see, Microsoft is very angry about this, which may be a better choice.
Installation and first contact
Some important points worth mentioning are:
- You can choose to test in a live environment or install to industry specifications.
- Choose to install third-party drivers and codecs.
- Allows you to share data with its developer to count you as an active user, but that user has opted in and out by default.
- Support LVM.
The first thing you notice when Zorin OS starts is its animated logo. I admit that I found it cool in the world of static screens, which reminded me of a similar startup screen in the unofficial Android ROM for smartphones.
Zorin’s diary screen serves as an aesthetic lesson for other distributions, it’s fluff-free, looks professional, and presents everything in the best way possible.
Like Ubuntu, there are accessibility options available (although hidden in additional menus, to some extent destroying their accessibility), but Wayland can also be used as a backend for desktop environments.
Appearance and customization
I personally don’t like the welcome window that appears after installing many distros. Fortunately, Zorin OS gives you direct access to a minimalist Gnome-based desktop: wallpapers, toolbars, and more.
After one or two clicks, Zorin may notify you that an update is available. You can install them now, ask it to remind you later, or take the opportunity to check their “Settings …” like me.
I don’t know if this is a bug, because I usually install via Bash update, but it doesn’t enable any of the three options under “Install updates from” in the “Updates” tab of the “Software and Updates” window.
The update process itself is easy, you just need to confirm that it is complete.
A single click on the clock on the toolbar will display a typical daily information panel with a mini-view of the month’s calendar, notifications (and do not disturb settings), and support for world clocks and weather forecasts.
Zorin OS is a rare breed of modern OS, and its settings have a reasonable structure. Want to add photos to your account? Click its thumbnail preview and select the desired image file.
Maybe you don’t like the default application. Make changes by accessing the Default Application.
In this world of almost every operating system (from Windows 10 to many Linux distributions), you have to rely on some form of search to find the specific option you are looking for, and all the settings of Zorin OS bring you freshness sense.
Functions and procedures
In the Gnome Core-based version, Zorin OS provides three different predefined desktop layouts. Depending on your decision, it can change the taskbar to a docked or mixed look and swap the typical Start menu with a grid of larger icons. Alternatively, you can manually customize its elements as needed.
Although we haven’t tested it, XFCE-based Lite offers similar visual customization options and looks almost the same.
Zorin OS makes it easy for you to change the accent of an active theme, swapping themes and icon sets.
Zorin OS not only offers a dark version of its main theme, it also supports setting a schedule for it. By setting it up, you can use a light theme during the day and automatically switch to a dark theme when the sun goes down.
Since I am a bilingual user, Zorin OS provides great downloads of the additional software needed for proper Greek support. How to drag it to everything else (including Spanish) in GIMP’s language pack is not so cute
The online-friendly Zorin OS provides support for:
- Microsoft Exchange
- IMAP and SMTP
- Enterprise Login (Kerberos)
Zorin OS supports remote access / screen sharing via VNC. It is slower than Windows Remote Desktop for those who want to jump, but it is more versatile. And it doesn’t force you to “purchase a professional license” to get it.
Built into the “Monitor” settings, “Night Light” can use the computer’s camera to warm the color of the screen at night. It turns out that minimizing the blue light on the screen can improve sleep quality.
Zorin’s default software is not something worth writing, but an important implementation and presentation method. Reading its menu, you will find software similar to the following:
- Firefox browser
- File (File Manager)
- Libre Office (office suite)
- gEdit (text editor)
- Brasero (written by optical media)
- GIMP (Image Processing)
- Pitivi (media editor)
- Rhythmbox (music player)
- Video (media player)
- To-do (task management)
- Deja Dup (backup tool)
- Disk Usage Analyzer (Storage Analysis)
- Zorin Connect (phone sync and remote capabilities)
I would love to share my thoughts on how Zorin Connect works, but unfortunately, my phone is broken so I cannot view the feature.
Nothing restricts you to the Zorn OS’s installed software collection-its “Software Center” allows you to expand it beyond the kitchen sink.
Although Zorin OS can be offered as a reliable alternative to Windows, it is also worth a look for everyone who is tired of trying to master the organization of certain distributions. It is simple to use, beautiful in appearance and fast. What do you dislike?