Zorin OS The Windows of Linux

A cousin suggested me that there is a beautiful and easy to use Linux distribution called Zorin OS. Just like I do with any other Linux OS, I downloaded the ISO image of Zorin OS 10 (Core) from the website http://zorinos.com/

It took me about 8 hrs to download the ISO image (about 1.4 GB in size) using my service provider which gives an average speed of  50 kbps !!!

There was one more issue with the Zorin OS download. I did not see a torrent link for downloading ISO image which is very unusual. I had to contend with a direct download from Firefox browser and keep my fingers crossed and hope that the network does not get disconnected in between. This was indeed a big risk.

Since I downloaded the image from Mint 17.2, I tried using ‘USB image writer’ and create a live USB. However, it did not boot from the USB when I restarted the system. Instead, it went into boot menu of my hard disk (with 3 options – Mint 17.2, OpenSUSE Tumbleweed and Elementary OS Freya). This time, I logged into Elementary OS Freya and created a live Zorin OS USB using ‘startup disk creator’ and again restarted with the USB plugged in.

The system was trying boot from the USB but give a new error – “Unknown keyword in configuration file: gfxboot.c32: not a COM32R image“.  I searched in the internet and found solution – that I need to type ‘help’ and press ‘Enter (Return)’ button to proceed. This time, I successfully booted into the Zorin OS LIVE.

After few minutes of scanning through the menu items, settings, I wanted to install on hard disk. But there was a problem here. I already had 3 distros of Linux on my system and all three are my favorite ones:

  • Mint 17.2 Rafaela
  • OpenSUSE Tumbleweed and
  • Elementary OS Freya

I did not want to make more partitions and break my hard disk further (although this is technically very much possible). Hence I was looking for permanently installing on the USB drive. I found a helpful link on internet –>  http://tuxtweaks.com/2014/03/create-linux-mint-persistent-live-usb/

I followed the instructions and created Zorin OS persistence live USB. The disadvantage of this setup is:

  • It is slow compared to OS installed on hard disk
  • There is no login option (security is compromised)

I was okay with this as I planned using the Zorin OS only for home use.

Coming to the features / advantages of Zorin OS 10 Core (as stated in the website):

  • As it is Linux distro, there is no risk of getting viruses
  • It’s super-fast and light on resources
  • An easy to use and familiar desktop (to Windows)
  • User interface can be customized using – Look Changer
  • Stable as it is based on the robust Linux operating system
  • Includes majority of the software you’ll ever need out of the box
  • Extremely versatile and customizable Open Source software licensed by GNU GPL

Below are some of the screen shots of my desktop:

Zorin OS default desktop
Zorin OS default desktop

Zorin OS default desktop
Zorin OS default desktop
By default, The OS was mimicking Windows 7 look.

I used the Look Changer tool to quickly change the desktop look Windows XP and GNOME-2.

Zorin Look Changer
Zorin Look Changer

Windows XP look and feel
Windows XP look and feel

GNOME 2 look and feel
GNOME 2 look and feel  
Zorin OS 10 Core also has Wine and PlayonLinux pre-installed so that your favorite Windows apps like MS office can be installed easily.

Overall, it is a very good distro and for those who are used to Windows and wants to move to Linux can try out Zorin OS as first option (Of course, Mint Cinnamon 17.2 Rafaela is also good for new Linux users for pure Linux experience).

There is also a lighter version of Zorin OS called Zorin OS 10 Lite and couple of premium versions of Zorin OS which can be purchased from their website (Zorin OS 10 Business, Zorin OS 10 Ultimate) for less than 10 Euros.


I personally felt that not users many downloaded because,
1. Most Linux users may not prefer a look and feel similar to Windows / OS X (which Zorin) is offering. If UI is important, KDE / Cinnamon are equally good.

2. There are two commercial versions available which are supposed to be superior (although they are priced below 10 euro they are still commercial) 

Otherwise, the OS seems to be as good as #1 candidate (Mint) on distrowatch


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