Zorin - my take on it


sugar 'n spikes
Mar 5, 2002
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Intrigued by bootneck's somewhat varied experiences with Zorin I thought I'd have a look at this 'user-friendly' distro.

I must stress that this has been a very brief encounter and some minor niggles I encountered could very well be overcome had I taken time to browse dedicated forums, Zorin's own website and plain old Google.

So this is wot I dun:

Downloaded Zorin 64 Bit ISO from their website. Checked download against md5sum number - checked out ok so burnt DVD.

Testbed system spec:

Asus M5A99X EVO Motherboard (LAN port faulty)
AMD FX-4 4100 Black Edition 4 Core Socket AM3+ CPU 3.6Ghz
Corsair 8Gb (2 x 4Gb) DDR31600MhzXMS3 Memory CL9 1.65V
Noctua NH-U12F CPU Cooler with 2 x 120mm Noctua fans
MSI 660 2Gb Nvidia Graphics Card
TP Link PCI-e LAN card
Asus Xonar DG 5.1 PCI Sound Card
Merc Alpha Black Tower Case with 120mm Noctua rear case fan
Corsair 650W Non Modular PSU
Pioneer Bluray/CD/DVD Recorder
Samsung SH-222BB DVDRW-ROM

This machine has a bay for swapping out hard drives with which I can use different operating systems and it also has a pair of 2Tb storage disks.

I disconnected both storage disks (just in case) and loaded a 160Gb hard disk into a caddy disk holder and inserted it into the caddy.

Booted from the Zorin disk and was given the option to try or install so I chose install. A blue screen appeared and it took about five minutes for the installation onto the 160Gb disk. On completion rebooted and set BIOS to boot from the 160Gb disk. Checked all was ok and reconnected the two storage drives.

In no particular order:

Despite selecting 'Update during install' prior to install, Zorin updated after installation anyway. This took 20 minutes or so.

During installation Zorin detected my geographical location (London) and set settings accordingly. Zorin connected to the Internet straightaway and I was able to browse using Zorin's default Firefox browser.

I wanted to change the desktop background picture but apart from Zorin's own desktop pic options the only location Zorin will load a different picture from is in 'My Pictures' folder. And the pix have to be single, they will not load from a folder within 'My Pictures'.

So that's what I did.

I had to set sound output to digital out to make it work (My Asus sound card sends digital output to an external DAC).

Loaded Nvidia drivers ok.

Zorin has Libre office, not Open Office which they say they use in their site blurb. This pleased me as I prefer Libre Office over Open Office.

WINE is installed by default, I will get round to uninstalling that as I've heard it can cause instabilities although I don't know this for sure, main reason is I don't want to use Windows apps in a Linux Distro, it just ain't natural.

Installed Scribus from Repository ok, this is a good substitute for Microsoft's Publisher, though not as easy to use. Upside is Publisher, last time I looked, costs in excess of £100 whereas Scribus is absolutely free.

Zorin saw both printers, my hardwire connected Epson P50 worked from the off and I then attempted to load drivers for my wireless Epson WF2530 printer. During this attempted driver installation the system constantly blacked the screen and I had to wiggle the mouse to restore video on the screen. Then I was prompted for my password to continue.

This happened about six times until eventually the whole system froze up, causing me to hit the reset button. On rebooting, after entering password Zorin started but the whole screen was pixellated and the system was unusable. Shut computer down, switched off PSU mains switch and waited a couple of minutes before starting again.

On reboot system was ok again but I never did get the wireless printer working.

Installed Linux drivers and basic software for Epson 4490 scanner. The scanner works perfectly which was a pleasant surprise but it only saves images with a *.png extension. Fortunately I can change the extension easily to *.jpg and others using the GIMP software's export facility.

It appears to me that Zorin updates itself automatically. I wasn't happy about this, I'm used to choosing what I want to install, not what the distro compiler thinks I should have installed. I did search for options for manually updating but couldn't find anywhere to do this.

I like the Opera browser but it wasn't listed in Zorin's repository so I managed to install it ok directly from Opera's website and it works fine.

So far I haven't attempted to see if Zorin will recognise these external hardware items: A Focusrite Scarlett audio interface; A Microsoft wireless gamepad; A Dazzle video/audio interface for video capture.

So what do I think?

It's good and it's easy to use, imo, but I can't help compare it to Linux Mint as that's what I'm used to.

Zorin is slower than Mint and gives less choice of control overall. And in my opinion Zorin is less intuitive to use than Mint but that could be just me as I'm used to Mint and Zorin is new to me.

I prefer Mint and I'll stick with it.

I'd also recommend Mint over Zorin to Linux newcomers, easier to use, imo.

However, having said that, nothing really wrong with Zorin so it's your choice.

Do not ask me about Slackware and all them other 'clever' distros cos I have not a clue, I'm no expert on this Linux thing ;)

And on a side note: Opera.

The latest version of Opera browser is V27 and it's based on Google's Chrome browser. And in my opinion it's awful.

It is to browsers what Win 8.1 is to Win 7 - it thinks it's on a tablet or a mobile phone.

There's very little in the way of an interface and I was about to give up but a rather long Google search told me that to access Opera's preferences you have to type 'opera:config' in the address bar and hit Enter.

Hmm, that had me going for a bit. The new Opera will import bookmarks but only in HTML format. So I did that and opened bookmarks.

Eeeeaaaaaaaaghh! A million App windows appeared, looking like a drunk version of Win 8 :eek: I hate it!

Only other view alternative is a bold type seperated list, which all appeared in random order and nothing like the organsised folders I'd kept the links in in Opera V12.

So if I were to keep Zorin I think I'd use Firefox and gradually, painstakingly, shift all my Opera bookmarks over manually, as Firefox (as far as I know) will not import Opera bookmarks.

I think Opera have shot themselves in the foot, rather like Microsoft did with Win 8 over Win 7. These people should realise 'choice' is important to users and not force what they think is right upon us.

Opera rant over ;)

And for anybody thinking of trying Zorin, I haven't tried dual boot with a different OS (usually Windows) yet but I hope my brief experience with Zorin may help you.
Jan 4, 2003
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Good write up mate

I too quite liked it. Just found it very slow imo

Apart from that it is a good alternative
Jul 11, 2010
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Well Mr flops I am now going to try Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon 64 bit as I have found Zorin a bit clunky and so far not as good as Windows so I am going to have a bash at Linux Mint as the reviews seem very positive. My main reason for looking for alternatives to Windows is that my guess is that Microsoft will give a free download of Windows 10 for the first year and then will charge for the software annually like they do for Office 365.


sugar 'n spikes
Mar 5, 2002
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Good luck o booted one :)

As Linux distros go Mint 17 is getting a little long in the tooth now, about 10 months old. I'm still using it regular and I like it a lot.

Yesterday evening I was looking for an open source (free) software application to capture video from my Dazzle USB video capture interface but haven't found one yet. I installed 3 video editing software apps but the only one that captured video only captured from Firewire, not USB.

The three I've installed are: Openshot, Kino & Avidemux which are all video editing programs.

In Windows I'd been using Pinnacle Studio 14 (Current version 18.5 and expensive) but for some reason the sound wasn't playing in the software monitor. It recorded it ok but I couldn't hear what I was recording. I tried everything I could think of including install/uninstall and checking sound card drivers but still no go. Very puzzling.

So if anybody out there knows software that works in Linux and captures video from USB, please give me the nod.


sugar 'n spikes
Mar 5, 2002
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PS: If you're worried about Microsoft charging for Win 10 after initially making it a freebie I have a solution:

Grab it while it's free.

Am I a brilliant problem solver or what? :)

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