Zorin OS 15.2, released on March 8, adds an impressive selection of upgrades and improvements to an already well-oiled Linux operating system.

Since its debut in July 2009
Zorin OS cofounder Artyom Zorin has hawked his distribution as an ideal Microsoft Windows replacement. That description is a strong selling point for this easier-to-use computing platform, but anyone looking for a perfect Windows replacement will be disappointed.

Of course, no Linux distro can be an actual Microsoft clone — nor should it be. Newcomers to the Linux desktop will not find much that resembles Windows 7 or Windows 10 beyond a gorgeous look and partial Windows feel.

However, Zorin OS certainly deserves to be on the shortlist of worthy Microsoft Windows alternatives. The distros on that list, including Ubuntu MATE, Linux Mint Cinnamon, Elementary OS, Solus and Peppermint, show the diversity of the Linux desktop as a better computing option than Windows.

Zorin OS Windows 7-like menu panel and GNOME style panel bar.

Zorin OS Core has a simple, Windows 7-like menu panel and a GNOME style panel bar.

– click image to enlarge –

Although Zorin OS is a reliable choice that offers a solid computing platform, this independent Ubuntu-based Linux distribution may not have enough advanced features to satisfy the computing needs of established Linux users.

Distro hoppers will find Zorin OS a nice change of pace without the challenge of stretching their technical acumen. Still, Zorin OS is not something radically different.

Ubuntu-based Linux distros are now a dime a dozen, but Zorin OS is unlike many of them. The Zorin developers crafted a worthy operating system filled with refinements that make using it much different and better than Ubuntu retread distros.

For instance, Zorin has a release for grammar schools as well as a new platform for large groups, called “Zorin Grid.” It includes a cloud-powered feature to make it simple to set up, manage, monitor and secure a fleet of Zorin OS computers.

Zorin OS has a commercial distro — Zorin OS 15.2 Ultimate — available for $38. Zorin OS 15.2 Core and Zorin OS 15.2 Lite are free to download and use. The Core edition running a modified GNOME desktop is for most users. The Lite edition sports the lightweight XFCE desktop and comes with fewer preinstalled applications.

Zorin desktop

The Zorin desktop is a modified integration of GNOME 3. Zorin’s integration of the XFCE desktop is available in the Lite edition.

– click image to enlarge –

Growing Reputation

Zorin has racked up more than 900,000 downloads since the release nine months ago of Zorin OS 15. Two of every three downloads went to computers running Windows and macOS, according to the developer.

Zorin OS is hitting its mission mark to bring the power of Linux to new users.

Zorin OS normally gets updated twice per year. Otherwise, minor updates are released every few months as needed. However, following version 12’s release in late 2016, there was a long wait until its next major upgrade appeared as Zorin OS 15 beta in March of last year.

This second point release in the Zorin 15 series makes this distro a performance contender. With the Core edition, using the GNOME desktop is much more satisfying than with standard plane vanilla GNOME retreads.

Better GNOME

Zorin OS Core uses a well integrated and tweaked user interface to make the GNOME 3 interface much more productive. Core has what the developer dubbed the “Zorin Desktop.” Do not be fooled into thinking this is a new offering.

It is really nothing more than a prettier face applied to the GNOME shell. Still, this improved integration of GNOME goes far beyond the standard GNOME desktop design. The Zorin desktop integrates a Windows 7 appearance that makes the way GNOME works familiar and comfortable.

One of the major attractions of the Zorin OS GNOME design is the menu layout. It strongly resembles the look of Windows 7, giving new users a comfort zone.

Unlike standard GNOME, you get a two column listing of application categories and content listings. What you do not get is the full-page display by alphabetical listing of every installed application, as is standard with GNOME 3.

Under the Hood

Zorin OS 15.2 updates the included Linux kernel to 5.3. This brings expanded hardware support for Intel 10th-generation CPUs, AMD Navi RX 5700 Series and support for newer MacBook and MacBook Pro keyboards and touchpads.

This upgrade focuses on refining the foundation of Zorin OS, giving users much more than a new coat of paint. It improves the core technologies and software stack, and delivers a faster, more secure and powerful computing experience.

You might not notice much improvement in terms of speed and functionality if you install Zorin OS 115.2 — or directly upgrade it from 15.1 — on a relative new computer. If you have an aging box, however, and install the Lite version with XFCE, you will be thoroughly pleased.

The update refreshes the assortment of preinstalled software. This is an area that will not go unnoticed.

The 15.2 upgrade includes the switch to Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS base. It addresses improvements to many of the built-in system technologies, including better security, compatibility and performance factors. The security enhancements gained from running the latest Linux kernel alone are worth the upgrade.

Minimum system requirements are 64-bit (1GHz) processor, 2 GB of RAM, and 10 GB free disk space.

Look and Feel

One of the reasons Zorin OS is viewed by many users as the go-to non-Windows replacement is its appearance. Zorin OS is well styled with a fresh and inviting appearance.

For instance, the menu bar and basic desktop view deliver an experience that is much like looking at a Windows screen. The menu button shows a simple layout. You can place launcher icons for favorite programs on the desktop or the Favorites display.

Zorin OS Core is easier to navigate among open windows and virtual desktops than standard GNOME desktops. While the design does not have a workspace switcher applet on the bottom bar or an overview button on the bottom bar, it does have an Activities button in the menu panel.

You also can press the Windows button on the keyboard. Either way, the GNOME virtual panel display slides out from the right edge of the screen to provide a switching function and an overview of the desktop.

However, the desktop has no overview or activities button in the upper left corner as a handy option. Zorin OS lacks other amenities for the sake of simplicity too. Even standard GNOME 3 is lacking in this regard. The Zorin OS desktop has no widgets or applet functions. Animations mostly do not exist.

Bottom Line

Zorin OS 15.2 is a simple yet workable computing platform. I would prefer to have an option to swap out Zorin OS’ GNOME integration for the more flexible XFCE desktop on the Core edition.

If Zorin OS sounds promising to you except for the GNOME experience, consider trying the Lite edition. XFCE, despite its lightweight design, offers a more traditional desktop layout experience.

Zorin OS has some fine features that are buried within settings options. I would like to see some included help screens and other new user documentation built into Zorin OS. Users unfamiliar with Linux or the otherwise barren landscape when first seeing the Zorin desktop would have an easier time getting started using it.

This independent Ubuntu-based Linux distribution is designed especially for newcomers to Linux, but established Linux users looking for a change of pace without the need for stretching their technical acumen should not shy away from this distro.

Want to Suggest a Review?

Is there a Linux software application or distro you’d like to suggest for review? Something you love or would like to get to know?

email your ideas to me, and I’ll consider them for a future Linux Picks and Pans column.

And use the Reader Comments feature below to provide your input!

Jack M. Germain has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2003. His main areas of focus are enterprise IT, Linux and open source technologies. He has written numerous reviews of Linux distros and other open source software.
Email Jack.

Source link


  1. I have been browsing online greater than 3 hours lately, but I never discovered any fascinating article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all website owners and bloggers made just right content material as you probably did, the net will probably be much more useful than ever before.|

  2. Simply desire to say your article is as surprising. The clarity for your put up is just excellent and i could think you are an expert in this subject. Well with your permission allow me to take hold of your feed to stay up to date with forthcoming post. Thank you one million and please keep up the enjoyable work.|

  3. Good day! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with SEO? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good gains. If you know of any please share. Cheers!|

  4. Hello would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using? I’m going to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a difficult time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique. P.S Sorry for getting off-topic but I had to ask!|

  5. It’s in reality a nice and helpful piece of information. I am satisfied that you just shared this useful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.|

  6. Link exchange is nothing else except it is just placing the other person’s blog link on your page at proper place and other person will also do same in favor of you.|

  7. My brother suggested I may like this website. He used to be totally right. This publish actually made my day. You can not consider simply how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!|

  8. Superb website you have here but I was wanting to know if you knew of any discussion boards that cover the same topics talked about in this article? I’d really love to be a part of community where I can get responses from other experienced people that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Cheers!|

  9. Hi! Quick question that’s entirely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My site looks weird when viewing from my iphone. I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to fix this problem. If you have any suggestions, please share. Thank you!|

  10. I got this site from my buddy who informed me concerning this website and now this time I am visiting this web site and reading very informative content at this place.|

  11. Definitely believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the net the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get irked while people think about worries that they plainly do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks|

  12. I do not know if it’s just me or if perhaps everybody else encountering problems with your blog. It appears as if some of the written text in your content are running off the screen. Can somebody else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them too? This might be a problem with my internet browser because I’ve had this happen previously. Appreciate it|

  13. We absolutely love your blog and find a lot of your post’s to be precisely what I’m looking for. Would you offer guest writers to write content for yourself? I wouldn’t mind producing a post or elaborating on many of the subjects you write concerning here. Again, awesome web log!

  14. Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is valuable and everything. Nevertheless imagine if you added some great pictures or videos to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and video clips, this site could certainly be one of the greatest in its niche. Fantastic blog!|

  15. First off I want to say wonderful blog! I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind. I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your mind prior to writing. I have had a hard time clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out there. I truly do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are generally lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or hints? Cheers!|

  16. Excellent items from you, man. I have bear in mind
    your stuff prior to and you’re simply extremely fantastic.
    I actually like what you’ve received right here,
    really like what you are saying and the way wherein you assert it.
    You are making it enjoyable and you continue to take care
    of to keep it sensible. I can not wait to read much more from you.
    This is really a wonderful site.

  17. Thank you for another wonderful post. Where else may anybody get that kind of info in such an ideal way of writing? I have a presentation subsequent week, and I’m at the look for such info.|

  18. I’ve been exploring for a little bit for any high quality articles or weblog posts in this sort of space . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this site. Reading this info So i’m glad to convey that I’ve a very just right uncanny feeling I discovered exactly what I needed. I most unquestionably will make certain to don?t overlook this site and give it a look on a continuing basis.|

  19. I’m really enjoying the theme/design of your web site. Do you ever run into any browser compatibility issues? A few of my blog readers have complained about my blog not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Chrome. Do you have any ideas to help fix this issue?|

  20. When I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I receive four emails with the same comment. There has to be a way you are able to remove me from that service? Thanks!|

  21. What i do not understood is in fact how you’re no longer really much more neatly-appreciated than you might be now. You’re so intelligent. You understand thus considerably in the case of this subject, made me in my view believe it from a lot of various angles. Its like men and women aren’t fascinated except it¦s one thing to accomplish with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs great. All the time care for it up!

  22. Brendan is the title I really like to be called with and I assume it sounds very great when you say it. Her husband and her selected to reside in New Jersey but her partner would like them to move. I am really fond of performing inside layout but I don’t have the time lately. Supervising is where his major cash stream will come from but he strategies on changing it.

  23. Incredible! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It’s on a entirely different subject but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Superb choice of colors!|

  24. Admiring the persistence you put into your blog and in depth information you provide. It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same unwanted rehashed information. Great read! I’ve saved your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.|

  25. Excellent post. I used to be checking constantly this weblog
    and I’m impressed! Extremely helpful information particularly the closing part 🙂 I deal
    with such info much. I was looking for this particular information for a very
    long time. Thank you and best of luck.

  26. Can I simply just say what a relief to find someone that truly knows what they’re talking about on the web. You certainly understand how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More and more people have to look at this and understand this side of the story. I can’t believe you aren’t more popular since you most certainly have the gift.|

  27. Hi, I do think this is an excellent site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I
    am going to return once again since I book-marked it.

    Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue
    to guide other people.

  28. Hey there, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your blog site in Opera, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, fantastic blog!|

  29. of course like your website but you need to check the spelling on several of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling problems and I to find it very troublesome to tell the reality then again I’ll surely come again again.|

  30. You can certainly see your enthusiasm in the article you write. The world hopes for even more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to mention how they believe. Always follow your heart.|

  31. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I do not know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!|

  32. The author’s title is Loreta Quarterman while she doesn’t truly like currently becoming identified as like that. Her husband and her chose to reside in New Jersey but her spouse needs them to move. The favourite hobby for my kids and me is kayaking and now I’m making an endeavor to make funds with it. Managing men and females has been his career for some time and his income has been really fulfilling.

  33. I am so happy to read this. This is the type of manual that needs to be given and not the accidental misinformation that is at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this greatest doc.

  34. Its such as you learn my mind! You appear to grasp so much approximately this, such as you wrote the e-book in it or something. I believe that you simply can do with a few to force the message house a bit, but instead of that, that is great blog. A fantastic read. I’ll definitely be back.|

  35. I’ll immediately grasp your rss feed as I can’t find your email subscription link or newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Please allow me recognise in order that I may subscribe. Thanks.

  36. Thanks a lot for sharing this with all folks you actually realize what you are talking about! Bookmarked. Please additionally consult with my site =). We can have a hyperlink alternate arrangement between us!

  37. I have been exploring for a little for any high-quality articles or blog posts in this sort of area . Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this website. Studying this information So i am glad to express that I’ve a very just right uncanny feeling I came upon just what I needed. I so much indisputably will make certain to don’t overlook this web site and give it a look on a continuing basis.

  38. Pretty element of content. I just stumbled upon your site and in accession capital to claim that I get in fact enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I will be subscribing on your feeds or even I success you get admission to constantly rapidly.

  39. ich denke mal da hat jemand einfach nur das werbewiedererkennungswertgedönsdingens drauf… ob der nen fetisch hat? wat für ne frage, werbunggedönsdingesnmacher haben alle nen fetisch… oder?!ich mag trotzdem das erdinger lieber… leider haben die keine vernünftige werbung…. möööööööp.

  40. An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a co-worker who has been doing a little research on this. And he actually ordered me lunch simply because I discovered it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending the time to talk about this matter here on your web page.|

  41. Hi would you mind letting me know which webhost you’re working with? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot quicker then most. Can you suggest a good internet hosting provider at a reasonable price? Many thanks, I appreciate it!|

  42. Woah! I’m really enjoying the template/theme of this site. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s challenging to get that “perfect balance” between user friendliness and visual appeal. I must say you’ve done a excellent job with this. Additionally, the blog loads super fast for me on Internet explorer. Superb Blog!|

  43. Hey! Someone in my Myspace group shared this site with us so I came to check it out. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Great blog and excellent design.|

  44. I’ve been surfing on-line more than 3 hours today, but I by no means found any attention-grabbing article like yours. It is lovely price enough for me. In my opinion, if all website owners and bloggers made just right content material as you did, the web shall be a lot more helpful than ever before.|

  45. First of all I want to say awesome blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your head before writing. I’ve had trouble clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out there. I truly do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are generally wasted simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or tips? Thanks!|

  46. Greetings from Idaho! I’m bored at work so I decided to browse your website on my iphone during lunch break. I enjoy the info you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m surprised at how fast your blog loaded on my mobile .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, very good site!|

  47. I was very pleased to discover this website. I need to to thank you for ones time for this particularly wonderful read!! I definitely appreciated every bit of it and I have you book-marked to see new information on your blog.|

  48. It is appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I want to suggest you some interesting things or tips. Maybe you could write next articles referring to this article. I want to read more things about it!|

  49. I was very pleased to uncover this site. I wanted to thank you for ones time for this particularly wonderful read!! I definitely really liked every bit of it and i also have you saved to fav to see new stuff on your website.|

  50. I’ll right away grasp your rss feed as I can not to find your email subscription link or newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Kindly permit me recognize in order that I may just subscribe. Thanks.|

  51. I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your website. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a developer to create your theme? Fantastic work!|

  52. I just like the valuable info you provide for your articles. I will bookmark your blog and test once more right here frequently. I am fairly certain I’ll be informed lots of new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!|

  53. I’ll right away take hold of your rss feed as I can not to find your e-mail subscription hyperlink or newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Please let me recognise so that I may subscribe. Thanks.|

  54. Greetings from Los angeles! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to check out your website on my iphone during lunch break. I enjoy the info you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m shocked at how quick your blog loaded on my cell phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, wonderful blog!|


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here