Zorin OS 6 Review

Zorin OS 6 Review

One of the best features of Linux is no doubt the fact that it’s free. Not just free to use, but free to use the code in whatever way you wish. Whether you choose to build something new or build on top of something that already exists, the choice is yours.

When we refer to Linux distributions being based on other distributions, there are many good examples out there in the wild. Linux Mint and Bodhi Linux are just a couple that first come to mind. And both of which are based on Ubuntu. And looking deeper into it again, you’ll discover that Ubuntu is actually based on Debian. In fact, a lot of Linux distributions have Debian heritage underneath.

A recent distribution that I have seen in the news in recent weeks is one based on Ubuntu. It’s called Zorin OS. And just this week Zorin OS 6 was released.

In my Linux experience, I’ve perhaps come across the name Zorin OS once or twice, but I’ve never given it a second thought. It’s a distribution based on Ubuntu. And the fresh new release Zorin OS 6 is based on Ubuntu 12.04.

Upon closer inspection, Zorin OS has a few interesting features that make it stand out from other distributions. A few notable features are:

Linux Kernel 3.2
Zorin Desktop
Zorin Look Changer
Zorin Web Browser Manager
Software Center
GTK3 Support
Core, Lite, Educational and Ultimate versions

The Kernel

There’s nothing really different with the 3.2 kernel included with Zorin. In fact, it’s the exact same kernel as what is in Ubuntu. And being based on Ubuntu and using the same repositories, all the same kernel updates should be received.

Zorin Desktop

The Zorin desktop is quite unique. Zorin OS touts itself as a Linux distribution that is aimed at making Windows users feel right at home. And it is done by giving the user the option of different themes that are set out much the same as Windows.

Zorin Look Changer

The Zorin look changer is used exclusively by Zorin OS. And as mentioned above, there are different modes offered. Options include Windows 7, XP, 2000. And there are also options for Unity, Mac OS X and even GNOME 2. Developers have done a great job at catering for all different types of desktop users. No matter what your style of computing is, I’m confident everyone will find a mode that works for them.

Zorin Web Browser Manager

The Zorin Web Browser Manager is another nice little feature used exclusively in Zorin OS. It’s basically a script that makes it easier to install the web browser of your choice. The default browser for Zorin OS is Google Chrome, but this handy little took lets you easily install Firefox, Opera or Midori. Selected browsers can also be uninstalled by running the same script.

Other Software

Zorin OS also includes all the usual software applications you’d naturally expect to find in a modern Linux distribution. LibreOffice, Rhythmbox and Thunderbird are all bog standard applications included. It’s nice to see developers have included GIMP and OpenShot also. And the Software Center has also had some minor tweaking done. And there’s full support for GTK3, as you’d expect.

The Website

I have only one concern with Zorin OS. To be fair, it’s not the operating system itself. It’s the website. One could easily be mistaken for thinking that Zorin OS supports native Windows gaming. Sure, you can run certain games using WINE etc. But this is limited in many different ways. But there doesn’t seem to be any mention of this on the website. Instead, website viewers are given the impression that Zorin OS is a capable gaming operating system. But for the hardcore gamers out there, it’s not. But if you’re a hardcore gamer, you’d probably already know this anyway and you wouldn’t be looking to install a Linux based OS for your gaming needs. But I just think this should at least be outlined somewhere on the website that gaming is limited and catered for through the implementation of WINE. I have scoured the site several times over, but I have been unable to find anything that references this.

Also, the website does not really make it clear what versions of Zorin OS are available to the user. Versions available are Core, Lite, Educational and Ultimate. And some have variations of both 32 and 64bit. Some websites on the internet claim there are Multimedia, Gaming and Business versions available. But they’re all part of the Ultimate package. So it’s all there, but I think the website could be tidied up a little and make it more clear what versions should be used for its intended purpose.

Minor niggles, I know. But certainly no reflection on the Zorin OS service itself which is fine, capable, clean-lined and polished.


If you’re either bored with your current Linux distribution or simply after something a little less bog standard from the usual Linux operating systems available, give Zorin OS a try. It’s exciting and fresh and nice to see that there is still conceptual innovation going on within the Linux development environment.


  • http://opinadorcompulsivo.blogspot.com Miquel Mayol i Tur

    Hardcore gamers with opengl games as QuakeLive or Xonotic with Sabayon kernel settings 1000 Hz will be glad, of course directx games are not for hardcore gaming in Linux

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/AOO24HOBQDGPRHBS77KZQINDKQ Wow

    I usually recommend Zorin OS to new users.

    Nice Review.

  • Skogoy77

    I am new user and i love Zorin Os. I Tried Ubuntu Mint and others but i like the out of the box power that Zorin Os are about..

  • crabbos

    Zorin is win. I give much props to developers who actually change things up rather than just change the background and icons and call it a unique distro. I predict both Zorin and Solus to gain a lot of popularity in the near future.

  • Greg

    I’m glad I started with Linux Mint instead of Zorin, it’s to buggy, even in this release. Mint is much more stable for a new user.

  • ccsrgv

    First, my hat is off to the programmers who obviously spend a lot of time doing something that so many of us can’t or won’t do, trying to devise a usable operating system alternative to Microsoft products.

    I would like to submit some feedback, though, from the perspective of the end user. I was a long time user of Zorin 5. For the most part I was very pleased with Zorin 5. I really like the desktop effects, especially the ability to easily modify the mouse pointer. As some one with eyesight issues,that was very important to me and Zorin 5 was the only Linux based distribution that I found that allowed this functionality.
    There was one issue that continually bugged me, though with the Zorin 5 environment, the message pane list in Evolution was double spaced.  I searched the web for a resolution to this, but never found one.
    So, I was very eager to try the Zorin 6 distribution. However, I was very disappointed in Zorin 6. The ability to manipulate the mouse pointer was withdrawn and the double spaced mail list issue Evolution was not addressed.
    Furthermore, I was forced to search for a fix that would allow me to use my USB devices with the new Zorin 6 distribution.
    I’m sure there must have been a number of things improved in the “upgrade,’ but the ones things that really mattered to me were not.  In fact the user experience for me was worse than with Zorin 5. I was left with no choice but to downgrade back to Zorin 5 or look for another alternative.  I was very disappointed.

  • http://html5planet.blogspot.in/ Linux Wins

    I will not recommend  Zorin OS for newbies better opt for Linux Mint  or Sabayon

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Lawrence/585800588 Tony Lawrence

     I would disagree.   Zorin is a simple full featured OS.   Mint is also great but Zorin has a look and feel of Windows by default.   It is designed for new Linux users.   Sabayon which is based on Gentoo is for the more advanced user in my view.   Those curious can take a look at what the developers say themselves about a install.   Compare that
    to the Zorin install.   http://wiki.sabayon.org/index.php?title=En:Introduction#Installation_Guide:_Step_by_Step

  • Aamir Shahzad

    Thanks, this is a good review

  • http://twitter.com/konaya Benjamin Tayehanpour

     Why would “a look and feel of Windows” be a good thing? Linux is not Windows. Deal with it. So something is different to what you usually use. That’s why evolution gave you something known as a brain, and, specifically, the ability to learn.

    Still, it is a good thing that the option exists. Freedom of choice is (well, almost) always a good thing. But I fail to understand why some people are being absurdly pampered with regards to their computer habits, when in any other aspect of life they would have been told “Suck it up and deal with it!”

  • TheWashedBrain

     Hi, guys. I’m wondering why one has to download Zorin, burn to a disk, and then install off it.
     I just installed Ubuntu 12.04. All I had to do is go to their website and install the windows installer. It did all ( I mean all ) the work for me, and 25 mins. later I have it installed ( dual boot system, no less).
     What would it take for the Zorin people to implement something like that ??

  • Ariya

    have you noticed that the Awn panel can’t be changed or auto hidden? Have you asked why? Zorin offers for money Unity look and MacOs look, but didn’t you know that Awn dock is a 3D one, and that Unity is just below the blue face of Zorin? If you have the iso yet, how about installing it and then Gnome Tweak tool and reinstall Awn Dock, Before all that have a you at the Unity Greeter, do you see Gnome-classic and fallback there?

    Do you really look at these, or just the look, when you are reviewing?

    If Unity is just underneath and the reinstalling of Awn dock give you that, why do you need to pay for Zorin 6 Ultimate with pseudo MacOs and Unity look? What the big deal in Zorin 6 core? It is just Ubuntu 12.04 with an old fashioned Look Changer. Why do you need to change “skin,” when you can use the Unity Greeter? And have all the DEs/WMs there by just reinstalling Awn dock? Zorin 6 core is a terrible distro, one that cheats the users, in Russian it is ужасный!   

  • Mtfathome

    I installed Zorin 6.0 on a laptop I’d been using with YLMF 3.0, an XP lookalike. At first everything was good. When I tried to connect to the internet (using the native Chrome) I got “page unavailable”. I’m showing a good connection to my AP, but nothing else happens. I tried installing Firefox from the repository but got “installation failed”. I’ve used Ubuntu for several years, tried the Russian Linux XP, etc… no major problems. Any suggestions or fixes? Thanks for your reply, Mike.

  • Ariya

    If you think, that Zorin OS 6 Core isn’t Ubuntu 12.04 “simply” changed, then have a look If here;http://imageshack.us/f/827/slookchanger.jpg/
    That is Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal with the so-called Zorin Look Changer…The nice Awn dock is blocked in Zorin OS 6 and 

  • http://www.iheartubuntu.com iheartubuntu.com

    You used a program called Wubi to install Ubuntu. Technically you installed Ubuntu within Windows so it will run a tad slower (not much) then if you did a true dual boot setup. What you have with Wubi is not a true dual boot although it acts like one. This makes it easy for the average user to uninstall Ubuntu within Windows if say you dont want it in the future.

    Downloading an ISO file of any distro, burning it to disc and installing from the disc will give you a true installation, not a vbirtual one which Wubi does.

    Good luck with your linux endeavours!

  • Pingback: Zorin OS 6 « صور ومقتطفات لتوزيعات لينكس المتنوعة()

  • hombreone

    Lets get this straight . Linux /open bsd= mac osx aren’t Unix aka true Unix. Not one one line of code is Unix . Unix is Amiga OS or friendly Unix. On of a few true Unix systems. They have to be on non x86 -non north and south-bridge systems aka x86.
    True Unix are true real-time multitasking systems you cant have one without the other.
    Secondly, use pclinuxos way better then zorin.


  • Crede

    looks good!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Barrie.J.Thomas Barrie Thomas

    And Ubuntu is simply a “changed” version of Debian. It’s all about “choice” eventually and personally I choose not to use Ubuntu. In comparison to the other “changed” versions like Mint or Zorin I find Ubuntu to be challenging and restrictive.

    Maybe it is meant to be that way. Maybe it “feels” easier with experience – but that is exactly the raison-d’etre for these other distros. They are attempting, and in the main succeeding, to provide that “easy” feeling without experience. And once new users have that experience – they are much better armed to make their own informed choices.

  • http://twitter.com/creamcorn creamcorn

    Enlighten us by revealing to us the perfect OS & Window Manager combo, Benjamin Tayehanpour. It is surely the best by miles.

  • http://twitter.com/creamcorn creamcorn

    Linux /open bsd= mac osx??? BLAH BLAH BLAH…You sound like Bill Maher talking about religion.

  • amsweitzer

    Zorin is a stable ver of Ubuntu 12.04 the Awn dock is changeable and if one wants the panel they can install it I’ve fully customized my ver of Zorin os 6 to be more like ulitmate edition without the extra fluff that ultimate has I however ever agree with the charging for premo editions they are just apps one can download and install through software center or through synaptic I had purchased a premo from them b4 and won’t do again Zorin is not a wubi install its remastersys it has all the files on the disk when it particians your hd it is a real partician and install as to the question on implementing a wubi install or unetbootin one only needs to remaster their ver and upload it to the net and submitt it. It however comes with a stable install of gnomenu on it.

  • asif

    hi there!
    its me asif i am using first time OS except windows,i have never used linux,so please anyone would tell me how to install firefox and other software in linux.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nicktarter Nick Tarter

    Disagree. I’m having great luck with Zorin OS 6. No issues whatsoever, even on one of my older machines.

  • crabbos

    I’m using Zorin OS 6 on an older pc as a media center connected to my TV. I know there are better options for a HTPC but I feel zorin deserves a place on at least one of my computers. It’s super fast and responsive, has never crashed and is pleasant to use. Still one of the best distros out there imo.


    …mz first linux distro, that wont work!

    1st install …few components couldnt be installed-and the prompt that i have to install them manually … andhow should i know which one…..

    second install flawless, but updatemanager chrashes during first update

    alacarte chrashes while making changes

    every second action i perform, fails….

    lets be honest / i dont think the fact alinux distro looks like windows

    will cause windows user hop over to linux

    my first was mint9 and thats what im still running

  • nukinal

    НА нашем сайтеможно интересные книги без регистрации
    количество книг пополняется каждый день