Zorin OS For Linux Newbies

​Zorin OS is another Linux distro for general use purposes as well as for deploying in business workplaces. It is a great free alternative operating system (OS) for Windows users seeking to try out Linux for the first time. Zorin OS provides, by default, the look and feel of MS Windows 10 but still customizable to make it look OS X friendly or GNOME-y if one feels otherwise.  

​Downloading Zorin OS

Zorin OS Installation

​Once you’ve downloaded and burnt Zorin OS iso file to a blank disc or created a bootable USB stick you might want to consider this question:  

​Do I install it on my computer?

Ready to take risks and dive in? Then yeah! Format everything on your drive and install it fresh. But if you are a bit conservative then I suggest trying the live version of Zorin OS i.e., you do not need to hit INSTALL instead TRY ZORIN OS on grub boot option which is a great way to get the feel of the OS without having to actually install it on your computer. Another method I’d consider is to install it on a Virtual Machine such as Oracle VirtualBox, but that is recommended only if you have sufficient RAM and processing power on your computer.  


​After installing Zorin OS you might want to start installing custom applications to suit your needs. For instance, graphic designers would install Inkscape, Blender, Krita, etc on their machine. So how do you go about that? There are two ways you can find and install your applications on Zorin OS  


This is the first place you’ll want to start looking for your applications. You’ll find thousands of programs organized in categories and ready to install on your computer. However there was an issue with Software on the first launch; application list was empty. To remedy that issue open terminal program and fire the command below: sudo apt update  


Couldn’t find your program on Software? PlayOnLinux is another place to check out for. Here you’ll be able to install Windows applications on your computer. But be wary certain programs tend to be buggy because wine is still under development. Still yet the wine community has listed top 10 programs running well without issues, check out the website winehq to find out whether one of your favorite application is listed or not. Some applications already pre-installed on Zorin OS include LibreOffice as the default office suite, Chromium, and Epiphany (web browsers), GIMP for image editing and wine for MS Windows compatibility.  

What About Updates Then?

​Much like Windows Update running behind your back, downloading and installing new software updates, Zorin OS does that too by default. You could still configure it to only display notifications or never check for updates at all.  

Desktop Environment

Zorin OS runs on a modified GNOME desktop environment. For those who don’t know what that is, a desktop environment is a collection of programs that give the Graphical User Interface (GUI) for end-users.

Currently, GNOME, KDE, and Cinnamon are the most popular desktop environments for Linux.

Getting More Productive

​Apart from only maximizing and minimizing windows, you have the ability to work on multiple workspaces. Press the super (or Windows logo) key on your keyboard and you’ll get an overview of all the windows you are currently working on.

​Notice that half-hidden panel on your right? Hover your mouse over it and your workspaces will be revealed. Workspaces are a great way to organize your work and increase your productivity. Use CTRL+ALT+UP/DOWN ARROW KEY to switch workspaces.  


​Zorin OS provides you the ability to customize and suit your personality. Below is a screenshot of the available wallpapers on Zorin OS

​And then along comes theming. With themes you can change the overall look of your programs, mostly accompanying bright and dark tones. Don’t forget to check out icons and panel tool too.  


Zorin OS is a great alternative to MS Windows. It’s elegant and simple for Linux newbies while still powerful enough at the same time. You could still hack around the terminal if that’s the inspiration for switching to Linux. 😛

Anything I missed out on? Let me know in the comments section below.