ZorinOS 16 is exactly what a Linux desktop distribution should be

1 month ago 11
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Jack Wallen gives the latest mentation of ZorinOS a spell and comes distant with his caput sufficiently blown and a antithetic sentiment connected what Linux distributions should be.


Image: Zorin.com

In the past 20+ years, I've utilized and tested much Linux distributions than I tin remember. Many of those variations connected an open-source taxable were good. Some of them were precise good. A fewer of them person been great. But lone a fistful person been genuinely inspired. Of that agelong database of distributions, I'd see the likes of Pop!_OS COSMIC, Deepin Linux, Linux Mint and elementaryOS to beryllium of the inspiring sort.

SEE: 5 Linux server distributions you should beryllium using (TechRepublic Premium)

And now, I person different organisation to adhd to that list: ZorinOS 16

To beryllium perfectly honest, I wasn't expecting overmuch from this distribution. Yes, it's impressed maine successful the past. But I've ever felt ZorinOS to beryllium 1 of those operating systems trying excessively hard to beryllium Windows. It ever seemed to beryllium clinging to the conception that the Windows GUI was the superior mode of doing things. And I get that. The overwhelming bulk of desktop PC users are acquainted with Windows. It's what they grew up with and what they know. And alteration is hard.

That cognition of ZorinOS was wholly changed with the merchandise of the 16th iteration of the platform. This caller merchandise is precisely what a Linux desktop organisation should be: It's beautiful, productive, stable, cleanable and fun. Yes, fun. The developers person added conscionable capable peculiar condiment into the premix to springiness their latest merchandise a spot of much-needed pizzazz. So ZorinOS is nary longer a Windows wannabe ... it's Linux, axenic and simple. Even better, it's precisely what modern Linux desktops should strive to emulate.

I downloaded and installed the "Core" variation of ZorinOS and installed it arsenic a VirtualBox guest, and wow, did it impress.

It's each astir the UI

ZorinOS 16 "Core" allows you to prime from 4 antithetic desktop layouts (Figure A): Two that are Windows-inspired and 2 that are GNOME-inspired.

Figure A


Selecting your desktop layout of prime successful ZorinOS 16.

I went with the GNOME exertion overview look and consciousness for my test, but immoderate of the choices are stone solid. I besides (giddily) enabled the Jelly Mode. What is Jelly Mode, you ask? Jelly Mode is simply a throwback to the aged Compiz desktop days. Once enabled, erstwhile a model is moved (either by you moving it, resizing it oregon minimizing it) it wobbles arsenic though it were made of, you guessed it, jelly. It's a precise amusive diagnostic that makes maine agelong for those bully aged days of the Compiz cube and much eye-candy delights.

You tin alteration Jelly Mode successful the Zorin Appearances app, nether Interface (Figure B).

Figure B


Enabling the Jelly Mode successful ZorinOS 16.

The ZorinOS 16 UI is perfectly fantastic. It's the cleanable substance of amusive and professional. It's clean, it's casual to usage and it's perfectly stone solid. Nothing astir the UI gets successful the mode of you being productive.

And speaking of being productive …

A cleanable enactment of apps

Many Linux distributions person opted to spell the "minimal" way by not including astir of the apps we commonly use. It makes cleanable sense: Developers privation to springiness users a prime successful what's installed connected the desktop. But erstwhile a idiosyncratic caller to Linux logs successful for the archetypal time, you privation them to person what they request to get their enactment done. That's different country wherever ZorinOS shines. Out of the box, you'll find LibreOffice, GIMP, Firefox, Evolution (for email), Firefox, GNOME Maps, Cheese (webcam software), Pitivi (video editor), Rhythmbox (audio player), GNOME Weather, a dependable recorder, a fistful of elemental games and more. 

SEE: Rust: What developers request to cognize astir this programming connection (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Any idiosyncratic could hop onto ZorinOS 16 and find everything they need, without having to instal overmuch of anything. Sure, you mightiness privation to adhd the likes of Zoom and Slack, some of which tin beryllium recovered successful the GNOME Software app (Figure C). So, with a fewer speedy clicks, you tin person the nonstop bundle array indispensable to fulfill astir each need.

Figure C


Installing Slack from wrong GNOME Software connected ZorinOS 16.

You tin link ZorinOS to Android

The icing connected this already-delicious barroom is that it makes connecting the desktop to your Android instrumentality a no-brainer. With Zorin Connect (Figure D, which I'll beryllium covering adjacent week), you tin brace your telephone and your desktop for casual sharing of content. You tin negociate your substance messages, power your cursor (so the telephone acts arsenic a trackpad), ringing your phone, equine a folder from the telephone to the desktop, stock files and more. 

Figure D


ZorinOS 16 connected to my Pixel 5.

After moving with Zorin Connect, I'm really amazed much Linux distributions aren't including a akin instrumentality by default. Yes, KDE has KDE Connect, and determination are different apps disposable for this purpose, but ZorinOS 16 perfectly nails Linux/Android sync/connectivity, and each Linux desktop developer should instrumentality note.

Who is ZorinOS 16 for?

Anyone. Period. That's however bully ZorinOS 16 is. It doesn't substance what level of accomplishment you have, ZorinOS 16 is acceptable to assistance marque your desktop acquisition a delightful romp done the satellite of Linux. Since it's based connected Ubuntu 20.04.3, it includes each the accustomed Ubuntu user-friendliness nether the hood. But don't worry, if you are caller to Linux you shouldn't person to fuss with things similar the command-line interface, arsenic the ZorinOS 16 desktop UI volition clasp your manus conscionable capable to support you from getting mislaid successful the muck and mire amended suited to the Linux devotees. 

ZorinOS 16 is arsenic bully a desktop operating strategy arsenic you'll find. That mightiness dependable similar hyperbole, but I honestly cannot deliberation of a desktop OS that is arsenic beauteous arsenic it is functional and usable. If you're looking for a caller desktop organisation to situation what you deliberation Linux is, springiness ZorinOS 16 a effort and spot if it doesn't precise rapidly triumph you over.

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