Zorin OS – Linux for the masses?

Most experienced users have dabbled with Linux at some stage, some have gone on to migrate completely while many others have decided to stick primarily with Windows – I fall into the latter category.

The biggest issue concerning Linux’s failure to gain mass acceptance, specifically in the area of home desktops, has been the rather less than extensive Graphical User Interface (GUI), especially when compared to Windows operating systems. That plus overcoming the underlying familiarity which is common among habitual Windows users.

BUT, what if there was a version of Linux which looked and behaved in the same manner as Windows 7 or XP…would that arouse your interest? Well it did mine. I must admit I hadn’t come across Zorin OS previously but now I have, I do like the sound of it. Zorin bills itself as the easy migration path from Windows to Linux, and it certainly gives that impression.

Zorin OS is based around the popular Ubuntu distro which traditionally runs the Gnome desktop but there is one major difference; Zorin OS includes a unique “Look Changer” feature which lets users change the interface to mimic Windows. All users need do is click on an appropriate ‘Windows 7’ or ‘XP’ button and the desktop will look and behave accordingly.

Zorin OS comes pre-loaded with all applications required for normal day to day computing. Chrome browser is installed by default, with both Firefox and Opera just a couple of clicks away. The excellent VLC media player is included plus GIMP image editor, an email client, Empathy I.M. and LibreOffice. There’s lots more of course, most notably the ‘Wine’ emulator which allows users to run Windows software on Linux operating systems. This, as one would expect, all adds to the download size; Zorin OS is a 1.1GB download compared to an average 700MB for other popular Linux distributions. Still nowhere near the 3+GB size of Windows 7 though.

Zorin OS is available for free in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions, there are also advanced/specialist editions which require a small payment. I’ve downloaded the free 64-bit edition and am definitely going to install Zorin OS and take it for a spin. Just got to make some hardware adjustments first in order to accommodate it. I’ll be reporting on my observations, likes and dislikes, etc. in a few weeks time…stay tuned!!

Zorin OS Home Page

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About the Author

Jim Hillier

Jim is the resident freeware aficionado at DCT. A computer veteran with 30+ years experience who first started writing about computers and tech back in the days when freeware was actually free. His first computer was a TRS-80 in the 1980s, he progressed through the Commodore series of computers before moving to PCs in the 1990s. Now retired (aka an old geezer), Jim retains his passion for all things tech and still enjoys building and repairing computers for a select clientele... as well as writing for DCT, of course.


  1. Hey Greg – Yes – OS X, Win2k and Vista emulation are also available, BUT only in advanced versions which you have to pay for. The YouTube video you have linked to is a review of the “Ultimate” edition which costs 10/15 euros. I am looking at the FREE version only, which includes just XP and Windows 7 emulation. 🙂