Zorin OS is the familiar Linux distribution to replace Windows 10 or Windows 7, to use the same programs without difficulty
Windows 10 is a truly complete operating system, but it hardly adapts to all computers in circulation: on old computers that still run Windows 7, switching to the most recent version of Windows could lead to many discontent, especially if the available hardware is not available. it is first level. Instead of always focusing on Windows 10, we can also consider a free and customized operating system such as Zorin OS, available in various variants and installable on all old and new computers.
In this guide we will show you what are the advantages of Zorin OS and what are the reasons for being able to immediately consider it the ideal system to replace Windows 7 or Windows 10 without changing too much the habits we were fond of with the old operating systems.
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Guide to Zorin OS
Zorin OS is a Linux-based operating system but whose strengths are simplicity of use and system responsiveness, to the point that anyone who uses Windows 10 can easily switch to Zorin OS and gain performance, especially on computers with a few years on the shoulders. If we have never used a Linux distribution before, we recommend that you read the Linux Beginner’s Guide: everything you need to know .
What is Zorin OS
Zorin OS is a Linux distribution that tries to look more like Windows, not so much for the graphical interface, but above all for the usability side.
Based on Ubuntu, the most popular Linux distro, it is specially designed for users who have to abandon Windows 7 or Windows 10. Zorin OS is among the simplest to learn and easy to use Linux distributions and can be installed alongside Windows so absolutely painless.
With Zorin OS we can also run Windows programs on Linux with WINE and PlayOnLinux emulators , although most of the programs available through (webapp or dedicated app) work very well, as in the case of Office online and Zoom.
Zorin OS interface
Analyzing the graphical interface we can see the presence at the bottom left of the key with the Z icon that works like the “Start” button of Windows 7 and gives access to installed programs.
At the bottom of the desktop is the taskbar while at the bottom right is the clock and other notification icons. with a double click on the icon you can open the file explorer similar to that of Windows. The file explorer in Zorin OS uses a theme that is very reminiscent of Microsoft systems. The taskbar works the same as it does on Windows, as does adding or removing desktop icons.
The programs for Zorin can be downloaded from the integrated store and are all based on the apps available for Ubuntu. To install Windows programs downloaded from the Internet, you have to open the Downloads folder, right-click on it, select “Open with” and then choose Wine. Almost all PC programs should work, except Office which can be effectively replaced by LibreOffice . However, I remember that for every Windows PC program, there is a similar one, free, for Linux.
In another article we have seen the best Windows programs for Linux PCs that also work with Zorin OS.
Versions of Zorin OS
To meet the needs of all Windows users, Zorin offers four versions of the operating system , so you can only download the one suitable for your computer.
- Lite: the lightest version, also suitable for very old computers. To maintain performance, use XFCE as your desktop environment, disable all unnecessary graphical trappings and minimize the number of pre-installed apps, leaving you the choice of what to install on your computer.
- Core: the traditional version of Zorin OS, suitable for all computers released after 2015. It uses a richer and more detailed graphical environment (based on GNOME), the Zorin Connect system to quickly connect phones and includes all the default apps that we you would expect from a GNU / Linux distribution.
- Educational: Core-based version optimized for learning, with the possibility to choose the graphic environment between GNOME and XFCE, quickly connect the phone, quickly connect to a school network and a series of apps designed for learning and study .
- Premium: the full version of Zorin OS featuring MacOS-inspired desktops, Windows 10-inspired desktops, advanced driver optimizations, leading business and work apps plus dedicated chat support . This is the only version that you pay (€ 39 plus VAT), but we can very well avoid it and immediately focus on the Core, freely downloadable (together with the other versions).
It is obviously up to us to choose which version to rely on. Personally, we recommend that you always try the Core (the most complete and balanced), focusing on the Lite only if we have computers with 2GB of RAM or less. The Educational is reserved for school PCs, while the Premium is for those who want to try Zorin OS in the company.
How to install Zorin OS
Installing Zorin OS is fairly straightforward , especially if you want to replace Windows with Linux. By focusing instead on the dual-boot installation, you can always return to Windows without problems and without losing anything. Since Zorin OS is based on Ubuntu, creating a dual-boot setup is really simple and guided , the important thing is that you have disk space to create a new partition. The first step in installing Zorin OS is to download the ISO file , burn it to a CD or USB stick then boot the machine with the right boot order .
If we want to put the ISO on a USB stick we recommend using a program like Unetbootin or, alternatively, point to Rufus . From the initial system boot you can choose to use live Zorin OS without installing it (ideal for previewing it) or to install it. To complete the installation correctly, we follow the wizard, being careful not to delete the existing Windows installation.
If in doubt you can look for any installation guide for Ubuntu, such as our guide How to install Linux Ubuntu on PC from scratch .
Zorin OS was designed to remain as familiar as possible to Windows users, copying the look and feel and ease of use wherever possible. You are not obliged to learn the fundamentals of Linux (although it is strongly recommended) and for every problem you can look for guides on the internet. If you can’t or don’t want to use a newer version of Windows, rather than being limited and exposed to all dangers on the net with Windows 7, it’s worth a try with Zorin OS which also works well on older computers and notebooks .
If we have a really old computer that needs to be scrapped, before throwing it away we advise you to read the guides Best Linux distros for old PCs and small notebooks and Lighter and more portable browsers to use on every PC , so as to give them a new life.