Zorin Linux OS – The Look And Feel Of Windows 7

imageThere was a time, when Linux was crazy difficult to install and run on a PC. Those days are long gone, and running Linux, in various flavors, couldn’t get much easier. Average users simple want to point and click, and Linux based operating systems, by and large, allow them to do just that.

There’s no doubt that Windows and Linux are not the same operating system under the hood. But, average users don’t look under the hood of an OS – not in Windows – not in Linux.

Having worked with Windows 8, Developer Edition, since its release date –  I can assure you, running Linux (with the small initial differences from Windows), is a snap compared to the effort needed to rethink virtually every move in Windows 8. I say this, not because I’m down on Windows 8 (it has its place, and under the hood, there are substantial improvements), but, because I’m “up” on Linux.

I’ve been running dual boot systems for years – various flavors of Windows, and various flavors of Linux. With good reason – I wouldn’t, for example, do my online banking in any OS other than Linux. So, I’m comfortable with the idea that I can offer my opinion on how “hard” or how “easy” it is, to run with Linux.

Installing a Linux distro to run side-by-side with Windows (no partitioning required), is dead easy – and, on Startup, you’ll have a choice as to what OS to boot. It’s been my experience that Linux generally boots 2/3 times faster than Windows.

So, having said all that – let me introduce you to Zorin OS – a Ubuntu based Linux distro – which is built around an intuitive point and click user interface  -similar in layout, and function, to Windows 7.

If you would feel more comfortable with a Windows XP look – no problem. Zorin’s built-in Look Changer lets you change your desktop to look and act like either Windows 7, Windows XP, or a straight Linux look.


Take a peek at the following graphics from the developer – I think you’ll be impressed.

Zorin OS runs on various platforms


Start Menu

Start Menu expanded.

Desktop cube


Multimedia applications running


Look Changer

Software center

Fast facts:

Top-notch security – Thanks to Zorin OS’s immunity to Windows viruses you will never have to worry about them. Zorin OS also comes with integrated firewall software to keep your system extra safe. When a potential security threat arises, software updates usually come within a matter of hours through the Update Manager.

Easy to use, familiar desktop – The main goal of Zorin OS is to give Windows users easy access to Linux. That is why Zorin OS incorporates the familiar Windows 7-like interface by default, to dramatically reduce the learning curve of this system while still experiencing the main advantages of Linux.

Out-of-the-box software solution – From the versatile LibreOffice suite to the feature-packed OpenShot video editor, it’s got it all. Zorin OS is sure to facilitate all of your everyday tasks such as web browsing, document creation, social networking, making videos, chatting with your friends and beyond, all without having to install anything.

Software Galore – If the pre-installed software isn’t enough for your requirements there is no need to worry about it. Zorin OS comes with the Software Center which allows users to download and install tens of thousands of free programs. All you have to do is open the Software Center from the start menu, find a program which you want and click Install. You can even install Windows programs on Zorin OS in a similar way with PlayOnLinux.

Compatibility – Nearly every file that you use with your current operating system will work perfectly in Zorin OS with no need for additional setup. All your office documents, music, videos, pictures etc. will work out of the box in Zorin OS. Zorin OS also supports a large library of devices such as printers, scanners, cameras, keyboards. These devices will work as soon as you plug them in without the need for installing additional drivers.

Flexibility – Zorin OS gives users more flexibility. It allows you to use Zorin OS alongside your current operating system. While you install Zorin OS to your computer you have the option to keep your current operating system alongside Zorin OS and choose which one to load on start-up.

Zorin Internet Browser Manager – The default web browser in Zorin OS is Google Chrome. For those who want to use other web browsers, we have included our exclusive program called the Zorin Internet Browser Manager which makes installing and uninstalling web browsers simple and quick.

Social from the start – Zorin OS has been built with you in mind so staying in touch with your friends easily was a large aspect of building Zorin OS. The Me Menu lets you access your Facebook and Twitter accounts straight from the desktop. You can connect to all your favorite chat channels and make updates through a single window with Gwibber. Instant Messaging chat with Empathy is super simple. Quickly integrate your chat accounts from Facebook Chat, Yahoo, Google Talk, MSN, Jabber, AIM, QQ and many other sources and start talking.

Minimum system requirements:

700 MHz x86 processor
3GB of Hard Drive space
376 MB of system memory (RAM)
Graphics card capable of 640×480 resolution
Sound card

Downloads: both 32 bit and 64 bit.

The Core, Lite and Educational versions, are available to download for free from the Free download page.

The Premium versions (Business, Gaming, Multimedia and Ultimate), are available in exchange for a donation on the Premium page for a physical DVD, or a download.

I’ve been running with Zorin OS on and off – from a bootable DVD – for the last several months and, I must say – I’ve been very impressed.

I pointed out earlier – “It’s been my experience that Linux generally boots 2/3 times faster than Windows”. This is not the case when running from a DVD. Should you decide to go this route, you will encounter a much slower response than an installation will provide.


Filed under 64 Bit Software, Alternatives to Windows, downloads, Freeware, Linux, Operating Systems

17 responses to “Zorin Linux OS – The Look And Feel Of Windows 7

  1. Charlie

    Hi Bill:
    I was wondering what I was going to do if I didn’t like Windows 8. Looks like this may be my other option. Thanks for the heads-up. (Now I’m off to Home Depot to get my wallet “stolen”)

  2. Hi Bill,
    Looks very interesting Bill I’ll definitely try this build.

  3. hipockets

    Hi, Bill —
    I’ve read that Windows 8 will be programmed to prevent dual booting. If this is true, using the DVD and putting up with a slower boot should be possible. But — If Zorin is that good, we could run it from the hard drive and forget …… what was the name of that other operating system again?

    Think I’ll dump my Microsoft stock! :>)

    Is setting up dual booting part of the Zorin installation ackage?
    Have you tried running Zorin in Windows 8?

    • Hey Hipockets,

      I’ve read this – and reread this – and continue to dual boot both Win 8 and Ubuntu. Bit of a tempest in a teapot, I think.

      Yep, a dual booting setup is a breeze. When the DVD boots, you’ll have an opportunity to continue running from the DVD or, installing in a dual boot configuration, or replacing an existing OS.



  4. Ramblinrick


    I just may have to give this spin on my old netbook (which is basically just sitting around doing nothing these days)…

    Nice article and description…


  5. Kevin

    Wow this looks awesome. Another awesome post!
    BTW I have a question, does this support the installation of chinese programs?


  6. Hey Bill,
    Would it be of any help in Zorin installation if I already have Ubuntu OS?

  7. pmshah

    Regardless of its GUI experience and ease of use what id more critical to me is how easy it is to upgrade to the newer version that will follow.
    I wet my feet on IBM/OS2 and Linux some 20 years ago. The first I got for free with a UK magazine. Linux I started with Slackware 2.0, again included free with a magazine.

    OS2 was the biggest pain to install. I had in fact even suggested that IBM should wean away some programmers from M$ to make this acceptable.

    In all the versions of Linux – and I have tried many – Only once was I able to upgrade to a newer version on the same hardware. I believe it was Slackware. Otherwise it has always had to be format and fresh install.

    Unless this part is made easy like installation of Windows, regardless of time involved, it is always going to find resistance to adoption in any significant numbers.

  8. @Hipockets
    MS will prevent dual boot on all ARM chipped appliances but you will be able to dual boot most Intel x86/64 bit computers. The “Secure Boot” feature can be disabled to allow dual booting into other OS’s.