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The Zorin team are making some bold claims with the release of the Ubuntu-based Zorin OS 16 Beta that anyone can go ahead and try out now. It sure does look slick!

Featuring a brand new look for their GNOME-based desktop, Zorin OS 16 is quite easy on the eyes - as long as you like everything bright that is. With a sleek white look it's definitely eye-grabbing, along with a blue accent which you can customize. Zorin OS definitely screams "look at me!".

They also say on the whole Zorin OS 16 "runs dramatically snappier on a wide range of hardware, old and new" thanks to updates and optimizations from the Kernel up to the Desktop Environment and so apps "open faster, animations are smoother, and loading times are reduced so you can spend more time being productive".

Perhaps the biggest and boldest claim they're making is about the software you can get out of the box. They claim it has "the largest library of apps available out-of-the-box of any Open Source desktop ever". How though? Well, they go all in with everything! It has support for Snaps, Flatpaks with Flathub, the Ubuntu and Zorin OS APT repositories and that's on top of supporting installs from .deb and AppImage packages too. Their software store tweak will also enable you to choose between different sources, and they say the software store has " received many under-the-hood optimizations as well as user interface improvements".

You can easily customize the look and feel of Zorin OS 16 with their new and improved Zorin Appearance application, a more customizable desktop look with the taskbar having plenty of tweaks available, a new Windows 10X-like desktop appearance is also coming soon for those who want it, fractional scaling support, wobbly windows effects and all the back-end improvements from Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

Interestingly, their monetization model for supporting their work is a little like another Ubuntu-based distribution elementary OS. You can pay to download it, or pay nothing. However, Zorin OS does it a little differently. They offer up for normal desktop users a Core (free) download with the usual stuff and a Ultimate (paid) edition that comes with a few extras.

See more on the Zorin OS website and the Beta release post.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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19 comments
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Nocifer 16 Apr
Somebody should inform them post-haste about a certain little thingy called the AUR.

(j/k, I know that this is all marketing, and marketing describes the world how you wish it to look like for your target audience, not how it really is.)
wvstolzing 16 Apr
> Zorin OS definitely screams "look at me!".

Not for too long, though; or your retinas might get incinerated.
Nanobang 16 Apr
This got me thinking about how much I'd like to read an article about what's it like to try and game on some of the less popular stalwarts of Linux. I'm talking about distros such as Mageia & Open Mandriva, Mepis, PCLinuxOS,AntiX & Tiny Core, Gentoo & Knoppix, or even Elive. (I'd try it out, but my slow internet would guarantee the whole project would take way, way too long.)

As far as Zorin goes? Meh. Nothing outstandingly wrong with it, I expect, but I don't find anything very interesting or unique in it either. Obviously there're plenty of folks who dig Zorin, and that's great. Linux is about choices. I just can't get excited about the glitzy crass glitter of another Gnome derived desktop, even if it has "Jelly Mode."
slaapliedje 16 Apr
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Quoting: NociferSomebody should inform them post-haste about a certain little thingy called the AUR.

(j/k, I know that this is all marketing, and marketing describes the world how you wish it to look like for your target audience, not how it really is.)
Granted, AUR isn't exactly an official repository, and I wonder what percentage of them are unmaintained or duplicates. That's always been my problem with AUR, it's convenient in many ways, but at the same time you shouldn't blindly trust installing things from it (though you can argue that you shouldn't blindly install stuff anyhow...), and most of the time need to look at patches applied, and hope that the person who made the PKGBUILD will continue to support newer versions / build reqs. It can especially become messy when you always have $pkgname and $pkgname-git, I've even seen it where some still are $pkgname-svn with all three in the AUR...
denyasis 16 Apr
Quoting: NanobangThis got me thinking about how much I'd like to read an article about what's it like to try and game on some of the less popular stalwarts of Linux. I'm talking about distros such as Mageia & Open Mandriva, Mepis, PCLinuxOS,AntiX & Tiny Core, Gentoo & Knoppix, or even Elive. (I'd try it out, but my slow internet would guarantee the whole project would take way, way too long.)

Not sure if it counts, but I ran Sparky Linux for about 4 years on my gaming machine. It's debian testing based.

I don't think there is much difference when the OS is based on another distro upstream. After all the upstream is mostly the same. Most of the issues I had were minor, quality of life, type issues. Presumably due to a smaller dev team, testing base, etc. Everything worked fine. But when something broke, you were a little more on your own.

Hope that helps
Nocifer 16 Apr
Quoting: slaapliedje
Quoting: NociferSomebody should inform them post-haste about a certain little thingy called the AUR.

(j/k, I know that this is all marketing, and marketing describes the world how you wish it to look like for your target audience, not how it really is.)
Granted, AUR isn't exactly an official repository, and I wonder what percentage of them are unmaintained or duplicates. That's always been my problem with AUR, it's convenient in many ways, but at the same time you shouldn't blindly trust installing things from it (though you can argue that you shouldn't blindly install stuff anyhow...), and most of the time need to look at patches applied, and hope that the person who made the PKGBUILD will continue to support newer versions / build reqs. It can especially become messy when you always have $pkgname and $pkgname-git, I've even seen it where some still are $pkgname-svn with all three in the AUR...

That's very true, I maintain a few AUR packages myself so I've been frustrated with what you describe multiple times, both as a user and as a packager. But even if you remove all the unmaintained, duplicate or just plain badly packaged packages from the AUR, it still contains tons of stuff that you can't as easily find in most other distros. And in my opinion, since the AUR itself as a repo is a creation of the Arch developers, and since it operates through Arch's own server infrastructure, and since it utilizes Arch's own package building process (the PKGBUILDs), and since there's even official guidelines on the Arch Wiki on how to properly build and package an AUR package, I'd reckon it's integrated enough to count as an official part of the distro.

Now let's see: Zorin claim they have "support for Snaps, Flatpaks with Flathub, the Ubuntu and Zorin OS APT repositories and that's on top of supporting installs from .deb and AppImage packages too". Snaps, Flatpaks and AppImages all work across practically every distro out there, Arch included, so they're nothing special. Ubuntu APT repo and .deb packages? Well, Zorin is an Ubuntu derived distro, so of course they're going to be supporting Ubuntu and Debian packages, so nothing special about that as well. Zorin APT repo? Wow, so they even have their own private repo, color me surprised!

So I maintain the position that when it comes to the amount of packages, Zorin is just like any other distro, and like most other distros it still lacks the AUR :P
slaapliedje 16 Apr
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Quoting: Nocifer
Quoting: slaapliedje
Quoting: NociferSomebody should inform them post-haste about a certain little thingy called the AUR.

(j/k, I know that this is all marketing, and marketing describes the world how you wish it to look like for your target audience, not how it really is.)
Granted, AUR isn't exactly an official repository, and I wonder what percentage of them are unmaintained or duplicates. That's always been my problem with AUR, it's convenient in many ways, but at the same time you shouldn't blindly trust installing things from it (though you can argue that you shouldn't blindly install stuff anyhow...), and most of the time need to look at patches applied, and hope that the person who made the PKGBUILD will continue to support newer versions / build reqs. It can especially become messy when you always have $pkgname and $pkgname-git, I've even seen it where some still are $pkgname-svn with all three in the AUR...

That's very true, I maintain a few AUR packages myself so I've been frustrated with what you describe multiple times, both as a user and as a packager. But even if you remove all the unmaintained, duplicate or just plain badly packaged packages from the AUR, it still contains tons of stuff that you can't as easily find in most other distros. And in my opinion, since the AUR itself as a repo is a creation of the Arch developers, and since it operates through Arch's own server infrastructure, and since it utilizes Arch's own package building process (the PKGBUILDs), and since there's even official guidelines on the Arch Wiki on how to properly build and package an AUR package, I'd reckon it's integrated enough to count as an official part of the distro.

Now let's see: Zorin claim they have "support for Snaps, Flatpaks with Flathub, the Ubuntu and Zorin OS APT repositories and that's on top of supporting installs from .deb and AppImage packages too". Snaps, Flatpaks and AppImages all work across practically every distro out there, Arch included, so they're nothing special. Ubuntu APT repo and .deb packages? Well, Zorin is an Ubuntu derived distro, so of course they're going to be supporting Ubuntu and Debian packages, so nothing special about that as well. Zorin APT repo? Wow, so they even have their own private repo, color me surprised!

So I maintain the position that when it comes to the amount of packages, Zorin is just like any other distro, and like most other distros it still lacks the AUR :P

I should start a menu project for Debian where you can search through it and there are build scripts that fetch the source repo, installs the dependencies, then compiles the software. This would be basically the same as AUR for debian based systems, but would respect binary vs source compiled, as it would install by default in /usr/local/ Not a terrible idea, and would make Debian have even more stuff for it. :)

AUR is awesome, and I don't want to say it's a terrible idea, it's actually awesome and it's my second OS on my tri-boot system (which is Debian / Arch / Windows 10). But I think the idea of 'most packages' should be 'most binary packages'. But ZorinOS is wrong there anyhow, as Debian and all their forks also support Snap / Flatpak / AppImages, so not sure why they think they're special.

Arch also supports all of that as well :P Well I'm pretty sure it also supports snaps, but who would want them?
To be fair, flatpak/snapchat on the RPM side are not the only options either, we have OpenSUSEs build system which allows (almost) anyone to create packages suitable for various RPM based distros.

Fedora also provides COPR which allows people to add additional packages easily.

That and of course Snapchat/Flatpak is always available. So yup. This one may be nothing more than marketing.

I mean, I begrudgingly* switched from XFCE to Mate and had to use a COPR repo for a missing item just the other day.

*I love XFCE, but unfortunately with my AMD graphics card it causes a system crash when plugging my third monitor, mate doesn't crash so.. unfortunately switched.

Still Fedora though 👍 but missing some of the customization options of XFCE 😅


Last edited by BlackBloodRum on 17 April 2021 at 11:21 am UTC
slaapliedje 17 Apr
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Quoting: BlackBloodRumTo be fair, flatpak/snapchat on the RPM side are not the only options either, we have OpenSUSEs build system which allows (almost) anyone to create packages suitable for various RPM based distros.

OBS supports building for Debian based systems as well. That is where the lutris package was up until recently when it was uploaded to Debian Sid.
Quoting: BlackBloodRumI mean, I begrudgingly* switched from XFCE to Mate
Well, I know you will be looking for ways to get back to your preferred desktop, but as a Mate user I'd like to say I hope it treats you well while you're a refugee.
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