Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Zorin OS 9 "Lite" Review: One of the best LXDE spins of 2014

Artyom Zorin has announced on 13th August 2014 the release of two new editions of the Ubuntu-based Zorin OS 9 distribution, the i386-only "Lite" and "Educational Lite" variants: "We are pleased to announce the release of Zorin OS 9 Lite and Educational Lite. These releases are the latest evolutions of the Zorin OS Lite series of operating systems, designed specifically for Linux newcomers using old or low-powered hardware. This release is based on Lubuntu 14.04 and uses the LXDE desktop environment to provide one of the fastest and most feature-packed interfaces for low-spec machines. This new release includes newly updated software as well as new software inclusions for the best lightweight desktop experience."

From Zorin OS 9 Lite
Ideally I like to review 64-bit spins as they support UEFI secure-boot 64-bit low or moderately powered laptops that are available in cheap and flooding the market these days. Win8 is still terrible and Linux provides a big relief to the users. I have one of these (with 1.8 Ghz Core i3 processor and 4 GB RAM) with touch support and Ubuntu 14.04 works quite great with it. However, there is no 64-bit spin for Zorin OS 9 lite and I downloaded the 750 MB 32-bit ISO for this review.

Unetbootin worked good with Zorin (Linux Mint Image Writer didn't) and I created a live USB with a 4 GB USB drive.


Hardware Used for the Review
I used a couple of systems to test Zorin OS 9 Lite, two low powered antiquated computer and a more modern system:
  • HP 2.4 Ghz Pentium IV computer with 1.5 GB DDR RAM, bought in 2003
  • Asus 1101HA netbook with Intel Atom 1.38 Ghz processor & 1 GB RAM
  • Asus K55VM laptop with 2.3 Ghz 3rd Gen. Core i7 3610QM processor with 8 cores, 8 GB DDR3 RAM, 1366x768 resolution, 2 GB NVIDIA GeForce 630M graphic card - a it is a 64-bit machine but Zorin OS 9 Lite ships with pae kernel and hence can recognize more than 4 GB RAM
I installed Zorin OS 9 Lite to both the computers, the P4 PC for my 4 year old daughter to watch rhymes and movies online and offline, and the Core i7 laptop to benchmark the distro.

Installation
Installation is typical Zorin/Ubuntu and it was really easy, getting over within 10 minutes. Steps are quite simple as shown below. I installed it along with Kubuntu 14.04 and Emmabuntus 3 in a multiboot environment and on a 50 GB partition. It is uncomplicated and should not challenge even a Linux novice.

From Zorin OS 9 Lite
Score for Installation: 10/10

Aesthetics
Zorin OS 9 Lite has the familiar Zorin design with a mix of white and blue. The desktop has a simplistic design with no icons and a simple menu. The blue wallpaper gels with the overall theme.

From Zorin OS 9 Lite
Like the Core Zorin, Zorin OS has a look changer with Windows 2000 (the default theme) and Mac OS X themes. Mac OS X one is pretty bad and I preferred the default Win 2000 one.
From Zorin OS 9 Lite

Zorin Lite doesn't have a menu entry for a theme changer but it has the Zorin dark theme in Menu -> Preferences -> Customize Look and Feel -> Widget. It has the Zorin Blue theme as well but Zorin dark theme looks way better. I added a conky manager to spice the desktop up a bit.
From Zorin OS 9 Lite

Apart from the desktop, Zorin OS 9 Lite has a bright blue grub and a colorful boot splash with Zorin logo, which I could not capture. Zorin has given a nice tweak to PCmanFM, the default file manager and it looks good in the default theme.
From Zorin OS 9 Lite

In overall, Zorin OS 9 Lite may not be as cool as LXLE but looks neat, especially the black theme is really gorgeous. I go with full marks on aesthetics.

Score on Aesthetics: 10/10

Hardware Recognition
Hardware recognition is top notch and it worked well with both antiquated as well as modern machines. It was able to correctly recognize screen resolution, WIFI, LAN, touch pad (in Asus K55VM), Logitech mouse, and CD/DVD player. USB and external hard drive mount was automatic. Everything worked as it should work.

Score for Hardware Recognition: 10/10

Pre-Installed Packages
Possibly Zorin Lite is a bit thin on this department but it has some Zorin special apps to make life easy for a novice user.
  • Office: Abiword, Gnumeric, Document Viewer
  • Internet: Firefox 32.0.3, Geary Mail, Pidgin IM, Zorin Web Browser Manager
  • Graphics: Image Viewer, Simple Scan
  • Multimedia: Audacious Music Player, Disc Burner, GNOME Mplayer
  • Accessories: Archive Manager, Calculator, Leafpad, Plank, Sticky Notes, Terminal, Gdebi Package Installer, Gparted Partition Editor, Printers, Additonal Drivers, Bluetooth Manager, Customize Look and Feel, Light Locker Settings
  • Others: Wine, PlayonLinux
  • Zorin Specials: Zorin Web Browser Manager, Zorin OS Lite Extra Software, Zorin Look Changer
Multimedia codecs and Adobe flashplugin are pre-installed in the distro and work out of the box. Firefox is the default browser and it has some basic plugins like DixX, RealPlayer, Windows Media Player, Shockwave Flash, Quicktime, etc. installed.

From Zorin OS 9 Lite
Zorin Web Browser Manager provides options to install Google Chrome, Opera and Midori alongside Firefox. Also, it allows users to uninstall browsers as well without requiring users to hit the terminal. I found it to be quite handy and installed both Google Chrome and Opera using Zorin Web Browser Manager.
From Zorin OS 9 Lite
Office is a bit thin with only lightweight options like Abiword and Gnumeric provided. However, Zorin OS Lite Extra Software has options to install full LibreOffice, along with VLC media player, Games, Openshot Video Editor, MtPaint and xbmc media center. It is definitely another useful application from Zorin for Linux novices.
From Zorin OS 9 Lite
Multimedia section has Audacious music player and GNOME MPlayer (video files). MPlayer is good and lightweight but VLC is better. If you disable the hardware acceleration bit from VLC, it runs quite good even on single core machine. I installed VLC in the Pentium 4 machine and disabled hardware acceleration to get good results.

Wine is a good addition here to run MS Office. I wrote an article previously on how to install MS Office 2010 in Linux, if you are interested, you can please refer the same.

Overall, it is a decent set of applications but you may want to install some more like a download manager (uget or multiget), a torrent client (transmission), Skype, a good photo editor (GIMP), etc. to make it more function. I'll discuss on how to install later in the review. For now I give Zorin Lite 7/10 for pre-installed packages.

Score for Pre-Installed Packages: 7/10

Repositories
Zorin OS 9 Lite has a lightweight Lubuntu Software Center and Synaptic Package Manager to browse and install packages. Zorin sources packages from it's own repositories, Ubuntu Trusty (main, restricted, universe, multiverse, backports, etc.) and third party repos like launchpad, Canonical partners, Google, etc.
From Zorin OS 9 Lite
I found Lubuntu Software Center to be quite lightweight and efficient to browse and install packages. Synpatic package manager is there as well for experienced users.
From Zorin OS 9 Lite

From Zorin OS 9 Lite
To make my system more usable and to continue using the latest stable packages (remember it is an LTS and packages become antiquated within 6 months!), I installed several utility ppa's through terminal, namely:
  •     LibreOffice ppa: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:libreoffice/ppa
  •     GIMP ppa: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp
  •     VLC daily build ppa: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:videolan/stable-daily
  •     Variety wallpaper changer: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:peterlevi/ppa
  •     Calendar and power button: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:atareao/atareao
  •     Silverlight substitute - Pipelight: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mqchael/pipelight-daily
  •     Webup8: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
  •     Wine: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-wine/ppa
  •     Docky: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:docky-core/ppa
Once added, I did a system update & upgrade: sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
The LibreOffice installation got upgraded to 4.2.5.2. Then I installed Calendar Indicator, VLC player, Pipelight, Wine, PlayonLinux, etc. to make my installation more usable.
$ sudo apt-get install calendar-indicator vlc pipelight playonlinux docky

Evernote is one software I use a lot and hence, added the Everpad (Linux unofficial client of Evernote) through adding the ppa:
$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nvbn-rm/ppa
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install everpad

To install Pipelight, add the PPA and install Pipelight using the commands below:

$ sudo apt-add-repository ppa:pipelight/stable
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install pipelight-multi

Then, install the Silverlight plugin using the following command:
$ sudo pipelight-plugin --enable silverlight

To install the Widevine plugin, use the command below:
$ sudo pipelight-plugin --enable widevin

Further, I added a few other preferred applications like:

#Google Drive Ocamlfuse, a tool that lets you mount Google Drive in Linux
$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:alessandro-strada/ppa
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install google-drive-ocamlfuse

Once it's installed, you'll firstly need to authorize it with Google, by running the following command:
$ google-drive-ocamlfuse

Now let's mount Google Drive. Create a folder in your home directory, let's call it "gdrive":
mkdir ~/gdrive

And mount Goole Drive using the command below:
$ google-drive-ocamlfuse ~/gdrive

#Dropbox
$ sudo apt-key adv --keyserver pgp.mit.edu --recv-keys 5044912E
$ sudo sh -c 'echo "deb http://linux.dropbox.com/ubuntu/ trusty main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/dropbox.list'
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install dropbox

In case you are missing the dropbox icon in the panel, install the libappindicator
$ sudo apt-get install libappindicator1

#Google Earth
$ wget -q -O - https://dl-ssl.google.com/linux/linux_signing_key.pub | sudo apt-key add -
$ sudo sh -c 'echo "deb http://dl.google.com/linux/earth/deb/ stable main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google.list'
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install google-earth-stable

#Google Music
$ wget -q -O - https://dl-ssl.google.com/linux/linux_signing_key.pub | sudo apt-key add -
$ sudo sh -c 'echo "deb http://dl.google.com/linux/musicmanager/deb/ stable main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google.list'
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install google-musicmanager-beta

#Google-talk
$ wget -q -O - https://dl-ssl.google.com/linux/linux_signing_key.pub | sudo apt-key add -
$ sudo sh -c 'echo "deb http://dl.google.com/linux/talkplugin/deb/ stable main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google.list'
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install google-talkplugin

#Linux Mint and USB Image writer / USB stick formatter
$ sudo sh -c 'echo "deb http://packages.linuxmint.com/ qiana main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mint.list'
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install linuxmint-keyring
$ sudo apt-get install mintstick

#To create and read .rar archived files
$ sudo apt-get install rar urar

#To control CPU frequency and reduce laptop heat
$ sudo apt-get install indicator-cpufreq

Though document viewer works perfectly fine, but at times I require Adobe acrobat reader, especially for dynamic content. Installation of Adobe acroread is a bit tricky and I document here, what worked with me. I downloaded the AdbeRdr9.5.5-1_i486linux_enu.bin file from Adobe website and put it in the home directory. I opened terminal and ran the following commands:
$ sudo chmod +x ./AdbeRdr9.5.5-1_i486linux_enu.bin
$ sudo ./AdbeRdr9.5.5-1_i486linux_enu.bin
Agree to whatever options it asks and once installed it is time to install 32-bit architecture, if your OS is 64-bit.
$ sudo apt-get install ia32-libs
Post installation, Adobe Acrobat Reader should work without any issue.

If you are not comfortable of hitting the terminal, there is an easier way for you – Ubuntu After Install. The complete list of applications that can be installed using Ubuntu After Install is given below:
  •     Ubuntu Restricted Extras: video codecs and Flash Plugin
  •     libdvdcss to enable DVD playback
  •     Unity Tweak Tool to tweak your desktop settings
  •     Variety is a feature rich wallpaper changer for Ubuntu
  •     Google Chrome is arguably the best browser available
  •     LibreOffice is the complete open source Office software replacement
  •     Skype offers text, voice and video chat
  •     Grive Tools will sync your Google Drive to your computer
  •     DropBox will sync your DropBox cloud storage
  •     VLC will play any video file you can imagine
  •     XBMC is a complete home media center experience
  •     Radio Tray will stream online radio to your desktop
  •     GIMP is powerful image editing software
  •     Darktable allows photographers to process RAW files
  •     Inkscape is vector based illustration and graphics editor
  •     Scribus professional quality desktop publishing software
  •     Samba allows for windows network sharing
  •     PDF Tools to merge, cut, append and edit PDF documents
  •     OpenShot is a great video editor ideal for most users
  •     Kdenlive for more advanced video editing
  •     Handbrake to convert DVD’s and videos for mobile devices
  •     Audacity for music and sound editing
  •     Steam gaming platform for unlimited gaming joy on Linux
  •     KeePass to store all your passwords securely
  •     Shutter allows you to do easy screenshots
  •     FileZilla for FTP file up- and downloads
  •     p7zip adds the powerful 7zip file compression and decompression
  • And many yet to come
Add the ‘Ubuntu After Install’ PPA and install it as shown below.

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:thefanclub/ubuntu-after-install
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install ubuntu-after-install  as well for experienced users.

Performance
Zorin OS 9 Lite offered one of the best performances I got from any LXDE or XFCE distro till date. At steady state on the 64 bit machine, Zorin Lite consumed less than 200 MB RAM and 0-5% CPU. On 32-bit limited RAM machines, the RAM consumption was limited to 110-150 MB.

Low RAM usage apart, the most notable difference was in video playback online and offline. Specially in both the 32 bit machines, video playback was patchy and not working well. I tried other lightweight distros like Linux Lite, Peppermint, Linux Mint XFCE, etc. previously on these machines. But, none of them worked as good and fast as Zorin Lite - not even Lubuntu!

Boot up time was 35 seconds which is about 5 seconds higher than comparable LXDE/XFCE distros. However, the distro shuts down very quick, it doesn't take more than 5 seconds to shut down. In overall, I got amazing performance from both the machines with Zorin OS 9 Lite for the last 2 weeks. I go with full marks for Zorin OS on performance.

Score on Performance: 10/10

Overall
Zorin OS 9 Lite is undoubtedly one of the best lightweight LXDE distro I have used. It looks good with a typical Zorin theme, although it may not be as good looking as LXLE. But, on performance it eclipse any other LXDE distro I have used. Resource consumption is pretty minimal and video playback is simply great with Zorin even on very antiquated systems. Further, Zorin bakes in all the functionality of Ubuntu along with 5 years of support (till April 2019).

I must say, this is the best lightweight Linux experience I got in last 12 months or so of all the Linux distros I tried. Zorin OS 9 Lite definitely performs awesome on the limited spec machines and multi-tasking was not an issue. In fact, Zorin OS 9 got the highest score among all XFCE/LXDE I evaluated in 2013-14. I safely recommend Zorin OS 9 Lite for all users looking for an attractive, highly functional and lightweight operating system. It is highly recommended for Linux novices who are apprehensive of trying out LXDE desktop environment.

Overall Score: 9.7/10

Criteria Weight Lubuntu 14.04 LTS LXLE 12.04.4 Peppermint 5 Zorin OS 9 Lite 32 bit
Installation 20 10.0 10.0 10.0 10.0
Aesthetics 20 6.0 10.0 8.0 10.0
Hardware Recognition 20 8.8 10.0 10.0 10.0
Pre-installed Packages 10 9.0 9.0 5.0 7.0
Performance 30 10.0 8.0 10.0 10.0
Total
8.9 9.3 9.1 9.7

48 comments:

  1. Thank you for once more for the detailed presentation/review! I was really interested to see how your netbook performed with Zorin OS, as I have a similar one (Acer 751h, 1GB RAM, 1.3GHz Atom Z520 CPU) which is currently running Peppermint OS 5 but still sometimes is slow (e.g. when opening web pages with Chrome).

    Based on your review, I understand that there is a possibility that Zorin OS 9 Lite could perform even better than Peppermint OS 5, so I guess that I should give it a try. I am really desperate in finding a fully functional Linux distro without bells & whistles that will perform well with my netbook - Peppermint OS 5 is one of the fastest that I have used so far, but still the performance is suffering sometimes without too much load...

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    1. While waiting for your response I decided to make the big step and replace my existing PeppermintOS 5 installation with the Zorin OS 9 Lite. it took me about 1,5 hour to set everything up so I plan to experiment with it from now on.

      I am curious to see how it performs with my low-powered netbook- hoping that it will be a tad more responsive than Peppermint OS 5 I was using for the last several months. If things do not go well, I am heading back to my beloved Peppermint.

      Delete
    2. Hi Vassillis, apologies for replying late. Actually I am using Zorin Lite on my Asus 1101HA with success for last 3 weeks. It works better than any other lightweight distro I've used in recent times. I am able to a lot more incl. playing 720p multimedia files, watching online movies and limited multi-tasking with my low powered laptop. I was thinking of disposing it off as it was not working well with any of the front line Linux OS like Manjaro XFCE, Lubuntu, Linux Lite, Linux Mint XFCE, Peppermint, etc. Zorin saved my laptop.

      Delete
    3. Hi Arindam,
      Thanks for your response and for the review of Zorin Lite 9, especially using not a powerful laptop, but a netbook more or less like mine. I would expect that e.g. LUbuntu would also perform like that, but based on your review I decided to give Zorin a try and replace my Peppermint OS 5 installation.

      Based on moderate usage for the last couple of days I cannot say that I saw big difference (I didn't expect too much anyway) but indeed it is one of the most responsive distros I have used in my netbook. However, I already had some issues (e.g. the IBus was giving me an issue where I could not type in Chromium after some time of using it, I still cannot type Greek accented characters in URL bars and other online forms) but in general it seems to go pretty well and I will keep using it as much as I can (I tend to change distros every now and then).

      Do you really find it even faster than Manjaro XFCE?

      Keep up the great work!

      Delete
    4. Hi Vassillis:

      With Manjaro XFCE, it was difficult for me to play 720p and 1080p videos on this machine. Pictures would break and at times the netbook would freeze. However, those issues are gone with Zorin OS. Also, I am able to do some multi-tasking (downloading torrents / Linux OS through uget while my 4 year old daughter is watching animation movies :)), which I wasn't able to do with Manjaro XFCE. It is lighter than Manjaro without any doubt but LXDE has it's own pangs, as you mentioned in your comments :).

      For now I am sticking to Zorin OS 9 Lite on this laptop. It gave a new life to my old Asus 1101HA EeePC which I was about to throw away as it was not working well with conventional distros and ultra-lightweight OS like Puppy, etc. were unable to detect it's graphic card.

      Thanks for reading my reviews, by the by!

      Regards,
      Arindam

      Delete
    5. Hi Arindam,

      Thank you for once more for your detailed response; since we both have netbooks that share the same hardware, it seems that what you say applies in my case as well. I also spent some time yesterday fully working with Zorin OS and indeed it seems to be more responsive than PeppermintOS.

      In the meantime I manage to solve the issue with the Greek accented characters (I tried several approaches so I am not sure how exactly I did that!) and the issue with Chrome (I disabled IBus and XIM, if I recall well), so things seem to work better now.

      Thanks for sharing your lovely reviews!

      Vassilis

      Delete
    6. Firefox/Chrome/ium like to eat more ram than the whole Zorin9Lite 32bit.

      You may waana get some lighter browser. There are shit load of linux webbrosers out there... but unfortunately, many of them crash with heavily java-scripted webpages.
      So, the only mainstream browser left is Opera. The newer Opera-beta's are very stable, lighter than Firefx/chrom and use chromium webkit in background.

      Sound like something you Netbook would like.. :)

      Delete
    7. I found Firefox to be lighter than Chrome and far more stable than the so called lightweight browsers. On my Asus 1101HA (Intel Atom 1.33 Ghz, 1 GB RAM), Firefox works way better than most of the browsers I tried.

      Delete
    8. Wanna make it more responsive? do in terminal
      sudo nano /etc/fstab
      and add:
      noatime
      to all ext4 partitions settings
      Makes it work faster with HDD or SSD

      Delete
  2. A great review as always. Some modern releases forget the need's of lower spec machines.
    thanks

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    Replies
    1. Yes, the beauty of this release is it works with both high end and low spec machines. And thanks for liking my review

      Delete
  3. Thanks for a great review, but could you test on-board keyboard programs, since some fail to show up on some LXDE Distros. I read where one person couldn't lock the UK preference on Lubuntu, it kept defaulting to the US settings. I'm hoping Zorin or LXLE does better here.

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    Replies
    1. Not all keyboard shortcuts work with LXDE, you are absolutely right about it. However, Zorin works well with the defaults and is more user friendly than Lubuntu.

      Delete
  4. I'm interested in a low resource distro for a One in All with a atom procesor and only 1GB RAM.
    This distro will suit it fine with those specs.
    Thanks for the review

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am using Zorin 9 Lite on my Asus EeePC 1101HA with the following specs:

      Processor: Intel Atom Z520 1.33 Ghz
      Chipset: Intel US15W
      RAM: 1 GB DDR2 SDRAM, 667 Mhz, PC-2 5300
      Hard disk: 160 GB
      Display: 11.6 in., LED backlight, 1366x768 HD resolution
      Graphic Processor: Intel GMA 500

      Zorin works way better than any of the modern lightweight Linux OS I tried in last 12 months or so. I hope it will work good on your machine as well.

      Regards,
      Arindam

      Delete
    2. I have an Acer Aspire One 751h with exactly the same specs and I have tried ZorinOS 9 Lite after reading your review; however, I had several issues that I never faced with other distros and the experience was not that good. In the end, I decided to try Lubuntu 14.04 and it seems that this is the most responsive (fast) distro I have used in my netbook.

      I suggest Lubuntu as an alternative OS to everyone suffering from an under-powered netbook!

      Delete
  5. I have tried many light weight distros trying to find one that 'just worked' for my Asus old ancient netbook that I keep in my backpack for travel or work. This distro has been by far the best for what I need. I am glad you are giving such a great review so I can show others how good it can be for them as well!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing your experience. I was about to dump my old netbook but this distro gave a new lease of life to it.

      Delete
  6. thanks will try this for my low specs gigabyte net book.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've to give up trying to install Zorin OS 9 Lite.
    Neither Multisystem nor Unetbootin could made a bootable USB, I tried with isohybrid to no avail. I always have the /dev/loop0 error trying to boot the live iso (I didn't try to install it).
    It's a shame but I'll try another of your reviewed lightweight distros

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had no problem creating a live USB of ZorinOS 9 Lite with Unetbootin (in Windows). Have you tried downloading again the ISO, just in case the file you downloaded was problematic?

      I had to give up for once more after testing it for several days, due to some issues I had (including performance ones). I am now using Lubuntu 14.04 and it runs smoothly on my Acer Aspire One 751h.

      Delete
    2. I downloaded the ISO two times, with no luck. I'll try unetbootin from Windows, because I'm curious about this error, no linux distro gave me such pain.

      Delete
    3. Finally I solved the problem after downloading the ISO a third time, with wget, and using multisystem to do a bootable usb.
      It's blazing fast, simple but very attractive interface.

      Delete
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  9. if i put a USB with 8 gigabytes space in my pc and there are movies or other files on my USB or my Hardrive and i want to delete them i delete them but there my free space don't change in more free space. my hard drive is the same problem. i do not know why ??? and if i put the same usb or other drives on a other computer with windows and i delete my movies or my other files and my free space changes in more free space ???? why i don't know is there someone who can explain it or can help me with fixing this problem?? please whats wrong with my computer

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you using Shift+Del to delete? For USB, you need to clear trash, I guess. Else format the USB drive using gparted or linux mint usb formatter. Please check if shift del helps.

      Delete
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  11. i have zorin 8 someone who can help???

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  12. Hi Arindam, I have spent the last few nights reading your reviews of Zorin 9 and I am compelled to try it out. I currently run Win 8 and plan to dual boot. Your review above as well as your review of Zorin 9 Core you mentioned dissatisfaction with the O/S lacking packages like Skype, torrent and a download manager.
    If I understand correctly, you used 'Ubuntu After Install' to add these packages after. Correct? If so does Ubuntu After install automatically install all of the extra packages you listed above, or are they to be installed individually? Also what is the purpose of the download manager if it is not shipped as part of the core OS.

    Sincerely,
    Alex Zaslavsky
    Ottawa

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    Replies
    1. Hi Alex:

      You are right. Ubuntu after install is an easy way to install these packages. However, I would personally prefer to install only the packages which I require and comfortable with. Hence, I prefer adding packages one by one. Ubuntu after install automatically installs all the packages listed there.

      Further, I find internet download manager like uget or multiget, useful to download Linux ISOs and movies. You can schedule multiple downloads simultaneously and pause them in between if you have to shut down your system or need the internet bandwidth for some other work. You can resume from where you left once done. Plus, you can prioritize the downloads. Internet download managers are available in Zorin repositories.

      Regards,
      Arindam

      Delete
  13. Ah I understand now re: UbuntuaAfter install. Since my question to you I have been reading up on command line syntax and have come to realize that I should use terminal for actions such as application installs. This raises a new question. Do I need to create a launcher (a desktop icon/shortcut) for every app which I install from the command line? Or else I will be left with having to launch the app from the command line?

    Also regarding your suggestion of downloading movies using dl manager. Isn't this where my torrent client would come in?

    Regards,
    Alex

    ReplyDelete
  14. I've installed Zorin 9 Lite alongside Windows XP. If I don't soon figure out how to change the res to 1280x1024, I'm gonna have to go in a mental institution. Please help!

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    1. What is your computer specifications? Brand, model number and graphic card, etc. It may happen due to graphic card driver issues.

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    3. 10-yr-old Gateway E-4100
      3.0 GHz Pentium 4
      4 GB RAM
      NVidia Geforce 5200 (driver updated yesterday!)

      Delete
    4. Wow thats a lot of spec for 10y!

      Delete
    5. You should be able to change monitor res under settings, but i dont remember it now. But try booting from a puppy linux cd (the iso is only about 100mb), it boots automaticly live. Durin startup you need to select country, timezone, keyboard layout, and, most importantly the screen res. Seeif it works well. If it does, good no problem you just hav to tweak a bit in zorin. If not its your graphic card. Goo luck!

      Delete
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  17. If I replaced my ancient nVidia GeForce FX 5200 graphics card, would I have a better chance of getting 1280x1040 resolution from Zorin 9 Lite? If so, any recommendations re (cheap) cards?

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  18. Zorin Lite 9 is very fast on my Dell Inspiron Core 2 Duo Laptop with 4GB Ram and 250GB SSD. Love your reviews Arindam.

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  19. Can you show me how to add Conky to the laptop, thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  20. i've installed and used zorin 6 (both lite and full) on many computers and it was excellent. it only had the software centre that didnt work well. however, i've put zorin 9 lite on 2 computers, works well but it was full of problems. i was delighted to return to normal ubuntu ;). zorin 6 is very outdated, but works very well. i've had it on a 15 year old laptop and it worked flawlessly, youtube videos etc. i sold it to someone that still uses it everyday. it works better than he daughters hp i3 4gb ram with windows 8! the normal zorin 6 is very cool, wobbly windows 3d graphics etc, but not too heavy (4 times faster than windows 7!) however sadly i did not experience the same with zorin 9 :(.
    with my laptop (hp nx7300, 2gb ram, 1.73 celeron from 2007). i am currently running ubuntu, i want to make a triple boot: lubuntu with realtime kernel for music production, ubuntu 14.04 for normal use (looks nice imho), windows 7 for the occasional non wine stuff ;)
    very nice review though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry it seems i m promoting zorin 6 ;)
      I dont use it anymore ;p

      Delete
  21. A snippet of your review of Zorin OS 9 Lite was quoted in the USB Multiboot 2015 Lite-Speed collection.

    http://www.gooplusplus.com/multiboot-2015-lite-speed/

    Since your reviews are especially relevant to lighter distros and lower spec PCs, It would nice if you could review this free Multiboot collection.

    Torrent Download: http://www.gooplusplus.com/torrent-1-2015-lite-speed

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hello

    I was wondering, i have a old laptop 2.6 single core P4, 1Gb ram. Would zorin 9 lite run on it?.
    Would be nice to bring it back to life.

    thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. try Zorin 9 lite, it will run well

      Delete
    2. You could try it, even though it is not the fastest Linux distribution around; if you find your laptop lagging, try Lubuntu or Manjaro as lightweight alternatives.

      Delete