I have read a number of very good reviews about Zorin 6 recently. (For example http://linuxblog.darkduck.com/2012/07/zorin-os-6-core-fresh-blood.html, http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/zorin-core-6.html).
Having been a user of Zorin 5 up until recently I decided last weekend to download a copy of Zorin 6 and tonight I decided to install it. (Well my wife is watching Geordie Shore, what else am I to do?).
Now this article is only based on first impressions and is not an in depth review but I have to say that Zorin 6 could be the best operating system I have ever used.
First of all we know that it is built on top of the latest version of Ubuntu so it has the latest software and it has all the stability that Ubuntu provides.
The key though for me is that Zorin 6 isn't just another Ubuntu clone. In the review by Dedoimedo he asks is there room for Zorin with Ubuntu being so strong and Linux MINT being so good. Dedoimedo thinks there is and so do I.
Zorin 6 is a good leap forward from Zorin 5. The whole experience is incredibly crisp. It feels 100% professional. The icons are crisp, the windows are crisp. The effects are brilliant and classy.
It isn't just the looks that are good. The software works too.
I ran Rhythmbox and previously I have had problems getting Rhythmbox to recognise a Sony Walkman MP3 player but in Zorin 6 it is picked up straight away. Now I know that is more down to the developers of Rhythmbox and to the Ubuntu team but as a user it is just nice.
No technical set up is required. Anyone who previously thought LINUX was difficult to set up needs to see this because Zorin makes Windows look like CICS running on an AS400 mainframe.
My wireless networks appeared instantly in the list and I connected to both in seconds. Chrome was installed as the default browser and Flash was available instantly as was Java and all the truetype fonts.
The collection of software installed is what you would expect including LibreOffice, Rhythmbox, VLC Player, Brasero, Thunderbird and of course WINE.
Zorin is obviously targetting Windows users and if Windows users take a look they could easily be persuaded to use Zorin.
Now this is my first night running Zorin 6 and I may come up against issues but I have installed all the peripherals that I might need and all the software works. There have been no crashes (nor would I expect there to be).
Over the past few weeks I have reviewed Puppy Linux and repeatedly said that I don't think you would use Puppy as your main operating system on your all singing and dancing laptop. Zorin basically puts the case forward for the reason why.
Don't get me wrong I think Puppy Linux is great and I love the version that was made by Scott Jarvis called Puppy Arcade. As a huge fan of retro gaming (I own everything from an Atari 2600 to a Sega Dreamcast including Sinclair Spectrums, an Atari ST and a Commodore Amiga) Puppy Arcade saves a huge amount of cable swapping and trawling through tapes and cartridges.
What should an operating system be? I could ask all of you that question and undoubtedly get a huge array of answers. For me an operating system should:
- load reasonably quickly
- be unobtrusive (no enforced updates, no popping up of messages all the time)
- be intuitive (icons should be laid out efficiently, menus should be clean and search should work)
- be stable (The operating system should just work and really any pre-installed applications should just work as by pre-installing applications you are validating them)
- be visibly attractive
- be secure
- not be a memory hog