How to get Zorin OS
Connecting to the internet
Flash and MP3
There are all the applications you would expect from an operating system such as screen grabber, text editor, terminal, archive/compression tool, calculator and disc burning software,
The browser within Zorin is Chrome. Many other distributions ship with FireFox or Chromium but Zorin comes with the actual Chrome browser.
If you don't like Chrome of course then that isn't a problem either because Zorin has a web browser manager.
Quick question. What does everyone else think of Midori? The jury is still out for me on that one. Am I missing a trick? Is it a hidden secret that I haven't figured out yet?
Thunderbird is installed as the email client and Empathy is the instant messenging client. There are also remote desktop and desktop sharing tools. A noticeable omission is an IRC chat client along the lines of XChat.
The full LibreOffice office suite is installed with Writer, Calc, Impress and Draw. GIMP is also installed for image editing. There is a PDF viewer installed and the Shotwell photo management tool.
In the "Sound & Video" category there is the Totem video player for playing movies.
For playing music there is the noise audio player.
When you first start "Noise" it will ask you to specify the folder where your music is located.
There is also the OpenShot video editor. I am not much of a video editor but I did write this article about using OpenShot to create a streaming cartoon video loop for my daughter's birthday party last year.
If you have any Windows programs that you want to run within Zorin then there is WINE which is not an emulator. WINE is a compatibility layer that enables you to run Windows software. It isn't 100% perfect but works for a good number of applications. Zorin has made this even better by installing PlayOnLinux which makes installing your Windows applications as simple as point and click.
In theory you can run Microsoft Office within Zorin and if you want to run Internet Explorer then you can. (Although you would be much better off getting used to Chrome). Just to prove the point, I installed Internet Explorer.
If you are a web developer then I guess this is useful for testing out your pages within Internet Explorer. I will be taking it off shortly after publishing this article.
Personally I would recommend using a virtual machine to run Windows if you need to run the odd Windows program. The other option is to dual boot.
One of the best uses of WINE and PlayOnLinux is to install your favourite Windows games.
Talking of gaming, a noticeable omission from Zorin (and to be honest most distros) is STEAM. You can remedy this by using the Zorin Software Centre.
Steam is available in the software centre. The software is free but to install it you have to click the Buy button.
When you click the Buy button you will be asked to log in to Ubuntu One. If you don't have an account you have to create one.
Once the account has been created you can download Steam. It is free despite the fact that you have to hit the buy button to install it.
Look and feel
By default in Zorin 8 you get the Windows 7 look. If you are old school then you can choose the Windows XP style and if you are old school Ubuntu there is the Gnome 2 look. There are more looks available but you have to upgrade to the Zorin premium version.
To get the premium version of Zorin visit http://zorin-os.com/premium8.html. You can get the premium version for a small donation of €9.99. If you require a disk then it is €14.99 with €3 for shipping.
The other thing you might want to change is the desktop background. You can do this by right clicking on the desktop and choosing the "change desktop background" option. (Incredibly cryptic).
There are a number of wallpapers that come with Zorin but you can choose one from your own collection by choosing "Pictures". If you prefer a plain colour then click on the "Colours" option.
If you like to add extra effects such as fading windows or cube effects then there is the Compiz Settings Manager.
Get the ultimate desktop experience with Zorin OS 8 Ultimate. It includes some of the best programs for Linux. If you're into multimedia, gaming, business or just want it all, this one's for you! Our premium software plus all of the original programs from Zorin OS 8 Core are also included in the package. With Zorin OS 8 Ultimate, you're set for just about anything!It really isn't obvious what you do actually get for choosing the premium option. Maybe the Zorin team could be clearer on this.
- The website is clean and simple to navigate and therefore it is easy to find the correct version to download
- The installer is easy to follow and you can be setup within 10 to 15 minutes
- Most software that I need is installed by default and therefore the package manager is only required for real extras.
- The selection of software is decent
- The look and feel changer is unique to Zorin and is a nice throwback
- There are some nice screen effects created by Compiz
- It is easy to use