Zorin OS 16 – The Perfect Windows 11/ Mac Alternative Distro

Zorin OS 16 was already one of my choices for distributions. Windows users trying out Linux are often overwhelmed with the difference in the appearance of the open-source OS, and especially casual PC users are easily discouraged by having to relearn how to do basic tasks like installing software. The makers of Zorin OS want to make this switching process as easy as possible. Similar menus, easy installation of Windows apps, reliable and easy to use.

Zorin OS comes in several editions:

  • Pro edition ($39) – with more apps and enhanced features
  • Core edition (Free) – for most computers
  • Lite edition (Free) – for low-spec PCs and the Education edition with tools for teaching and learning

Except for the Pro edition, all other variants of Zorin OS are available for FREE of cost.

I would say any Windows user could do it. Linux users familiar with Ubuntu will recognize the installation menu because that’s what Zorin OS is based on. The desktop looks simple and very similar to Windows with the taskbar at the bottom and an identical desktop icon layout. The start menu with a search bar is also designed like classic Microsoft’s OS.

So, You might have tried Windows 11 and end up seeing this Message “This PC can’t RUN Windows 11“, which means it’s the right time for you to switch to Linux. This is the Zorin OS 16 Pro the perfect Windows 11 alternative that won’t need any TPM support, Secure Boot, UEFI & won’t restrict you from anything. Unlike Windows 11, Zorin can even run on the 10-year-old processor and delivers the impeccable performance that gives a brand new life to your computer or laptop.

Zorin OS 16 - The Perfect Windows 11 Alternative Distro
Source: https://zorin.com/press

What’s New in Zorin OS 16

The New Interface

Zorin OS 16 futures GNOME-based desktop that is easy to use. This is the default desktop screen you get to see, Just like Windows 11. You can place all of your applications on the desktop. At the bottom, you can see an improved dock that holds space for pinned apps and the Zorin start menu along with system controls. The built-in start menu looks very similar to Windows 11, it shows all the installed apps along with the search on the top. Using this search you can quickly search for any application. At the bottom of the start menu, you can see user controls along with the power menu.

The new interface of Zorin OS 16 Pro

The Addition of Flathub

Installing Applications on Linux is not as straightforward as Windows. But with Zorin, it’s very easy to download and install any app you want. The built-in Software store has also received many under-the-hood optimizations as well as user interface improvements to make it even easier to find and install apps from different sources as Flathub & Snap Store. Since Zorin is based on Ubuntu you can download any Debian Package like VS Code, ATOM, and can be installed just like EXE file on Windows 11. This way most of the apps that you see on Windows 11 or macOS are also available in Linux & support natively.

Zorin OS 16 - The Perfect Windows 11 Alternative Distro

New Virtual Workspace

In Windows 11, you might have seen improved support for workspaces. But, With Zorin, the workspaces experience has been taken to the next level. Instead of horizontal workspaces, you see in Windows 11, the Zorin team has decided to use vertical workspaces. This way it would be easier to switch between the workspaces on the huge monitors.

How to Download and Install Zorin OS 16

Zorin OS is optimized to run on a wide variety of hardware, that too completely from a USB stick.

Flash the ISO onto a USB stick and live boot into it. The installation process is very simple and all the steps are very beginner-friendly. Zorin OS will be installed in around 15-20 minutes. With Zorin OS, GPU drivers will be already installed so you don’t need to mess around with them.

Also Read: Zorin OS 16 Pro Download ISO – Clean Installation Guide

Gaming on Zorin OS 16

Zorin OS can also automatically install drivers for discrete graphics cards to tap the hardware’s full potential. This is why it’s possible to play games from Steam, a platform that has done a lot for Linux gaming in the last years. The Steam client even has a built-in Windows game support on Linux, but even if that doesn’t work, there is also the game manager Lutris who makes it possible to play Windows and retro games. And if none of these worked, you can still try to install games using Wine HQ.

Usability & Stability

Appearance & Customization

Zorin OS allows customizing the look and feel of the desktop. The built-in tool named Zorin appearance helps in doing all the stuff with few steps. Using this app you will get enhanced customization options for the taskbar, the accent colors & the desktop layout, and the overall layout of the system. You can set the panel’s transparency, display it on multiple monitors, auto hide, and move.

Zorin OS 16 - The Perfect Windows 11 Alternative Distro

Unlike Windows 11, you get only one standard layout out of the box, but Zorin OS comes with multiple layouts of the desktop. The Pro edition support up to 8 layouts. This way you can turn your desktop to look like Windows 11, macOS, or native Linux.

The theme section allows switching between lighter and darker themes. You can also schedule the dark theme based on time. Also using the interface setting you can customize the size of the taskbar or dock according to your liking.

What Tools Do You get with Zorin OS

Another feature that sets Zorin OS apart from other Linux distributions is the Android app Zorin Connect. It allows for remote control of the PC from a phone, it can sync phone notifications to the computer, share files and more.

Zorin OS 16 - The Perfect Windows 11 Alternative Distro
Source: https://zorin.com/press

Of course, Zorin OS also comes with basic software tools like Office programs, web browser, photo editor, and so on.

Wrap Up

It’s not perfect but the clean simple interface of Zorin OS should be able to please most former Windows users and the upcoming Zorin Grid with remote management of multiple PCs makes the OS ready for enterprise deployment. Zorin OS is obviously not targeted at Linux power users but newcomers to Linux and it seems to be doing a good job at that.

As always with recent Linux versions, you can try Zorin OS from a USB flash drive without installing it. you can grab the ISO from the download link I’ve mentioned above. So, what do you think about Zorin OS 16? Excited about the UI changes? What do you like the most about it here? Let me know down in the comments below.

So here is “The Perfect Windows 11 Alternative Distro – Zorin OS 16” – I believe you have found them as reminders and helpful.

Also Read: Zorin OS 16 Pro Download ISO – Clean Installation Guide

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