Zorin OS vs Pop OS – Which is The Best OS in 2021?

We are going to compare Zorin OS vs Pop OS side by side, both of which are modern Linux distros doing a lot of innovation and providing remarkable computing experience to their users. Zorin and Pop OS are two distros that brought a genuinely new thing to the table and were raving successes without and out shocking provisions. Utilized by a huge number of people, they are the next iteration in the evolution of desktop Linux.

Zorin OS

Zorin Os Logo Vector (.CDR) Free Download

Zorin OS is a user-friendly operating system. It comes with many amazing features like Android integration, multiple desktop layouts, and more, out of the box. Zorin OS has both free and paid versions.

Read more: Zorin OS 16 – The Perfect Windows 11 Alternative Distro


Pop!_OS - Wikipedia

Pop OS is a Ubuntu based Linux distro featuring modified GNOME desktop environment. It is created by System 76, a major Linux PC manufacturer for their hardware. But it can also be downloaded and installed on all the computers.

Read more: Introducing Pop OS 21.04 – PREMIUM Cosmic Desktop

Which one of these two is the best? Which one is more suitable for You? Zorin OS or Pop OS.

System Requirements: Zorin OS vs Pop OS

Zorin OS Pro, Core edition

Zorin OS Lite edition



1 GHz Dual-Core
Intel/AMD 64-bit

700 MHz Single-Core
Intel/AMD 64-bit or 32-bit

Dual-Core Intel/AMD 64-bit recommended


2 GB

512 MB

2 GB (4 GB is recommended)


15 GB (Core) or 30 GB (Pro)

10 GB

20 GB

User Interface

Zorin OS

Zorin OS features the GNOME desktop environment which is customized extensively. The desktop looks very similar to the Windows classic interface by default and this is great for Linux newcomers. Zorin OS is ridiculously easy to use. The windows button or the Zorin icon can be used to invoke the application search and launcher, which is very fast and user-friendly. The apps can be pinned to the panel. The indicators and icons are also conveniently placed. But that’s not all, Zorin os has an application called Zorin appearance from where You can completely revamp the way Your computer looks and behaves.

Zorin OS 16 - The Perfect Windows 11 Alternative Distro

You can either go with the streamlined look or this modern GNOME look which I totally dig. This allows users to try out different looks without having to go through the hassle of tweaking everything manually. The desktop looks really modern and intuitive. And for computers that come with a touch display, this layout gives a stunning look as well as a streamlined workflow. I really loved what Zorin did here. The theming is really good and there is a uniformity throughout all the apps installed on the system.


The desktop looks absolutely gorgeous. The colors and icons are popping and the theme is just so smooth. There’s a touch of minimalism there. It’s not obvious at the first look, but you can see considerably fewer icons in the applications menu.

Introducing Pop OS 21.04 – PREMIUM Cosmic Desktop

The applications all integrate really well with the desktop. The orange tints are really good on the eye. You also have a dedicated dark mode, which works really well. It’s the trend nowadays with Android and iOS rolling out dark modes so It’s nice to see it in Pop OS. The rest of the desktop is your standard GNOME desktop, so Linux users will pretty much feel at home here. On Pop, You can customize it extensively too as it’s GNOME desktop.

Both the desktops are gorgeous, and they are made to impress, so in the looks department, both of them score top points.


Zorin OS



Zorin Group


Based on

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

Ubuntu 21.04




Target User Base

Home users, Students, Small businesses, Schools, Colleges, and Libraries

Software professionals, Gamers and Tech-savvy people

Hardware Requirements


(Zorin OS Lite edition is streamlined to work on computers as old as 15 years)


Hardware Support

Amazing driver compatibility

Not as much as Zorin OS


Stable Linux Distro

Stable Linux Distro

You get pretty much the same experience on both the distros. Both are based on Ubuntu 19.04 and both feature the GNOME desktop environment. So the speed throughput you’ll notice is exactly the same. And again, since it’s GNOME, you might feel a slight lag and slowness if you’re using either of these distros on older and low-powered hardware. The GNOME desktop is evolving continuously and therefore might not be that suited for older computers.

For less powered hardware, Zorin has a lite edition, which comes with the Xfce desktop and is very fast. Both the distros have inherited the excellent proprietary driver support of Ubuntu, so you can easily install the optimal drivers for maximum performance.

Pop OS is made especially for computers made by System76.

Pop OS is made especially for computers made by System76. They are high-end Linux computers and although anybody could use them, the hardware and the OS design are optimized for advanced programmers and such. Talking about just the OS, it comes with high-security measures like out-of-the-box full disk encryption.

Installation of various tools and software for machine learning, artificial intelligence are all made easy with ready-to-install packages.

Let’s talk about Zorin OS. Zorin OS is the perfect OS for businesses, students, schools colleges, and everywhere else where you don’t need the OS to run the T-800.

Learn Linux Quickly: A Friendly Guide to Easily Master the World’s Most Powerful Operating System

Usability & Stability

We’ll be having a look at the stability and the usability of the 2 operating systems. Pop and Zorin, both are based on the long-term support version of Ubuntu. They will get security as well as package version updates, so they will be usable as well as relevant. Both the distros are commercial offerings.

Pop OS is created by System 76, which is a major Linux computer manufacturer. Zorin too is a paid Linux distro with free versions available. They are not hobby projects. So you can expect high quality from them. You can expect a superior computing experience from them, and very honestly, they do deliver. I’m not saying hobby projects are not superior, but commercial backing does enable the creation of better products. They both are made with professional standards. They are dependable, stable, and easy to use.


Gaming on Linux has picked up the pace. Steam’s new Proton is set to make major progress in how You game on Linux. Zorin OS is targeted towards home users, and it does come with good support for Linux gamers. Since it is based on Ubuntu, steam and steam games run great here. Zorin has a short and simple gaming setup guide on their website which allows you to install and run games that are windows exclusive with either Proton or Lutris.

Read Zorin OS gaming setup guide: https://zorin.com/help/play-games

Both the distros are good for gaming, and in terms of optimization, and support, is based on Ubuntu gives them an unquestionable advantage. Steam and Steam games are officially supported on Ubuntu. Linux games are tested and optimized for it so being its derivatives, you get flawless gaming on Zorin and pop OS.


Zorin OS

Zorin OS Installation

Zorin has a straightforward installation with both advanced as well as simpler control over how you want to install it. The thing that I really liked is the getting started guide on their website. Here in the Zorin help section, the procedures are divided into simple actionable steps, complete with screenshots. This deserves both appreciation and gratitude.


Pop OS too has simple installation. And when downloading the OS, you get to choose between two files based on Your GPU. If you have an NVIDIA graphics card, you can choose this to get proprietary NVIDIA drivers out of the box. People with AMD and Intel Integrated can choose the other one.

Introducing Pop OS 21.04 – PREMIUM Cosmic Desktop

Software Availability

Every software written for Linux will be packed for Ubuntu and are officially supped for Ubuntu. Being based on Ubuntu means access to the huge Ubuntu software repositories and the PPAs. So every Linux software can be installed on Pop and Zorin either through the official repositories or the PPA’s. The software availability and the general ease of finding and installing software on both these operating systems are excellent.

Community Support

Pop and Zorin have growing communities. Both are backed back commercial entities and have good support.

Zorin OS

Zorin offers a paid, Pro version that comes with more features than the free core version. This costs you $39 and it also allows you to access professional human support from the Zorin team where they help you with installation and troubleshooting. You might want to consider this if you are looking for an OS for your business, important projects, and stuff.


Pop OS too offers lifetime support from their team on the purchase of their computers. Pop OS doesn’t have a lot of Pop OS specific resources on the web, but that’s not an issue because pretty much any problem can be solved by googling how to solve that particular issue on Ubuntu. This is true for Pop OS as well as Zorin, as both these distros are Ubuntu under the hood.

Ubuntu has one of the best documentation and any issues you might face, are easily solved by following the beginner-friendly guides on the askUbuntu forums. The community is very friendly and the solutions are highly accessible and easy to follow. And even if you have a question that is not already answered, community members prove to be very helpful. The community is one of the biggest strengths of Ubuntu which directly translates over to Pop and Zorin.

Wrap Up

I found both distros to be extremely good. They are made for today. They satisfy today’s needs and they are not at all built with server deployment as the main target like some major Linux distros are. They are desktop and laptop-oriented products. But they are different from each other. Zorin is more home user-centric. Offering a lot of things that normal users would need. It makes day-to-day tasks really easy. If a Linux user asked to suggest a cool new distro to try out, I would suggest Pop OS. Because it looks cool and is very dependable.

Finally, although we didn’t keep a tally of points, We have to pick a winner. It’s very hard, but I’m gonna go with Zorin OS. Well, there you have it.

Now you can choose “Which of Zorin Vs Pop is best for your use” – I believe you have found them as reminders and helpful.

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  1. I’m using a very old Asus P5B mobo with equally aged core duo.
    Both Core and Pop ran fine on it, but I felt POP lagged more, barley noticeable, but sometimes obvious.
    Set up / installation is easier on Zorin but takes a while, POP is shorter but less intuitive.
    The dark mode is good, but the light grey font is not.
    System 76 need to do some research around shades of grey and colour blindness effected people.
    In the two weeks I used it, I could not, once, get the POP Shop to load.
    Zorin comes with a better rage of tools / utilities than POP.
    Other than that, both use the same Ubuntu / gnome base so everything, time, date, settings etc is where you expect it to be. Take away the logos, POP could be Zorin and vice b versa.
    If you are an experienced Linux user with 20/20 eyesight you will love POP.
    If you are new to Linux looking for a gentle ease in from Win, go for Zorin.

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