I’ve spent a fair few days now using Zorin OS Ultimate as my primary operating system on both my laptop and my desktop. I started the review process by installing just to my laptop like I usually do when reviewing an operating system or distribution. With Zorin OS ultimate your purchase also includes the ‘lite’ ultimate version. So with that I have decided to install the ‘lite’ version on to my laptop and the normal version onto my desktop. So through out this review I will refer to both versions.
Installing Zorin OS Ultimate was straight forward and anyone should be able to follow the steps with out too much difficulty. You’ll be able to choose whether you want minimal or normal installations as well as if you would like to download updates and software for some of your hardware. There is also a checkbox on whether you would like to participate in their census program. I’ve decided to opt out. You can then choose how you want to partition your disks. After setting your region and user accounts installation took roughly 20 minutes. Your time will vary depending on your particular setup.
Zorin OS Ultimate contains near enough everything a user should need from the moment they boot into their machine. This includes the Libre Office Suite which includes a competent word processor among other office productivity programs. The email client it comes installed with on the Ultimate version is evolution. That coupled with gnome online accounts has enabled me to use my Office 365 subscription including email,notes,tasks and calendar all from one window. On the ‘lite’ version it comes with Thunderbird as your default email client instead of Evolution. Both versions ship with kdenlive which is my go to video editor in Linux so a big thumbs up there, it also comes with GIMP version 2.10 which is another thumbs up from me. It also comes with blender which is a 3D creating program, Synfig Studio which you can use to create animations, to keep you safe and give you peace of mind it comes with deja to handle backups, it also ships with Ardour, Aducatiy and both versions come pre-installed with VirtualBox which is a program to create and manage virtual machines. It ships with Firefox as the default web browser as well as Transmission for your torrents and a whole host of other applications to keep you busy.. And of course being based on Ubuntu means you should be able to find most of your favourite packages without too much hassle. Flatpak and snap support is also included by default and additional programs can be installed from the software store.
My final thoughts on Zorin Ultimate is that as an overall package which includes ZorinOS ultimate, Zorin OS Ultimate ‘lite’ and a 32bit version of Zorin OS Ultimate ‘lite’ is that the team have done some brilliant work here. They have shipped a well packaged operating system that will attract some of those users fleeing from Windows 7. I think they have done particularly good work on the ‘lite’ version, managing to port their look and feel from gnome offer to XFCE without too much change. Both versions are built on top of a stable Ubuntu release so you shouldn’t have too many issues stability wise and updating works flawlessly. The preconfigured desktop layouts provide an easy way to change your look and feel to suit your individual work flow and the selections of programs pre installed will meet most users needs. Whether it is worth spending money or not is largely up to who is going to be using it. Sure it’s easy for me to say a similar desktop could be achieved without spending a penny but not all of us out there like to do that heavy lifting. So if you’re someone who doesn’t like spending time tweaking your system but want something visually appealing with everything you need ready from the first time you turn your computer on, this is the distribution for you. If you like the overall look and feel of Zorin Os Ultimate but would rather set it up your own way then the free core version is for you.