What is Zorin OS?
Zorin OS is an open source operating system based on Linux Ubuntu which is widely claimed to be an alternative to Windows and Mac OS. Zorin has similar UI to Windows and Mac OS and that makes it easy to use even for new Linux users. Zorin also equipped with an application that allows users to run Windows programs that make windows users adapt easily. This is in line with the goals of this distro, which is to provide an alternative from Windows to Linux and to allow Windows users to enjoy Zorin’s features without any problems with higher security. In this article, you will learn how to install Zorin OS on any computer.
Zorin OS has pretty low requirements so that it can be installed on old computers.
Zorin OS comes with all the apps you need and allows you to install Windows apps with Windows App Support feature through the Wine compatibility layer. Easily download the .exe or .msi installer, right-click on it, and select “Install Windows Application”.
Zorin OS loaded with NVIDIA & AMD Radeon graphics drivers and game optimizations, also natively supported by Steam, Lutris, and other sources so you can play your favorite game comfortably.
Before getting to the installation, you need to :
1) Download Zorin OS image
You can download the image from their official website.
– Pro, Core, Lite version. (Go to : https://zorin.com/os/download/)
– Educational version. (Go to : https://zorin.com/os/education/)
2) Download balenaEtcher
BalenaEtcher is used for flashing the operating system into your USB flash drive. You can download it from their official website. Here is the link. (Go to : https://www.balena.io/etcher/)
3) Prepare USB flash drive
USB flash drive here is for making a bootable drive, you need different capacity for different version. At least 8 GB flash drive for Pro and Educational version, and at least 4 GB for Core and Lite version.
Note that you will need to backup the data in your flash drive, because it will be formatted in upcoming process.
4) Backup your main drive
It is optional but we recommend you to do so.
5) Decide the version
Zorin has 4 version. Pro, core, lite, and educational.
- Pro version. This version has all the feature from Zorin OS including macOS, Windows 11 & Classic, and Ubuntu-like desktop layouts. It is the most complete version of all.
- Core version. We can say it is the basic version. LibreOffice included, Gnome based UI, standard Zorin layout, and has Zorin Connect. If you are new to Linux and have basic computer needs, you can choose this version.
- Lite version. This version is almost the same as the core version, the difference is Lite version doesn’t have Zorin connect and using XFCE based UI as it is intended for low-spec PCs. But, functionally it is the same as core version.
- Educational version. It’s purposely intended for educational field. Embedded with educational software like software to help teach many subjects, software to teach STEM skills, and software to control the classroom.
In this example, the Core version is used as it is meet our needs.
How to Install Zorin OS
- Preparing USB flash drive.
After your Zorin OS and balenaEtcher is downloaded, now you can continue flashing your Zorin OS to your flash drive. The steps are basically the same for Windows, Linux, and Mac. Here is the steps :
- Plug the USB flash drive first
- Run balenaEtcher as administrator
- Click “Flash from file”, find and add the Zorin OS image you have downloaded
- Click “Select target” and select the USB you have prepared
- Click “Flash!” and wait until the process is finished
- Installing Zorin OS
After you finished preparing the USB flash drive you can now start the installation
- First you have to set your USB flash drive as your primary boot device in BIOS. Make sure that the USB drive is plugged before you enter the BIOS.
- Restart your PC and it should be booting from the USB drive.
- Select “Try or Install Zorin OS” option from the first shown menu.
You can select “Try or Install Zorin OS (modern NVIDIA drivers)” if you have a modern NVIDIA graphics card in order to boot and install with the official NVIDIA proprietary graphics drivers.
The second option, “Try or Install Zorin OS (safe graphics)”, is used when you encounter display error in first attempt like black screen etc.
- Zorin OS will check the USB flash drive to ensure there aren’t any error on the file. Don’t skip this process to prevent any issues while installing.
- You will be welcomed by two options. “Try Zorin OS” and “Install Zorin OS”. “Try” option allows you to use the actual Zorin OS without installing, of course it’s feature is limited. And “Install” option directly take you to the installation process without trying. Select “Install Zorin OS”
- The next step will be choosing your keyboard layout, you can leave it as default and continue.
- Next configuration will be Update and other software. We recommend you to check the first and second option. It will be longer than when you uncheck these option, but it will help you to download and install the necessary updates and drivers.
- This option is provide you the feature of installation type. It says that you don’t have another operating system. When you have another operating system, it will detect that operating system and provide additional option like “Install Zorin OS alongside Windows Boot Manager”. It will install the Zorin OS without erasing any boot manager.
- Option “Erase disk and install Zorin OS” is the easiest way, it will clean your selected drive and install Zorin OS there anyway.
- Next we configure the partition. First we configure the root partition for Zorin OS, which has been stated above the needed storage capacity for every version. And then configure the efi partition. You can add more partition to store your data like “/home” mount point etc. But the most important partition is those first two. Root partition is the place where we want to install Zorin OS. EFI partition is needed when you install the operating system in the empty computer. It is used to save the boot manager file of your operating system. Simply click “New Partition Table”, and select the “+” button to add partition.
- Continue following the next on-screen instruction and wait until the installation process is finished.
- Once the process is finished, click “Restart Now” button, and you can unplug the USB drive.
- Your Zorin OS is ready to use.
Here are some sneak peek of successfully installed Zorin OS