back to article Zorin OS 16 beta claims largest built-in app library 'of any open source desktop ever'

Zorin OS 16 Linux has moved into beta, promising improved performance and a more extensive application Store covering Flathub and Snap as well as old-style repositories. Zorin is a Linux distribution aimed at switchers from Windows or Mac, and endeavours to offer a polished user experience and a minimum of fuss. It is offered …

  1. ecarlseen

    Wine and Crossover are nowhere near ready for prime time.

    I love the idea of both, and both can be of great use to hobbyists and enthusiasts. But as a mainstream mechanism for running Windows apps in Linux? No freaking way. I know how to troubleshoot issues with these systems, and even I simply lack the patience. Someone without the background knowledge would just be frustrated beyond all belief. At the end of the day, it's easier to run Windows as a VM if there are Windows apps that you simply can't get away from (or Windows on bare metal / dual boot for gaming).

    That being said, for users who simply need a consistent look-and-feel and aren't hopelessly married to apps like Outlook and Visio (for example), this looks like an interesting project. Ironically enough, Microsoft's constant monkeying with their app UX has made transitions to alternatives like LibreOffice much more palatable. But promising or even suggesting Windows compatibility will likely backfire horribly in the market they're trying to enter.

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Wine and Crossover are nowhere near ready for prime time.

      The thing about Wine is:

      Most Windows Apps have viable Linux alternatives. Notepad++ certainly does. I won’t name them, because that will just start a flame war about which one is best, but, whatever your preference, there is a text editor in Linux that will meet your requirements.

      However, some Windows Apps don’t, and they are the reason why people use Windows. Almost none of the Windows Apps that don’t have viable Linux alternatives work in Wine.

      Then, things like Excel. Even if you prefer Excel to LibreCalc, running LibreCalc in Linux is likely to be a better experience than trying to run Excel in Wine.

      I was saying this about Wine 10-15 years ago. It doesn’t really seem to have improved much since then. Maybe 10-15 year-old programs now work fine, but who wants to run them? If you do, just stick Windows 2000 in a virtual machine. It will run really fast in modern hardware.

      1. FatGerman

        Re: Wine and Crossover are nowhere near ready for prime time.

        For a subset of users, Office 365 online runs everything Windows-y they need in a way that is sufficiently acceptable to allow them to run a Linux desktop. This is certainly the case for me.

        For everybody else, basically nothing important (to a business user, Microsoft's core revenue) will run under Wine or online. You can bet that Microsoft are fully aware of this issue and are working hard to ensure it stays that way for ever.

        1. Lon24 Silver badge

          Re: Wine and Crossover are nowhere near ready for prime time.

          Doing battle with wine deserves a T-shirt. Easier to give up and run the application in a Windows VM as guest. Properly packaged and sharing both the same filestore with bi-directional cut'n'paste its almost an integrated app.

          Best of all worlds.

  2. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

    Happy Zorin user here. I think the Zorin team have done a bang-up job creating a slick UI that is both more consistent than actual Windows 10 and less amateurish in appearance than many other Linux desktop environments. I agree with the poster above, however, that WINE is kludgy and requires a serious commitment to running Windows-only applications in Linux.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why do people keep trying to replicate the Windows interface, in Linux? This has been going on for years, since at least Lindows (later Linspire) in 2001. The interface isn't what keeps people using Windows it's the software support and even if it was, they always end up making what looks like a cheap ripoff of Windows. Users are better off with a well thought out interface than one that's designed to nock off an entirely different OS. It's like those cheap android phones that run the fake iOS that's barely usable.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Why do people keep trying to replicate the Windows interface, in Linux?"

      Which Windows interface - there've been so many?

      For users migrating from Windows it does, of course, make sense because it provides familiarity.

      In fact good system design separates interface from implementation for the very reason that users of the interface, human or software, do not suffer any penalty in the form of breakage when the implementation changes. The exception is the removal of rough edge that shouldn't have been there or the introduction of something new and useful - multiple desktops is a good example of the latter.

      This seems to be largely forgotten these days. In fact there is a breed called user experience designers whose sole purpose in life is to inflict such penalties on users, presumably for self-gratification or because, for some perverse reason of their employers, it's their job.

      I'd like to say that this was a speciality of Microsoft but unfortunately it's not. However with a little effort and use of KDE I seem to maintain a UI which has evolved gently and usefully from the pre-Windows for Teletubbies UI. The main menu is still hierarchical but with a layout which I determine to suit myself. It acquired multiple desktops years ago although I understand Windows eventually caught up with that. Icons are not eye-jarring. Window decorations - buttons etc - are discrete, in the same positions and more or less the same shape as years ago. In short, it just works how I want it to work and if you think it looks rather like an ancient Windows UI it's because in my view Microsoft got that largely right a couple of decades ago and haven't been able to resist messing with it since.

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        “ For users migrating from Windows it does, of course, make sense because it provides familiarity.”

        I disagree, because the resemblance is superficial. In many cases it has to be, because Linux is not Windows, so administration is different, the file system is different. Someone expecting it to work like Windows will very quickly find that it doesn’t, because it isn’t, and system administration is something you do a lot of when you first install a new OS.

        Much better to have a well-designed UI that actually makes sense for your OS.

        1. ovation1357

          I think you probably need to broaden your idea of Windows users because they range from people practically no knowledge and/or confidence using a computer, to folks who are highly technical power users.

          If you're talking about anything from those power users down to folks with intermediate skills then I'll completely agree with you that they'd do better with a decent UI and most likely don't need it to try to look like Windows... But at the bottom of the pile are people's elderly parents and relatives who didn't grow up with computers and many of whom have had to adapt but still aren't very confident with what they're doing.

          In my own family both my mother and mother-in-law fall squarely into that category. And both currently run Linux!

          In the case of my mother-in-law, I would probably have given her Windows 7 on her replacement PC back when it was still a current OS except that I wasted two days trying to install it due to a series of massive bugs in Windows Update. I lost the will, installed Linux Mint 17 MATE edition (installed and fully patched in less than an hour!), which looks similar to Windows out of the box... Except for a recent upgrade to the latest version, I've not had to touch it and it's been completely problem free for years now. She spends 99% of her time in Google Chrome, has a working printer/scanner and recently Zoom plus a webcam as well. No driver problems no fuss and no headaches for me.

          With regard to the Windows UI thing I think it really makes sense in her and my mother's cases because both have learnt to use 'modern' computers on Windows 9x, XP and 7 which all had a similar Start Button, they're both completely unadventurous users - unlikely to ever question why there isn't a device manager icon or click on anything they don't understand; so a Windows-Like UI means they don't have to think much about where to find and control their tiny selection of preferred apps.

          In my mother's case, she begged me not to put Windows 10 on her laptop when Win7 started scaring her with end-of-support messages. So I obliged and she now uses Ubuntu MATE edition in 'Redmond' mode. She seems happy enough with it

          1. doublelayer Silver badge

            But that's not trying to mimic Windows. MATE may have similarities to Windows, but it wasn't designed to make transferring people easier. The desktop environments which were designed to look as much like Windows as possible are just getting tiny details the same while ignoring the large chunks which won't be. MATE clearly isn't Windows but uses enough of the same concepts that people can figure it out quickly.

        2. unimaginative Bronze badge

          For a lot of people system administration is something someone else does a lot on a new install.

          People do care about superficial differences. A windows user seeing a screenshot of my KDE desktop with an icon only task manager on the side and a small panel at the top said she could not use it because "everything is in the wrong place".

          Most people want "the web" and "office" to start, and that is it.

      2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        re: User Experience Designers

        need to be taken outside and dealt with.

        They seem to get off on making 'Ease of Use' a thing of the past.

        Pah. Far too early for this sort of rant. It is Beer O'Clock yet?

        1. ChrisC Silver badge

          Re: re: User Experience Designers

          It's never too early to rant about the horrors UX teams have foisted on their helpless victim...err end users.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Doctor Syntax - For people moving away from Windows

        the user interface should be the least of their concern, they should expect it to be different.

        When somebody tells me he/she would move to Linux right away if it would have the same familiar interface, I strongly advise them to reconsider the move. It is clear to me all they are looking for is a free (as in beer) version of Windows and I can't help them with that.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: @Doctor Syntax - For people moving away from Windows

          "It is clear to me all they are looking for is a free (as in beer) version of Windows and I can't help them with that."

          ReactOS is still evolving :-)

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      A lot of very well worded replies, but the short answer is because of the design created by Xerox decades ago, whom EVERYONE has copied and forked.

      Google, xerox gui.

    3. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

      What I think mobile phones have proven ( Android and Apple ) is that people's heads don't explode if the UI looks a bit different.

      People learned to use Iphones and Android phones. Neither of those looked or behaved like Windows.

      1. Rol

        I think you'll find a huge swathe of mobile owners use their smart phone to make phone calls, receive texts and on the odd occasion take a pic. They do not engage with their mobile phone like they do with their PC, and they have no intention of jumping on the learning curve.

        I'm pretty well clued up on my Linux and Windows bootable PC, but have no desire to extend my skills to my smart phone, which incidentally has had every app removed and all internet connections ripped out or blocked.... it's just a dumb 1980's mobile phone, that I often forget to carry with me, because I was never umbilically connected to it.

        Thankfully, I am not alone, as the world will eventually need saving by those who can survive without checking their Facebook status every beat of their heart.

        1. FatGerman

          If by "huge swathe" you mean "insignificant minority" then I agree with you. Otherwise your first paragraph is demonstrably wrong, and proportion of people who do engage with their phones is only growing. There is a generation now who don't even know what a laptop is because they do everything via a phone.

        2. Uncle Slacky
          Thumb Up

          > have no desire to extend my skills to my smart phone, which incidentally has had every app removed and all internet connections ripped out or blocked

          Same(ish) here - I was obliged to get a smartphone for teleworking (inherited one of my daughter's castoffs) as my landline internet connection is unreliable, so I needed something to act as a 4G hotspot in emergencies. I spent some time learning how to lock it down and degoogle/debloat it as far as possible (it can't be unlocked, otherwise I'd have put LineageOS or similar on it). I only have a few F-Droid apps on it and usually keep it in "extreme power save mode" (i.e. dumbphone mode) which still allows 3 apps of your choice anyway and doesn't require constant recharging.

      2. unimaginative Bronze badge

        People were never scared of phones.

        A lot of people are scared of computers and their heads do explode if it looks a bit different.

        I in the early days of smart phones, a woman at work who thought it was too complicated to use Google instead of whatever MS search was called back then when it was the browser default in IE, spent hours learning every detail of how to use her new phone.

      3. ChrisC Silver badge

        As someone who started his smartphone life off with a series of Windows Mobile-based devices, I appreciate the efforts that have gone into making phones far easier to use when being poked and prodded with a finger, now that they've ditched any pretence at trying to look like a classic desktop OS.

        However, I utterly detest the way these touch-related UI changes have now been allowed to seep back into the desktop environment where touch-control is still rarely found, where mouse+keyboard shortcuts remain the primary means of UI interaction, and where those classic OS design themes are still therefore entirely relevant and useful. This is now a real problem both at the OS level (yes, Windows 10, I'm referring to you) and within individual bits of software or webapps which have deliberately chosen to adopt similar styles of UI design even when running on OSs which natively still provide UI elements which are mouse-friendly.

        So yes, people can learn to adapt to different styles of UI on different devices, and where the physical nature of the devices means that a one size fits all approach to UI design wouldn't make any sense, then it's entirely reasonable to have different styles. Where it becomes harder to justify is when you're asking users to learn a different UI design on the same device when nothing else about that device has changed and where there's therefore no obvious justification as to why the UI needed to change.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @ChrisC - You're absolutely right on this.

          Touch interface on a desktop especially with a large display is somewhere between unworkable and plain ridiculous

  4. Nathan 6

    I guess a good option for those running Linux, but not going to attract any Windows or Mac users.

    Polishing the UI and running apps through wine is not going to get any Windows or Mac users to give Linux a look. It's way too late for that. Having started using Linux since the Slackware/X windows days, I haven't really used Linux on daily bases since Windows 7. I kinda like just plugging some piece of hardware in, and it just works, instead of messing around with some config files and permissions etc... Also I really like having first class apps an install away. No matter how much the UI of Linux is polished, they still haven't solved those two issues and never will at this point IMO. Well Android has in a away, but not on desktop hardware for now. Boy I just wished BeOS took off years ago, now that really was a move in the correct direction :(.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: I guess a good option for those running Linux, etc.

      "I kinda like just plugging some piece of hardware in, and it just works, instead of messing around with some config files and permissions etc."

      Like those Windows programs that have to be run as administrator? At least that was my experience long ago.

      Oddly enough I don't find myself messing with config files for hardware. And if Linux likes permissions there's a good reason: SECURITY.

      And el Reg: why, if a title isn't too long on its own why treat it as too long when you stick "Re:" in fornt of it for comments? Set the plain limit a bit lower so you don't break it yourselves.

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: I guess a good option for those running Linux,

      You've not used modern Linux in years and I claim my five pounds.

    3. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Devices on Linux

      I've had more problems plugging devices into the few Windows systems that I have here than with Linux.

      A lot depends on what the devices are, but mainstream printers, scanners, webcams, and storage devices just work in Linux. I first encountered this when plugging an HP Officejet 6510 into an Ubuntu 6.06 Dapper Drake system, where it automatically configured the printer, scanner and fax modem into the system when the device was plugged in, without me having to do anything.

      In addition, many older devices that Windows now ignores because of no signed drivers or the vendor supplied drivers using Windows features that are no longer supported still work just fine in Linux (the same HP device described above contained a windows driver disk, and a note saying something like "Keep hold of this disk. HP will not be able to provide drivers for systems lather than Windows XP because of Microsoft licensing confitions")

      There's also problems on Windows with devices attached via different connection methods, for example, printers connected through NAS boxes or printer servers.

      Microsoft have learned lessons, particularly when it comes to having drivers in an online repository, and I admit that integrating this with the device installer, so that as long as the computer is connected to the Internet, it can search for the drivers is a big improvement to having to put a driver disk in when installing the device. But most Linux distros have had online repositories for years, just not as well integrated with the device installer.

    4. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      Re: I guess a good option for those running Linux, but not going to attract any Windows or

      > I haven't really used Linux on daily bases since Windows 7.

      I haven't used Windows on a daily basis in much longer than that, and haven't experienced any of the issues you describe in that time.

      Back in the day, sure, hardware could be an absolute nightmare. Nowadays, not so much (the closest was the Ryzen 7 in my laptop, but it was just a case of using a distro with a kernel new enough to be able to work with it).

      But data is not the plural of anecdote

    5. unimaginative Bronze badge

      Re: not going to attract any Windows or Mac users.

      Are you trolling? I am inclined to class that response along with "you have to compile software on Linux yourself". I find it hard to believe someone who is bothered enough to be here thinks that hardware is such a issue on Linux.

      Our household has: my work desktop, three laptops in use, a chromebook, and two Raspberry Pis. All run Linux. Although the chromebook is ChromeOS, but AFAIK that is Linux as far as hardware support is concerned. There were two more desktops and another laptop that we have stopped using in the last year or two but have not acttually chucked out.

      The only hardware issue we have had across all those machines is with the NVidia video card in my desktop. It was prone to freeze when using KDE (fine with XFCE). It took a bit of effort to fix, but did not require changing config files, only GUI settings (to switch to a different driver and change the KDE compositor renderer).

      Although I have done some minor upgrades to those machines, its been mostly stuff that is trouble free (storage and RAM), so I cannot comment on how easily something like replacing the video card will be. Only geeks upgrade things like that, so it is of no interest to users who cannot fix any issues anyway.

      I have had the odd software related issue that needed config files. The only thing in the last year or two was printing over the network to the printer attached to one of the Pis. I also have a current problem with getting pulseaudio to see a bluethooth speaker. All that seems fairly good compared to what Windows or Mac users with a similar motley assortment of hardware and usage patterns would experience.

      Every single USB device - a Wacom tablet, wifi and bluetooth adaptors, webcams, an SD card thingie, and a lot more - has just worked when plugged in.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: not going to attract any Windows or Mac users.

        Absolutely not true. As an owner of 2 Dell XPS laptops in the last few years running Linux, I've had to juggle kernels, distros, replace wifi cards etc in order to get basic sh1t like sound and wifi working nevermind "nice to haves" like suspend and dual monitor fractional scaling. If things just worked there would be no need for the numerous Dell XPS guides in the (excellent) Arch wiki.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Nathan 6 - Re: I guess a good option for those running Linux, but ...

      Your initial statement is correct but the arguments you bring are all wrong.

    7. TrumpSlurp the Troll

      Linux and Windows 7

      A lot of scorn and down voting from people who only connect mainstream devices like printers and scanners.

      Anything niche, such as a sat nav, a blood glucose monitor, bicycle computer seems to come with software and drivers for the most popular OS.

      Which is still Windows.

      I was a long term Linux user (and Unix before that) but I have found no need to use Linux recently and am still dragging my feet over moving to W10 from my W7 systems.

      Yes, I have W10 systems and W8.1 but W7 seems to be the sweet spot for "mainly just works".

      It seems that there is still a lot of religion over using Linux instead of Windows.

      It still doesn't hit the spot of "does everything I need and supports every niche device I need" but Windows does.

      Until all devices come with Linux support then Windows is still the default.

      Saying "use a VM for Windows specific hardware" to me is complicating the issue.

      If I don't need anything that only Linux provides then why complicate things?

      Or fire up a Linux VM, of course. :-)

  5. Rafael #872397

    No thank you.

    Nothing from Zorin, except maybe Grace Jones.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Beware Zorin

    The last time I installed Zorin (a few months ago), the installer completely fucked over my partitions and I had to start messing in the BIOS and EFI shell.

    1. ovation1357

      Re: Beware Zorin

      That may be Ubuntu's installer. I feel that it needs some serious improvement around the management of disks and bootloaders... There's an evil bug which means that if you've got two drives, say one with Windows and a new blank one for dual booting Linux, even if you're careful to only select the blank drive it will silently dump GRUB onto the primary disk and Bork Windows for you!

      I wasn't very impressed when I hit this. The workaround was to remove the disk you don't want it to touch! Not so easy on a new laptop with an NVMe disk buried inside.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Beware Zorin

        That sounds like it may be what I experienced - or something very similar.

      2. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: Beware Zorin

        The GRUB installation and partition issue was just one of several reasons I had to give up on Ubuntu.

      3. Twanky Silver badge

        Re: Beware Zorin

        I had a similar problem the other way around:

        Dual boot (actually multi-boot) laptop with many partitions (some encrypted) on a single disk. A Windows 10 major update borked it for me. I guess the poor thing didn't understand what all the partitions were for and decided it knew best.

        It took me the best part of day before I gave up on rescuing it... and about 2 hours to reinstall everything except the Windows part on a new disk (user data backups are kind of important).

      4. Plest Silver badge

        Re: Beware Zorin

        "...even if you're careful to only select the blank drive it will silently dump GRUB onto the primary disk and Bork Windows for you!"

        This is more or less how I would expect it to work, the bootloader targets the first disk that gets booted on the system, or what it thinks is the first disk, then hopes to use that a jump point.

        Windows will sometime refuse to be installed in multi-disk systems 'cos it can't either work out the first boot disk or refuses to write the bootloader to the first disk, thnakfully it does this check when you run the installer and decide on your layout.

        It caught me for hours when I first came across it, thnakfully MS took the safe route albeit they don't tell you that's the problem, the MS Win installer just flat out refuses to budge and clams up silent about why it won't do it! Safest option rather than just splatting the bootloader where it thinks might be good idea.

        Best solution, always disable all the unwanted disks in the BIOS or unplug them, then only have a single disk in the system and install O/S to that then you know you'll be safe and it'll almost always work without issue.

        I once installed an O/S almost lost my wife's entire photo catalog disk ( about 130 years of digitized family images ) which almost ended in divorce! I learned my lesson that day...never touch ANYTHING of your wifes, handbag, bedside table drawer and now PC!

        1. ovation1357

          Re: Beware Zorin

          Just because Windows installer is a pile of junk doesn't mean we should accept that in Linux installers. The issue of GRUB silently clobbering other disks is something that turned out to be a specific complaint against the a Ubuntu installer and not a problem with installers from other distros..

          Sure, if you select a fully automatic partitioning setup then don't be entirely surprised if it takes over whatever it fancies (although an accurate, upfront summary of what it's going to automatically do is still beneficial) however if you've gone into custom setup, selected a specific disk and chosen you own partitioning and bootloader options then it's unquestionably a serious bug if the installer does anything to a disk which you excluded from that process, especially when there's no point it tells/warns you.

          Normally one of the joys of working with Linux is having very tight control over every aspect of your OS. Windows likes to think it's clever; goes off and automatically does crazy things without telling you and it's very rare that it ever allows you any choice in the matter. It's always disappointing when anything on Linux behaves in such a way.

          On a desktop system or older, more accessible laptop it's not too much trouble to remove a disk but on newer systems getting at the NVMe SSD drives can take a fair bit of disassembly and they're often held in place with glue as well... I can't remember the last time there was an option to disable a drive in a laptop BIOS.

          In my specific case it was a brand new L series ThinkPad that I wanted to dual boot from a SATA SSD that was easily added without disassembling the whole thing. I wanted Windows on one drive and Linux on the other, each using their own bootloaders and just using the EFI Boot Menu to choose which drive. There wasn't really any option to remove the Windows drive.

          I was eventually able to repair the busted Windows bootloader by booting from a Windows DVD about a million times and working through various iterations of fixmbr and fixboot and bcdedit and so on. I've had to repair a few borked Windows installations over the past few years and I can never get my head around how insanely bad their tools are for fixing it - including the fact that I've never, ever seen the automatic repair option in the GUI do anything other then fail..

          GRUB2 is way overcomplicated and can be a bit of a pig too, but even with its warts I still think it's head and shoulders better than the flaky set of Windows boot management tools

      5. circusmole

        Me too...

        Took me a week to fully recover (it was a couple of days before my next backup cycle). You should have heard me scream, cuss and curse :-)

      6. Martipar

        Re: Beware Zorin

        Yep, I always unplug my Windows drive before a Linux install, install Linux shutdown, reinsert HDD, bot up then rebuild GRUB. It's a PITA but the only way to ensure that it doesn't mess with Windows/

        1. ovation1357

          Re: Beware Zorin

          It absolutely should not be that way and I find it a real shame that Ubuntu's installer does this. I hope they fix it as it must have caused a great many people a lot of pain in screwed up Windows (or other) bootloaders

      7. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ovation1357 - Re: Beware Zorin

        Not only Ubuntu and it's not necessarily a bug. Dual booting is a delicate task and requires a lot of reading and careful preparation. For example, during the installation process Linux is asking you where do you want to put the bootloader. You need to understand the consequences this choice might have. Sometimes you need to chose a custom/advanced installation mode to see this option and so on.

        My advice, especially to beginners, is to completely avoid dual booting.

        1. ovation1357

          Re: @ovation1357 - Beware Zorin

          Sorry you're telling me that if I select disk 2 for install, put all my partitions on disk 2, select disk 2 as my target for GRUB, accept an installation plan which only features disk 2; then it's not a bug if the installer then silently installer GRUB onto disk 1 as well?!?!

          My suspicion is that the code that does this was built an tested on a machine with only a single disk and just defaults to the first drive it detects.

          Dual booting on a single drive gets a bit messy and I think it's generally best to avoid doing it. It seems to be recommended to add your Linux partition to the Windows boot.ini so at least Windows updates hopefully won't Bork everything.

          But dual booting on separate drives should be a lot simpler as there's no competition between the OSes.

          As I've been exclusively running Linux for 15 years, I don't normally have to deal with dual boot (Windows can go in a VM if it really must but I haven't even needed that in about 5 years). It was only on my wife's laptop that I wanted her to try Ubuntu but still be able to not Win10. I gave up in the end the only workaround offered in the bug details was to remove the other drive which I wasn't willing to do on a brand new machine under warranty - I did try a few attempts to disable the other drive whilst booted but nothing that worked. Needless to say my wife has run Win 10 ever since although I wish the bastard thing wouldn't keep being inexplicably unable to print.

  7. ecofeco Silver badge


    Does Wine actually work for most people? Some people? Or just the loud tellers of anecdotes?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wine?


      True experience.....not "anecdotes"!!

      Yup.....there are some happy Wine users....I'm one of them. (Detail: Fedora33/XFCE/Wine)

      Microsoft decided to get rid of Visual Foxpro, and it's running perfectly well here at Linux Mansions. My old Quicken licence also. ...and so on.....

      While we are on the subject of perfectly useable old software, there's also the extended life for old Microsoft file formats on Linux. My 1990 MS Word 1.0 documents don't open in the latest MS sofware, but they open perfectly in LibreOffice.....another Linux benefit.

      My last year with Windows cost me $750 in forced licence upgrades.

      Tell me again why I need MS or Windows.

      1. StrangerHereMyself Bronze badge

        Re: Wine?

        You probably used (illegal) Windows DLL's to get FoxPro et al. working because WINE by itself can't run sh*t. Anything more complicated than Calculator.exe will give it trouble.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward




          Really? How so? The install was from an original M$ CD - actually a (legally) purchased licence for which I have the original receipt.


          Perhaps you mean that WINE itself contains dodgy DLL about some evidence if that is what you want to allege.


          And then again, perhaps you can provide some evidence that WINE "can't run sh*t"! My experience, au contraire, is that WINE is pretty good at running most things, including "sh*t".


          Do you work for Microsoft?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Wine?

          So says someone that's never run Wine in the last 5 years. Bill, is that you?

    2. Citizen99

      Re: Wine?

      I'm a happy Wine user for programs that will work on it. These tend to be legacy software, sometimes dating back to the 1990s. In some such cases it can be easier than trying to 'run as' them on more 'modern' Windows.

      I have XP and W7 VMs for other cases, and W7 to boot from the metal if necessary.

    3. Bill Gray

      Re: Wine?

      I think we mostly have anecdotes, not data. My own anecdotes : works quite well for older software, and brilliantly if you have source code for said software. I've had to move a couple of (my own) large programs from Windows to Linux, which I did just by running them under Wine. Both ran, sort of, with some annoyances. Some (minor) tweaks to the source code fixed that. I, and users of my software, were happy.

      Many (most) of the tweaks I had to make fixed actual intermittent bugs, places where my code had worked under Windows by sheer luck. The problems were really my fault, not Wine's. But had I not had the source code, I'd never have realized that and would have just assumed Wine was full of bugs.

      More generally, I suspect that often, "XYZ doesn't work under Wine" means "XYZ has bugs that you won't notice until running under Wine." Which would be a real hurdle for Wine; bugs will occur which are not actually Wine's fault, but unless you've got the source code and can fix it yourself, they'll be show-stoppers for Wine use.

      (On the flip side, it did enable me to find and fix bugs. So you could regard Wine as a useful development tool.)

      In a way, this is similar to what happens when Windows introduces a new fork ("gotta change a few lines for this to work in Win10"). The difference is that MegaCorp® will make such changes for a new Windows fork, but won't do so for Wine.

    4. Mike_in_Oz

      Re: Wine?

      Yep. Wine works fine for me (legacy scientific software) and Ubuntu. Also run one extremely useful program under Dosbox. Slightly more convenient than than booting a Windows VM.

  8. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    wine's not that bad

    Wine's really improved a lot in terms of compatibility even within the last year or two. I've actually had pretty good luck just installing whatever arbitrary windows app and having it work. I'd include winetricks out of the box if I were rolling a distro with wine, a few games that didn't work right off did after I google'd it, and ran "wintericks (whatever they said to run)", installing some d3dcompiler_xx.dll libs and some fonts.

    I'm going to try out Zorin in a VM and see how it looks. Sounds fun!

  9. Old one

    Kinda trying to run Zorin

    Old battleship Win 7 Pro drive died and unknown reasons the backup would not install on new drive so I decided its time to look at Linux. Installed 4-5 different versions before I landed on the Zorin (pro) Lite. I learned on DR-Dos if that means anything to most readers and 3 decades later I have other things to do with what time I have left than really learning a new OS. Biggest uses for that machine these last couple of years have been printing a doc 4-5 times a year and network backups of this Win 7 Home and unfortunately a new Win 10 shitbox that I need for tax filings. Tax filing is done so it will get the new Zorin shortly and I'll worry about the next filing if I am still here next year.

    Had a real hard frustrating time getting the basic setup to work and if it wasn't for one really great person on the Zorin support forum giving me advice, links and instructions it would not be running now. It saw my printer & internet without issues but that's it. I have to email myself anything I want to print. I've spent a few hours attempting to get the networking to talk to my Win machines without even a real hint of success - shows a network but not the other machines that communicate each other pretty much without any issues. My only concern is if I will loose the scanner I use for my local monthly utility bill because I'll have to go back to an XP machine from 2004 (I think) for its flatbed scanner -- yes my car is 180,000 mile 2002 that I drove all of 458 miles last year. It still works which is all I need.

    I eliminated the Mozilla and LibreOffice crap for Vivaldi and Apache as they are both superior products to Zorin's installed crap. Both Vivaldi and Open Office will do things that the others are not capable of. Hate to say but for ME, Zorin offers what seem to be a lot of crap programs so it will interesting to see what will be included with the upgrade. Maybe next winter or some 100*+ days I'll return to the networking but the sun is nice and apparently old people with a lot of Vit D don't seem to catch the China crap...

    1. TVU

      Re: Kinda trying to run Zorin

      If a flatbed scanner isn't communicating properly, then I'd suggest trying out Vuescan software (runs on Linux, macOS and Windows) and if it gets your scanner working then you can buy the product. The cheaper Vuescan Standard Edition licence should meet all domestic needs.

  10. Roger Kynaston Silver badge


    I hope the CEO doesn't look like Christopher Walken.

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Zorin

      They are in it with a view to making a killing with the paid for versions.

      icon-->Stacey Sutton.

      Tanya Roberts - RIP.

  11. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I have no issues with Zorin charging for the pro edition of their OS, FOSS software can still be paid software. I am currently happy with Mint 19 and have donated to the Mint team so in a way have paid for this OS. But might look at Zorin to see what its like for when support end on this current Mint version in a few years.

    I did try WINE a few years ago as my partner needed to run Corel Draw for her work. But after much trying i couldn't get it to work in WINE so in the end I had to spin up a Windows 7 VM and run Corel inside there.

    1. StrangerHereMyself Bronze badge

      I'm a very satisfied Mint user too. I've also switched many relatives to Mint and they never complain about it. Everything works on it, Netflix, Office, websites, email. PDF's, printing, scanning. You name it.

      What I positively hate about Windows is that it seems to get slower the longer you use it. There's no such issue with Linux. I have old PC's with older Mint versions still running like the day they were first created.

  12. StrangerHereMyself Bronze badge

    Sounds Russian

    Isn't Zorin a Russian OS where the founder relocated to Ireland...on paper?

    1. TVU

      Re: Sounds Russian

      While they might have eastern European ancestry, the two Zorin brothers were brought up and educated in the Republic of Ireland which is why they have Dublin accents. They are nothing to do with the current Russian state.

      1. StrangerHereMyself Bronze badge

        Re: Sounds Russian

        I would advice them to rename their OS to sound a little-less Eastern-European (non-western).

        And that's apart from the fact that naming an operating after yourself reeks of narcissism, which is never a good thing.

        Make it LeprechaunOS, CloverOS or something.

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