The other night I tried a Linux distribution called Zorin OS. It’s based on Ubuntu and bills itself as being easy for Windows users so I thought I would give it a try. However, when I try a Linux distro there’s an extra degree of difficulty involved. I call it the 4G Challenge.
I have an Asus EEEPC 4G Surf netbook that is the only computer I have right now that can run Linux so the first hurdle any distro has to clear is if it can fit on the 4GB hard drive of my 4G.
The ISO came in at a whopping 1GB so I didn’t think this was looking likely. I used Unetbootin to put the ISO on a 4GB SD card and installed it to the Asus. It not only fit but left 400 MB of space.
One of the features of Zorin OS is that you can change the desktop to look like Windows 7 or Windows XP and by look like I mean not really. One of the problems I had with the Windows 7 configuration was that once I clicked on a category on the menu I couldn’t return to the main menu. I was a big fan of the XP configuration instead. There is also a standard GNOME desktop as well. My problem with switching back and forth between the configurations was that I had a lot of trouble finding what application it was that changed the desktop.
Zorin OS is very pretty though. It is one of the eye-candiest (is that even a word?) distros I’ve ever used. I’m not usually one for all the special effects that some Linux distros come with but with Zorin, it was far from distracting and actually rather pleasant. However, when I turned the effects off there were issues with the menus on the XP and 7 desktops. However, if you put it on the minimal effects setting they work just fine.
What broke my heart is when I tried to install the updates. The updates required close to 700 MB of space when I only had 400 left. So that kind of killed it for the 4G. I did uninstall a bunch of programs that I didn’t need or use but even then I was left with only 100MB on the hard drive.
While I became very addicted to this distro I would not say that it would be easy for Windows users. However, it does get the Trench Reynolds seal of approval (bark bark) but it does not unseat my current Linux champion in Linux Mint.