Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 7
Because of a policy change at Ubuntu, this version of Zorin OS will only be supported to the end of the year. It’s worth having, however, being an improvement on the LTS version 6.
The disk may lock up with a video chip other than Nvidia or ATI, but there’s failsafe mode that uses VESA. Unfortunately the desktop is set to use hardware acceleration, which VESA doesn’t give, making it almost unusable. The solution is to log out, change the session, and log in again as ‘live’ with no password. There are two desktops: Gnome 3 fallback and Zorin, a customised Gnome with the Awm dock instead of a panel and much less functionality. The configuration editor for Gnome is not installed, and Synaptic doesn’t reveal that it’s hidden in the package dconf-tools.
The installer worked well and gave me the opportunity to encrypt /home. Be careful of what you click on though: the default on the partitioning page is ‘erase the whole disk’!
The installed system was a little erratic at first — eth0 connection lost and router corrupted, various warnings about internal errors, firewall not starting — but things settled down after the next boot. The software includes LibreOffice, Chrome, Pidgin, Thunderbird, Gimp, Shotwell, Totem, Rhythmbox, Openshot, and Wine. Everything I tested ran from the CLI without warnings, except Thunderbird, but Chrome behaved poorly and I replaced it with Opera. Media codecs were installed and worked.
In the ‘cleaned-up Ubuntu’ category, this version of Zorin OS is comparable with Mint and Snow, and well worth considering.