Saturday, September 1, 2012

Zorin OS 6.1 "Lite" Review: Lubuntu derivative which looks like Windows 2000

Zorin has been trying to fill the void for Windows 2000 and XP users who are unable to upgrade to Windows 7. It looks like Windows - however, underneath it is Ubuntu. While Ubuntu has evolved a lot in past 2 years but still it may not be as easy for a Windows users to migrate. And here comes Zorin to help!

From ZorinOS 6.1 Lite
Zorin 6.1 Lite is based on Lubuntu and I must say, it looks more attractive than Lubuntu and is easier to set up and use. It uses LXDE with Linux kernel  3.2.0 and the ISO is 672 MB. You can get the ISO from here.

I used my Asus EeePC 1101HA with 1.38 Ghz Intel Atom Processor and 1 GB RAM for this test. It already has PCLinuxOS installed and my test was primarily based on Live-boot. I won't go into the debate of how easy or difficult Linux is compared to Windows - it is for the users to decide. In addition to Windows 2000 looks, you can also make it look like a Mac with a docky. But, I would prefer a Cairo dock instead.

From ZorinOS 6.1 Lite

Application-wise, Zorin Lite is understandably thin with Chromium as the default browser, Abiword as the Word processor, Audacious is the default music player and Gnome MPlayer is for playing videos. Adobe flash support is inbuilt and youtube videos played nice in Zorin Lite. In System Tools, you get a Zorin OS Lite Extra Software option, from where you can download VLC, Gnumeric, Wine (to install Windows related software like Office 2010) among other things.

From ZorinOS 6.1 Lite
From ZorinOS 6.1 Lite
Also, through Software Repository, which is based on Ubuntu Software Center, you get the option to download access and download other critical softwares.

From ZorinOS 6.1 Lite
CPU and RAM Usage
CPU and RAM usage for Zorin is comparable to Lubuntu - 5-8% CPU and 130 MB RAM! It is definitely easy on resources and can be a preferred choice for old computers running Windows XP. I guess I won't recommend it for Windows 2000 computers with 128 MB RAM - there are better choices existing for them like Crunchbang, Puppy, etc.

In overall, you can try out Zorin OS Lite for your old computers. It is fast and responsive and can handle most of the daily chores. Of course, don't expect it to play high resolution or HD videos for you if your computer is relatively antiquated one. My desktop is relatively less antiquated and it performed reasonably well. The desktop looks more attractive than Lubuntu and can be a good alternative to it. Plus, using Zorin look changer you can get a Mac-ish feeling in Zorin with docky though it is quite rudimentary. However, if I compare it to ROSA 2012 LXDE with long term support for 5 years, I guess I would prefer ROSA because ROSA offers you more. Peppermint is also a competition to Zorin. It augurs well for the LXDE fans to have so many good options - Lubuntu, ROSA, Peppermint, and now Zorin!


  1. I think the Software Center is a revamped version of Lubuntu Software Center

  2. hey guys.i just love zorin.but now that im trying to use universal usb installer with it, i cant seem to figure out why there is no sound with my persistent zorin6.1core32 in a 4gb pendrive.but when i use zorin6.1lite with the same settings i get to hear a sound. im using a netbook quanta sw1. anybody who can give me an idea?you can reach me here

  3. HI great blog helped a lot on my search for linux distros to try out as i want to migrate form windows. I've decided to first stay in the ubuntu light forks, and try out puppy, bodhi, zorin, lubuntu, zubuntu, and maybe mint.

    Can you clarify LTS for zorin?

    "However, if I compare it to ROSA 2012 LXDE with long term support for 5 years"

    Implies zorin 6.1 is not LTS, but from this site
    say's LTS.


    1. I guess zorin will continue to provide support from Ubuntu though Lubuntu's support will end after 18 months or Oct13. Thanks for providing the link, will correct my article.