I have written already several times about Zorin OS.
These were reviews of Zorin OS 5 Core, Zorin OS 6 Lite and Zorin OS 6 Core. Also, there were guest posts from different authors who took part in the Zorin OS contest.
In addition to the Lite and Core versions, the Zorin team releases an Ultimate edition.
While the Core and Lite versions of Zorin OS are free as beer, Ultimate is not a free Operating System.
If you want to get it, you need to donate some money to the project. In response, you'll get either a link to the downloadable file, or the disk itself. Together with the link, you'll get a comprehensive guide for getting the image ready for use, including technical support and updates.
Once you have made all the steps, your image size for this operating system will be 3.9 Gb.
I created a Live USB with Zorin OS 6 Ultimate using the Unetbootin tool.
So, the USB stick is plugged into the port of my laptop Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo Pi 1505. Reboot. Choose to boot from USB. Let's go!
The boot process of Zorin OS 6 Ultimate is not at all different from the Core version. The desktop, the panel, the set of background images, the multimedia facilities of Zorin OS 6 Ultimate are absolutely the same as in Core. That is why I won't dwell on their description.
Instead, let's look at the differences between Core and Ultimate.
First of all, Zorin OS is famous for its user interface. This is the operating system designed for Windows migrants, who want to stick to their familiar interface.
While Zorin OS 6 Core offers some interface styles like Windows 7, Windows XP and GNOME, the Ultimate version gives you even more. You can have an exterior of Windows 2000, Ubuntu or Mac OS.
Unfortunately, Zorin Look Changer is not available in the Live mode of this operating system. That's why I could not experiment myself and take screenshots. Instead, you can have a look at the gallery on the Zorin OS official web site. Also, you should be able to check the Zorin Look Changer yourself in the installed system.
The image size of Zorin OS 6 Ultimate is almost 3 times bigger than the Core version, 3.9 Gb versus 1.4 Gb. This means that additional themes for Look Changer are not the only distinctive features of the Ultimate version.
Of course, the majority of the additional OS image size is taken by additional software.
I cannot say that Core version comes "barebones" or "naked". Not at all. This operating system comes well-packed with applications for each and every need.
But Core versions looks like a poor man's horse next to the rich man's Porsche, when compared with the Zorin OS 6 Ultimate edition.
I won't list all the additional software. The list would be too boring not only to create, but also to read. Instead, let me list just some of them.
- Internet: KompoZer and Gobby.
- Office: Kraft, wxBanker and Eqonomize.
- Graphics: Blender, Inkscape and Dia Diagram Editor
- System tools: Nepomuk, DVDisaster.
- Sound & Video: Amarok, Kdenlive video editor, Audacity audio editor and Kazam screencaster.
- Zorin-specific software: Zorin Splash Screen Manager and Zorin Background Plus, which are only available in the Ultimate edition.
As you can see, there are many applications that duplicate each other's functionality. This is especially notable in the Multimedia section. Amarok, Rhytmbox, GNOME MPlayer and VLC basically fulfill the same purpose: to play back the multimedia files.
From my point of view, it adds some obesity to Zorin OS 6 Ultimate. Not that it slows down the system. But why would you need so many identical applications in the distribution? You're more likely to choose one of them and stick to it.
The only reason why you would need them all in the initial distribution image is that you don't have a good Internet connection and want to have everything available right out of the box, not just "downloadable".
By the way, you can order a DVD with Zorin OS 6 Ultimate too. The DVDs are available via the same page as the downloadable images, but will cost you a little bit more.
KDE or GNOME?
|Zorin OS 6 Ultimate includes both GTK and Qt applications|
Zorin OS 6 Ultimate includes both GNOME and KDE-native applications. I gave you an example on the screenshot.
Does it mean that the system became slower by usage of two different development platforms: GTK and Qt? I would not say so. The system was responsive during my Live run. I have not noticed any lags or significant delays.
The use of applications from different desktop environments could not help but bring some inconsistency in the system outlook. Even though the Zorin team tried to align the icon themes for GTK and Qt applications, the difference is still there. You can see this in the design of the folder items on the screenshot.
Whom is it for?
So, who is the target audience of Zorin OS 6 Ultimate? I would say, it falls into five categories:
- People with a slow Internet connection, who want to try Linux, but cannot afford downloading different applications from the repository.
- People who prefer to have the top-graded applications right out of the box, without a necessity to search, to install and to configure programs by themselves.
- People who prefer desktop design from the "premium" set: Windows 2000, Ubuntu or Mac, in addition to the "Core" options of Windows 7, Windows XP and GNOME 2..
- People who want support for their operating system. Zorin OS 6 is the long-term support version, which means you'll get a technical support for 5 years!
- People who want to support the Zorin team by donating money to their project.
Are you from any of these categories? Then use the link, donate money and get your own image of Zorin OS 6 Ultimate