8 Jul 2012

Zorin OS 6 Ultimate: Whom Is It For?

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!

Booting up

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.

Look Changer

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.


Zorin OS 6 Ultimate includes both GTK and Qt applications
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:

  1. People with a slow Internet connection, who want to try Linux, but cannot afford downloading different applications from the repository.
  2. 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.
  3. 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..
  4. 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!
  5. 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


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. I think you wrote this in the wrong blog post. I copied the post to Compiz-Xubuntu-related one.

  2. I like the Zorin 6 core system as it comes with a nice base suite of software as standard.

    I can't think of a reason to have 3.9 gb worth of applications available to me on a DVD as most of them I probably would not use. It therefore makes sense to most people to download the core and then install any additional packages themselves.

    I think you are right that for people with slow internet connections this is probably a very good purchase and of course for people with download limits on their internet connection.

    1. You forgot about pp.2&3 in my list of categories. :)

    2. Yes I didn't have enough knowledge and clarity about number 2 to make an accurate comment. I'm assuming at the install stage you get to choose which applications to install and that it doesn't just install every piece of software on the DVD. I guess it depends how many pieces of software you need to know whether this is worthwhile or not. If you have a list of applications which is over 2gb in size then getting it on DVD might be preferable. Up to 2gb is really back to the "how fast is your internet connection" debate.

      For item 3 I don't know how many other themes there are but listing just the ones you have mentioned such as Windows 2000, MAC and Ubuntu I would say that if you like the look of Ubuntu you would probably just install Ubuntu. I can't see that Windows 2000 would be a particularly popular interface (Except for old Windows Administrators). MAC could be popular I guess.

    3. p.2 probably has an answer here.

      p.3 your tastes may be different from others. ;)

    4. I just read the Dedoimedo link. That is quite a good review as well.

      In the conclusion he asks the question is there room for another Ubuntu spin off when you could easily use Ubuntu or the excellent Mint.

      I have to say having used Zorin for a little while now I think I might prefer it to Mint.

  3. installed on hd don't work good enough. in the same position are pinguy, mint with mate or cinnamon and many others. ubuntu, xubuntu, mageia and suse are the only systems you can use without problems!

    1. What are the issues you have? May I ask you be more specific?

  4. I have a question. If you set up the system to mimick Mac OS, do title bars merge with the panel? And, if there is a merger of sorts, how, graphically, does one switch between applications and - and, given the problem with doing this graphically in Ubuntu (e.g. with LibreOffice), not an insignificant question - multiple windows of the same application? I ask these questions because I use a laptop and having extra real estate on the desktop, while also not losing versatility, has real virtues.

  5. So is this basically just KDE plasma desktop with a switcher for preset plasma configurations? That's what it looks like from the screenshots.

    1. That can't be KDE Plasma desktop, simply because this is GNOME! 8-)

  6. By Golly, I have the Ultimate and I like it :)

  7. Please give some information on gaming on this ultimate edition.

  8. I want to know about the default games that comes with the Ultimate Edition. Also does it support any high end games using wine or by another means?

    1. Anees,
      Specially to answer your question, I created a Live USB with Zorin OS 6.0 Ultimate. There are many games, but most of them are quite basic: arcades, SuperTuxcart, solitaires, Mines, Battle for Wesnoth etc. I think there are ~20 different games.

      Wine and PlayOnLinux are included into Zorin OS by default. So, if any game is supported by Wine or POL, then you have a good chance to run it in Zorin OS.

  9. Does the support for Zorin OS 5.2 ends? In your opinion, which one is better Zorin 5 or 6?
    I've problems using Zorin6.

    1. I think most of new versions are better than old ones.
      I'd check at Zorin forum about 5.2 support options.

  10. I tried this OS as I'm a very long term windows user.. Been using windows since 1995 and I must say Zorin Does do a good emulation of windows 7.. I run it on a my old HP Compact business computer it has a P4 Prescott 3.8ghz HT with 4 GHZ ram and a nivda graphics card can't remember the card name but that has 2 ghz of on board ram as well.. I download core and then just added the apps from Ubuntu soft centre that you had listed here! I must say I tried Ubuntu 12.04 and Mint 14 on the same Box and I like Zorin A lot more! It looks and runs way better,and since it has a windows 7 look on the Free core i'm happy and wouldn't want it to look like any Other OS, so I don't need all that extra Jazz.. Oh and your right I only Use VLC Media player, I didn't download any of them Others would be a waste of space!!

    1. Thanks for sharing! :) I hope you'll support Zorin OS team and help to spread the knowledge!

  11. Well, I love zorin, its nice & stable & works straight out of the box. I bought the ultimate version, why?, because it works & for such a small price its worth supporting these guys so they continue working on this project, I mean, it`s not gonna brake the bank now is it. Well done zorin developers, I personally hope enough people either donate or buy so they continue development...from a happy ZorinOS 6 user.