7 Aug 2014

How I stopped distro hopping

I, a Microsoft user since DOS 5.x was introduced to Linux in the late 90's when a friend gave me a copy of Novell Linux. I was in awe that you could get a "free" operating system without having to pay for it. The system didn't hold my attention long because there were not a lot of applications for it that were similar to the Windows programs I was accustomed to.

Along comes Fedora and in 2004 I picked up a book called Linux for Non Geeks by No Starch Press which included a copy of Fedora. I learned of Open Source and the Free Software Foundation through this book and thought it was great that a community of folks could come together and make a product they then would give to the world. I loved the idea that software should be shared freely. I used fedora for about a year while dual booting with Windows. During that time I learned there were many Linux distributions gaining popularity like never before. I tried as many as I could but were never satisfied. I had my Windows XP operating system so why bother getting serious about Linux when Windows provided all I needed.

I began to notice Microsoft in the news more and more for unscrupulous business practices. This contrasted with the meaning of Open Source I had learned from my Linux experience. Microsoft started losing it's appeal. I began to see how with each new Windows release the systems became more draconian and restrictive. I am a hard core first person single player shooter fan and Windows played all my games when nothing else would. I could not just leave Windows no matter how I wanted to.

I decided I would try to use Linux for everything else except gaming. I used several distros for a while, PC Linux OS, Mint, Ubuntu (until Unity) and learned to love a slackware distro called Vector Linux. I even tried and liked PC-BSD 9 and 9.1. My goal was to try to find the system that most resembled the look and feel of the Windows systems I was used to because of familiarity and ease of use. I didn't like the terminal much and only used it when I had to. Though I liked each distro they somehow fell short of my expectations.

I first found Zorin with Zorin 5. I liked it but Zorin 6 had just come out and so I switched but felt Zorin was still too new so I didn't stick with it. Zorin 7 came out and it was Linux love at first install. I used Zorin 7 till Zorin 8 came out and now I'm onto Zorin 9 my first LTS Zorin distro (still dual booting). I have seen how the Linux community has grown up over the years with stable distros that have all the features I could desire but Zorin has a style that matches my expectations of how a distro should work.

Steam now has games that work in Linux and thanks to the stability of Ubuntu I know Zorin will play those games. GOG will be coming out with game versions for Linux at the end of this year. Between the two, I hope to leave Windows forever in a heap of dust. I can finally have my cake and eat it too. Linux for me means a chance at computer freedom. I know I can have that with Zorin.

Thank You Zorin!

This is a guest post by Electric Rider, which took part in the joint Zorin OS contest.


  1. You’re still hopping between Linux and Windows, though.

    1. I believe you confuse distro-hopping with dual-booting,

    2. Stretching, yes; but not really confusing. Distro hoppers haven’t found a distribution to call home. Dual-booters maintain multiple residences. Either way, they don’t stay in one place for long.