Zorin OS 16: Ubuntu derivative imitates Windows 10X

The free operating system Zorin OS 16 is based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS ("Focal Fossa") and imitates Windows 10X down to the last detail. The Irish Linux distribution, which is also available in a paid “Ultimate Edition”, also combines Flatpak, its own sources as well as the Snap Store and the Ubuntu repository.

Zorin OS copies Windows 10X

With the new so-called "Zorin Appearance", the Irish developers of Zorin OS 16 want to offer an alternative to the user interface of the still unreleased Windows 10X and deliberately copy the appearance of the operating system from Redmond. As with Windows 10X, this mode should primarily be suitable for convertibles and 2-in-1s.

The "Zorin Appearance" is intended to imitate the Windows 10X user interface (Image: Zorin Group)

Large range of software

As the successor to Zorin OS 15, which was still based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS ("Bionic Beaver"), Zorin OS 16 will appear this summer. As the first public beta for everyone, Zorin OS 16 Core (ISO) in the "Core Edition" optimized for AMD64 can already be tried out now. With the Snap Store snapcraft.io from Canonical, the in-house package sources, and the repositories from Ubuntu 20.04 LTS ("Focal Fossa") and, for the first time, Flatpak packages from Flathub, the software range has grown significantly and is also supplemented by the package management AppImage and Wine.

Zorin OS 16 now offers even more package sources (Image: Zorin Group)

The desktop environment available in December 2020 is the completely redesigned Xfce 4.16 and Gnome 3.38 ("Orbis"), but also the recently released Gnome 40 with the free GUI toolkit GTK 4, which offers even better support for the display server -Protocol Wayland and the low-level API Vulkan 1.2, should be submitted promptly and thus before the release.

Zorin OS 16 "Out of the Box" (Image: Zorin Group)

New software from different sources

The standard applications such as the free office suite LibreOffice 7.1.2 and the Mozilla Firefox 87 and Chromium 90 browsers are also up to date. Linux 5.8 is now the operating system kernel.

The new "tour" helps Linux beginners and Windows users to set up Zorin OS 16 and move to the new operating system.

The new "Tour" helps set up Zorin OS 16 (Image: Zorin Group)

The developers promise to make the switch to Zorin OS even easier in the future with the help of extended gesture control and greater adaptability of the user interface.

Better gaming on Linux

In addition to the pre-installed game client Steam with Proton as well as Wine and PlayOnLinux, the distribution with Game Mode from Feral Interactive offers another bright spot in terms of gaming under Linux, which supports the following games, among others:

  • DiRT 4
  • DiRT rally
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  • Total War: WARHAMMER II
  • Total War: Three Kingdoms
  • Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia
  • A Total War Saga: Fall of the Samurai
  • HITMAN - Game Of The Year Edition
  • Life is Strange: Before the Storm
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
  • F1 2017

The other improvements are named in the official release notes as follows:

Other improvements

  • Fractional scaling for high-resolution displays
  • Star files for easy access in the Files app
  • Better fingerprint reader support with simpler setup
  • Unread message badges and progress bars in taskbar icons
  • Display a QR code to easily connect your devices to your computer's Wi-Fi hotspot
  • The Settings app now has a refreshed category layout that's easier to navigate
  • Easily create app folders in the app grid by dragging apps onto each other (Touch, macOS-like, and Ubuntu-like desktop layouts only)
  • Switched to the new Photos app for simpler photo management
  • Disabled built-in tracking and telemetry in Firefox for more privacy-respecting web browsing
  • Flicker-free boot experience (on supported hardware)
  • Improved support for newer hardware
  • Based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

Zorin OS 16 - Release Notes

The developers have summarized further information on the project's official website and blog.

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