New Update Zorin OS 17 is Here

Gandalf_The_Grey

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Zorin announced that the next major version of its user-friendly Linux distribution, Zorin OS 17, is now available.

“Since the release of our last major version in August 2021, Zorin OS 16 has garnered over 6.2 million downloads,” the announcement post explains. “Ever since, we’ve been listening to your feedback and working tirelessly to build the ultimate alternative to Windows and macOS; one that helps to make your computer better, faster, easier, more secure, and privacy-respecting.”

The public release of Zorin OS 17 follows a public beta in early December and Zorin OS 16.3 from this past July. And it’s a major release, with new levels of graphical and user experience refinement, major new features, performance improvements, and more. For example, Zorin OS Lite now runs in as little as 1.5 GB of RAM, compared to 2 GB for previous versions. And there have been performance optimizations throughout the system, from the kernel to the in-box apps.

Key new features in this release, many of which seem aimed at easy a transition from Windows, include:

Zorin menu improvements. The Zorin “Start” menu now includes a universal search feature with configurable search providers, an All Apps view, and other improvements.

Multitasking improvements. In what I see as its most striking visual change, Zorin OS 17 now supports a Spatial Desktop feature that utilizes a Desktop Cube interface for switching between workspaces (virtual desktops) in 3D and a Spatial Window Switcher for switching between apps in 3D. There’s also a Snap-like window tiling feature that you can enable.

Software Store improvements. The Zorin app store is now powered by GNOME 45.2 and sports a professional looking new design with a much improved Home page and app details pages. It supports APT, Snap, and Flatpak packages out of the box in a unified interface, as well as AppImage, .deb, and Windows software using the Wine compatibility layer.

Quick Settings. Zorin now sports a Quick Settings panel like those in Chrome OS and Windows so you can access the most often used settings from the Desktop.

New power modes. A new Power Modes option lets you switch between familiar Balanced, Power Saver, and Performance power management modes.

Screenshot and screen recording improvements. These features now work much like the Snipping Tool in Windows 11, with an on-screen overlay and a flyout panel so you can easily create screenshots or recordings as needed.

New desktop layouts. One of the key draws of Zorin OS is that it can be configured to look and work like Windows and other familiar desktop environments. And in version 17, Zorin gets two new layouts that will be familiar to users of Chrome OS and Linux GNOME 2. (This requires Zorin OS Pro.)

There’s a lot more, of course: Please check out the original blog post for a longer list of new features and other improvements.

Zorin OS 17 is available in three versions, Zorin OS Lite for low-end PCs and Zorin OS Core, which are free, and Zorin OS Pro, which costs $48. You can download each from the Zorin OS website. Users running the Zorin OS 17 Beta or Zorin OS 16.x can upgrade to the new version using the system’s Software Updater tool. (The upgrade from the Zorin OS 17 Beta is available now, and the Zorin OS 16 upgrade is coming soon.) And you can even purchase a new PC with Zorin OS pre-installed from Laptop with Linux.
 

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