How can we help Windows 7 users move to Zorin OS?

Hey Community,

How can we help Windows 7 user to move to Zorin OS?

Please hare your ideas?

Exp. More Videos how to move from Windows to Zorin Step by Step

P.S. This is non official community forum.

I think the software is quite polished, so I can’t think of much to change.
The biggest issue I have heard from other people is that they haven’t heard of Zorin OS before. I’m not sure how to do it, but definitely finding a way to reach more people would help a lot.
If I think of anything else, ill reply again.

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Many people who learn to drive on an automatic fear later switching to a Manual transmission vehicle.
It’s human nature that people can hate a product, even, yet fear the unfamiliarity of switching to something new.
Statistically, there is a maximum number of people that can be willing to make the change. The number that do make the change are currently probably below that maximum number. Convincing people to try Linux O.S.'s over what they are already familiar with can vary a great deal. So the only thing, as Carbon pointed out, is to help others become aware of their alternative options.
Keep trying a new way of offering a perspective and share your favorite Distro recommendations often.

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You could also point out to them that they could have a more secure Windows 7 by installing it using VirtualBox on ZorinOS, make a backup of the virtual hd once they have installed all the apps they need etc then if it does get attacked, just drag and drop the vhd back into VB from backup!
I think the original post should be share, not hare - sent from a smartphone I’ll be bound!

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I believe Zorin OS 15 is the most complete and easy to use OS out there for any kind of person. The only thing that’s blocking people from switching is not knowing about it in the first place. People to whom I already suggested Zorin are using it VERY happily, and they won’t even look back. What we can do here is supporting Zorin financially, so they can do some kind of ad campaign which should be fully thought of. I’m putting money aside to buy the Ultimate edition myself and I would encourage others to do the same.

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Let’s plan on making guide how to move from windows 7 to Zorin OS step by step with screenshots?

For example what is Zorin OS with Screenshots , what Linux applications will replace windows applications Mail, Word, photos and so on

What you guys say?

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I think that would be very helpful. One of the first objections people make about leaving Windows is loss of their favorite applications or the functionality of Windows applications that they use.
I have noticed that a lot of people immediately assume that Linux has no applications to offer or no support for those applications which is very untrue. While there exist some apps that are strictly on Windows, there is better support for most Linux applications than there is with Windows. And most applications that you need are available.
Your suggestion really nails the first thing people say: “How will I check my email” or “what about Photoshop?” And most importantly: “OMG MY GAMES!”
They do not know that Steam is Linux based and they do not know that Firefox is, as well. They had to be adapted for Windows.
I think that many people are secretly motivated by Laziness. It’s easier to tolerate Windows that they at least are familiar with than to switch to a new operating system that they would have to learn how to use.
But Linux is really not difficult to learn although the first week of using it can be Pretty Trying!


Even though I love programming, I really wasn’t even thinking of switching to Linux. I didn’t even think there was a pretty looking OS that had Linux in it a few weeks ago. I first came across it with LinusTechTips’s Pop OS video. I don’t know why but maybe it’s because I’ve started this whole switching to Linux thing with Pop but it was from the beginning “VERY” smooth and fun to do. Then I saw Zorin which got me even more hooked since it also solved the problem of not having all that software out of the box via snaps and it’s store. It also has the best balance between protecting privacy and convenience but enough compliments. We all like Zorin, we should make others realize how good it is

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The selling point for me on Zorin was how thorough and diligent the Zorin Team has been about assembling the Zorin O.S. At one point, I reached a decision to migrate away from Zorin to another distro. I tried many, followed many suggestions I had asked for… Some were good. Some were interesting in their approach. In the end, I finally found the most suited O.S. which was well thought out, worked on all fronts better than all the rest, handled the CPU load better than the rest … it was Zorin.
Zorin team uses backports, tests and checks that everything works quite well before release. Sometimes a release date is later than we hoped or originally planned but you can see the benefit there.
With Computers, it is impossible to create an O.S. that never has glitches, errors or problems. Zorin is among the few that have the least amount due to Zorins meticulous approach.

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RE you post of Oct 23 - all the screenshots are there in the unofficial manual for Zorin 12 and Zorin 15. The manual is aimed at introducing a Windows 7 transient to a familiar desktop. I don’t have the energy to go into great depths of individual applications other than to name them and briefly explain them. LibreOffice is an excellent suite - it’s one downfall, or rather our downfall, is that for example, Presentations created in PowerPoint, being proprietary, don’t run as well in LibreOffice. I’m about to try out SoftMaker Office having been enticed into a deal to purchase the 2018 Office Suite that covers me for 5 Windows PC and 5 Linux PC’s. I’ve tried the free one for a while and even though it is a mimic of M$ it just seems pleasanter to the eye. (Shuffles papers waiting for mdiemer to report!). As for Mail there can only ever be one and that is Thunderbird, which isn’t present by default in 15 because Team Zorin are trying to convince Corporates to switch, so it comes with Evolution which is Active Directory compliant.
They should really bundle Firefox ESR with Core if they are tempting Corporates as only ESR version can be locked down - that goes for the education version too. As for Photo organising, then it comes with Shotwell which has been popular with hardcore supporters of Zorin who use it for their Business needs. There is also the cross-platform (64-bit only) darktable which is what I have used to tweak photos, and of course GIMP. There is no end to the raft of brilliant Graphics application packages out there, including stop-animation packages:, Krita, My Paint - this last one is great because if like me you can’t match up your drawn left half to the other, symmetrically it has a great ‘mirror line’ to aid this (also cross-platform).

I disagree with the “unfamiliarity of switching to something new”. I’ve been a Windows since I was a kid. Windows XP is still my favorite OS. However even with all that nostalgia when I got my laptop first thing I did was to get rid of Windows 10 and install Linux. And I have never looked back. I think the reason Linux is so unpopular is that we are failing to give people reasons to adopt it. “It is free and open source so you cant mess with it’s code and redistirbute it!” This means nothing unless you are an experienced programmer. I think in order to show the benefits of FOSS for average users we should make comparisons between the closed souce software that people loved using but no longer can because it wasn’t profitable for developer so it’s support ended. Example: People loved using Windows XP. It was stable, fast , simple, wasn’t all that bloated and it didn’t treat it’s users like idiots. People didn’t leave XP because they wanted to, they left because sofware developers and Microsoft ended support. Now let’s compare that to Mandrake Linux (a.k.a Mandriva). It was basically the WinXP of Linux. However when it’s company went out of business support didn’t end. After the company fired some of it’s developers because of financial problems those developers created Mageia. And after company went out of business the community created OpenMandriva. So you can still use Mandrake it is just that it’s no longer called Mandrake.

What is needed:

  • Zorin-approved/maintained hub for…
    • Guides to transition from Win to Zorin
    • Tools to convert/import data from the most popular Win apps/programs to the most popular Zorin apps/programs
  • Reduce/eliminate the need to use the CLI. Especially for installing packages.

If anyone knows of a hub with a comprehensive list of tools and docs to migrate from Windows to Zorin, please let me know.

The main issues I’ve always faced are the mechanics of making the transition, not the differences in interfaces. Moving from Win 7 to Zorin is my third attempt of getting away from Windows and into the Linux world in my personal life and I’m about to give up… again. I’ve been in IT for a few decades on both mainframe and distributed platforms, including AIX and many flavors of Linux. I love tearing into a new problem and figuring it out. I also like to fiddle with my computer, write scripts, etc.

But I don’t want to have to fiddle and troubleshoot just to make my computer function . It’s why I don’t use Linux at home as my experience has been one of frustration in finding a hub for reliable documentation and tools to migrate the data from iTunes, Photoshop, etc. into Linux equivalents. As for using the CLI to install packages, this needs to be avoided at all costs. You want to attract Windows users? Don’t make them learn CLI, package management and the Linux directory structure all at once. That’s like garlic to a vampire.

Today, people easily swap between environments: iOS, Android, Windows, Mac. Even individual apps have different look-and-feel. I suggest that a Windows-like experience is less important than you think it is and that people are more concerned with ease-of-use. In the early days of MS Windows, the less you had to change the autoexec.bat and .ini files to get a peripheral to work, the more people bought that peripheral. That still holds true: most people don’t want to have to tweak their devices just to make them work.

Currently, I’m trying to import my iTunes library into Rhythmbox, particularly the ratings and playlists. I’m able to import the music easily enough. I’m also able to copy the library .xml to my Zorin box but I can’t get the rhythmdb.xml updated with it. I’ve tried, and . So far no success; the ratings are not updated. And this isn’t the only issue I’m having porting things to Zorin. There are 2 others issues that I’ve put on the back-burner because I’ve hit a wall on them as well.

All of this of course, was done in CLI. A typical Windows user probably has never opened a DOS prompt, much less installed software there, read through logs, researched error codes, etc. As I said, I’m close to giving up again and letting MS bend me over a chair for another five years just because I can’t find a centrally located, reliable tool and/or documentation for doing something as universally needed as converting my iTunes library to Rhythmbox.

Any help, suggestions, links, or instructions on how to summon a demon to assist me with this are appreciated.

Fishpierce, much of what is troubling you is not a Zorin issue, but rather, a Linux issue.
I certainly understand your frustration. I recall how it felt when I moved to Linux.

On using the CLI for install: Zorin does not make you use CLI. Zorin comes with the Software Center and Software Installer. Both operate in GUI format and are VERY easy to use.
If they do not support what you want, (perhaps you need something more vigorous) then you may want to look into Synaptic Package Manager.

Zorin is a distribution but it does not write nor control the desktop Environment (Gnome, XFCE) and it has no control over Rythmbox (You would need to address the developer of Rythmbox for issues with it.)
That said, you can try visiting the ZorinGroupForum as well as here and asking for help. Many fellow users will try to assist.
I looked at the links you posted in regards to what you are trying to import to Rythmbox. That is an Independent Developer (no affiliation with Zorin) and this…
Is Linux.
Linux is based on Freedom, Open source and Knowledgeable use. The CLI is a Powerful Tool. It should never be shunned. Helping people migrate to Linux is partly to help- but not to Cater To Microsoft Philosophy nor Branding.
The idea is to assist… But if someone is looking for Microsoft on Linux- I’ll say it bluntly:
It ain’t gonna happen.
What CAN happen, however, is we can help you to develop your skills and tackle the issues you are facing. We can help you to face the unfamiliar and help it become familiar and routine.
We can help you troubleshoot, but we cannot do your work for you as Microsoft does. And when Linux becomes like Microsoft- what is the point of having Linux at all?

I migrated to Linux, using Zorin just about one year ago. It was hard. I struggled, I got frustrated and I complained- often. I fell down dependency rabbit holes and it seemed like installing Any One Little Thing took a days work and a lot of research.
Now, just about anything I go to install, it is up and running in minutes, no sweat. I have learned a lot.
Now, I am writing my own code, own themes, creating my own icons (already uploaded and available to others), creating many other programs and software for my use that once developed, I hope to share with others.
Hang in there- You didn’t let the unfamiliar or the hard or the new - from stopping you learn how to ride a bike or how to drive a car.

I have never used Rythmbox aside from once and I decided I’d never do that again.
I have never used iTunes because it behaves just like a virus. So off the top of my head, I am not sure what is causing you issues. But let me look into it and I will see if I can find a neat solution for you.

Thanks for your thoughtful reply and the offer for assistance. I love the knowledge-sharing attitude of the open source community; it’s what makes it such a cool space to work in. I’ve been in IT for 35 years, most of it in mainframe, but a significant part of that has been on various Unix-based platforms as well.

What I’m responding to is the question “How can we help Windows 7 users move to Zorin OS?” I still maintain that if you want Windows users to go to Linux, you have to eliminate the need to run CLI commands. There’s a rule in writing science books for the general public: for every equation you include in your book, you will lose half your readers. I think the same applies to Windows users: for every CLI command you make them execute, you will lose half your users.

There’s also a need for a Zorin-centric hub for docs and tools. I understand about open architecture and that Zorin doesn’t produce/support Rhythmbox and other software. I’m not suggesting that Zorin provide the tools and their documentation. What I’m suggesting is that the Zorin website provide a how-to for the average home Windows user migrating to Zorin. This exists to some extent, but it’s very task oriented. As in ‘here’s how you install games’, ‘here’s how you install software’, and so on. I’m suggesting something more along the line of a build order; something that suggests a logical order of those tasks with some contextual explanation.

Here’s the thing, they have this for businesses, just not for home users. The Switch Your Organization to Zorin page provides a logical order to do things, a list of Linux versions of popular Windows programs, etc. Why not provide this for the home user?

My suggestion is to target this same info for non-business oriented programs like Itunes as well as provide access to the tools and deeper documentation that the open source community generates… Again, I’m not saying Zorin should create or even host them. But they can hook into Github to highlight tools and documentation that have become the most effective go-to solutions for common migration tasks.

As for my personal journey, I’m hacking my way through the jungle. I found Synaptic Package a few days ago, but it doesn’t see all the packages that I can see via a ‘sudo apt’ CLI command. SP throws errors about not able to get all the libraries. Will have to look into that.

Thanks again for your reply. But, again, if you want to attract Windows users, it doesn’t have to look like Windows, it just has to be as easy to use as Windows.

Fishpierce, your response to the OP question is a great one. I really like your suggestion of a Central Hub. I will direct Swarfendor, the author of the Unofficial Guides to Zorin to your suggestion and maybe we three can brain-pool some ideas.
Sites like this and the ZorinGroupForum exist as an Interactive measure.
Please keep in mind that the Zorin Development Team consists of:
Artyom Zorin
Kyrill Zorin
That’s it. Two people. This ain’t a big corporation- but we got eachothers back.

On Synaptic, please open Synaptic, Password, then go to Settings on the menu bar and explore.
The last tab is Distribution. If you click that (mine is currently on Bionic), you can change that (I can change mine to Xenial) and this will allow you to see other packages that otherwise might not be accessible. Xenial was Ubuntu 16.04. Bionic- Ubuntu 18.04. Slick, eh? Once you try that out, you will find you are able to Force package version. I do this quite a lot.
Next, please open Software and Updater and change the Download From option to Main Server.
That is under the first tab, “Ubuntu Software.”
Now, let’s peruse a Website:
We just hit the Motherload… In this, you can search for the package or dependency package you need. Once you find the one you need, download it to your Downloads Folder. In there, you can just Double Click the .deb package and the Software Installer will open and run the installation. Admittedly, I do this by command line(sudo dpkg -i ), because I like to check dependencies.

Now…time to Debate:D

I hear you about making it Easy to Use. I hear you about CLI. However, I do not agree. Allow me to explain:
The “Easy to Use” marketing strategy is the Problem. It is the problem with Microsoft and it is becoming a problem within Linux, too.
As a (poor ) analogy: Let’s make a car easy to use by removing the elements that give you Control. Steering wheel? Accelerator pedal? Computerize these things as they already have computerized so much else… You become just a passenger, not the owner/operator. And this slippery slope is VERY slippery and VERY treacherous.
I understand how trying it is to get into something that is different and maybe- MAYBE someone could call not easy to use… But I assure you, CLI is Very Easy To use. It Is.
When you first started doing Division in Grade School, you thought it was the hardest thing ever. Maybe you even hated it. But you still had to do it.
Microsoft would pander to that (Chaching! $$) and prevent you from having to do that Hard, hard thing.
Linux Does Not. It Cannot. I’m sorry… but if someone is so determined to have it Microsoft easy— They should stay with Microsoft. Because in Linux, we are willing to accept learning, accept challenges, accept that our fears are not limitations. For those who cannot: We do not want them.
Linux exists as a reprieve from that kind of pandering MS Control. It would be a major fallacy to emulate it.
For those who are truly tired and fed up with being micromanged by Microsoft, there is a home here. IF they are truly tired of it, then they must be prepared to accept the responsibility of ReTaking Control of their Machine. Linux cannot be another Microsoft for them- FOR FREE. That would kill Linux.
We cannot and must not allow ourselves to sacrifice our freedom of Open Source and our Control over our own machines for the temptation of “easy to use to the point the machine does the decision making and thinking for me.”
The Command Line Interface is our steering wheel, our Master Control. It is our FIRST line of defense. This is how it is.

For those who are ready to be in control, We will be here to be as helpful as we can to guide, assist, advise… maybe even make a mess of things…:stuck_out_tongue: You clearly of a mind that you can operate Linux. What seems trying today- give it a couple weeks and like when you first learned to ride a bike or first was introduced to Long Division, in a short time you will be saying, “This is easy! And I feel back in control! I cannot believe it took me this long to make this decision!”

LInux as it is now really is Easy to use. It’s just new to those new to it. We can handle that. Welcome aboard and please keep the questions coming. Feel free to register on the forums and when you see another needs help- try helping (Don’t worry about messing it up, I do it all the time.) Helping others is a great way to learn new things.
Thanks too, for the suggestions and I think the “Hub” idea is a very interesting one. I’d like to see something come of that.

Thanks for the receptiveness to my suggestion. I have mad respect for you guys that administer Zorin. It’s a gutsy move to put your own distro out there and the fact it’s supported by 3 people is amazing. Says a lot about your dedication. I do like the look and feel of it. It’s a pretty seemless move from Win as far as L&F goes. I expect to have another opportunity to build a Zorin box from scratch in the next few months. I’ll see if I can make any recommendations when I do.

I got the Itunes/Rhythmbox issue resolved, but thanks for the offer. I’ll try the Synaptic password suggestion, thanks for that. As for the CLI, I really want to say this without coming across as “don’t teach yer gramma to suck eggs” as I really don’t intend it that way; think of it as a vitae curriculum. It’s not that I’m intimidated or new to CLI. I’ve used CLI on PCs since the mid-80’s, I’ve been a DBA and sysadmin on AIX and Linux systems with no GUI interface, only CLI. I love to script and have used and scripted in a dozen shells across Unix- and DOS-based systems and MVS/zOS mainframes. I also like playing with my system. I can’t express just how much a CLI environment and tweaking my system doesn’t intimidate me. I just don’t like to have to tweak my system to use a new peripheral or software.

An analogy is owning and working on my car when I was younger. Sure, I might want to spend a Saturday giving it a tune-up or putting in a new sound system. But when I turn it on Monday morning to go to my job, it’s my tool and I need it to work. I don’t want to have to adjust the timing if I use a different brand of oil or redo the alignment because I rotated the tires.

I’ve seen Linux become less maintenance intensive over the years. This is my third attempt and Win 10 has really made me committed to it. It is easier than before, but in my opinion only about half-way in the context of luring away Win users.

Two people. Artyom and Kryill
Swarfendor and Myself that you have seen on here- we are just users of Zorin and members of internet discussion boards on the topic but are not employed by, do not work with or for the Zorin Team. Though we do on rare occasions, exchange PMs with them about topics of the OS.
I really have no idea who the Admin of this site is. This site popped into existence one day and this site admin came to the ZorinGroupForum to let us know it existed. -shrug-
It is interesting; on another forum entirely, I am involved in a discussion that relates to how different KDE, XFCE and Gnome are from eachother. I wonder if we could debate ways of making the transition from using Gnome to KDE easier.
Synaptic - I am sorry I said something confusing. Whenever you open Synaptic, it needs root permission to make changes to the computer- so it asks for password to open. I got used to including the “password” line in instructions after peopletried to open Synaptic, saw it asked for a password and stopped what they were doing and posted on the forum asking what to do next which I did not see for several hours…
I do not believe that you are intimidated by CLI. You described this in your Original Post on the subject. However, you also pointed out that most windows users are not used to CLI even if you are.
Your suggestions was to appeal to them, but I expressed disagreement. I do think there are things that are unfamiliar to you and that sure ain’t a crime!
Your analogy is a good one. But I think it does not apply. From your perspective, it may seem to apply… but allow me to adjust it slightly and see if you see the reasoning to it:
You might spend a Saturday giving your Linux-Car a tune up and making sure it starts and runs on Monday in the manner you expect. You might get frustrated over some details and some things, may feel like more work than you think they ought to be. But you get it done and by Monday, your car starts up and you head to your day job.
(chuckle- My day job is a mechanic:D)
I think this more accurately is a description of your experience. Right now, you are doing the tuning, maybe some learning, and the adjusting. I wonder if you feel it will not end- but it will. You will get it turned and sorted out to your liking and then… You will be enjoying the computer starting and running in the manner in which you expect.
And hopefully you are not like me… that I get bored with that and start going into the Root Folders and poking, prodding and breaking things in order to find out how the entirety of it works and how to fix it. Yes… I do that… I have had to wipe and reload dozens of times due to my OS modification attempts. I have gotten pretty good at doing a complete restoration and back to my PC in about ten minutes after I nuked it. Fortunately, such trial and error has taught me a great deal. Much more to learn though… which reminds me… I should create a back up…