This is a static archive of the old Zorin Forum.

The information below may be outdated. Visit the new Zorin Forum here ›

If you have registered on the old forum, you will need to create an account on the new forum.

Zorin Upgrade Process Needs Improvement


Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:07:40 am

Having used Ubuntu (and others) for the past 5 years, I just found Zorin, and thought I'd give you some feedback. I generally like what you're doing, and applaud the attempts to make a distribution which has a low barrier to entry for non-techies. However I feel the upgrade process could use some improvement.

I first installed Zorin with the 7.1 version a few weeks back, and almost immediately version 8 came out. Of course being an Ubuntu guy I tried the dist-upgrade method, but was confused by contradictory messages from update manager. I aborted and did some snooping around, and found that apparently if you do the Ubuntu dist-upgrade, then you will probably break Zorin. Instead you recommend users to upgrade from the version 8 iso (on USB or whatever), by blowing away your / partition and retaining the /home partition, using the "Something Else" method.

This wasn't too much of a problem for me as I always keep my /home partition separate, and all my settings and docs were retained, but what it does mean is that any apps you install after the initial installation need to be re-installed. This to me isn't so user friendly. Over the course of two weeks it didn't amount to a lot of apps, but over a year or so, this is going to become a major hassle upgrading. What are the issues in upgrading with the normal Ubuntu upgrade process? Are they fixable? If not, is there a way to do a diff of applications installed before and after (dpkg --get-selections ??) and upgrade those too? Or at least suggest a list of apps to re-install.

For the record, using the Something Else Upgrade, I did have problems on first booting into Zorin 8. Basically no menus were visible, and I only had a very odd looking blank panel at the bottom of the screen. I managed to use crtl-alt-T to get a terminal and eventually to launch Zorin Look Manager. From there I switched between the various Looks and Themes, and eventually got the correct panels back. Also not very user friendly, but as I'm a techie I was able to figure it out. Had I not been, I'd be staring at my screen right now wondering how to fix it.


Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:37:01 pm

Well first things first, I made the mistake of believing 'dist-upgrade' was 'distribution upgrade' - it isn't!

If you want to do a safe upgrade Wolfman has written a How-to about this - this is my lunch-break at work and no time to hunt for it - back later! :D


Tue Feb 18, 2014 3:36:19 pm


the command for a complete Ubuntu release upgrade is:

sudo do-release-upgrade

If you use the above command on a Zorin release, you will break it as you pointed out!.

The above is covered here among many other tips:


See also:


Regards Wolfman :D


Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:19:28 am

So yes, I should apologise for lazily saying dist-upgrade when I meant distribution upgrade, which of course is instigated with a do-release-upgrade command. In fact I think I did it with 'update-manager -d' which reveals the Release Upgrade button. Apologies for the confusion.

Thanks for the links to the upgrade tips and tricks page too, but that also underscores the point I was trying to make in this post: the initial install of Zorin is great, and can be done by a newbie, resulting in a clean, usable, intuitive system for people new to Linux or switching from Windows. However, by contrast, the upgrade process is really only to be attempted by technically competent people. And I believe this stands in the way of Zorin becoming as popular as it deserves.

So basically I was wondering what the problems were in the upgrade processs which cause these conflicts between Zorin and Ubuntu updates, and whether there was a way around them. The folk at Mint seem to have found a way to do it: is it just as simple as setting up your own repositories?

In fact, perhaps I've posted this in the wrong forum, so feel free to move it to somewhere more appropriate if needed.


Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:56:37 am


the question about upgrading is valid, although that is something that you need to take up with the devs of Zorin OS.

I did do an upgrade guide which explains the "Something Else Method", which I hope I explained as best I could so everyone can understand it:


Maybe in the not too distant future, the devs will create their own upgrade app for Zorin OS?.

The problem about updating in general is down to Ubuntu and their repositories, they have now slowed down the update process to sometimes a snails pace which they claim is designed to help the user and prevent them from downloading something that would break their system, maybe it never occured to them to actually test the software before putting it in the repo's?. There must be a few ex MS workers there now! (Canonical).

Regards Wolfman :D