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New to Linux


Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:17:01 pm

So take this with a grain of salt. Or as what many others new to Linux might also think.... :mrgreen:

First, I think Zorin is great from my limited use of it so far. It includes pretty much what anyone coming from a Windows environment would want!

With Windows XP being retired officially my Mr Softie, I think it is the ideal time for an OS like Zorin to seize an opportunity.

There are a few things that would make it easier IMO though.

Backups - the default app backs up /home, but I had to download a .deb package from the vendor site for my printer, which was installed in /var/spool.lpd/printer-name (the /lpd/printer-name dirs did not exist until I manually created them).

Getting over that install was ok (at least for me), but the backup will not capture that change automatically, so a newbie would have to reinstall anything OS related.

I went to the simplest bare-metal free backup I could find - Redo Backup - but found after a restore the GRUB bootloader had a problem and the system would not boot. I downloaded and used Boot-Repair-Disk to fix it. Again, not a total noob thing to do. The basic image backup (at least in Win 7) just works - puts you back to where you backed-up in total, period. This was important to me while playing with Zorin OS, as reinstalling the wheel is not what I'm after.

Overall, I think Zorin is a very good replacement for Windows - especially because it includes PlayOnLinux and WINE by default for those more stubborn Windows apps. I hope it is kept fast and light as possible while providing the functionality that most would want from an OS.


Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:01:06 pm

Have you tried remastersys? I haven't tried it since Zorin 3.2 but it just works - backed up my entire system including all users - only issue now is it is not as user friendly as it used to be - all from the command line and you don't know that until you open a terminal in Zorin 8 and enter:



Wed Mar 05, 2014 12:46:28 am

Thanks for the reply.

No - I haven't tried remastersys but will take a look. Since I am new to Zorin, I like to back up when I successfully add functionality, like my printer, and then later my scanner. If I screw up trying something else later, I don't have to start at square 1.

I don't mind rooting around a bit in the OS, but there are plenty of end-users coming from XP who don't want to bother - they just want the OS to be invisible so they can do their work on the PC. Having to sudo to mkdir before their .deb driver can be installed without an error is not something they are keen to do. And even if they do it, they won't want to have to redo it if they have a system crash.

For me, it was interesting to use Boot Repair Disk, even with all the commands I had to input into the terminal to fix the bootloader. But Ma and Pa Kettle won't be doing that - that is for certain.

Zorin is the best alternative for machines still running XP as far as I see it. It just needs one or two more basic things with the everyday user in mind.


Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:05:16 am

BTW - just as an aside.

Since I am playing the Zorin, I am running it on an old Dell 6400 notebook. It gives new life to the old hardware, although I admit I have a small SSD in it for the OS that helps. ;)

But I have a SDXC card in the notebook, and XP (swapped in on a different physical drive) cannot read it as 64GB exFAT. When I first tried the SDXC card (with the PC running XP) it said it was unformatted and asked me to format - which I mistakenly did and bumped the card down to FAT32 and 32GB only, reducing its size by half.

After reformatting it back to 64GB exFAT using Parted Magic, and then researching and installing the XP exFAT patches in Windows, it still sees it as RAW unformatted. I thought the hardware was too old and only supported SDHC, not SDXC, so SOL.....

BUT - lo and behold - after applying the fuse-exfat patches into Zorin (I don't know if Zorin would work natively without the patches as I went straight to installing the patches) Voila! Zorin OS sees it as exFAT 64GB! (I opened a text file that was on the card to verify it could be read).

So even though it is a pre-2008 PC/card-reader, Zorin/linux can use it for SDXC, whereas XP patched cannot (and I verified I have the latest reader drivers for this notebook installed).

Another plus for Zorin.


Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:43:13 pm

Glad you got your exFAT card back! :D