Zorin OS 16 Released with Stunning New Look and Array of Updates


The team announced the release of brand new Zorin OS 16, bringing some much-needed improvements and updates. We round up the release in this post.

Zorin OS 16 Desktop

The open-source and eye-candy Linux distribution Zorin OS brings its latest stable release version 16 which will be supported with updates and enhancements until 2025. This release brings some unique but useful features, while the team made sure that there is no performance drops.

Zorin OS uses its own software repository and also uses Ubuntu repo as well.

Let’s take a look at the important new features.

Zorin OS 16 – New Features

The latest Zorin OS 16 is powered by Linux Kernel 5.11 (hwe stack). This release is based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

The major update in this release is inclusion of Flathub repo by default in Zorin. With this, Zorin Software Store becomes one of the largest collection of applications available in Linux distribution. Because it can now support Flathub plus earlier supports of Snap Store, Ubuntu repo, Zorin own repo and AppImage support.

Zorin is known for its looks, mostly. In this release, a handful of improvements arrives. Here’s a quick summary:

  • The default theme is more polished with updated icons and color palette.
  • New Artwork and wallpapers are pre-loaded.
  • The Lock screen can now show a blurred version of your selected wallpaper, giving you a clean look.

Taskbar icons are enabled active indicator with notification banner with counts. That means, you can get unread message counts, etc. in taskbar icons for example for messaging apps. Taskbar also received a bunch of standard features such as auto hide, transparency, moving icons around, etc.

New Taskbar Notification Bubbles

Many internal performance improvement received in this release. The details are not available, however as per the team overall desktop experience in all Zorin flavors is much improved from its predecessor Zorin 15.

Two new apps introduces in this release. A Tour app which give you a quick walkthrough of Zorin desktop after first installation. And a new sound recorder app is also introduced.

If you’re using a laptop, moving between your apps and workspaces is even quicker and easier. Zorin OS 16 introduces multi-touch touchpad gestures, enabled out of the box. Now you can switch between workspaces with fluid 1:1 motion by swiping 4 fingers up or down. Pinch on the touchpad with 3 fingers to open the activities overview and instantly see every app running on your workspaces.

Zorin OS 16 is now supports fractional scaling for high resolution displays

The installer now includes the NVIDIA drivers which can be selected in the first LIVE disk boot prompt, and the installer now supports encryption.

A full details of the change is available here.

Zorin OS 16 Minimum System Requirement

Zorin OS Core, Education and Pro

  • CPU – 1 GHz Dual Core – Intel/AMD 64-bit processor
  • RAM – 2 GB
  • Storage – 15 GB (Core & Education) or 30 GB (Pro)
  • Display – 800 × 600 resolution

Zorin OS LITE

  • CPU – 700 MHz Single Core – Intel/AMD 64-bit or 32-bit processor
  • RAM – 512 MB
  • Storage – 10 GB
  • Display – 640 × 480 resolution

Download Zorin OS 16

It is worth to mention that Zorin comes with a PRO version which is around $39 with additional features such as Windows 11 style look, etc. However, you can always download the free versions – they are Zorin OS 16 Core and Zorin OS 16 LITE (for low- end hardware). You might want to take a look at their feature comparison.

You can download the latest .iso from the below link. Likewise, you can either use Etcher or any other utility to create a LIVE USB for installation.

Upgrade from Zorin 15.x

There is no upgrade path available at the moment from Zorin OS 15. However, as per the team, an upgrade path will be available soon when Zorin 15 users can easily upgrade to the latest version.

Closing Notes

One of the best feature of Zorin is its unique way of handling App ecosystem. It is probably the only Linux desktop distribution which provides out-of-the-box experience to search and install apps from Flathub, Snap Store, AppImage, Ubuntu/Own repo via its Software Store. You do not require to manually configure your system for Snap or Flatpak. That said, It’s still a modified GNOME with additional items. Some may not prefer Zorin and may feel bloated with all these features pre-loaded. In that sense, it is one of the ideal distro for new Linux desktop users who need a ready-made Windows/macOS like feel with all the Linux features.