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How to install Zorin OS on your computer from a USB flash drive

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If you are looking to use Linux for the first time, or if your previous attempts were not pleasant, then Zorin OS is the best distro to try. Zorin OS does a good job of showing the friendly face of Linux to new users and might be the only distro that lets you become a Linux user.

Apart from the interface, the installation process of Zorin OS is also user-friendly. You don’t need to know any code, and there are no complicated things. In this article, we take a look at Zorin OS and walk you through the installation process.


What is the Zorin operating system?

Zorin OS is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution with an emphasis on an easy-to-use GUI. Zorin was developed with the goal of making Linux more user-friendly, so Windows or Mac users will have no trouble switching to Linux with Zorin.

Zorin OS comes with apps, so you can start using it seamlessly without having to spend hours installing essential apps.

In a way, Zorin is one of the best Linux distros available for people who have used Windows or Mac all their life and want to switch to Linux.

Despite its very graphical interface, Zorin performs just as well in the backend as any other Linux distribution. Zorin’s eye-catching appearance won’t make it less functional for professional Linux users.

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The latest version of Zorin OS was released in 2021. You can read more about its latest features in our Zorin OS 16 What’s New article.

Zorin OS is available in three main editions:

  • Zorin OS Lite: Optimized for use on older and low-end computers. This edition still has the GUI but is based on XFCE rather than GNOME.
  • Zorin operating system core: The full-fledged Zorin operating system. This edition has everything you expect from Zorin and features a GNOME-based desktop.
  • Zorin OS Pro: Same as the Core edition, but with themes that make your desktop almost identical to Windows or Mac as you wish. This edition also comes with a pack of ordered desktop backgrounds that you can use. The Pro edition costs $39 and you can install it on multiple personal computers. However, you will need to obtain a license for each computer if you use it for businesses or schools.


Once you’ve chosen the Zorin OS edition that’s right for you, it’s time to install it. There are other Linux distributions designed to accommodate newcomers and beginners, just like Zorin OS. Check out our article on the best Linux distros designed for Windows users.

How to install Zorin OS with a USB flash drive

To install Zorin OS, you will need the ISO image file, a USB drive, and an application to create a bootable USB drive. Head over to the Zorin OS download page and download the edition you want.

To download: Zorin operating system

Step 1: Creating a Bootable USB Drive for Zorin OS

Zorin OS itself recommends using balenaEtcher to create a bootable USB. However, you can also use the much lighter Rufus to do this.

In this article, we are going to use Rufus to create a bootable USB drive. You can download the latest version of Rufus from the Rufus website.


To download: Rufus

The steps in this section will copy the Zorin OS to your USB drive. This will irrecoverably delete all files on the USB drive. Be sure to back up any files you might need.

Once you have downloaded Rufus, launch it and follow the steps below:


Boot Zorin OS on a USB drive with Rufus.
  1. Inside Rufus, under Device, select your USB flash drive. Make sure that the USB drive you want to use has a capacity of at least 4 GB.
  2. Beside Boot SelectionClick on TO SELECT and select the Zorin OS ISO file.
  3. Click on TO START UP.
  4. hurry Okay in the pop-up window and warning windows. This is a final warning that all data on your USB drive will be deleted.
  5. Rufus will now start copying files to your USB drive. That will take time.

Related: How to create Windows 11 bootable USB

Step 2: Install Zorin OS on your PC


Installing the Zorin operating system

Once your USB drive is ready, paste it into your PC and then restart your PC. To install Zorin OS from USB, you need to access your computer’s BIOS boot menu. This varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, but generally you need to press F2, F10, F12Where Delete on your keyboard before the BIOS hands over the computer to your existing operating system.


Once in the BIOS menu, navigate to the bootloader and select the USB drive. This will now boot the system from the USB drive, rather than the existing operating system. Now is the time to install Zorin OS.

From the initial menu, select the installation graphics you want to see. Select modern NVIDIA drivers if you have them, or select the first option if you are unsure. You can navigate with the arrow keys and press Enter to select an option. The installer will now check the files to see if everything is in place.


Installing Zorin OS 16

Once Zorin OS has finished verifying files, the installation window will appear. Here you have the option to try Zorin OS without installing it, or just install it immediately. Select your language then click Install the Zorin operating system to start the installation.


Installing the Zorin operating system

In the next step, select your keyboard layout. You can also add additional keyboard layouts here. Once you have selected your keyboard layouts, click Continue proceed.


Keyboard layouts in Zorin OS.

Here you can check whether you want to download and install additional drivers or not. You can also check if you want Zorin OS to download updates during the installation progress. Click on Continue to go to the next step.


Installation of the Zorin operating system.

If you want to keep your old OS and dual boot Zorin OS, check Something else then click Install now. This will take you to partition settings where you can freely delete and create partitions. Otherwise, if you want to remove everything else and install Zorin OS, check Erase disk and install Zorin OS then click Install now.


partitioning zorin os

Select your region from the drop-down menu, then click Continue. In the next step, the installer will ask you to enter your name and credentials for your account. Click on Continue once you have finished.


Zorin OS User Creation

Zorin OS will now begin installing. Installation will take some time, depending on your computer and settings.

Zorin OS will restart after installation is complete. You will be prompted with a black screen asking you to remove the USB drive. Remove the USB flash drive, then press Enter on your keyboard.


Zorin OS remove usb

Welcome to Zorin OS! Take a guided tour and get familiar with your new Linux operating system.


Welcome tour of Zorin OS 16.

Related: The prettiest Linux distros to please your visual senses

Seamless transition to Linux with Zorin OS

Installing operating systems used to be a daunting task best left to professionals, but now even Linux is easy to install, thanks to new graphical interfaces.

One such Linux distro is Zorin OS, which places a strong emphasis on usability. Zorin OS is easy to install and use, and is similar to Windows or Mac in layout and appearance. But don’t let the looks fool you, Zorin OS is still as capable as Ubuntu when it comes to backend coding with the terminal.


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