Zorin OS 16 Lite: Better Xfce with Much More Simplicity

Less than 4 months since the release of Zorin OS 16 Core, which has been downloaded over 1 million times, Zorin OS 16 Lite is here.

Zorin OS is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution designed especially for newcomers to Linux. There are several ways you can get started with Zorin OS.

There is Zorin OS Core which is the free edition of the distro and comes with GNOME as a desktop environment. If you prefer the Xfce, you can try Zorin OS Lite, which is targeted for basic use on low-spec PCs. On top of that, there is also a paid version which is called Zorin OS Pro.

Ultimately the main difference between the Zorin OS Lite and the Core or the Pro version is that the Lite version is going to be using Xfce as the desktop environment while the other versions are going to be using a heavily modified version on GNOME.

In addition, there is also Zorin OS 16 Lite Pro version, that gives you a couple extra layouts that you could go ahead and choose from as well a lot of pre-installed applications. Probably the most important is that with the Lite Pro version you get support directly from the Zorin’s team.

Yesterday the Zorin’s devs has finally released Zorin OS 16 Lite version, which is based on Ubuntu 20.04.3 LTS. It will be supported with software updates and security patches until April 2025. So, let’s see what are the new features.

What’s New in Zorin OS 16 Lite

Zorin OS 16 Lite Xfce Desktop

The first thing that you’re going to notice right away in Zorin OS 16 Lite is it doesn’t look like Xfce. The devs actually did a really good job matching this light version to look almost exactly like it does with the regular Zorin OS 16 Core version.

When you go ahead and first boot up your system you’re going to have the getting started Tour. So if you go start Tour it’s just going to over some basic things such as how to launch your applications, an option to quickly jump into the Zorin appearance menu, and information learning how to install apps.

Zorin OS 16 Lite Welcome Tour App

This release introduces new artwork and desktop wallpapers. Definitely, this isn’t the most important thing in the world, but in this case the artwork team has made a really nice selection.

Zorin OS Wallpapers

The taskbar in the panel in Zorin OS 16 Lite is entirely new and re-written from the ground up. It now shows window previews when hovering over an app icon, giving you a better overview of your workflow.

Zorin OS 16 Taskbar Window Preview Window

Just like with the Zorin OS 16 Core, the Lite version brings some of their additions such as their Sound Recorder. The app provides a simple and beautiful way to record audio and speech and play it back. Whether you’re creating a voice memo for yourself or producing a podcast, the Sound Recorder app makes recording audio effortless.

Sound Recorder

It’s important to note that in Zorin OS 16 Lite Flathub is enabled by default. Therefore, the Software store now comes pre-loaded with the app catalog of Flathub in addition to the Snap store, and the Ubuntu & Zorin OS APT repositories.

Thanks to this, you’ll notice that even more apps are available to install from the Software store than ever before. On top of that, the Software store has also received many under-the-hood optimizations as well as user interface improvements to make it even easier to find and install apps from different sources.

Software Store

A lot of the changes between Zorin OS 15 Core and Zorin OS 16 Core have come to this Lite version. Being that this is the Lite version, the primary reason you might want to use this over the Core is just to not use as much system resources.

You can take a look at Zorin OS 16 Lite official announcements to find out more about it.


Now that you are probably excited about trying out Zorin OS 16 Lite yourself, you can grab the installation ISO file via the button below:

After the ISO file has been downloaded successfully to your computer, the easiest option would be to make a bootable usb drive and install from it.

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

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  1. I hope all is well. I am new to Linux. I’ve been using it on and off for almost 99 months. I have been using Ubuntu 22.04 on one laptop, but it has been sluggish. Zorin OS core has been a drastic improvement on my desktop. I have an older laptop that I “restored” and wanted to use Zorin. I may have to use the lite edition. Since I have been using Zorin Core, will I notice any noticeable changes from Core to Lite? Thanks.

    The laptop that has been restored is a Dell Latitude 3330 i5 processor ((1.8 base/2.77 boost dual core) with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB SSD storage.

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