Zorin OS 17 Beta Unveiled with Striking Improvements

Get a first look at the upcoming Zorin OS 17, full of new features for an enhanced computing experience. Here's what's new!

Zorin OS is a Ubuntu-based distribution built with ease of use and aesthetics in mind. Targeted at desktop users and those migrating from Windows or macOS to Linux, the OS offers the pleasant look and feel of traditional desktop environments, making it an ideal choice for those new to the Linux ecosystem.

That’s precisely why every new update creates quite a buzz, especially when it’s a major one like the just-unveiled Zorin OS 17 Beta, which gives us a clear preview of what we can expect in the final release.

What to Expect from Zorin OS 17?

Zorin OS 17 Beta
Zorin OS 17 Beta

Still based on Ubuntu 22.04 and powered by Linux kernel 6.2, the Zorin OS 17 Beta is a sneak peek into what the team describes as their “greatest and most refined computing experience ever.” Here’s what it’s all about.

Revamped Zorin Menu

The Zorin Menu has undergone a significant overhaul, introducing universal search functionality. Users can now effortlessly search for files, appointments, contacts and even use the menu as a calculator.

The improved Zorin 17 menu.
The improved Zorin 17 menu.

Moreover, the menu customization is now made easier with settings adjustments and a new “All Apps” category for streamlined app browsing.

Multitasking Redefined

Multitasking gets a boost in Zorin OS 17 Beta with a redefined activities overview. Workspaces are arranged horizontally and accessible through intuitive touchpad gestures or keyboard shortcuts.

In addition, the Super key now reveals an expanded app grid, simplifying the app launching onto specific workspaces.

Spatial Desktop: A 3D Computing Experience

Zorin OS 17 introduces a novel feature – the Spatial Desktop. In short, it’s a way to get a better contextual awareness about what’s happening on your desktop pleasantly and attractively.

But there’s more. Remember the old-fashioned Desktop Cube effect? Zorin 17 will offer it along with a Spatial Window Switcher so that users can navigate through workspaces and apps in a visually rich 3D environment.

Desktop Cube
Desktop Cube

Keep in mind that these features aren’t enabled by default. To start enjoying them, head to “Zorin Appearance” > “Effects” and look at the “Spatial Desktop” part to enable them.

Performance Upgrades: Faster, Smoother, More Efficient

A significant leap in performance enhancements is at the core of Zorin OS 17. In light of this, the developers have made important optimizations at every level to ensure a smooth desktop experience, with faster app launches and slicker animations, making the system well-suited for new and older hardware.

Improved Software Store

The Software Store in Zorin OS 17 boasts a new design, offering a faster and more enjoyable app exploration and installation experience. Detailed app pages with enhanced visuals provide a comprehensive overview of available software.

Advanced Window Tiling for Power Users

Responding to popular demand, Zorin OS 17 introduces advanced window-tiling features. These include quarter screen corner tiling and customizable layouts, enhancing productivity for power users.

Quick Settings Menu: Control at Your Fingertips

The revamped Quick Settings menu offers access to essential features like Dark Mode, audio device selection, and adjustable Power Modes, balancing performance and power efficiency.

Zorin 17 dark mode.
Zorin 17 dark mode.

Other Major Enhancements to Look Forward to in Zorin OS 17

Just when you thought you had seen all the new features in Zorin 17, guess what? There’s more! Below is a summary of additional features and updates the developers are preparing for us.

  • Enhanced Screen Capturing Tools – The new screenshot and screen recording interface simplifies capturing and sharing screen content, integrating seamlessly into the desktop environment.
  • Redesigned Weather App – The redesigned Weather app offers detailed hourly and daily forecasts integrated across the desktop and calendar applications.
  • New Desktop Layouts – Zorin OS 17 will introduce two new desktop layouts – ChromeOS-like and GNOME 2-like – further expanding customization options for a more personalized experience.
  • Parental Controls and Streamlined App Selection – The update introduces new Parental Controls for standard user accounts and a streamlined pre-installed app selection, focusing on essential applications for a professional environment.
  • Improved Remote Desktop Sharing and Hardware SupportRemote Desktop Sharing now defaults to the RDP protocol, offering a smoother and more secure experience. On top of that, the enhanced hardware support in Zorion OS 17 ensures better compatibility with newer devices.

Lastly, Zorin OS 17 will also feature an updated theme and promises long-term support until at least June 2027. You can refer to the announcement for detailed information about all changes.

The beta release is now ready to try, so you can download it from the project’s website. The final one is just around the corner, so stay tuned!

Also, if you’re currently using v16, hang tight – an upgrade option to v17 will be available shortly after the stable release of Zorin OS 17 is officially out and about.

Remember that this is a beta release, so it’s unsuitable for production machines due to potential stability issues.

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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