Ahead of the Zorin OS 17 release due later this month, a beta version is available to download for testing and sneak-peeking.

Zorin OS 17 rebases on top of Ubuntu 22.04 LTS and the Linux 6.2 kernel but, interestingly, ships with GNOME 43 and not GNOME 42, which is the default in Ubuntu 22.04.

Given the substantial leap from GNOME 3.38 used in previous Zorin OS releases, this version offers much improved performance and several major user experience changes, such as a horizontal workspace switcher, interactive screenshot tool, and button-based Quick Settings menu.

Zorin OS 17 workspace switcher
Zorin OS 17 workspace switcher

Zorin OS 17 builds out from those solid foundations with a slew of GNOME Shell extensions.

Amongst them is an enhanced Zorin Menu extension. Aside from launching apps, this now lets you search for files, calendar appointments, contacts, world clocks… Anything the standard GNOME Shell overview is able to do or show, the Zorin menu can now do or show too.

And, as in upstream GNOME Shell, you can turn search providers/helpers on or off from the Settings app.

Zorin OS 17 showing the menu, quick settings, and Zorin Appearance app
Zorin OS 17 desktop as it looks by default

The Zorin Appearance app now includes new “Spatial Desktop” features. These allow you to enable a desktop cube to switch between workspaces in 3D, and a a ‘Spatial Window Switcher’ that soups up the standard alt + tab with a slick, animated experience.

Neither effect is exclusive to Zorin OS; both features are branded forks of the Desktop Cube and Coverflow Alt Tab GNOME Shell extensions. Those are also available for Ubuntu users so there’s no need to switch distro if you wanna use ’em!

Zorin OS 17’s desktop cube in action

Also included in Zorin OS 17 is fork of the Tiling Assistant extension Ubuntu 23.10 now includes by default. Quarter tiling, horizontal half-tiling, and smart suggestions when snapping windows around are available when this setting is turned on.

Finally, a pair of new desktop and menu layouts modelled after GNOME 2 and Chrome OS are available in Zorin OS 17 Pro, the paid version of the distro (which has more open-source apps and wallpapers preinstalled).

App versions:

  • Mozilla Firefox (Flatpak)
  • LibreOffice 7.6
  • Evolution 3.44
  • Rhythmbox 3.4.4
  • GNOME Calendar 41
  • GNOME Weather 41
  • Gedit 41

A few previously-included applications, such as the to-do app, GNOME Maps, GIMP, and games have been removed from the default image. All remain available to in the archives.

Download Zorin OS 17 Beta

You can download the Zorin OS 17 beta from the project website.

Beta builds aren’t intended for general use, but for testing. Expect bugs, rough edges, and potential stability issues (though most of the core components making up Zorin OS 17 have been stable for a while, so things shouldn’t be too choppy).

The final, stable release of Zorin OS 17 will appear later this month. That release will be supported with core updates and security fixes until April 2027.

Once stable, it will be possible to upgrade Zorin OS 16 to 17 directly.


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Zorin OS