How to use Zorin OS Windows app support feature, so you can have your cake and eat it too

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Zorin OS might just be one of the best Linux distros on the market. Not only is it pleasing to the eyes, but it’s also pleasing to the mind.

With a very well-designed interface and all the tools you need to be productive and entertaining, Zorin OS makes the case for being the best distro for all types of users.

One of the features, found in the latest release, that sets Zorin OS apart from so many other Linux distributions is the recently introduced Windows application support.

This functionality includes a database used for:

  • Detect Windows installation files.
  • Provide help installing apps.
  • Recommend native alternatives.

Also: Zorin OS hosts a masterclass on what a desktop operating system should be

According to Zorin OS Lead Developer, Artyom Zorin, “These enhancements help take the guesswork out of running your favorite apps and games, regardless of the platform they were originally developed for.”

I want to show you the ins and outs of the Windows Application Support feature found in Zorin OS 16.2.

One thing to keep in mind is that the “magic” behind this rests on the shoulders of the Wine compatibility layer and PlayOnLinux. It adds a few more “tricks” on top of that, but the hard work of the Wine and PlayOnLinux developers helped make this possible.

How to use Zorin OS Windows app support feature, so you can have your cake and eat it too


The only thing you will need for this is a running instance of Zorin OS 16.2. You can deploy it on a computer or laptop or even run it as a virtual machine. You can download the Pro version ($39.00) or the Core version (free) of the operating system. If your machine is particularly old, you can opt for the Lite route (also free).

The Windows App Support entry in the Zorin menu.

The Zorin OS 16.2 includes support for Windows apps added by default.

Image: Jack Wallen

On first run, the App Store will open and you can click Install to add Windows app support to the Zorin OS. You will be prompted to enter your user password for the installation to continue. Once the installation is complete, close the App Store.

The Windows Application Support installer.

Installing Windows App Support is just one click away.

Image: Jack Wallen

Click the Z menu again, click Windows Applications, then click PlayOnLinux. In the resulting window, click on Install and a new window will appear to display all Windows applications that can be easily installed on Zorin OS.

Find an app to install, select it and click Install. Note that some applications require a CD for installation. Once you click Install, a new wizard will open to install the app. During installation, a virtual drive will be created and if any leftover parts need to be installed, they will be taken care of automatically.

The PlayOnLinux main window.

All applications you can install through PlayOnLinux.

Image: Jack Wallen

Once the app is installed, you will find it listed in the Z menu where you can launch and use it.

Also: How to Choose the Right Linux Desktop Distribution

An even simpler method

Since the Zorin OS Windows app support feature works to detect Windows installer files, you can simply download an .exe installer to your local drive and double-click it to run the installer. ‘facility. If you can’t find an app you want to install in PlayOnLinux, just download it to your Downloads folder and double-click it. Not only is this method easier, but it is also faster. The only caveat is finding the app download in question.

It doesn’t matter which direction you take. With the help of Windows App Support in Zorin OS 16.2, you can eat your cake and have it too, because you can use a more reliable and secure operating system while running Windows apps.

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