Framework and Zorin OS: a success story

Thought I’d share my “success story” with a new Framework Laptop DIY Edition and the Ubuntu-based Zorin OS 16 Pro.

Background: I’ve used the same MacBook Pro for the past 12 years, repairing and upgrading it as needed. I don’t consider myself a particularly technical person, but I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty (this is relevant, I promise).

Anyway, I chose the Framework because I wanted something that I could repair and upgrade for another 10+ years if necessary (and the current generation of MacBooks seems a lot less amenable to that idea). So, I bought the DIY edition and installed the memory, storage, and WiFi cards with minimal difficulty. So far, so good.

I then installed Zorin OS 16 Pro, which I chose partially for the Windows compatibility, partially for the apps, but mostly because it can be configured to resemble Mac OS X (i.e., for ease of use). I’d been warned that the WiFi card wasn’t supported out of the box, but I’d combed the forums for enough workarounds that I felt confident giving it a try.

After several hours of hyperfocused head-scratching and getting used to running things from the command line, I ended up doing the following:

  • Disabled Secure Boot in the BIOS (not sure if this is necessary, but it seems like a good idea from what I’ve read).
  • Used Synaptic Package Manager to upgrade the Linux kernel from 5.11 to 5.13
  • Downloaded and installed the relevant Intel wireless drivers

I installed GNOME Tweaks somewhere along the way (which for some reason only launches from the Software app) and enabled two-finger clicking. I then changed some font sizes, and there you go. At this point, I can barely tell the difference between operating my new Framework and operating my old MacBook.

(The fingerprint reader didn’t seem to present an issue for me. At one point, I ended up doing a 600+ MB system update directly from the terminal, which may have taken care of it. It’s not a feature I particularly need, however.)

Anyway, all this is to say that if you’re a “relatively non-technical person” like me, don’t be afraid to step into the unknown! Guides for all of the above are available either on this forum or elsewhere online. Or I’m happy to explain what I did in more detail!

Oh yeah, and then I installed Zoom, noticed the interface text was abnormally small, and spent several more hours online trying to figure out a fix - eventually found the /home/username/.config/zoomus.conf file and changed the “autoScale” value to “true”. This involved removing the app and downloading the older version from the Zoom website, though (like, don’t install it through Software).

P.S.: my only gripe is that two-finger scrolling doesn’t seem to function properly when I’m in the Mac-style applications menu - it doesn’t go past page 2 and just kicks me back to the first page. This is absolutely minor, though. :slight_smile: