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Freespire logo.png
A screenshot of Freespire 2.0.8
DeveloperPC/Open Systems LLC
OS familyUnix-like
Working stateRevived/Current
Source modelOpen source (with optional proprietary components)
Latest release7.1[1] / 28 December 2020; 4 months ago (2020-12-28)
Repositorynone Edit this at Wikidata
Available inEnglish
Kernel typeMonolithic kernel
Default user interfaceMate (versions 1.20)
LicenseFree software licenses (mostly GPL) with optional proprietary-licensed components
Official (former

Freespire is a community-driven Linux distribution currently owned by PC/Open Systems LLC. It is derived from Linspire and is composed mostly of free, open source software, while providing users the choice of including proprietary software including multimedia codecs, device drivers and application software.

Freespire 1.0 was based on Debian, while Freespire 2.0 was based on Ubuntu. Linspire was bought by Xandros, who originally planned to switch back to Debian for future Freespire releases.[3]

On January 1, 2018, PC/Open Systems announced it had purchased Linspire from Xandros and released Freespire 3.0. While Linspire 7 is available for $79.99, Freespire 3.0 is free.[4]


In August 2005, a distribution Live CD based on Linspire's source pools named Freespire hit the web by accident.[5] This distribution was created by Andrew Betts and was not produced or released by Linspire Inc. Freespire was confused by some users to be an actual product from Linspire, and at the request of Linspire the distribution adopted a development codename Squiggle and began looking for a new name. Linspire then, on the back of the generated publicity, offered users a "free Linspire" (purchase price discounted to $0) by using the coupon code "Freespire" until September 9, 2005. Squiggle OS is no longer in active development.

On April 24, 2006, Linspire announced its own project named "Freespire".[6] The new Freespire distribution was announced by then Linspire President and former CEO Kevin Carmony. This follows to the model of Fedora being supported by Red Hat and the community since 2003. Novell had also started a similar community project by the name of openSUSE for its SUSE Linux product line in the second half of 2005.

Xandros acquired Linspire/Freespire in the Summer of 2008.[7] Xandros had plans to keep Freespire as a community developed distribution similar to that of openSUSE and Fedora for their respective commercial distributions.

Freespire 2.0.8, released on 30 November 2007,[8] and based on Ubuntu 7.04, was the final release until the distribution was revived with 3.0 in January 2018.[9]


The distribution is a Debian-based, community-driven and -supported project tied to the commercial Linspire distribution. Freespire includes previously proprietary elements from Linspire, such as the Click N' Run (CNR) client, while other elements, which Linspire itself licenses but does not own, like the Windows Media Audio compatibility libraries,[clarification needed] remain proprietary, closed source. Consequently, there are two versions of Freespire, one with the proprietary, closed source libraries, and one, called Freespire OSS Edition, that includes mostly open-source components. Freespire has a number of in-house programs written in Haskell and OCaml, such as its ISO image builder, its hardware detection and autoconfiguration, its package autobuilder and "Debian library", and also the programs managing the CGI.


Version Release date Notes
1.0 Release Candidate (1.0.2) 2006-07-28[10] Release candidate
1.0 (1.0.13)[11][12] 2006-08-04[13] Public release based on Debian, Linux kernel 2.6.14, and KDE 3.3.2[14]
2.0 RC (1.9.0) 2007-07-10[15] Release candidate
2.0[16] 2007-08-07[17] Public release based on Ubuntu 7.04, Linux 2.6.20, and KDE 3.5.6,[18] with the built-in CNR 7 plug-in
2.0.8 2007-11-30 Fixes and Beta CNR plug-in[8]
3.0[4][19][20][21][22][23] 2018-01-01 Have Linux kernel 4.10.0-42, Mozilla Firefox Quantum web-browser, and other software updates.
3.0.1[24] 2018-01-14 Meltdown and Spectre fix.[25] 2018-02-08 Linux kernel updated to 4.13.0-32, added new UI tweaks for feedback about distro, removed GParted, updates until February 7, 2018 are applied and more.
3.0.8 2018-03-19
4.0[26] 2018-08-20 Migration from Ubuntu 16.4 LTS to 18.04 LTS base
4.5[27] 2018-12-20 Security updates
4.8[28] 2019-05-03 Various Updates
5.0[29] 2019-10-15 Various Updates
6.0 2020-02-10 Various Updates
6.0.3[30] 2020-06-22

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ "HCL Processors - Freespire". 2009-08-19. Archived from the original on 2009-10-03. Retrieved 2010-05-03. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Back to Debian: Freespire returns to Debian Roots". 2008-08-06. Retrieved 2009-03-25. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ a b PC/OpenSystems LLC: Freespire 3.0 and Linspire 7.0 released
  5. ^ FAQ Category: About Freespire and The Freespire Project - Freespire
  6. ^ "LinuxPlanet: Linspire Announces Freespire Distribution (New Distro Comes in Free and Proprietary Flavors)". Retrieved 2008-12-15. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "July 2008 Linspire news release".
  8. ^ a b "Freespire 2". Freespire wiki. 2007-11-30. Archived from the original on 2007-09-20. Retrieved 2009-03-25. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "Freespire". Retrieved 2018-04-26. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ "Release Notes/1.0.2 - Freespire". Archived from the original on 2009-08-11. Retrieved 2010-05-03. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ Review: Freespire 1.0, OSNews
  12. ^ Free Agent: The Latest Free Linux | PCWorld
  13. ^ "Release Notes - Freespire". Archived from the original on 2007-10-12. Retrieved 2010-05-03. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^ Freespire 1.0: first impressions :: Linux Format :: The website of the UK's best-selling Linux magazine Archived October 1, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "Freespire 2.0 Schedule - Freespire". Archived from the original on 2009-06-29. Retrieved 2010-05-03. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. ^ Freespire aspires, but falis to inspire | | The source of Linux information
  17. ^ "Download Freespire - Freespire". Archived from the original on 2010-05-02. Retrieved 2010-05-03. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  18. ^ "Freespire Roadmap - Freespire". Archived from the original on 2009-07-01. Retrieved 2010-05-03. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  19. ^ Black Lab Software Releases Freespire 3.0 & Linspire 7.0 Linux Operating Systems, Softpedia News
  20. ^ OpenNews: Возрождение дистрибутивов Freespire и Linspire (in Russian)
  21. ^ Lindows Linux Distro Is Back From The Dead: Linspire 7.0 And Freespire 3.0 Released, FossBytes
  22. ^ Lindows rises from the grave! Freespire 3.0 and Linspire 7.0 Linux distros now available, BetaNews
  23. ^ DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 749, 5 February 2018
  24. ^ PC/OpenSystems LLC: Linspire 7.0.1 and Freespire 3.0.1 Released - Meltdown and Spectre fix
  25. ^ PC/OpenSystems LLC: Freespire released
  26. ^ [1]
  27. ^ Freespire 4.5 Released
  28. ^ Freespire 4.8 Released
  29. ^ "Freespire 5.0 Released".
  30. ^ Dohnert, Roberto J. "Freespire 6.0.3 Released". Retrieved 2020-08-24.

External links[edit]