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Freespire logo.png
A screenshot of Freespire 2.0.8
Developer Linspire, Inc. and the Freespire community
OS family Unix-like
Working state Discontinued
Source model Open source (with optional proprietary components)
Latest release 2.0.8 / November 30, 2007; 9 years ago (2007-11-30)[1]
Available in English
Platforms x86[2]
Kernel type Monolithic kernel
Default user interface KDE
License Free software licenses (mostly GPL) with optional proprietary-licensed components
Official website (Dead link)

(Final Internet Archive)

Freespire was a community-driven Linux distribution which was 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 was originally derived from Linspire. 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]


In August 2005, a distribution Live CD based on Linspire's source pools named Freespire hit the web by accident.[4] 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".[5] 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.[6] Xandros had plans to keep Freespire as a community developed distribution similar to that of OpenSUSE and Fedora for their respective commercial distributions.

The final release of Freespire was 2.0.8, released on 30 November 2007. This was based on Ubuntu 7.04 which was supported for 18 months and reached end-of-life on 19 October 2008. Freespire therefore receives no security updates from upstream at present. The distribution is now considered "Discontinued" by DistroWatch.[7]


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[8] Release candidate
1.0 (1.0.13) 2006-08-04[9] Public release based on Debian, Linux kernel 2.6.14, and KDE 3.3.2[10]
2.0 RC (1.9.0) 2007-07-10[11] Release candidate
2.0 2007-08-07[12] Public release based on Ubuntu 7.04, Linux 2.6.20, and KDE 3.5.6,[13] with the built-in CNR 7 plug-in
2.0.8 2007-11-30 Fixes and Beta CNR plug-in[1]


  1. ^ a b "Freespire 2". Freespire wiki. 2007-11-30. Retrieved 2009-03-25. 
  2. ^ "HCL Processors - Freespire". 2009-08-19. Retrieved 2010-05-03. 
  3. ^ "Back to Debian: Freespire returns to Debian Roots". 2008-08-06. Retrieved 2009-03-25. 
  4. ^ "Wasn't there a Freespire project released towards the end of 2005? Is this the same project?". Freespire FAQ. Retrieved 2006-05-04. 
  5. ^ "LinuxPlanet: Linspire Announces Freespire Distribution (New Distro Comes in Free and Proprietary Flavors)". Retrieved 2008-12-15. 
  6. ^ "July 2008 Linspire news release". 
  7. ^ "Freespire". Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  8. ^ "Release Notes/1.0.2 - Freespire". Retrieved 2010-05-03. 
  9. ^ "Release Notes - Freespire". Retrieved 2010-05-03. 
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ "Freespire 2.0 Schedule - Freespire". Retrieved 2010-05-03. 
  12. ^ "Download Freespire - Freespire". Retrieved 2010-05-03. 
  13. ^ "Freespire Roadmap - Freespire". Retrieved 2010-05-03.