Freespire 2.0: First look and impressions August 14, 2007Posted by rjdohnert in Uncategorized.
I got my hands finally on Freespire 2.0 which is the foundation of Linspire 6.0. I have been test driving this release just to see how good it can be when stacked against other Linux destop distros such as Ubuntu, PCLinuxOS and Fedora. Freespire has some to be desired but looks to be on the right path.
Installation: Installation is the same as the old versions of Linspire, user friendly and pretty straightforward. I didnt see any improvements in this area at all. Looks, speed, everything appears to be the same. Timing on a fresh install was pretty speedy. The dialog follows in the tradition of Linspire and not Ubuntu’s installer.
Looks: Linspire has a drop dead gorgeous theme and its good to see Freespire doesn’t differ. Im glad to see KDE as the default desktop. The only difference is instead of a L at the bottom there is a 3D F. Icons are the same yet kind of a mix between OS X and Vista.
Package and Package selection: Freespire has a wealth of packages available and since the CNR service isnt available that would be the only downfall. Officially wait until CNR, unofficially all the Ubuntu repositories work and work well with Freespire 2.0. I havent found an Ubuntu package yet that doesnt work including Wine, Scribus among many others. I havent tried Automatix yet, but since Linspire already includes the codecs and proprietary drivers is it really needed?
Performance: Performance thus far has been great with little to no performance hits. One little tip, dont copy the security fixes repository to your sources.list otherwise you will hose your system. I will post my repository lists soon. One thing I like about Freespire is that it fixes the retardness of the official Ubuntu release. It includes ndiswrapper, hardware works well and no undetected devices that were detected in previous versions. No unexplained crashes or kernel panics yet. Freespire is rather quick and using Ubuntu repositories you can tailor your system to whatever you may need. A development workstation, artists workstation, server etc. No Zune support yet and since Microsoft and Linspire are buddies it better be coming. I do like the custom themed Web browser and Mail application.
Freespire and Linspire also appear to be more long term, vs the short term availability of Ubuntu releases which is a good thing every six months upgrading is a pain in the rear. Overall a good release if you are looking for a good desktop distribution that can handle Ubuntu packages and if you want the convenience of CNR, eventually, and a better Ubuntu then Ubuntu. Freespire and even Linspire 6.0 are good choices