Chapter 15. Running Linspire and Freespire


  • Understanding Freespire, Linspire, and Lindows

  • Linspire support and software

  • Installing Linspire

The brief history of Linspire is colorful and has been portrayed as a "David and Goliath" story, at least in some of the news media. In this case, Linspire is David and a PC desktop market share is Goliath. While Goliath seems to have gotten his way, to some extent, David is still breathing.

Linspire is a commercial, desktop-oriented Linux system that has made a play for the retail market. Linspire, Inc. has marketed itself as a direct competitor to Microsoft Windows by offering boxed sets of Linspire, as well as preinstalled versions on inexpensive PCs.

Freespire is a community project backed by Linspire, Inc., which provides a more traditional Linux distribution freely available on the Internet. Selected versions of Freespire will become the basis of future Linspire releases.

This chapter describes what Linspire and Freespire are, their major features, how to install them, and where to find more information.

Overview of Linspire

Linspire began as Lindows, founded by Michael Robertson in 2001, after his tenure with His goal was to bring Linux to the desktop once and for all.

The general concept was to develop an operating system that would be inexpensive, easy to install and use, and a competitive alternative to Microsoft Windows on the desktop PC. To accomplish that, Lindows needed to be simple enough for a nontechnical user ...

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