Freespire is a community-involved, Linux-based operating system that combines the best that free, open source software has to offer (community involved, freely distributed, open source code, etc.), but also provides users the choice of including proprietary codecs, drivers and applications as they see fit.
Freespire is a community-involved, Linux-based operating system that combines the best that free, open source software has to offer (community involved, freely distributed, open source code, etc.), but also provides users the choice of including proprietary codecs, drivers and applications as they see fit. With Freespire, the choice is yours as to what software is installed on your computer, with no limitations or restrictions placed on that choice. How you choose to maximize the performance of your computer is entirely up to you.
In August 2005, a distribution Live CD based on Linspire's source pools named Freespire hit the web by accident. 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".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 . Xandros plans on keeping Freespire as a community developed distribution similar to that of OpenSUSE and Fedora for their respective commercial distributions.
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, 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 O'Caml, such as its ISO image builder, its hardware detection and autoconfiguration, its package autobuilder and "Debian library", and also the programs managing the CGI.
Unlike Linspire version 5 and earlier, Freespire does not enable the root account by default. Instead, it gives sudo rights to all members of the admin group. However, some people claim that this is not a security improvement due to the fact that the admin user can become superuser without entering a password.