We here at PC/OpenSystems LLC get alot of questions regarding Linspire and Freespire. Here we will answer the most common questions. We will expand this list as more interesting and relevant questions are asked. Questions can be directed at firstname.lastname@example.org
Q) Why a commercial Linux distribution?
We acknowledge the need for users to get an OS or computer set up and things just work. If a customer sets up a computer and something whether its hardware or software doesnt work they get frustrated, they return it, and they go with what just works out of box. While yes, you can download Ubuntu, or Linux Mint and install the extra's what about those people who dont know Linux and who dont have a child or grandson who does? They are self reliant upon themselves and thats where we come in. We deliver both the OS and if customers so desire we deliver the hardware as an all in one solution so we know it works and it works out of box. For small and medium sized businesses that we deliver the hardware and software to; a lot of them dont have huge IT departments and they dont have the cash flow to hire many IT personnel or equipment. We are an affordable solution for people who want to setup their infrastructure quickly, affordably and efficiently without having to do tons of research online looking for solutions.
Q) What hardware does Linspire require?
Linspire requires an x86_64 bit processor, 4 gb of RAM and at least a 20 gb hard drive to run a basic productivity environment. For optimal performance we recommend at least 6 - 8 gb of RAM for users who want to run emulation software such as VMWare or VirtualBox. For users who need to run software like CAD programs, Video or Audio production we recommend at least 8 gb or more. You can also install Linspire as standalone or dual boot on Intel based Apple Macintoshes.
Q) How will we differ from Linspire Inc?
We will differ in a few ways. One way we will NOT differ is that Linspire is 1st and foremost a commercial product. Linspire Inc. required that you purchase a license yearly to get updates and access to CNR. We will not enforce any such requirement. Once the initial purchase is made, the product is yours. We will not lock you out of updates or the software center. But, you are locked into the version purchased; updates until the EOL will be available, for that version. When the new major release is available you will not be able to get the it unless you purchase a license / licenses.
Q) Are we or do we intend to continue the patent agreement that Linspire Inc. forged with Microsoft?
No. We are not currently, nor will we ever enter into any patent agreement with any company. We will however work with companies such as Microsoft on certain things. We will work with them on .NET Core, Powershell, SQL Server on Linux and optimizing their web apps to run well on Linspire and Freespire as long as our customer base deems it necessary. However, all customers are indemnified against any patent claims and we vigorously defend ourselves and our customers against patent disputes with either Linspire or Freespire as we have done since 2007.
Q) Will Linspire ever have a server release?
No, we are a desktop Linux company. We partner with Oracle and Red Hat to provide server solutions to customers. However for small and medium sized businesses who dont want to buy RHEL or Oracle Enterprise Linux you can install server packages on Linspire HPC or on Linspire Embedded.
Q) How come there is a Freespire.org and how does that relate to our free download of Freespire?
It’s not related to us in anyway; it’s related to Linspire Inc. The reason that domain is still registered and used is due to an ongoing fight between Kevin Carmony and Michael Robertson. Kevin Carmony brought to light some of the alleged shady dealings of Mr. Robertson and had registered Freespire.com (now defunct). I will not comment on or make any assumptions about the legitimacy of the claims and we have tried to no avail to get the domain. We are stepping up our efforts to get the domain.
Q) What differences are there between Linspire and Freespire?
Linspire is a commercial product. The product contains proprietary software and codecs for convenience as well as more facilities for machine emulation, security and development and you get a 12 month support subscription. Businesses, government and education facilities and commercial customers can get other features such as on-site support and custom ISO generation. Freespire is a FOSS distribution which contains no proprietary codecs, applications or binary only software. Freespire in its application lineup contains NO apps which require the installation of proprietary software.
Q) Do we make the source code to Linspire and Freespire available to users?
Yes. We make all source code available to customers. We offer it for download and included are changes we make whether they are accepted upstream or not. We do not provide source code to binary only and proprietary drivers or software. Linspire customers who want a hard copy of the source code only need to request it in the order notes when they make their purchase.
Q) Are we abandoning the Education market?
No. PC/OpenSystems LLC is a major player in the education market with installations all over the US and Europe. We will continue to have a strong offering for educational customers whether it is the general Linspire desktop or Linspire Cloud which is a Chrome OS alternative for running web based applications.
Q) Speaking of Chrome OS, what do we have to offer customers thats not already fulfilled by Chromebooks?
Chrome OS is tied to Googles specialized Chromebook line from different OEM's. If one of those machines malfunctions or is stolen you have to buy a Chromebook. If those Chromebooks become obsolete and Google doesnt release updates to these machines you have to buy a Chromebook. Linspire can run on any generic PC hardware. So schools and businesses who migrate over to Chromebooks have a surplus of machines that are basically useless and Chrome OS doesnt run on them. With Linspire, Linspire Cloud, or Linspire Embedded you can repurpose older hardware with a modern, supported and updated system. We also run on all Intel based Chromebooks.
Q) What is our approach vs Linspire Inc. and Xandros?
We will be focusing on working with Canonical and Canonical’s core Ubuntu product; we will make improvements on that base and fork from it when we feel it’s necessary. Linspire and Freespire will NOT be just remastered Ubuntu spins. However, Ubuntu is the recognized community desktop leader, and there are hundreds of thousands of apps targeted to the Ubuntu desktop, so basing our new product on this solid application base just makes sense. We will be targeting the new LinspireOS toward the markets where we are undisputed leaders : HPC, education, the enterprise and specialized desktop services. Our release is based on the XFCE desktop; its panel layouts and graphics will not change.
Q) Will we offer the legacy Linspire and Lindows ISO’s?
No. We will not redistribute the classic ISOs. And they would be essentially useless.
Q) What happens to Black Lab Linux?
Nothing at all. Black Lab Linux is a separate entity with a totally different development team. Linspire will collaborate with the BL development team when there are common goals. They will offer their version of a community-based FOSS operating system.
Q) How many flavors of Linspire will there be?
As previously stated, there will be no other desktop environments but XFCE. Linspire will come in 4 different flavors : LinspireOS Desktop which is a general desktop OS for home users, business users, students etc. Linspire HPC which is our high performance computing platform targeted toward users who need a very powerful computing environment for high end development, CAD and HD graphics. Linspire Cloud which will have a total focus on web applications and deployment and Linspire Embedded which will be targeted to users who want to repurpose older hardware (5+ yr old desktops, notebooks), IoT and existing ChromeOS users who want an upgrade path for their older and unsupported Chromebooks.