Posted 03 January 2018 - 02:47 AM
(According to my notes, when I joined these forums back in 2006 I had moved on from Linspire and was multi-booting Windows XP, Mepis 3.4-3, PCLinuxOS (probably 0.92), and Kubuntu 5.10 on my PC; I had Kubuntu 5.10 running on the notebook that originally came with Linspire. I had just moved up here to Albuquerque. I was still using dial-up.)
Anyway, just saw this release announcement about the long-dormant Linspire and its community branch, Freespire: https://www.distrowa...m/?newsid=10078
DistroWatch notes that "Freespire was once a community-run Linux distribution sponsored by Linspire. Freespire was discontinued in 2008. Starting in 2017 Freespire became a free operating system based on Ubuntu and run by PC/OpenSystems LLC. Freespire features the Xfce desktop environment."
PC/OpenSystems LLC is also the company behind Black Lab Linux (https://www.distrowa...bution=blacklab).
I have no interest in this company's commercial offerings, but for nostalgic reasons I'd like to take a look at Freespire. I'll download it and see if I can run it live from a flash drive -- hopefully within the next few days, if time permits. I'll report back in this thread.
Does anyone here have any experiences with (or thoughts about) PC/OpenSystems LLC and Black Lab Linux?
Black Lab Enterprise Linux: http://www.blacklablinux.org/
PC/OpenSystems LLC: http://www.pc-opensystems.com/
Posted 03 January 2018 - 09:20 AM
Posted 03 January 2018 - 10:57 PM
Freespire 3 ships with a nice collection of apps. To name just a few: Firefox 57.0.1, Abiword, Gnumeric, Parole Media Player, Audacious, GParted, Synaptic, a few games, Galculator, Ristretto Image Viewer, and Unetbootin. The Xfce apps that you'd expect (Mousepad, Thunar, xfce4-terminal, xfce4-screenshooter). Midnight Commander is included. Also Nautilus (aka "Files); thought that was interesting. For those who don't want to use Synaptic, I saw menu entries for "Software," "Software & Updates," and "Software Updater."
From the live session, I was able to access partitions, directories, and files on my hard drive (I have Debian installed on that machine). I opened up my music directory and played some .wma files that I've got stored on the hard drive, with Parole. Plugged in a flash drive and copied some files to it. Freespire automounted the partitions I double-clicked on. Took a look at Firefox 57 for a minute. I didn't do a whole lot; the live session worked fine, no show-stoppers, and (I guess) nothing super special, either.
There's an icon on the desktop labeled "Install Freespire 16.04" -- seemed kinda interesting that they would label it that way, but perhaps appropriate considering that Freespire 3 appears to be Ubuntu 16.04 underneath. I didn't attempt an installation.
Seemed like a nice, simple setup that users would be comfortable with, though. Other than the name of the distro, I saw nothing from the old Linspire. Looks like they simply created their own Xubuntu. I liked that they kept things simple. Pretty good out-of-the-box experience, good live session. I'll be curious to see real reviews by users who have actually installed the system.
Posted 04 January 2018 - 09:38 AM
Posted 04 January 2018 - 10:24 AM
If all is as it appears to be, Black Labs seem to be modeling the Red Hat structure, but for the Debian/Ubuntu family. They have their Enterprise offering (Black Labs), their desktop distro/test bed in Linspire, and their open/free version of Freespire (Linspire without the proprietary bits & blobs). I wish them well, as their success is good for Linux.
Unfortunately, it's interesting to me, but not tempting...
Posted 04 January 2018 - 10:29 AM
Yeah -- I'm not replacing my Stretch (w/ Xfce) installation with it. And I'll stick with BunsenLabs on my "test" machine.
I have to say, though, that it looks okay. I'm running it live this morning on a different computer, just playing music from the collection on another flash drive, with Audacious. Seems like an easy distro, boots to the desktop a bit on the slow side, but then it's good to go, nothing gets in the way.
There's a "Help" menu item; I clicked on it and it opened the Xubuntu 16.04 documentation page in Firefox. Alrighty, then.
Going with the Ubuntu LTS base, with backports opened up, and with Xfce, it actually seems like a good way to go.
For folks who don't want/need all the cool tools that MX offers, Freespire seems like a decent alternative. Granted, I don't know how it looks once installed. Anyway, better than what I was expecting.
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