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KEY FEATURES Freespire is a community-driven, Linux-based operating system that combines the best that free, open source software has to offer (community driven, 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. Current stable version is Freespire 2.0 (build 2.0.8) Initial version was Freespire 1.0 (build 1.0.13) providing both an OSS version and full version with proprietary codecs included
Supported architectures i386
Minimal hardware requirements Hardware requirements : 800MHz processor (1Ghz recommended) | 128 MB of RAM (256 MB or higher recommended for best performance) [Note: with shared video 128 MB of RAM will result in a less than optimum experience, 256 MB is the minimum in those cases. Using emulators (Crossover Office, Win4Lin, etc.) is RAM intensive, so minimum recommended is 512 MB | Hard drive with 4 GB free space | SVGA or higher resolution and monitor (3-D graphics accelerator card for some games, screen savers, etc.) | CD-ROM or DVD drive, Keyboard & Mouse (must support booting from the CD or DVD drive. Most modern computers can do this.) | Compatible sound card and speakers or headphones | Compatible 56 Kbps hardware modem, cable modem, or DSL modem | Ethernet card for Internet/LAN connectivity
Software freedom status Freespire 2.0 has one version. Freespire 1.0: Two versions: one including all the codecs required and another completely OSS version with no proprietary software included.
Installer - overall (7) Quick install with minimal user action required
Package selection (0) Not available using .iso image
Predefined package groups (0) Not available using .iso image
Expert mode install (5) Advanced install to a previously created partition
Graphical installer (7) Informative during relatively short installation
Installer speed (8) Installs in 10 minutes on modern hardware
Graphical system management (8) Based on KDE Control Center including other options: Network Control Panel, improved Component Chooser (Default Application Selector), access to complete system Information and partition Volume Manager all available in the Control Center. Some tools like User Manager and Programs to Autostart run outside the Control Center
Console-based system management (6) Standard Debian features / ubuntu repositories
Number of packages (8) Over 30,00 packages at supporting Freespire 2.0 with the Legacy CNR Warehouse (Freespire repository) for Freespire 1.0 providing access to open source and commercial packages
Package management, automatic dependency resolving (8) .deb based system using dpkg with full apt features providing automatic dependency resolution
Graphical package management tools (9) for Freespire 2.0 & Legacy CNR for Freespire 1.0; one-click install — can't be easier than that
System boot-up speed (7) Initial release boot speed is acceptable (boots in 60 seconds); significantly improved from previous versions
System responsiveness (3) No special optimizations for desktops
Popularity (6) DistroWatch in the top 20's for last 12 months Freespire launched April 2006; first stable (version 1.0) released 08 August 2006; latest stable (version 2.0) released 30 November 2007.
Security focus (7) Freepire uses standard Debian/ubuntu conventions for creating an Admin/sudo account with additional user accounts during start-up wizard.
Stability and maturity (7) Freespire is the development branch for the stable Linspire distribution initially publicly released in November 2002, currently pre-installed by hundreds of OEM's. As for being the development release, the stability is more bleeding edge than in the commercial product — Linspire.
Does the installer support multiple languages? (0) Supports US English only, internationalized via IRMA
Is the system localized after installation? (0) No, English only.
Is manual system localization easy? (7) Install internationalized packages via CNR (for those languages translated via IRMA all core packages are translated)
Support for restricted formats (8) Commercial codecs included in the .iso install: MP3, Windows Media, QuickTime, Java, Flash, Real, ATI drivers, nVidia drivers, proprietary WiFi drivers, fonts, and so on. OSS version available with no proprietary codes pre-installed.
Sagem DSL modem support (6) Same as in Debian
Alcatel DSL modem support (6) Same as in Debian
ISDN support (6) Same as in Debian
Wireless support (8) Excellent out-of-the-box wireless support

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