Freespire 10: What’s New in PC/OS’s Latest Free Desktop Distro

Freespire 10 debuts! Based on Ubuntu 22.04, powered by Linux kernel 6.2, it features OnlyOffice and Brave browser in the default installation.

Freespire’s roots lead back to Lindows, an easy-to-use Linux distro with Wine integration and easy Windows-like application installation. However, the distro was renamed Linspire after a Microsoft lawsuit.

Then, Freespire derived from Linspire as a desktop-oriented Linux distro composed mostly of free and open-source software. Nowadays, the project is sponsored by Linspire, a commercial Linux distro owned by PC OpenSystems LLC.

The brand-new major Freespire 10 release brings (again) some interesting changes, so let’s look at them.

Key Features of Freespire 10

Freespire 10
Freespire 10

Based on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS and powered by Linux kernel 6.2, Freespire 10 emerges with new surprises for its users, once again shifting its view on the desktop environment. Here’s what I’m talking about.

The Freespire 8. x series strongly preferred the KDE Plasma desktop environment. However, this approach took a turn with version 9, which shifted towards Xfce. Finally, we see another transition from Freespire 9.5 to Freespire 10, this time to GNOME.

The point I’m trying to make is that such frequent changes in the primary desktop environment could impede building a loyal user base, as it forces users to adapt their workflow and habits with each new release constantly. Now, back on topic.

Mirroring Ubuntu 22.04, Freespire 10 also includes GNOME 42.9 but significantly changes the desktop environment. The developers have opted for a more conventional desktop layout featuring a horizontal panel at the bottom of the screen.

This is complemented by an application menu that, disappointingly, offers little beyond basic functionality, lacking the additional features some users might expect.

However, the next thing we will focus on is more on the positive side, meeting the mass expectations of the Linux community. Specifically, support for Snap has been entirely eliminated in Freespire 10, which now offers built-in support for Flatpak instead.

Finally, we’ll look at the main client applications that may surprise some. For example, the default browser is Brave v1.60.110, a choice we appreciate. Instead of the commonly used LibreOffice suite found in most Linux distributions, Freespire 10 opts for OnlyOffice 7.4. Additionally, Geary is provided as an alternative to the more traditional Thunderbird.

Our conclusion: Freespire 10 provides a different take on Ubuntu 22.04. While it has its charms, things aren’t as polished as Canonical’s distro. So, would we recommend Freespire for your next desktop? Well, we’re leaning towards a ‘not really.’ Our go-to recommendation for Ubuntu derivatives remains Linux Mint as the best alternative.

But don’t let this stop you from trying it out! Freespire 10 could be a delightful surprise if you’re a distro hopper. Who knows? You might just find that it’s the perfect fit for your daily computing needs. So give it a go and see how it feels.

Links to download the installation ISO images are at the bottom of the release announcement.

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

Think You're an Ubuntu Expert? Let's Find Out!

Put your knowledge to the test in our lightning-fast Ubuntu quiz!
Ten questions to challenge yourself to see if you're a Linux legend or just a penguin in the making.

1 / 10

Ubuntu is an ancient African word that means:

2 / 10

Who is the Ubuntu's founder?

3 / 10

What year was the first official Ubuntu release?

4 / 10

What does the Ubuntu logo symbolize?

5 / 10

What package format does Ubuntu use for installing software?

6 / 10

When are Ubuntu's LTS versions released?

7 / 10

What is Unity?

8 / 10

What are Ubuntu versions named after?

9 / 10

What's Ubuntu Core?

10 / 10

Which Ubuntu version is Snap introduced?

The average score is 68%

3 Comments

  1. FreeSpire is dead.
    Yeah I know a company bought the rights to use it’s name, but it operates completely different.
    There is no focus on ease of use for new people who might want to use Linux but don’t know how
    It’s the same with Xandros
    Same company owns them as well.
    Everything that made Xandros, the file manager that can install .Deb or .rpm files for you (Xandros File Manager) is missing.
    Just slapping a recognized name on a generic Linux is a crappy way to honor the memory of Inspire or Xandros.

  2. Xandros was my first attempt with Linux. I had to send for a CD on Distrowatch to install it. That was still when you had to download the files and extract them yourself. While the distro was awesome, LILO was not. I was still trying to dual boot, and Windows kept disappearing and needing to be reinstalled. I then gave up until Zorin, which was a great transition OS at that time. Now a dedicated Ubuntu Mate user, have dual booted since Windows 7.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *