May 7, 2019

Freespire Linux 4.8 Released With KDE Plasma 5 LTS, Some Unique Applications

Freespire, the free version of Linspire from PC / OpenSystems LLC, has a new release

The team over at Linspire recently announced the immediate availability of Freespire, the free and community version of it's licensed commercial cousin.

Once based on XFCE, Freespire is currently based on KDE Plasma 5 LTS. Per the announcement:

"Today is another great day for the freespire development team, as we announce the release of Freespire 4.8. It is our FOSS solution, with no binary-only drivers, multimedia codecs and strictly libre applications, nothing proprietary included. Freespire is released bi-annually and showcases the best of the FOSS and KDE communities"

Freespire Linux 4.8 based on KDE Plasma 5 LTS
Screenshot courtesy of

Included applications

Among the apps shipping with Freespire some interesting and unique choices, such as Ice SSB (Site Specific Browser) and the Amarok music player

Other highlights included in Freespire 4.8:

  • KDE Plasma 5.12.7 LTS
  • KDE Frameworks 5.44.0
  • QT 5.9.5
  • Kernel 4.18
  • Chromium Web Browser
  • Geary
  • Ice SSB
  • Amarok
  • VLC Player
  • Calligra Office Suite
  • Discover Software Center

Freespire Linux 4.8 Desktop


Some initial thoughts on Freespire 4.8

As someone who has never installed Freespire, here are a few initial thoughts:

- Interestingly, although based on the LTS version of Plasma, the kernel shipped is 4.18, which is older than the current LTS kernel release, which is 4.19.

- It's always good to see KDE's Calligra office suite included in "pure" KDE distributions, and I wish more would do the same; Although it's hard to argue with Libre Office as a default. But you can't get exposure without getting the software into user's hands.

- Along that some line of thinking, the inclusion of a GTK application, namely Geary for email, is a bit surprising considering the announcement states that one of the goals of Freespire is to showcase the best of the KDE Community. Perhaps the devs just don't consider KMail / KDE PIM to be stable enough. Fair enough. But then why not include Thunderbird instead? Or better yet, Trojita?

- It will be interesting to follow Freespire (and it's sibling Linspire). I'd be keen to know what the differences are. I'm assuming that the model is that Freespire is to Linspire as Fedora is to Red Hat Enterprise Linux?... Inquiring minds want to know.

You can read more about Freespire 4.8 and the organization behind it, as well as get download information, over on the release announcement page.

You can also read more about the parent company, PC / Opensystems LLC by visting their page at

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