Home > Linspire > Review: Linspire Five-O Review: Linspire Five-O Submitted by Frank Schoep 2005-09-18 Linspire 32 Comments OSNews reader Frank wrote a review of Linspire 5.0, have a read here. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 32 Comments 2005-09-18 3:51 am I’ve lost count of how many Linspire reviews I’ve seen on this site, and all the reviews say the exact same thing. The person who wrote the article said he have it a 5,6 our of ten for the business world. Xandros was built with special attention to the business world, along with attention to Windows users. 2005-09-18 5:35 am “I’ve lost count of how many Linspire reviews I’ve seen on this site, and all the reviews say the exact same thing.” Linspire wins the award for “Most Annoying Distro”. Between all the PR Lindspire attempts to generate every Monday morning, Michael’s Weekly Rag, and their “Guest Fool of the Week” publication; They are likely listed in more than a few spam filters. 2005-09-18 5:57 am ankitmalik I guess they never force you to sign up t/o their newsletter so you can’t call them spam, can you? Anywayz I enjoy them although the end of each story is usually ‘Linspire rules!’ If you ignore the end of the newsletter, the rest of the newsletter is pretty interesting! 2005-09-18 4:10 am yea, now figure in that you pay 50 for the OS and 20 for the basic CNR, 50 for the gold CNR… I would give it two points for looks and not much else! I just wonder about the deal between linspire and sco? since linspire isn’t saying anything I just assume the worse! 2005-09-18 4:38 am rm6990 yea, now figure in that you pay 50 for the OS and 20 for the basic CNR, 50 for the gold CNR… I would give it two points for looks and not much else! I just wonder about the deal between linspire and sco? since linspire isn’t saying anything I just assume the worse! Linspire licensed technology from SCO before this whole thing started with SCO. They have said this on their website. http://www.linspire.com/lindows_news_pressreleases_archives.php?id=… The contract was signed in late 2001. the fiaSCO started in 2003. So unless you are accusing Linspire of not building a time machine back in 2001 to discover what kind of stunts SCO was going to pull, I don’t know what the big issue is. Of course, conspiracy theories are much more fun than simply taking the 3 seconds I just spent to type: site:www.linspire.com sco into Google. 2005-09-18 12:16 pm as it turns out SCO are really just a bunch of money grubbing SCOundrels with no sense of integrity… 2005-09-18 3:02 pm Yes it WAS licensed before all this but it also is the very agreement that lindows stated excluded them from the wrath of sco. So to me this is paying the devil to keep his eye from you! I mean it was a big deal when m$ essentially paid sco, you dont consider it just a big of a deal that lindows paid…? I would feel better knowing how much was paid, if it was simply a pay-off or licensing of “unix” when sco has no right to do that! And how did they know to do the deal in 2001? Had it been in the works that long… hmmm… I would have to say they have a fairly nice distro, but it relly needs a installer that allows some type of free software installation without company induced breakage! Maybe a cheaper OS price, and a higher OS price. SO that way the ones of us who just want to play with it, and use apt or source or whatever can do that without incurring such a high price tag! They still have people who need the CNR service and pay more for that so they still get lots of revenue…. I think I have been a bit too hard on Linspire, and I think I will ease up off their backs… a little! Now if we could work out the source code and GPL sidestepping! JakeTate (you know where to email me) 2005-09-18 4:55 pm rm6990 Yes it WAS licensed before all this but it also is the very agreement that lindows stated excluded them from the wrath of sco. So to me this is paying the devil to keep his eye from you! I mean it was a big deal when m$ essentially paid sco, you dont consider it just a big of a deal that lindows paid…? I would feel better knowing how much was paid, if it was simply a pay-off or licensing of “unix” when sco has no right to do that! And how did they know to do the deal in 2001? Had it been in the works that long… hmmm… I would have to say they have a fairly nice distro, but it relly needs a installer that allows some type of free software installation without company induced breakage! Maybe a cheaper OS price, and a higher OS price. SO that way the ones of us who just want to play with it, and use apt or source or whatever can do that without incurring such a high price tag! They still have people who need the CNR service and pay more for that so they still get lots of revenue…. I think I have been a bit too hard on Linspire, and I think I will ease up off their backs… a little! Now if we could work out the source code and GPL sidestepping! JakeTate (you know where to email me) Caldera’s Linux distro had plenty of proprietary stuff, such as a proprietary installer. I read somewhere that this is what Linspire licensed from Caldera. As for the GPL sidestepping, please name an example. As far as I know the following link takes care of any alleged GPL sidestepping. But please let me know if I am wrong in any way. http://www.linspire.com/lindows_products_license.php#ope ftp://126.96.36.199/ Some people on this site really need to learn how to use Google. Although, in this case, I could have found the source code without Google very easily on their website. Or do they need to put up a link in size 70 font that says: “Anyone who is incapable of figuring out that source code can be reached by clicking Licensing click here” The GPL doesn’t require that but just so they are on legally sound ground…as you claim they aren’t…it might be a good idea. 🙂 2005-09-18 6:46 pm “Caldera’s Linux distro had plenty of proprietary stuff, such as a proprietary installer. I read somewhere that this is what Linspire licensed from Caldera. ” I thought they got that from Xandros? But how would any of that put them in the good graces of SCO and not a party to the legal disagreement between SCO, IBM and other technology companies…???? as far as GPL sidestepping: put the source code in the box or the written offer in the box – required by the GPL! allow anyone, not just registered users to order a source cd? allow source cd orders by mail and not just email/support ticket! have someone actually responsible for responding to emails that come to the email address they give for source code requests! Put the GPL ON the install cd and the linspireExtras/CNRexpress/whatever they call it today CD! Explain in clear english that a LOT of the OS is covered under the GPL and that the GPL parts can freely be distributed. Now the biggie – give the support personnel a CLUE about ALL of this instead of them handing our all kinds of misleading info,please! Of course my other gripe is to become more tolerable of other means to install software without breaking everything. And lower that OS price so you can get more people useing the OS and then word of mouth will spread and more people will try it and those that need CNR will sign up…. But I am going to TRY really hard to be more constructive in my criticisms TRY! 2005-09-18 7:24 am l3v1 Okay, we know Linspire rules (not), and it’s the best Linux distro there is (not), and also the cheapest (not), but still, how many times do we really need to read some yet-another review of it ? For me, 1 review and 1 trial was enough. Maybe 99% of people need 100 reviews, I don’t really know. Still, this is just as useless as having so frequent MS “news”. 2005-09-18 8:31 am devnull Strange the author did not get his wireless stuff setup up. I have 2 laptops and 2 desktop pcs running Linspire 5 here. One laptop uses a pcmcia netgear card, works, other laptop linksys works, dekstop pcs use PCI card (realtek chip) works. You could always try ndsiwrapper for your cards to work. For my Sony Cybershot p73 it work great (also works under debian using gphoto) maybe you can mount the mem stick so that you can access your photos. CNR is amazing, it really is. I do like Linspire a lot, its also the ONE LInux Desktops that i install where people actually do not replace it with Windows within two weeks. 2005-09-19 1:46 pm Robocoastie “You could always try ndsiwrapper for your cards to work.” OMG. To have a nickel for everytime some person says that thinking it’s the be all and end all solution for people. CNR is indeed amazing but no more than Xandros Networks. BUT – and this is a big BUT, Xandros makes you re-buy its new version each time it comes out whereas Linspire you only have to buy the program once (and even that is routinely given away) and every version afterwards is free to download from your account page. The CNR subscription is far cheaper than buying Xandros every time too. Personally I find plain KDE boreing and the lack of a filemanager a pain in the butt. Xandros’ file manager rocks with Linspire a distant second. Linspire has all the legal goodies home users want such as DVD player and windows video and sound codecs. So it’s light years ahead of everyone else here. But the mileage varies widely between the two. Xandros, Mepis and Ubuntu all run great on my Dell Inspirhell whereas Linspire is an exercise in futility leading to madness. Vice versa on my desktop, Xandros doesn’t play nice with my usb drives on the desktop because they have it set to auto-dismount every 2 seconds making usb drive access a pain in the rear but Linspire runs well on it. That computer is aging though so I may soon just do a harddrive install of damnsmalllinux on it and be done with it. Overall linux is sooo not for newbies because they could even destroy their hard drive with all the installs, and re-installs and at the very least lose data if they don’t know how to fix their mbr (and no FIXMBR doesn’t always work). My recommendation for newbs is to use live distros to get a feel for them. Then if they want to take the plunge either say goodbye to windows altogether or DO NOT allow the bootloader to install to harddrive and instead use a floppy disk for that purpose. The problems in this area are far too common to recommend they let the boot loader touch the drive until they know what they are doing. 2005-09-18 10:44 am Cavediver Yet another Linspire 5.0 review.. 2005-09-18 12:16 pm So we use this acronyn now? => YALR Yet Another Linspire Review 2005-09-18 12:05 pm Great article. Thanks! 2005-09-18 6:26 pm theeil didn’t anyone notice what a _bad_review_ that was? he focused on the fancy “features”, and worst of all didn’t point out that all of the “great things” you can do on linspire can be done just fine on any unix os. 2005-09-18 12:12 pm i managed to get a Freespire ISO via a torrent, it would not boot up beyond grub’s boot splash, i was going to stick it in to an extra partition just to look around under the hood and maybe install Debian’s apt-get. i sure am glad i did not spend money on Linspire i would surely be disapointed in spending money on an OS that would not boot its install CD.. 2005-09-18 12:39 pm NO SOUND!!! Yes…thats right, the sound doesnt work, and it worked just fine under Red Hat 9. I’ve got a Creative ES1371 Ensoniq PCI sound card. Occassionally, the DVD-ROM icon is not put on the desktop on boot-up. And it came without any GCC or anything! So I installed gcc 4.0 and g++ using apt-get, that worked like a charm. Since I use Linux mainly to develop my own OS (Cefarix OS), I configured GRUB to boot it, but the conf file was getting overwritten. Finally I dug out of the forums that you had to chmod -x some /sbin/jiffyboot file. Now, my OS doesnt even boot correctly ! There were some initial probs with gcc 4.0, but I fixed all that…The weird problem is the timer interrupt stops after 2 to 16 firings, leaving the hard disk driver sleeping forever…I beginning to think GRUB is doing weird stuff before booting my OS? It worked fine under RH9 though 2005-09-18 2:37 pm Anonymous Penguin 1) Linspire 5.0 badly needs updating. The sound issue is well known, there are other bugs, a new kernel would be a good idea… 2)Their business model: CNR is more of an handicap than anything else, IMO, because: A)It makes the main OS very difficult to upgrade B)People on dialup are left out… The Xandros model makes more sense to me: (almost) everything you need in the CDs. Actually they could merge with Xandros (or buy it) 2005-09-19 5:48 pm >>It makes the main OS very difficult to upgrade << Actually, it is very easy to upgrade. CNR will let you grab and re-install the apps in your new Linspire version with one-click. I’ve done it a couple of times. 2005-09-22 3:35 am Anonymous Penguin “Actually, it is very easy to upgrade. CNR will let you grab and re-install the apps in your new Linspire version with one-click.” Sorry, I wasn’t clear enough. What I meant is that it is difficult for Linspire to upgrade the OS, because everything must be in sync with CNR. 2005-09-18 2:51 pm Aside from being very hard to read with a dark blue background, the review was very informative. I didn’t know the Linspire trial download was time-limitted. I’m a paying user of Linspire 5-0 and I’m very happy with it. There are some incorrections in the article that I feel need to be corrected. The author states that Linspire Internet Suite is nothing more than Mozilla with re-branding. It is indeed Mozilla but it is heavily customized and has extra features such as hot-tags. When you hover the mouse over a word, the word becomes highlighted with informative data attached to it. That’s much more than a “clone of Mozilla” and was developed by The Mozdev Group at http://www.mozdevgroup.com. The author states that you cannot install Linspire or customize the partitions when you install it. You can indeed customize your partitions while installing with the “Advanced” option but Linspire is not intended for side-by-side dual booting and won’t support that kind of system. Losing the root password does not cause a “total disaster for the user”. You can boot from the CD and use Rescue/Redetect mode and reset your password if you know how to do that in other Linux distributions. I think it’s funny that the online tutorial that you watch after installing uses the term “Lindows” when referring to the product even though its name was changed by court settlement a few versions ago. Finally, the author forgot all about the built-in VoIP application that uses http://www.sipphone.com which was founded by the founder of Lindows/Linspire. That’s one of the more exciting features of this product. 2005-09-18 4:22 pm hraq The installer for this OS is junk. If I am a power user and want to pass arguments to the kernel then I can’t. Almost all OSs offers this except linspire. “Simplicity should hide Complexity not Simplicity” 2005-09-18 4:57 pm Ravnos If I am a power user and want to pass arguments to the kernel then I can’t. Big deal. Linspire has a target market, and people who know what they’re doing with Linux aren’t it. They’ve said so repeatedly. The target market is the “grandma and grandpa who don’t know anything about computers”, and if you think those people know how to pass arguments to the kernel during the install, you’re out of your fucking mind. 2005-09-18 9:31 pm hraq I thought that linspire was for young people, not grandpa or grandma. I haven’t seen linspire introduced in asylums for old people. Even old people do have mature kids who wants to fix their parents’ computers, so why don’t you give it to them?! Anyway, my computer won’t accept linspire installation unless I pass “ide=nodma” “vga=771” to the kernel. All other distros give you options but lispire much like windows. 2005-09-19 1:49 pm Robocoastie “and people who know what they’re doing with Linux aren’t it.” That is so not true. They not only want gurus but NEED them just to help all the crying newbies on the forum. 2005-09-18 6:30 pm I think the installer is perfect for the target audience they are going after! Heck, I even like it if I JUST want to hurry up and install the OS. A few clicks, walk away, come back in 15 min and it is done! Actually I think you can pass arguments, it just isn’t obvious how to do it…. Yes! JakeTate stood up for lin—-re 2005-09-18 9:44 pm hraq “Heck, I even like it if I JUST want to hurry up and install the OS” That’s true only if the installer passes beyond the first Phase and didn’t freeze for some hardware it cannot detect and refuses my help to define it or arguement it. “Actually I think you can pass arguments, it just isn’t obvious how to do it…. ” “I think” doesn’t cut it for me. What we are talking about are facts, not believes or wishes. 2005-09-18 6:50 pm thats me again right there! Jake Tate man we need a ‘quick’ edit button 2005-09-19 2:57 am IMO: no. I don’t see where linspire has any critical features that I can’t get in other distros. So why pay for linspire? 2005-09-19 9:16 am You shouldn’t pay for Linspire. Of course, you’re probably knowledgeable enough to download and install libdvdcss, without caring about the legal hassles. Linspire is primarily meant for those who aren’t knowledgeable, and wish to remain so. For $20 a year, they have the opportunity to find officially licensed DVD playback software in the CnR warehouse (and probably have to pay another 5 bucks to install it – you know, $5 out of every DVD player goes to some DVD standard consortium). For those of us whose time is more sparse than their money, that is a good deal. Really. For all others, other distros can handle the same, for less money. The only truly innovative feature I noticed in Linspire 5, is their ReiserFS 4 support, which you can select during install, even though they call it “experimental”, and it’s not the default. 2005-09-19 1:32 pm It seems they are still giving it away, or so it was a few days ago. Was able to go wireless with a little fiddling. I have never been able to get other Linux OS to do that. 20 bucks a year to be able to download and install close to 2000 free or shareware programs is a bargain. I’m not a programer, don’t want to be one, and this is the only Linus Distro I’ve tried that makes software installs so painless. Do you want to see more average Jack and Jills switching to Linux, this OS can do that.