From Academic Kids

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Linspire Logo

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Linspire Logo

Linspire, previously known as LindowsOS (also Lin---s, pronounced as Lindash), is a Linux distribution based on Debian. Linspire's focus is on ease-of-use for the home, school and business markets — its distributors market it to home users more intensively than all other Unix-based or Unix-like distributions except Mac OS X.

Michael Robertson, the founder and former CEO of functions as the Chairman of Linspire, Inc. Kevin Carmony serves as President & CEO for Linspire.

Microsoft Corporation sued Lindows, Inc. for its use of the term "Windows", which Microsoft claimed constituted a trademark infringement. In February 2004, a judge rejected two of Microsoft's central claims. Though Microsoft lost the core of its case, and says it will appeal the decision, for uncertain reasons it also called the decision "a victory". (See Microsoft vs Lindows for more information.) Because of the repeated litigation on Microsoft's part, Michael Robertson referred to the situation as "Sextuple Jeopardy," in reference to the legal concept of double jeopardy. As part of an estimated $24 million cash and licensing settlement from Microsoft, Lindows agreed to change their name to Linspire.

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Linspire 5 Desktop

Linspire, Inc had the initial goal of developing a Linux-based operating system capable of running major Windows applications as well. It based its Windows compatibility on WINE. Linspire Inc. later abandoned its initial approach in favor of making Linux applications easy to download, install and use. They achieved this using an application called CNR (click and run), a program based on Debian's Advanced Packaging Tool, providing an easy-to-use interface and a slightly modified package system for an annual fee (apt-get costs no money, but has less user-friendliness). CNR (click and run) has roughly 2,500 pieces of software for download. You can browse a sample listing of all of these programs here (

Linspire, Inc sponsors many open-source projects and events (, including the Gaim and Kopete instant messaging clients, Lsongs (, Lphoto (http://lphoto), IRMA (, the ( and ( websites, and the Nvu project, which has started to develop an open-source WYSIWYG website editor (based on the Mozilla composer code) to rival FrontPage. In the past, Linspire contributed over $500,000 to the WINE project and also hosted several Linux and open source events such as the annual Desktop Linux Summit (, Debconf and KDE Developers Conference.

Linspire employs the somewhat controversial practice allowing users to run programs as root, which if done, could potentially nullify the traditional UNIX security system. During the installation, users are encouraged not to run as root but to set up user accounts. However, unlike some distributions, it is not mandated, with the choice being left up to the user. Michael Robertson, the Founder of Linspire, has argued that the separation of root from normal users is essentially not relevant, claiming that once an intruder has gained access to your machine under any account, your data has been compromised and the point is moot. Linspire also holds that this should be the user's choice, not Linspire's. Opponents argue that an intruder managing to gain control of a Linspire system can do anything he or she wants to the computer, such as installing spyware and loading kernel modules to mask the intrusion, and therefore believe that Linspire should take this choice away from the user and force them to use user accounts.



Several varieties of Linspire, known as editions, target different markets. Three main editions exist: Standard, Developer and Live

  • Standard - The standard edition is intended for most consumer desktops.
  • Developer - A version designed for developers, this version comes with many development tools such as text editors, compilers and libaries for developing software.
  • Live - Potential users can download a no-cost LiveCD version of Linspire in ISO image format from P2P networks, or directly from Linspire and run it on their computer without installing.

Language Support

Linspire sponsors the IRMA Project ( which allows people from all over the world to assist in the translation of open source software. IRMA supports over 50 languages with over 1,500 translators. IRMA allows Linspire to be available fully translated in many languages, such as English, UK English, German, Spanish, Japanese, Italian, and others.

See also

External links

es:Linspire fr:Linspire ia:Linspire nl:Linspire ja:Linspire pl:Linspire pt:Linspire zh:Linspire


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