I must admit I have fallen behind in testing Linux distributions. Between testing Vista service packs, XP service packs & Windows Home Server from beta to final release time has just kind of slipped by. But I wanted to try the newest Freespire distribution to see how it would perform on my laptop. In the past there have been a few issues with getting my wireless to work properly so I have mainly stuck with using Linux on my desktop setup which it likes. I was also interested to find out how the newest CNR [click-n-run] technology would function.
First of all Freespire is a free distribution from the folks who who distribute Linspire which is their commercial version. Some have been critical of Linspire since they had previously cut a deal with Microsoft after the alleged patent violations came up. I’m not going to argue this issue since that is another huge can of worms that may never be resolved.
Back to Freespire 2.0. The download was extremely fast which was nice. I used the FTP site at the Indiana University which on the day I downloaded wasn’t very busy. I burned the .iso file to CD and let her rip on my lappy using the run from CD option. You may recall that running any Linux distribution from CD is always slower than an install to hard disk.
I was pleasantly surprised that with this distribution it actually found my wireless setup and was was able to make a Internet connection. After registering on the CNR site I was able to explorer a ton of software available for download. Since I was running from CD I wasn’t able to install any of them though. But may experience from using CNR in the past makes installing software a no brainer, which is very helpful for the Linux novice. I have always enjoy using Freespire in the past and this was no exception.
So I decided to go ahead and install the distribution on my desktop machine since I have a Linux hard disk dedicated just for testing purposes. Only one word can describe the installation. Perfect. Freespire found all of my hardware and even setting up netwrok shares was simple. I must admit that since Freespire is Unbuntu based, and since Ubuntu distributions always liked my desktop machine hardware, I expected it to work perfectly.
Installing additional software from CNR was a pleasure. It just does it for you. I can’t say enough about this great feature. Those who are interested in trying Linux should consider Freespire. I believe you will enjoy the ride.
[tags]frespire, linux, distribution, hardware, ubuntu, cnr, install, cd, [/tags]