PC/OpenSystems announced today the release of the Linspire 8.5 Linux operating system, the commercial variant of the free and open-source Freespire Linux OS.

Linspire 8.5 "Swordfish 2" is a major release compared to the previous versions, bringing numerous updated components and various new features for a full-fledged Linux desktop experience. Just like its little brother Freespire 5.0, Linspire 8.5 is based on Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS (Bionic Beaver) and uses the Linux 5.0 kernel.

Similar to Freespire 5.0, the goal for Linspire 8.5 was to address the bloatware complaints from the community and make the distribution slimmer by including only the "best of breed" applications. Of course, this means that, if users want to replace the default apps or install more, they can use the software center utility.

"Linspire 8.5 was designed with an intuitive user interface, making it extremely easy to use; easy enough for any Window or macOS convert to make the switch to desktop Linux seamlessly. Aside from the GUI, there has been a lot of work done under the hood to make the system more stable and secure than previous releases," said Roberto J. Dohnert.

What's new in Linspire 8.5

Included in the Linspire 8.5 operating system are the KDE 5.12.9 LTS desktop environment, Ice 6.0.4 browser installer, Google Chrome 77 web browser, Powershell 6.2.3, as well as VLC Media Player, KolourPaint, Amarok, DreamChess, Boot Repair, Kamerka, Kpatience, Firewall configurator, and OnlyOffice Desktop Editors.

Linspire 8.5 also ships with multimedia codecs, including some proprietary ones, to offer users an out-of-the-box multimedia experience that supports most audio and video formats out there. Unlike Freespire, which is free to download and install, Linspire 8.5 can only be purchased for $39.99 USD from the official website.