Ubuntu-Based Freespire 9.5 Brings Custom GNOME UI to Resemble Windows 10’s Look

This release is based on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS and comes with OnlyOffice 7.3, Muon package manager, and Flatpak support.
Freespire 9.5

The Freespire development team announced today the release and general availability of Freespire 9.5 as the latest stable version of this Ubuntu-based distribution targeted at those who want to switch from Windows to Linux.

Based on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS (Jammy Jellyfish), the Freespire 9.5 (codename Black Balloon) release ships with a nice dark look for its default GNOME 42.5 desktop environment, which has been customized with various GNOME extensions to resemble the look and feel of the Windows 10 system, in an attempt to make Freespire more attractive for users who want to use Linux instead of Windows.

“While yes, the desktop environment that we use is GNOME many of our users and customers have told us that they want the more traditional user interface that is not so different from Windows 10 or Windows 11, and, in this release, we have delivered that. You have your classic “dock” as well as “start” menu. If you prefer the traditional GNOME 4 layout it’s easy to switch back,” said the devs.

In addition to this new look, Freespire 9.5 comes with improved security and reliability by shipping with all the latest updates from the upstream Ubuntu release as of May 5th, 2023, as well as fixes for various bugs and issues that were present in the previous releases from the Freespire 9.0 series, which launched with the Xfce desktop environment initially.

Among these fixes, the devs note the fact that Python 3 apps should no longer crash or refuse to start, proper resolutions are now displayed on HDMI connections, Bluetooth headset microphones should now work correctly, both Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge web apps now show in the applications menu, and Zoom calls no longer crash when using Bluetooth audio devices.

Those who want to use Freespire over Ubuntu should also know that the distro ships with support for Flatpak apps out-of-the-box. Also, you’ll find several apps that aren’t included upstream, such as the OnlyOffice office suite, balenaEtcher USB flashing utility, Midnight Commander two-pane file manager, and others.

You can download Freespire 9.5 right now from the official website or by clicking on the direct download link below. Please note that this release is intended for new deployments only as existing users need only to update their installations using one of the default package management systems.

Last updated 10 months ago

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