A Christian's View on Ubuntu Muslim Edition (Sabily): While the world of Linux is going crazy over the new Ubuntu 7.10, I’m going to step backward to review a distro which is based on Ubuntu 7.04. --The name is Ubuntu ME. It is a free/open source operating system dedicated to Muslims, with customized features such as a Quran study tool and a web content filtering utility. Now why am I doing a review on a Muslim-based distribution while in fact I am a devout Christian?
I believe that religion should not serve as boundary for treating each and everyone with respect, and by writing a review on Ubuntu ME, I can somehow in my own little way show some love and reverence to the Muslim community. The other reason for doing this is that I found out that no review has been made for this distro yet, so I’m hoping to be the first one to do so. The fact that this is also the first stable release version of Ubuntu Muslim Edition (now known as Sabily) made me become even more willing to try it out. So here goes my own view of this new distro, after I have installed and tested it in VMWare.
Test Machine Specs:
Board: Intel Corporation D102GGC2
Processor: 3.40 GHz Intel Pentium D
Hard Drive: Samsung 80GB ATA with 8GB allocated to VM disk
Memory: 2GB DDR2 RAM with 1024MB allocated to VM memory
Display: ATI RADEON X1050 [Display adapter]
The download site for UbuntuME live CD installer can be found here. The installation was effortless and trouble-free, just pointing and clicking and waiting for about 20 minutes to get it done. In my own opinion, Ubuntu along with Simply Mepis, have the best live CD installer in Linux today. My VM hardware were properly detected including the USB controllers, Ethernet, CD-ROM, and audio.
Look and Feel:
A thing that impressed me most with UbuntuME (Sabily) is its highly customized and great looking artwork that even a non-Muslim can surely appreciate. The bootsplash screen image, the login screen, and the start-up splash image were so polished and so pleasing to the eyes that I remembered my date with Cassandra. The Gnome desktop is also a thing of beauty; the wallpaper and a theme called HumanME is praiseworthy. I set my screen resolution to 1280x800 without a problem. For those who have a capable graphics card and want some more desktop eye-candy, Compiz will take care of it.
Managing and maintaining software is one of Ubuntu’s strongest points; and the Muslim Edition of course acquire that strength also. The ever reliable Synaptic Package Manager will take care of removing, updating, and installing software packages. By the way, some valuable and highly-functional software applications are already installed by default. To name some, there’s Firefox, Evolution, Perl, Python, Samba, Gimp, and OpenOffice. As this distro is geared towards Muslims, there’s a Quran study tool called Zekr, prayer time reminder program that plays hymns, and a Muslim calendar.
The Ubuntu 7.04 “Feisty Fawn” is known for its stability, and having used it before, I can attest to that. Therefore, I can easily assume that Ubuntu ME will run steady as well. I tested most of its included applications and they all ran smoothly. I also find the desktop to be very responsive even in a VM environment, and I think a machine with a 256MB memory and an early P4 processor can also run it just as fine.
I would highly recommend UbuntuME to every Muslim for its included religious tools, and to beginners for its ease-of-use. I have tried almost all of the flavors of Ubuntu, and I can say that the Muslim Edition has one of the sleekest and finest desktop. It also achieved its own look and character because of its highly customized appearance. The UbuntuME team has done an excellent job in creating this distro, and I would like to congratulate them for a distro well done.
UPDATE: Ubuntu Muslim Edition is now known as Sabily.