A Christian's View on Ubuntu Muslim Edition (Sabily)

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.

Package Management:

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.


  1. Thanks for the excellent review.It's great to hear that Ubuntu made an OS for us Muslims. I will download ME today.

  2. Thanks a lot for this review.

  3. Appreciate the review. As ME is based on Feisty, there really is no possible way it could not be great. However, I use Gutsy for various reasons, and I do wish that all the ME extra's were more easily acessable in the repo's; at present, I could only find zekr which I happily installed. So, to the ME Devs, please DO release all ME apps under GPL, and package them to the universe or multiverse repo's.

  4. I agree with anonymous about devoting some effort to make sure a broader range of religious software (Muslim, Christian... Zen koans of the day on the command line perhaps) should be available for newbie-friendly installation.

    I do, however, lament the fact that it takes yet another new spin of the ubuntuverse, creating yet another Linxu distro, in order for my Muslim brothers and sisters to have a religious distro (I don't call it Islamic as I'm not sure there has been ulama verdict on open source software...). Couldn't we just create a distro-specific repository and an installer program that in one click would install all these packages and wallpapers onto the already existing Ubuntu? Perhaps a Muslim webpage with distro-specific ways of Islamicizing Ubuntu, SuSE, Fedora, PCLinuxOS?


  5. i hear this version of ubuntu doesn't connect to the internet (a western invention 1400 years in the future for most muslims) in case it comes across offensive material, before blowing itself up in a crowded market.

  6. @Anonymous 2007/10/19 10:19PM...

    Look at this snapshot:

    Have you seen the browser? Seems that it DOES connect to the net.

    what you hear is supposed to cross your brain before going out of your mouth, isn't it?

  7. Now now.. Its not good to feed trolls like the one that thinks Ubuntu cant connect to the Internet. They tend to be uneducated and smelly as this ones post proves. Perhaps it should go post some mindless comment on the Christian forums where its talents would be better suited?

  8. Thanks for the review and thanks a lot for becoming the first person to release the review of this UbuntuME.

    Eid Mubarak to all muslim arounf the world.

  9. in my unasked-for opinion, i think it creates an unnecessary line of division in the linux community. i don't think it's important if a person is christian, muslim, or buddist in regards to how they use the computer. i am a christian and i never have had the desire to use ubuntu ce, it sounds childish.

  10. It's not childish. Linux is just so diverse that there are plenty of flavors to choose from depending on your own taste. I'm even wishing that there should be an easy-to-use distro dedicated to children for study purposes.

  11. well, in my response to your opinion, too much diversity means division. could the entire linux community afford such names as ubuntu wasp ( white anglo saxon protestant ) ubuntu aa ( african american or alcoholics anonymous ) linux mint io ( irish only ) ??? think about that, it adds no true value to the linux philososphy.

  12. Did you know that there are more than 1 billion Muslims and more than 2 billion Christians around the world? So it's just right to give them importance and not the alcoholics anonymous.

  13. and people who suffer from alcoholism aren't real people that never use a computer ? this is really getting off subject, but i see you as the type of person who suffers from being narrow-minded. and what religion are you ?

  14. and people who suffer from alcoholism aren't real people that never use a computer?

    What an idiotic question!

  15. Nice review, bro! I have posted this distro when it was released a few weeks ago in my blog. But I didn't review it as I didn't try to install this UbuntuME on my machine.
    Once again, Great job and good post, bro!

  16. I really don't get why people get so offended by different versions of Ubuntu that cater to different groups. Why do you think it is horrible if don't just all get along, hold hands, and use the same version? The purpose of Ubuntu Christian Edition was to include specific programs in the installation targeted to a specific population that might have a desire to use it. It makes it much easier to use if it comes packaged and ready to use rather than the user (who may not know much about using Ubuntu) installing it after the fact.

    Ubuntu Muslim Edition, I would assume, provides the same convenience to Muslims who happen to use Ubuntu. I am a Christian who has used Ubuntu CE and thinks it is a good thing to have available. I also have no problem whatsoever with the existence of a Muslim Edition and think it is great that someone spent the time to cater it to that specific user base.

    People need to grow up and get over their anti-religious bias. If someone wanted to create a white angle saxon protestant version of Ubuntu, how does that affect you? If they wanted to create a gay, transsexual, lesbian, transgendered, and bisexual version, who cares. It does not affect your life one bit.

    If someone held a gun to your head and said this is the version you must use, then you would have a problem. Until that happens, get over it and use any version you want.

  17. Well what u say its true, brett, i have no doubt on that.

    But maybe its not gun thing, its flower thing, when one friend gave u flowers, instead of the others, u might appreciate more.

    Just another view. :)

  18. What about us faggots? Where is my gaybuntu? I want pink boarders and a rinestone cursor now!

    Point is- It's all a bunch of crap. I just want a computer that works. That's why I am switching to PClos. Buntu has too many ignored problems with video and networking. Network manager has been broken since Dapper and no fix yet.

  19. UbuntuME 7.10 has been released.
    Download it here:

    wa salam

  20. I do, however, lament the fact that it takes yet another new spin of the ubuntuverse, creating yet another Linxu distro, in order for my Muslim brothers and sisters to have a religious distro (I don't call it Islamic as I'm not sure there has been ulama verdict on open source software...). Couldn't we just create a distro-specific repository and an installer program that in one click would install all these packages and wallpapers onto the already existing Ubuntu? Perhaps a Muslim webpage with distro-specific ways of Islamicizing Ubuntu, SuSE, Fedora, PCLinuxOS?,

    Won't less technically inclined Muslims find the prepackaged distro easier?

    If somebody wants to make the effort and can find the audience, I think customized distros are a fine idea. I once downloaded bioKnoppix, a live CD that a professor created so that all his students could be working with the same scientific software applications. There are all sorts of possibilities.

    If someone wants to create religious software geared toward Muslims, I think a custom distro is a nice way to bring that software to the attention of the community. With enough support, that software will become readily available for other distros.

    I wonder if this would be a good way for non-muslims to learn about Islam.

  21. here it is.. PCLINUXOS Muslim edition

  22. I would have thought that Ubuntu ME would have come prepackaged on a computer, as most muslims know more about goats and sand.

  23. Nice review of UbuntuME. I'm one of people who ever use this unique Ubuntu. Its great for Moslem I think full of the useful moslem's application..

  24. AnonymousMay 02, 2008

    if you want to read the coran? then buy a book, and leave us FREE thinkers alone, we've got enought of your sexism, (the same for all religions, boudhism inclued).Atheists have more intelligence.(scientyficaly prooved!!!)

  25. BTW, Ubuntu made a distro for us HUMANS!. Reine.

  26. AnonymousMay 02, 2008

    muslim means nothing, if you follow islam(submission!), you are islamists, as catholics are catholics, not christians. I really can see all religions unifying against atheists. We don't threaten religious peoples, BUT they threaten us since thousand of years! There is no MODERATE religion as there is no moderate fachism.

  27. AnonymousMay 02, 2008

    Dear anonymous atheist,

    I am not sure you want to use that post to demonstrate your superior intelligence. The first thing you said was not a question. The second thing you said was not a complete sentence, sexism is not something you can "get" but you could say that you have had enough of people acting sexist, you misspelled Buddhism and scientifically and it should say scientifically proven, not proved.

    If you are going to insult people of other faiths, at least put a legible post together with proper grammar and spelling.

    By the way, what is your "scientific evidence" to show that atheists are "more smarter" that is religious nuts?

  28. AnonymousMay 04, 2008

    you are too procedural to be intellectually honest, and too stupid, simply: SOD off!kzfdg

  29. AnonymousMay 04, 2008

    LOL...I guess you proved your point. All non-atheists are stupid. What was I thinking?

  30. AnonymousMay 13, 2008

    AS i a muslim ...i feel so proud for ubuntu ME that bring ISLAM religious in an operating system technology...

  31. AnonymousJune 18, 2008

    I use it too, proud tobe Muslim

  32. AnonymousJune 18, 2008

    keep your beleefs and religions home!!! please!!!

  33. AnonymousJune 27, 2008

    Linux an invention by the white demons in the western world.

    So why would a Muslim want to use such a thing?

    Simple, it is to carry out suicide hacking. They are going to hack into America then detonate a bomb strapped to their chest.
    And for the record, atheists are smarter. We don't believe a bunch of completely bogus claims written in a 2,000+ year-old book just because somebody said so. I mean come on, a magical beings flying around, a big head magical being named god, his son coming to earth and being born to a virgin (ya right, Mary was just a slut with a vagina full of lies), he was then killed, then resurrected. A burning bush talked, a man parted the sea, a multi-headed dog guards a place called hell where you go to suffer for eternity if you happen to not believe this book. Being sent to hell to be tortured by all of the worst methods known, and probably many more if it IS true, is a BIG BIG BIG punishment. You would think that someone as loving as GOD would only send people there who did something very wrong. You would think that he would at least provide some REAL proof for people, so that if they decided not to follow his word, then they would actually be defying something proven, and there would be a reason for punishment.

    What really gets me is that Christians believe that God has predetermined everybody's fate. He purposely planned out that almost everybody on earth except a small sliver of Christians will be sent to hell. He created billions of people and predetermined them to suffer for eternity after 60-80 years of freedom.

    Does that sound very loving to you? It sounds like a bunch of bull spit and some big fear tactics tailored to simple minded people looking for an answer that is more complex than it really is.

    I really like the part about how God created himself. That part makes me laugh every time. I also like how it took him a week or so to create everything else. Why did it take him so long? According to the bible, he is SOOO powerful that he could plan, create it all in an instant.

    I also like the part about how he created Adam and Eve. He preplanned everything and can foresee the future, right? So he preplanned two people to do wrong and cause every single person after them to suffer?

    GOD IS SO GREAT!!! hahaha!
    And that is just the Christian god. Don't get me started with those other crazy ones.

  34. AnonymousJuly 18, 2008

    Can I have the lolcatz edition of Ubuntu?

    How about athbutnu for atheists, Ubuntu CE for Christians, Ubuntu Enlightenment edition with E17 as the default for Buddhists, Jewbuntu for Jewish people, Gaybuntu, WASPbuntu, Blabutnu, Latbuntu, Cathbuntu, etc.

    This is so ridiculous. I think it's fine to have something like a package with themes and specific software to install on top of Ubuntu but to have its own version just for Muslims seems like overkill and kind of goes against the ideology behind the Ubuntu name.

    It is open source so they can do what they like but...

  35. AnonymousJuly 18, 2008

    Ever seen a religious leaving an atheist in peace, let alone giving her/him some respect?!!

  36. AnonymousJuly 20, 2008

    This kind of thinking worries me. With
    the kind of rivalry that already exists
    between Linux distributions, imagine
    where this outlook could lead...
    Buddhist watches, Jewish photocopiers,
    Protestant motorcycles, ...

    With a bit of thought, I'm sure there
    is no limit to the number of ways we
    could segregate our societies. Let's
    divide our villages or yet countries up
    by religion.

    The sad part is that most of these
    distros are so similar that often the
    only distinguishing features are artwork
    and labeling. Do we really need yet
    another repackaging of Linux.
    In particular, a
    (insert controversial social phenomenon)
    targeted distro. This is just software
    people. Everyone should feel
    comfortable using it. Let's not lose
    sight of this goal.

  37. AnonymousJuly 24, 2008

    WTF with all these racist and anti-religious remarks? this is GNU/Linux, and that's the way we should see it. Muslim Edition or whatever, everyone has the right to customize any open source distro they like. if you don't like it, just stay away from it.
    if you think everyone should stick to one rigid OS, go get your the stoooopeeed Windoze!!!

  38. AnonymousJuly 26, 2008

    there you sees it!:when you criticise religions, you are a racist!, always the same crap!: because religion IS racism, be it catho, islamo, or any others. Anyway, i'm stopping answering those DANGEROUS FOOLS. Don't send more e-mails, they will be reported as Spam (Porc Meat!)

  39. AnonymousJuly 27, 2008

    i believe in free world (FREE as in GNU). everyone who has problem with a Muslim Edition of Linux can eat their own shit. why not have an edition for every belief of the world. Let each of them have their own customized prayer like Zekr in UbuntuME. (Buddhism Sutra on LinuxBE, for example, how's that sound?).
    now, that's what i call freedom (FREEDOM as in GNU).

  40. Reading the atheist comment made me have a good laugh. U really think muslims r DANGEROUS and "ppl in the western world r demons"?? Lol.. U r commenting in the wrong place dear, here the talk is about ubuntu not religion.
    UbuntuME is a personalised for muslims, so y do u care?? Y not personalise one for atheists if ths version makes u jealous??
    Being a fan of ubuntu, i find ubuntuME is a real plus, with verses of quran n prayer times as the author mentioned.

    Thankfully there r still some people who can appreciate the real beauty of good programming and design, so keep on with the good work ;)

  41. I'm a Muslim, and I don't use Ubuntu ME.

    Gentoo's my sin.

  42. Excellent review, thanks for such an objective look at UbuntuME, I haven't tried it yet, but this review has certainly excited me, even if it's about an older version.

    To the person who claimed that Islam prohibits computers, according to Carly Florina (former CEO of HP), computers wouldn't exist without the contributions of Islamic Mathematicians:

    "Its mathematicians created the algebra and algorithms that would enable the building of computers, and the creation of encryption"

  43. If religion doesn't matter, why did you have to make the point that you're a Christian? Would your review be less valid if I didn't know your belief structure? How does doing a review of a Linux distro demonstrate love and reverence for Islam? Can not love and reverence flow out of the shared humanity which binds us rather than religious beliefs which, if you've read a newspaper in the last 5,000 years, seem only to drive us apart? Even if I did like Ubuntu (and I don't, actually), this review would be the last reason I would try it, although I hope that Muslims find it useful if they have found other distros they've tried to be lacking.


  44. Superb review. Brilliantly expressed. The snapshots and links were especially superb. What delighted me the most was your starting line, ".........this way I may show reverence to Muslims."; mainly because majority of the Muslims are yet unexposed to OSS, and so such measures are more than welcome. Myself being Muslim, I have experienced Ubuntu ME first hand, and your review only adds to its glory.
    Once again, good work.
    Take care

  45. Thank For the Review brother,
    Now I Know What Distro that fit on Me :)
    Best Regards

  46. Are you also going to review (or at least mention) Ubuntu Satanic Edition?

  47. Has anyone taken the trouble to look up the meaning of uBuntu?

    'Ubuntu (a Zulu word) serves as the spiritual foundation of African societies. It is a unifying vision or world view enshrined in the Zulu maxim umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu, i.e. "a person is a person through other persons" (Shutte, 1993:46). At bottom, this traditional African aphorism articulates a basic respect and compassion for others. It can be interpreted as both a factual description and a rule of conduct or social ethic. It both describes human being as "being-with-others" and prescribes what "being-with-others" should be all about.'

    That is the philosophy behind uBuntu (All editions

  48. i guess it explodes when a non-believer wants to use it!
    oh yeah... and the christian version starts crusades.
    now what a glory... praise the nonexistent god!

    u don't believe in fairytales, do you? why then believe in a fairytale that is just a little bit older?

  49. Ubuntu *ME*?!?

    While it fits, considering it's background with Windows, it's a very amusing moniker.

  50. Good day. In a world where the world stereo-types Islam as violent or a terrorist cult, you stood your ground believing that all religious preaches peace and just. I salute you! I guess we ended up with Ubuntu ME/CE because it was near impossible to find religious software ready made for newbies. So this kinda Ubuntu serve their needs. For all others, we can always download and compile any religious software to out existing favours. Lets hope thease softwares grow and hopefully there is no conflicts among the forums which supports these software. Once again, my admiration goes to you for your impartial reviews and believe system. May peace and god's blessing be with you

  51. Bay Jun, bilib kos imong blog. Tungod sa imong blog dili na gyod ko magproblema sa mga PC nga akong serbisyohan unya ang mga user, guest account ra ang nahibaloan.
    Pero kini nga post maora mag mahitungod sa relihiyon imbis nga Ubuntu. Hehehe!

  52. AnonymousMay 13, 2009

    i think all of these religion should be kept off from linux period. sooner or later someone gonna start another politic movement linux variant. All of these are sickening. If you want to have watever religion things, have ur own repo and only encourage those who are interested to add it and show them how to do it(like HOWTO section) rather than spinning off another distro.

  53. Atheist LoverJuly 18, 2009

    Dear atheists,
    You are the closest religious relatives of Muslims.
    Because Muslims say "There is no god,but Allah".
    And you say "There is no god" that's just two words short.
    May Allah help u grasp the two remaining words.
    And I personally love atheists more than any other religious people.
    But that doesn't mean I hate them.I just love atheists more than others.

  54. Cheers for the review mate.

  55. Technical support for ubuntME/Sabily at

  56. AnonymousJune 19, 2010

    Thank you! You're so kind!!:)