The Most Interesting Religious Distros for Linux

Gavin Phillips 09-03-2015

Most of us are aware of the simply stunning range of Linux distros The Best Linux Operating Distros The best Linux distros are hard to find. Unless you read our list of the best Linux operating systems for gaming, Raspberry Pi, and more. Read More available at the click of a button. They are far reaching, numerous, and can be customised almost infinitely. It is this customisation that draws many people in: where the rigidity of Windows or a Mac stops your creative bent, a Linux distro can provide you the platform to explore your ideas ArtistX: The Linux Distribution Tailored For Any Artist, Whether Graphical or Musical Read More .


Here we’re looking at a couple of religious Linux distros. The creativity and freedom of the Linux platform allows any developer to explore their own beliefs, whilst providing others with an operating system preloaded with the best religious observance tools Linux has to offer.


Ubuntuce, or the Ubuntu Christian Edition is a free, open-source Linux distro developed by Jereme Hancock and his tiny team, though currently lists the project as dormant. Ubuntuce isn’t a whole new distro, but has been repackaged with a smattering of useful Christian packages such as:

  • Gnome Sword: A Bible study program for the Gnome Desktop, utilising The Sword Project
  • e-Sword: Bible study program for Windows
  • Xiphos: Bible study program written for Linux
  • OpenLP: Religious presentation software for use in church. Bringing open-source software to your sermon.
  • Quelea: Open-source church projection software with integrated sharing options for a host of other religious Linux packages.
  • DansGuardian: Award winning open-source web content filter.

DansGuardian can be particularly useful, especially for parents that want to protect their children Ubuntu Timekpr Controls Computer Access For Kids, Not Just Internet Access There's a Linux parental control utility that controls access to the computer account, not just Internet access. If you want your kid to stay off the computer, you need Timekpr. Read More . It is flexible, so you can set it to ultra-conservative, restricting access to a massive range of sites, or just to skim off the worst of the worst bits of the Internet. It matches URLs, phrases and pictures to its blacklists, which are set to Primary School level by default. Either way, you’ll find it useful.

“The concept behind the Ubuntu Christian Edition is not to deviate from the Ubuntu community. It is intended to draw a larger Christian base to the already thriving community of Ubuntu Debian vs Ubuntu: How Far Has Ubuntu Come in 10 Years? Ubuntu is now 10 years old! The king of Linux distributions has come a long way since its inception in 2004, so let's look at how it has developed differently to Debian, the distribution upon... Read More users”

Despite this very positive attitude toward the existing Ubuntu and wider Linux community, the distro has still drawn criticism, and in some quarters, ridicule. The criticism levelled at Ubuntuce mainly stems from a belief that the distro should actually be a meta-package, if that is all the distro is: vanilla Ubuntu with Christian packages, styles and backgrounds preloaded. So for instance, a simple sudo apt-get install UbuntuCE could then be used to grab the meta-package, install, and voila – the same outcome.

Ubuntuce Xiphos


Others have argued that religion should be left out of software, but I personally don’t have a problem with this, especially considering the broad Linux spectrum. Why shouldn’t there be a dedicated Christian distro, or for any other religion for that matter? Curating and developing a single Linux distro to ease the switch of users to the open-source operating system can only boost the community, whilst insulating users from the concepts of command lines and packages before they are ready to learn.

Bodhi Linux

Our second religious Linux distro is Bohdi Linux, or The Enlightened Linux Distribution, for the Buddhist’s amongst us. Unlike its Christian counterpart, Bohdi Linux is still very much under-development, receiving its last update as recently as February 17th. The distro comes in both 32 and 64 Bit flavours, and also has support for Chromebooks as well as other legacy devices.

Bodhi Linux Logo

Much like the religion itself, Bodhi Linux seeks to strike a balance between minimalism and functionality, with its default installation applications taking up no more than 10MB of space, including just:

  • ePhoto: Image viewer package.
  • Midori: Lightweight Internet browser.
  • Terminology: Lightweight terminal.

This, in conjunction with The Enlightenment Desktop, delivers a fast, compact and flexible Linux distro that can be used as a solid base for further customisation, or just for a rapid install when needed. Furthermore, its lightweight philosophy make it perfect for aging machines Tiny Core Linux Is Your Smallest Choice For An Operating System Linux's capacity for configuration is exceptional -- while it's pretty known that you can configure it to however you like (such as with SUSE Studio), that capacity isn't limited to just the selection of used... Read More , requiring only 128MB RAM and a 300Mhz processor to run – perhaps this is one to keep on your phone, or on your flash drive for a backup distro.

There is a significant difference in the development style of these distributions. However, both provide a solid, useful foundation for any newcomers to Linux operating systems 5 Reasons Why New Linux Users Will Love Deepin There are plenty of Ubuntu-based derivatives that try to solve problems in their own ways, but one distribution that's gaining some special attention is Deepin. Read More , Ubuntuce full of protection and moderation, and Bodhi Linux with its customisable, lightweight designs.

R_Pi Bodhi Linux

Bodhi Linux is also available for RaspberryPi 23 Operating Systems That Run on Your Raspberry Pi Whatever your Raspberry Pi project, there's an operating system for it. Here are the best Raspberry Pi operating systems! Read More with instructions for installation and an image found here.

Other Religious Distros

There are more religious Linux distributions out there, but many haven’t been updated for years, such as Ubuntu Jewish Edition.


Others, such as the somewhat popular Ubuntu Muslim Edition (Sabily) haven’t been updated, but still have a niche user-base that value the work already completed by the developers. This distro also received criticism from the Muslim community, with users claiming it was “a silly imitation of the already criticised Christian Edition of Ubuntu.

Sabily Linux

There is also a sub-category of meta-packages that can be used to alter Linux 4 Strange And Disturbing Linux Distros You Probably Won't Be Installing Linux is the operating system of choice for those who decide to go their own way. The open source model means the building blocks are there for you if you decide that you need your... Read More , such as Kubuntu Satanic Edition. Designed in the wake of Ubuntuce’s release, the meta-packages adds a set of themes to Ubuntu featuring all manner of dark and Satanic imagery. It is silly, and a childish response to a serious project – but some people really like it.



Scrolling through the Internet illustrates that despite the power of religion, and the billions of religious individuals, there isn’t a whole lot of support for religious Linux distributions. Perhaps people are right: don’t mix religion with software, because once it starts, where does it end?

Have you used a religious Linux distro? Do you think that each religion could have its own distro, or should we just focus on improving what’s already there? Are we all better together? Let us know below!

Image Credits: Xiphos via Ubuntuce.comSabily Linux via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. Wayne Scott
    January 14, 2017 at 11:20 am

    Christian Ubuntu should not be a stumbling block to non-Christians or Muslim, Buddhism don't install it tells the end user in the name exactly what it is.

  2. SF
    February 19, 2016 at 5:12 am

    I tried the Buddhist version of Ubuntu, but every time I try to change any of the settings it gives me a pop-up dialogue box saying "Change comes from within".

  3. Anonymous
    September 29, 2015 at 12:08 am

    You should know that as you discuss the packages found in Ubuntu CE, you mention Gnome Sword and Xiphos. Those are actually the same program - Gnomesword was the older name, and Xiphos is the new name with an updated code base.

    Basically, you have Bible study apps for GTK (Xiphos), QT (Bibletime), and Java (BibleDesktop, Alkitab). All of these are frontends for the Sword libraries.

    Just so you know. And knowing is half the battle....!

  4. Steve P.
    March 12, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    For the record, Ubuntu SE is actually more of a heavy metal distro than anything religious, meant to be tongue in cheek with some really wicked artwork (think Boris Valejo for the previous ones, haven't see their latest) and no Unity or Gnome 3.

  5. Kevin
    March 10, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    Thats an interesting article: I'm not currently using Linux, but the Ubuntuce does seem to offer some interesting little items. I do believe the Bible and study it, and like someone said earlier, this distro is news to me, too.


  6. Kevin
    March 10, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    Thats an interesting article: I'm not currently using Linux, but the Ubuntuce does seem to offer some interesting little items. I do believe the Bible and study it, and like someone said earlier, this distro is news to me, too.


  7. Michael
    March 10, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    Thanks for the interesting article Gavin.

  8. Von Adam Martinez
    March 10, 2015 at 8:59 am

    Thank God, I'm an atheist.

    • Jim
      March 10, 2015 at 9:29 am

      Life is easier when you can accept the universe as it is, live in it, deal with it, enjoy it, love what choices it has, have respect for it and expect nothing more of it than its likely to offer. I simply don't see how adding a deity to an operating system or anything else makes it better. Gods simply want to be obeyed and nothing else. If they can't get anybody to do that they don't exist anymore. Don't believe me? Ask a Greek god.

  9. Jessica C
    March 10, 2015 at 2:15 am

    I never imagined that religious Linux Distros would be a thing.

    That said, if it makes people happy and fills a desire out there, I don't see what's wrong with it.

  10. Dan
    March 9, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    I object to your characterization of the Satanic Edition as "childish" (though I have never used it myself). If anything, it is religious belief that is childish and has led to the continued infantilization of unenlightened societies. It is already the 21st century, I think we should grow out of our childhood.

    When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. (1 Cor 13:11)

    • dragonmouth
      March 10, 2015 at 8:18 pm

      There are those that believe that religion is one of those childish things.

    • Nick
      July 28, 2017 at 5:19 pm

      He deems it childish, and I'll lay you good money I can guess his religion. Religion requires these types of responses, as long as religion continues to cause harm in the world.