First, a disclaimer: I am no longer an unbiased writer when it comes to Ubuntu Christian Edition. I'm not here to try and sell you on it, but there was a time when I had my reservations, and I no longer have those. I think CE is a great operating system and I highly recommend it to anyone who is thinking about what Linux distribution to pick. I have reviewed other distributions, and will continue to do that over the next few weeks, but the fact is that I've become invested in Ubuntu Christian Edition. So that is what you need to know before we proceed. Therefore, this is more of an informational article than an actual review.
Overall look and feel: Since Ubuntu CE sits on top of the Ubuntu frame, it's easy to believe that the overall look and feel is great. After all, Ubuntu 9.10 looks great! And it simply is true. Ubuntu CE looks wonderful. There is a little softer appeal to the edges, particularly with the icons, then we saw in previous editions. Here is a screenshot of what it looks like fully loaded. Incidentally, the picture is mine. I contributed two wallpapers to the project for 6.0 (told you I was invested).
As with previous editions, going back to my experience with Ubuntu 8.04 and Ubuntu CE 5.0, I found that the distros worked very well, even on my old equipment. I tried a live CD on both a standard laptop (4 years old) and my MSI Wind, which is a few months old. On both the new equipment and the old equipment, CE worked marvelously.
I did have some installation hiccups. For example, my Ubuntu 5.0 would not upgrade to 6.0, no matter how many different tricks I tried. I ended up having to back up my data and load a fresh copy of Ubuntu 9.10 on my laptop and then upgrade that to CE 6.0. The instructions on the Ubuntu CE website worked fine, however, and I was up and running without further delay.
Danguardian GUI: I don't know if I can say enough good things about the Dansguardian GUI. Compared to how it ran on 5.0, this is a major advancement in family internet protection. I'm very impressed. As you can see from the screenshot, it gives a good amount of information immediately. The user can know quickly if Dansguardian is on or off, and know other information. Then, with a simple double-click, the user can modify settings. You will have to enter the root password in order to access the Dansguardian GUI, but this is good as it keeps the young ones from being able to disable it as long as they don't know your password.
I still have my issues with filters in general, but I will say that the GUI for Dansguardian has become quite impressive. Here is a screenshot of the GUI. It is easy to use, and as you can see, no programming language required!
E-sword: I've used Xiphos (formerly Gnomesword) for about a year or so now, so when I finally decided to make the jump to Esword, it caused some anxiety. I've never used WINE (Windows Emmulator) before because I never needed to. However, IT WAS EASY! The apparent modifications that David and his group have made recently to the installer have worked perfectly. I got to choose my versions for download, just like in Xiphos, and the installer went out and got them for me. It was really great.
I've played with it a little and I'm incredibly impressed. I wish NIV was part of it, but I've contacted NIV personally and they won't budge, so that's that. I've switch predominantly to ESV or back to my old KJV roots because of this and I haven't lost a step. This is a worthwhile program!
There are many other things to review about Ubuntu Christian Edition 6.0, but suffice to say that this moderately biased blogger is heavily impressed.