Enlightenment 17

Enlightenment 0.17 is the next generation of UNIX graphical environments. It is not just a window manager, but it is also a desktop shell. A desktop shell means, a window manager plus a file manager, plus configuration utilitys all in one. They are not separated as usual. Now, let’s take a closer look at all E17 features.

Enlightenment is fast. No, really. It’s fast. It is known to run on very slow machines (like 100 Mhz CPU, 64 MB of RAM) well. So you really don’t need a modern desktop to see some eye-candy and to use a modern graphical environment. Even more – you can control how fast you want it by using it’s Performance configuration panel to change the cache settings and more.

The high performance does not mean that there is no eye candy. There is eye candy that you have never seen before. Starting from the animated boot screen, to continue with the all animations and effects that themes could provide, to end up with fancy animated backgrounds. But not some huge .GIF files, but really nice animations. Every virtual desktop (at the moment you can have 24) can have it’s own background (animated or not), so you can put different wallpapers on the different virtual desktops. There are a number of effects that can be shown when you switch from the different virtual desktops. The menus, the borders and all other usual parts of a normal window manager are animated as well as some of the widgets (the sliders, for example). Remember that those effects are provided by the theme, so every theme makes E to look different, with different effects, look and feel and animations.

(yes that text was copied from the official e17 website, sue me)

I first heard about e17 a few months ago on some forum but I wasn’t intrested. I like gnome and I certainly prefer it to kde (3 and 4.0.1) and after horrible experiences with xfce, I passed on e17.

Untill 2 days ago. I need a second computer but I also need a ps3. So brilliant as I am, I searched altavista for “linux on ps3” and to my surprise there are special ps3 linux distro’s.

I found yellow dog linux (ydl) to be the best and they will have a new release next month, so I’m golden.

YDL uses rpm and yum so I presume it’s red hat based, could be wrong there. This shouldn’t be to big a problem.

I wanted to test the distro in virtual box, but it’s more than 3gb and with my stone age (12gb) download limit, that wasn’t an option.

Thus I wanted to atleast try that windows manager in ubuntu.

Yup there was e17 again. And to keep thing short: I love it.

Sure a nicely themed gnome with compiz fusion has more eyecand but I like the look of e17.

So here is my e17 destkop (click on pictures).



The only downer on this thing (besides getting used to the no dragging on the desktop, wich happens pretty fast)  is the awfull, unusable filemanager. So I installed the light-weight thunar file manager (nautilus works to in ubuntu). The downside to this is that it still uses the gtk themes. But i’m sure yellow dog linux will have a better file manager included that follows e17’s themes.

The browser (in this case firefox 3 beta 3) also uses  gtk themes, so I use a matching theme.

Enlightenment 16 is in the ubuntu repos and can be downloaded using “sudo apt-get install e16” I believe. If it doesn’t work, google it. But e16 is old, to old. e17 isn’t in its final release so it will no be added to the repos (don’t worry, I haven’t got any problems with it).

E17 installation guide can be found here.

To use e17 (or 16) log out, and on the login screen go to session and select enlightenment.

Themes, wallpapers, … can be found here.

That’s all folks.

    • vunknown
    • May 4th, 2008

    I have ever used before (in eLive), I think so with your review, but i can’t use some useful keyboard shortcut that famliar in gnome/kde, so i leave it.

    • chris4585
    • May 13th, 2008

    I have E17 on my laptop, played around with it some, and I tried to get that very theme to work and it would not work on my E17. Dunno why ;/ no biggie, also you know for the 3d effects like compiz you can run 3ddesktop. 3ddesktop supports enlightenment.

    • linuxowns
    • May 13th, 2008

    Oh, I didn’t know that.

    Thanks for mentioning it.

    • chris4585
    • May 13th, 2008

    Of course 🙂

    • Lino
    • May 5th, 2010

    I really like and use e16 daily, even now in 2010..

    • Williedapimp
    • May 31st, 2010

    I have been using e17 for at least 5 years now, and I have found that it gets better and better with time. I have an occasional hiccup, but whats nice about e17 is that it recovers from segfaults with no additional problems. Anyone that wants a graphically beautiful desktop that doesn’t get in the way and slow down the computer needs to try e17.

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