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The Enlightenment project provides useful libraries, a graphical environment and other applications as well as development tools for creating such applications. This article covers its installation, configuration, and troubleshooting.
E17 uses the Elementary toolkit.
The Xorg project provides a free software implementation of the X Window System – the foundation for a graphical user interface. Desktop environments such as LXQt, Openbox/KDE, Cinnamon, MATE, Xfce, GNOME, Deepin provide a complete graphical environment. Various window managers offer alternative and novel environments, and may be used standalone to conserve system resources. Display managers provide a graphical login prompt.

From the Enlightenment wiki:

The Enlightenment desktop shell provides an efficient yet breathtaking window manager based on the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries along with other essential desktop components like a file manager, desktop icons and widgets. It boasts a unprecedented level of theme-ability while still being capable of performing on older hardware or embedded devices.

E17 is the development release 17 (DR17) of the Enlightenment Desktop Environment. It comprises both the Enlightenment window manager and Enlightenment Foundation Libraries (EFL), which provide additional desktop environment features such as a toolkit, object canvas, and abstracted objects. E17 has been under development since 2005, but in February 2011 the core EFLs saw their first stable 1.0 release. Enlightenment the window manager is still in the beta stages, but is already quite usable. Many people currently use E17 as a day-to-day desktop environment without problems.

1 Installing E17

1.1 From the community repository (SVN snapshots)

Note: Make sure the community repository is enabled in your /etc/pacman.conf.

To install e17:

pacman -S e-svn

To install additional e17 modules and applications:

pacman -S e17-extra-svn

You might also want to install additional Fonts. You need at least 1 True Type Font.

Warning: As e17 is still beta software you are encouraged to keep packages of the previous version on your computer, allowing you to downgrade if needed.

2 Starting E17

2.1 startx

If you use startx or a simple Display Manager like XDM or SLiM, add or uncomment the following command in xinitrc:

exec enlightenment_start

2.2 Other

More advanced display managers like GDM and KDM will automatically detect E17 thanks to the /usr/share/xsessions/enlightenment.desktop file provided by the e-svn package.

3 Configuring the Network

3.1 NetworkManager

You can use networkmanager to manage your network connections.

pacman -S networkmanager

Then you need to follow the instructions on NetworkManager to do the configuration. You may also need network-manager-applet to help with your settings.

pacman -S network-manager-applet

You may want to add it to the start up programs so every time your E17 starts it appears on systray.

Settings -> Settings Panel -> Apps -> Startup Applications -> System -> Network

4 Installing Themes

More themes to customize the look of e17 are available from:

You can install the themes (coming in .edj format) from the configuration dialog. During 2010 there was a change in how themes work, so for older themes you may need to do the following:

edje_convert <theme>.edj
Note: The edje_convert binary has been "dropped" by upstream developers... see: trac.enlightenment.org

You can also change the theme for the etk toolkit (the one which is used by exhibit). You can start the dialog to change the etk toolkit by starting etk_prefs.

5 Modules and Gadgets

Name used in enlightenment to refer to the "backing" code for a gadget.
Front-end or user interface that should help the end users of E17 do something.

Many Modules provide Gadgets that can be added to your desktop or on a shelf. Some Modules (such as CPUFreq) only provide a single Gadget while others (such as Composite) provide additional features without any gadgets. Note that certain gadgets such as Systray can only be added to a shelf while others such as Moon can only be loaded on the desktop.

5.1 Compositing

E17 offers two modules for compositing, Composite and Ecomorph, depending on your hardware and preference.

5.1.1 Composite

The Composite module is the standard compositing manager provided in enlightenment. It provides some minimal compositing effects such as transparency, fade and shadow. Composite provides the more stable module and is supported on a lot hardware through either OpenGL or compositing software rendering.

5.2 Places

From the current source code README for Places:

Places module
This module manage the volumes device attached to the system.

In other words, Places is a gadget that will help you browse files on various devices you might plug into your computer, like phones, cameras, or other various storage devices you might plug into the usb port.

5.3 Scale Windows

The Scale Windows module, which requires compositing to be enabled, shrinks all open windows and brings them all into view. It can be added to the desktop as a gadget or set as a key binding.

Some people like to change the standard window selection key binding ALT + Tab to use Scale Windows to select windows. To change this setting, you navigate to Menu > Settings > Settings Panel > Input > Keys. From here, you can set any key binding you would like.

To replace the window selection key binding functionality with Scale Windows, scroll through the left panel until you find the "ALT" section and then find and select ALT + Tab. Then, scroll through the right panel looking for the "Scale Windows" section and choose either Select Next or Select Next (All) depending on whether you would like to see windows from only the current desktop or from all desktops and click "Apply" to save the binding.

6 Troubleshooting

If you find some unexpected behavior, there are a few things you can do:

  1. try to see if the same behavior exists with the default theme
  2. backup ~/.e and remove it (e.g. mv ~/.e ~/.e.back).

If you are sure you found a bug please report it directly upstream. http://trac.enlightenment.org/e/report

6.1 Cursors

If X complains about X cursors not being available, install the libxcursor package.

6.2 Screen unlocking does not work

If screenlock does not accept your password add the following to /etc/pam.d/enlightenment:

auth required pam_unix_auth.so

6.3 Unreadable fonts

If fonts are too small and your screen is unreadable, be sure the right font packages are installed:

pacman -S ttf-dejavu ttf-bitstream-vera

6.4 udisks vs. HAL

Modules may need to use underlying libraries or daemons to interact with various devices connected to your computer. Currently there are at least two choices for these underlying libraries or daemons to interact with connected devices. The two that will be considered here are udisks and HAL. At the time of this entry the HAL page says:

HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) is a daemon that allows desktop applications to readily access hardware information, to locate and use such hardware regardless of bus or device type. In this way a desktop GUI can present all resources to its user in a seamless and uniform manner. HAL has become deprecated in favor of udev, udisks, upower, etc. and is no longer developed. Currently, a small number of programs still rely on and use HAL, though development is heading toward utilizing udev as a replacement.

So, apparently E17 now tries to use udisks instead of HAL. But some of the modules and gadgets, such as Places, have not been updated to use udisks yet.

6.5 Failure in mounting internal partitions

Check if user is in storge group:

# groups <user>

If user is not in storage group:

# groupadd storage 
# gpasswd -a <user> storage

Then create this file as root:

# nano /etc/polkit-1/localauthority/50-local.d/10-storage-group-mount-override.pkla

And write into the file:

[storage group mount override]

For more information, see: http://bbs.archbang.org/viewtopic.php?id=2720

7 External Links

8 Acknowledgement

This wiki article is based on ArchWiki. We may have removed non-FSDG bits from it.