The Unofficial Enlightenment User's Manual

General Information edit

What is Enlightenment? edit

Enlightenment, commonly referred to as e, is an open source software X window manager primarily for Unix-like computers. Enlightenment focuses on pushing the limits of existing technologies while remaining lightweight, flexible, and beautiful. The project has a long history; the current stable version is 0.17, also known as E17. See the wikipedia articles on Enlightenment and the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries, the project's website, or the project's sourceforge page for more information.

What is "The Unofficial Enlightenment User's Manual"? edit

The Unofficial Enlightenment User's Manual is the document you are now reading. It is a community-created guide to help enlightenment users and potential new enlightenment users quickly and coherently understand how best to install, customize, and use the Enlightenment window manager. It is an editable wikibook released under the GNU Free Documentation License.

Who might want to use this document? edit

Anyone looking for tips, tricks, help, and information on setting up and using the Enlightenment window manager.

Who should contribute to this document? edit

Anyone can edit this document, and we encourage you to add any tips, tricks or information about using Enlightenment! This document is created by Enlightenment enthusiasts for Enlightenment users, and it can always use relevant information. If you have never edited a wikimedia page before, we encourage you to read through the Help page for page editing, the Wikibooks policies guide, and the Wikibooks Manual of Style; after that, dive in and start editing! If you have questions or concerns, please visit the talk page.

Getting Started edit

The Enlightenment Logo

A note about different enlightenment versions edit

A note about different operating environments edit

Other places to look for information edit

enlightenment installation guide edit

Installing Enlightenment 0.17 (also known as E17 or DR17) is a snap in suse. You just use YAST and it is all done for you. After the progress bar is finished you then log out. When you look at the sessions available at the login screen, Enlightenment is now available. How you get to yast and all the other programs through enlightenment, I don't know!

There is a quickstart guide for E17 in Suse at

A HOWTO for Gentoo can be found at

Check out the following link to install DR17 in Suse Linux :

There are no up-to-date official binaries for E17 for Debian- or Ubuntu-based distributions. Packages labeled "e17" in the Ubuntu repositories are actually e16 and are dated December 2004.

Installing e from a terminal edit

open a terminal and become root, or su, or sudo

in mine, (Mandriva 2008, running Eterm)

 [root@localhost ~]# apt-get install enlightenment


 [root@localhost ~]# yum install enlightenment


 [root@localhost ~]# urpmi enlightenment

one of these should install enlightenment if you are already connected.

enlightenment DR16 configuration guide edit

Enlightenment is extremely configurable - that is you can alter or re-design almost any feature of the window manager. The only downside is that to get a really cool environment, you have to do the work. Or download a theme someone else has done for you.

Getting Background images to change from middle click menu-in .e16 edit

using a terminal (i prefer Eterm) you should see

[yourloginname@localhost ~]$su <enter> 
password <your root password- type it in, <enter>>

now, your terminal will look like

[root@localhost yun]# 

now we are root.

[root@localhost yun]# ls -a

see a report of folders, etc., you need to see ".e16" so you can change into that directory

[root@localhost yun]# cd .e16

notice we will leave our yun directory and are now in .e16- (below) lets add a folder for images

[root@localhost .e16]# mkdir /backgrounds

now, we can "cd" into /backgrounds, and see all the files in there (now, there's none, but this is where you want background images to be for the middle menu button, if you want to download them directly into this directory, choose to save image into the same path, yun > .e16 > backgrounds <save>

      • note***- sometimes the "background" menu dissapears, to restore it on the fly,
-middle click > maintenance > purge all caches *OR* regenerate menus 

now, to test your new backgrounds from the middle click menu

 middle click > Desktop > backgrounds 

= your backgrounds are now tiny images to help you select, on the fly swapping, select any of the small image icons, and watch your background flip instantly (ensure proper dimensions on image, like 1200x720 )

staying in .e16 other menu/ simple config edit

You should by now have a folder titled ".e16" in your home directory. This is the configuration point for enlightenment.

It has a layout as follows:


Let's start with menus Left click anywhere on the desktop, and up comes a menu titled "User Menus" Straight off this is the "User Application List"!1. This is a list of commands that can be configured by you to run as children of the process running enlightenment.

On my installation (Mint 9 Julia) "User Application List" did not appear, though existed and had entries. I had to change /usr/share/e16/config/menus/ where I changed the line '"User Menus" NULL menu' to read '"User Menus" NULL menu' Then the entries showed as a menu straight off the "User Menus" list.

edit .e16/menus/

Add the following line to the bottom

"Clock" NULL exec "xclock"

now save and try left-clicking again. You should see a menu option for the clock, selecting that option and you have just configured your desktop.

enlightenment DR17 configuration guide edit

E17 screenshot (2014)