Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Ubuntu: Enlightenment 17

Due to the new job engagement, I haven't been posting much. I have just finished my first week working in the new company, the new job is totally different than my previous job since I need to do the requirements study for different network environments as well as some involvement of technical tasks. The job is quite challenging in certain perspective and hopefully I can take it.

I have been toying with enlightenment DR17, just like fluxbox there's no so called "stable release" and it is still in pre-alpha stage, if you know about enlightenment, DR17 is completely rewrite comparing to DR16 and the developers are now building all the applications using its own "e" libraries to facilitate and speed up the process. You can find more information about enlightenment here.

I have checked out E17 when trying the elive liveCD here, and it makes me always thinking that enlightenment is more to hobbyist window manager with slick graphic and animation supports. People who know me well should already know I always prefer something simple but highly usable and that's fluxbox.

Now I have Ubuntu linux installed on my new laptop(HP Compaq nx6320), I can get E17 installed using the package management system. I just need to add this three lines in my /etc/apt/sources.list -

deb http://edevelop.org/pkg-e/ubuntu feisty e17 deb-src http://edevelop.org/pkg-e/ubuntu feisty e17 deb http://e17.dunnewind.net/ubuntu feisty e17

Then I just update package repo -

shell>sudo apt-get update

shell>sudo apt-get install enlightenment enlightenment-dev \
e17-devel-extras entrance enlightenment-theme-night-bling

After this is done, I just need to logout from current session, and I can change the session from gnome to enlightenment in the login manager.

As there's no enlightenment user manual, I have to use "trial and error" method to configure it. You have to use left mouse click to launch the main menu and right mouse click to launch favourite menu where you can store quick launch application that you use daily.

Under the main menu, there's Configuration, click on it and it will expand horizontally and you can find the Configuration Panel where you will be able to configure most of the thing(everything?) for enlightenment.

I have a lot of keybindings when using fluxbox, therefore it is important feature for me. Enlightenment also provides the ease of use keybindings configuration. However the keybindings only support the control of the window and certain system commands, you can't do keybinding for application launching, maybe there's a way but I don't figure it out yet.

One of the important feature in Enlightenment is the modules, though it is not near perfect but with that you no longer requires gkrellm or conky, I just loaded few modules I find useful especially the virtual desktop, battery and so forth.

Wallpaper and theme configuration can be found under Configuration, and I just change to my preferred wallpaper(animated) and the theme too. Here are the two screenshots of my current desktop.

Here's the challenge, can you find the differences between two screenshots(wallpaper only) above? ;P

Yet I'm not finishing my post, there are two main functions which are built in that making me love about enlightenment, the window list and run command, with them you can just do application launching and switching in the blink of an eye. Just try out alt+tab and alt+esc and you will find that make your days.

As for now, though in pre-alpha version but I don't consider it in pre-alpha quality, and I have changed my mind that enlightenment is no longer hobbyist desktop shell but very fast and usable especially for people who don't rely much on mouse. Of course the graphics and animations without sacrifying the speed are the big plus too.

Kudos to Enlightenment developers!!!!!

Enjoy ;]


Anonymous said...

I spotted the differences, no problem!

The one greyed out letter is a nice touch ... and, of course, more lights are on inside the building.

Shirkdog said...

Don't forget about E16, as it is still slightly faster then E17.

I use it everyday.

More then likely, on a brand new processor, with a GIG of ram, you will not really see much of a difference, except E17 looking better.

mypapit said...

nice screenshot, makes me want to use enligtenment again (havent use it since 2002)

Marcel Lanz said...

As a Mac-Switcher today; I used e16 years ago, then diverged to ion (http://modeemi.fi/~tuomov/ion/) one of the lightest and most productive WM I had. I'm curious about that e17 is still in pre-alpha; as it was five years ago.

tankmcp said...

After editing your repos, you need to give apt the PGP keys. I found these on Ubuntu forums and they worked with your edits.

wget http://lut1n.ifrance.com/repo_key.asc
sudo apt-key add repo_key.asc

Setting up e17 now...

aquabot said...

I think its better if you should get along with E16...as the newest version seems to me as more problematic as I too have try it and doesn't get the desire result....I agree with the opinion of the-Shirkdog...