The Full Wiki

Enlightenment (window manager): Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Enlightenment logo
Enlightenment DR17
Enlightenment DR17
Developer(s) Carsten Haitzler and others
Stable release E16 1.0.2 / January 25, 2010; 49 day(s) ago (2010-01-25)
Written in C
Operating system Unix-like
Type Window manager
License BSD

Enlightenment, also known simply as E, is a stacking window manager for the X Window System which can be used alone or in conjunction with a desktop environment such as GNOME or KDE. Enlightenment is often used as a substitute for a full desktop environment.



The first version of Enlightenment was released by Rasterman (Carsten Haitzler) in 1997.[1]

Enlightenment has been under development for over a decade; its latest stable release is version E16 1.0.2.

Version 0.17, also referred to as DR17 or E17, has been in development since December 2000.[2] It is a complete rewrite on DR16 and was designed to be a full-fledged desktop shell, based on the new Enlightenment Foundation Libraries (EFL).




An Enlightenment DR 16 desktop, with desktop pager, configuration window and xterm

Some of its features include:

  • Enlightenment allows you to have a grid of workspaces called virtual desktops. Switching between them is achieved by hurling the mouse cursor to the edge of the screen, at which the desktop appears to slide across to reveal the next. The maximum grid size is currently 8 by 8 desktops, and you can have 32 grids (each with a different background), making 2048 total possible desktop spaces. (Users can enable a map of the desktops, in case they get lost, which is called the pager.)
  • The desktop dragbar allows a desktop to be 'slid back' to reveal the desktop 'underneath'. The E team use the analogy of sheets of paper, stacked on top of each other, where you can slide off a piece partially to reveal what's beneath.
  • Window grouping – the ability to put windows into groups so that they can all be moved, resized, closed, etc. together.
  • Iconification – reducing windows to an icon, stored in 'iconboxes' that can be placed about the screen.
  • Ability to change window borders (or remove borders and title bars completely).
  • Users can create keybindings for actions such as maximizing windows, launching programs, moving between desktops and moving the mouse cursor, hence making it possible to use Enlightenment solely with a keyboard. e16keyedit is a graphical program for simplifying keybinding creation.
  • Newer versions include compositing effects such as fading and transparency.

One of the aims of the window manager is to be as configurable as possible, and to this end, it includes customization dialogs for focus settings, window movement, resizing, grouping and placement settings, audio, multiple desktop, desktop background, pager, tooltip and autoraise settings. It also includes a special effects dialog, including a desktop 'ripple' effect.


An Enlightenment DR 17 desktop

DR17 is in active development, but core features are in place:

  • Fully themeable, with both a menu-based and command-line theme-changing interface
  • A built-in file manager
  • Icons on the desktop
  • Virtual desktop grid feature
  • Modular design – can dynamically load external modules. Current available modules include:
    • Pager – Switching between different virtual desktops
    • iBar – Launching applications
    • iBox - Holding minimized applications
    • iTask NG – A dock similar to the Mac OS X dock
    • Dropshadow – Provides a drop-shadow for every window
    • Clock – Analog clock
    • Battery – Monitoring a laptop battery
    • CPUFreq – Monitoring a laptop CPU
    • Temperature – Monitoring laptop temperature
    • Illume - Modifies the user interface of enlightenment to work cleanly on a mobile device
  • One or more shelves to manage the gadget placement and appearance on the screen
  • Animated, interactive desktop backgrounds, menu items, iBar items and desktop widgets are all possible
  • Window shading, iconification, maximising and sticky settings
  • Customizable key bindings
  • Support for internationalization
  • Standardized – supports all needed standards (NetWM, ICCCM, XDG and so on)



  • Carsten "Rasterman" Haitzler – lead developer
  • Kim "kwo" Woelders – E16 maintainer
  • Hisham "CodeWarrior" Mardam Bey[3]
  • Christopher "devilhorns" Michael


  • Geoff "Mandrake" Harrison[4]

See also


External links

Simple English

For other uses, see Enlightenment


Developer:Carsten Haitzler and others
Latest release: / May 1 2008 (2008-05-01); 1030 days ago
OS:Linux and Unix
Use: Desktop environment[needs proof], Window manager

License:BSD License

Enlightenment(also known simply as E), is a free software/open source window manager for the X Window System which can be used alone or together with a desktop environment such as GNOME or KDE. Enlightenment is sometimes used as a replacement for a full desktop environment.


The first version of Enlightenment was released by Raster (Carsten Haitzler) on 1996-10-30.[1]

Enlightenment has been under development for 10 years; its latest stable release is version It always comes with a warning that it is in permanent "heavy development" and remains "not stable".

Other pages

  • Eterm - the Enlightened Terminal
  • Enlightenment Foundation Libraries
  • Elive - an installable LiveCD of Debian GNU/Linux built to showcase Enlightenment (Includes both DR16 & DR17.)
  • gOS - an Ubuntu-based distribution available on an installable live CD, working on low-end systems and employing a Mac OS X like look.
  • OpenGEU - an Ubuntu-based distribution with E17 supplemented with elements from GNOME and Xfce
  • Maryan Linux - an Ubuntu based distribution. Available on an installable live CD, working on low-end systems.
  • OzOS - an Ubuntu-based distribution with e17 compiled and maintained directly from CVS source via morlenxus script.
  • Exalt The Network manager for E17.

Other websites

The English Wikibooks has more about this subject:


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address