Has anybody tried E17 on Ubuntu, as an alternative to Gnome/KDE? How does one install it?


The best way to install E17 is to install it from the official repositories. You can install it from the Software Center or using

sudo apt-get install e17

You can then select it as your session in GDM (the login screen) using the dropdown menu in the bottom right hand corner, once you have selected your user.

alt text (image source)

The first time you run it it asks you to choose some preferences. Choose the option for the standard desktop or the netbook desktop if you are on a netbook.

It is quite interesting in a retro kind of way and will take a lot of getting used to if you are used to GNOME (or KDE) and I find it harder to use than GNOME and it doesn't look as nice. However it is certainly functional and seems quite suited to power users.

alt text

Note Pingus has no window border because I pinned it to the desktop (an action which is apparently irreversible).

  • 3
    You can access the window menu with Alt-RightMouseButton, then unpin the window – guigouz Dec 26 '12 at 23:29

Just do

sudo apt update
sudo apt-get install e17

Then logout and login again using "Enlightenment." :-)


The other answers are all the easiest way to install Enlightenment on Ubuntu. They are not by any means the "best" way. The packages they suggest installing are over six months old and thus are buggy and not really worth installing.

The best way to install enlightenment is to compile it from source (instructions from 8.04 to 10.10 only).

Or if you want a recent Ubuntu distro with E17 as the default desktop check out Bodhi Linux.

  • 3
    Hi Jeff I have taken a look at Bodhi. I wish you and the rest of the team success with Bodhi as it will save a lot of hardware being thrown in the bin. Here is your link bodhilinux.com – Allan Dec 11 '10 at 18:12

9.10 only

You have to add the ppa ppa:e17-packaging/ppato your software sources (here's how to do that) and install e17 from the software center.


  • Logout of your X session
  • Change Session (bottom of GDM login screen after you click on username)
  • Log back into enlightenment

On Ubuntu 12.04/12.10 you can install E17 in this way:

ppa:efl/trunk this is the official ppa.

Add PPA:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:efl/trunk
sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get install e17

Now Install it:

sudo aptitude install e17 libedje-bin libqedje0a libqzion0a
  • Log out
  • Select E17 session
  • Enjoy

I haven't tried using e17 on ubuntu 10.10 straight but I know there is an Ubuntu based distro called Bodhi Linux which uses the e17 stack instead of gnome. There is a forum regular called psychocat who has a how to webpage for Ubuntu. On the site there is a section called "Playing Around" where he gives terminal codes to completely remove one desktop before installing another desktop. The reasoning for this is even though you can have more than one wm/desktop solution things can get very mixed up. He doesn't have a particular gnome to e17 switch but the hard part is removing the original

Psychocats Tips site


i'd recommend compiling from source. either via easy_e17.sh or do everything yourself. DIY is not that hard. basically you need all the header files from apt and either the release files from here or checkout the latest SVN sources here.

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