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Since my first steps in Linux I have been a huge fan of Enlightenment as a Window Manager. Enlightenment Development Release (DR) 17—or short E17—is now under development for more than 10 years and for the first time, Debian has binary packages in Wheezy. So I think a little stuff on E17 can't hurt :-)

Update 2013-03-13 The packages for E17 have been removed from Wheezy, I think there were too many bugs. Nevertheless the information below can help setting up your E17 environment, the packages are available in Jessie as well!

Update 2015-05-31 The packages for E17 are available in Jessie Stable :)

Update 2019-11-09 Late update, but I am not actively using Enlightenment… the 'e17' packages have been renamed to 'enlightenment' because the versions are rising steadily now. If you want to install a complete Enlightenment environment, these would be the packages to install:

apt install enlightenment ephoto terminology

Display Manager

Very very important for a lot of things to work correctly is to use a Display Manager that will set the necessary policykit settings correctly. Without them you may not be able to edit wireless networks or even connect to one ((32) Not authorized to control networking) as well as mounting external drives may be impossible due to lacking authorizations. For the Network Manager problem there is a workaround, but it's not a nice solution anyway.

After a lot of searching I found out that my choice to run nodm wasn't a very smart choice. Sure, on a single user system it is very useful because it just starts your session. But the lacking policykit settings didn't actually make my life easier. So I switched back to lightdm as it's the default in Wheezy anyway. After setting lightdm to autologin I had what I wanted, including a working network manager as well as being able to mount external storage or burn CD's :-)

Network Manager

When you run E for the first time, a wizard will ask some of your preferences. At one point it will complain about “connman” not being available and that you need to install it to have network management support. Well, I tried very hard to get that to work. My last resort was to install a clean minimal Debian, E and connman. But E kept complaining about not being able to find connman. So I just use Network Manager as network management tool.

To do so in E17, just follow these steps.

  1. Install the Network Manager:
    # apt-get install network-manager network-manager-gnome
  2. Enable the Systray module in “Settings → Modules → Utility”
  3. Add a Systray to your Shelf by right-clicking on your Shelf, choosing “Shelf → Contents”, click “Systray” and choose “Add Gadget”.
  4. Make sure the Network Manager applet gets started automatically by going to your “Settings Panel → Apps → Startup Applications”, choose “Network” and click “Add”.

All done! You may have to re-logon for the changes to take effect.


A few settings can't be done by the default tools in E17 provided by Debian. So a little tweaking might be at order. I have written a tiny script that does all my tweaks:
setxkbmap -layout us -variant intl
xset r rate 250 30
xmodmap ~/.xmodmaprc

Obviously, this sets a different keymap and repeat rates, starts conky and loads the xmodmap so I can use the mouse tilt-wheel.

Save this (or any other) file as a script; e.g. in a place where you will find is. Next, in your Settings Panel go to “Apps → Create Launcher”. Give the launcher a name, point it to your script and maybe also give it an icon.

Finally, in your Settings Panel go to “Apps → Startup Applications”. You can find your Launcher under “Applications”, simply click it and choose “Add”. All done, your tweaks will get started automatically at login!

Weather forecast

Well, I am still looking for an easy way to include the eweather or forecast module in Debian. If you know how, please let me know in the comments below!


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apps/e17.txt · Last modified: 2024-05-18 18:44 by jens