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E17 is the Development Release 17 (DR17) of the Enlightenment Desktop Environment.

E17 is currently under heavy development, and is in the pre-alpha stages. Even though it is only young, E17 is still quite stable. Many people use it as a day-to-day Environment.

New versions are available daily via SVN, but snapshots are also taken for easy installation. Below are instructions on how to install a SVN snapshot from the Arch community repositories.

Installing E17 from the community repository

  • First, edit your /etc/pacman.conf file and uncomment the community repositories by removing the hash at the start of that line; you should end up with something like the following:
# Add your preferred servers here, they will be used first
Include = /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist
  • Next, sync, update, and upgrade using the new community repository:
pacman -Syu
  • Install e17 group:
pacman -S e-svn
  • Install additional e17 modules and applications:
pacman -S desktop-file-utils e17-extra-svn
  • Install additional fonts in order to avoid any trouble at the first start of e17
pacman -S artwiz-fonts ttf-ms-fonts
  • If you need an e17 package which is not (yet) available in the [community] repo, see if it is available in the AUR.

You are now ready. You can allow ~/.xinitrc to start enlightenment for you:

# exec gnome-session
# exec startkde
# exec startxfce4
# ...or the Window Manager of your choice
exec enlightenment_start

If you want the entrance login manager (to replace KDM/GDM), you can either do this via:

  • /etc/rc.conf - You only get the login manager on startup; it will not be there if you CTRL+ALT+BACKSPACE
DAEMONS=(... entranced)


  • /etc/inittab - The recommended way
## Only one of the following two lines can be uncommented!
# Boot to console                                         
# Boot to X11                                             


# Example lines for starting a login manager
#x:5:respawn:/usr/bin/xdm -nodaemon
#x:5:respawn:/usr/sbin/gdm -nodaemon
#x:5:respawn:/usr/bin/kdm -nodaemon
#x:5:respawn:/usr/bin/slim >& /dev/null
#x:5:once:/bin/su johndoe -l -c "/bin/bash --login -c startx >/dev/null 2>&1"
x:5:respawn:/usr/sbin/entranced --nodaemon >& /dev/null


Note : e17 is still alpha software. At some point in the future things may not work as expected anymore. Although all packages are tested before added to the [community] repo, things may stop working for you. You are therefore encouraged to keep packages for the previous version on your computer, allowing you to downgrade if needed.

If you find some unexpected behavior, there is a few things you can do. First try if the same behavior exists with the default theme. Second remove ~/.e (you may want to make a backup first). If you are sure you found a bug please report it directly upstream. If you are not sure if it is a bug in the software or in the package, report it on the [community] bug tracker.

I want my e17 packages updated more often

You can build your own Arch Linux e17 packages with a small python script called ArchE17. For more information and to download the latest version of the script, see http://dev.archlinux.org/~ronald/e17.html

Installing E17 using easy_e17.sh

The reason to use this method over the one mentioned before is mostly based on what you want to do, but I find it easier because the script (along with an extra tool) can give those who want more control over when E17 is updated than the aforementioned python script. It allows you to install components from E17's repository without having to go through and make a new PKGBUILD for it. With this script, when you uninstall this package, everything that was installed with the script is uninstalled. If you want to learn more about this script, see the thread for it on ubuntuforums.org.

To install E17 using this script, download the tarball from AUR, extract it to a new directory, and run makepkg. Then run as root:

 pacman -U *.pkg.tar.gz.

It will ask you a few questions and then install. You will need to put this in your .xinitrc in order to start E17:

exec /opt/e17/bin/enlightenment_start

It may be helpful to put /opt/e17/bin in your PATH, as then you won't have to add /opt/e17/bin in front of each program in order to run it. To do that, modify this line in /etc/profile:


So that it reads instead:


If you encounter any errors while trying to install E17, first check to make sure it isn't a dependency problem. If it is, install the dependency and continue installing e17 by running this command as root:

easy_e17.sh -i

To install one of the many applications from E17's svn repository, simply remove that program's name from /etc/easy_e17.conf, and then run this command as root (replacing name and name2 by the name of the program(s) you removed from easy_e17.conf):

easy_e17.sh -i --only=name,name2

To update E17 without using the program mentioned below, run this command as root:

easy_e17.sh -u


Another package, for OzOs's update_e17.sh script, is helpful when used in conjunction with this script, as it can backup and restore your E17 svn tree (in case there is breakage), as well as roll it back to a specific revision (again, in case of breakage) or even let you know when a new revision has come around on E17's svn tree. See this page for more information on this optional component. To install this, use either of the above methods. The AUR page is located here.

Configuring Entrance

If you installed e17 through easy_e17.sh you have to do some further configurations to get entrance working.

To set up entrance as your login manager proceed as above. The correct path of entranced to be put into Template:Filename is of course

x:5:respawn:/opt/e17/sbin/entranced --nodaemon >& /dev/null

If you want to start entrance as daemon put entranced from Template:Package Official into Template:Filename and add it to your DAEMONS array in Template:Filename.

At first you have to allow authentication via PAM. Therefore get entrance.pam from the Template:Package Official package and store it as Template:Filename.

The following two paragraphs are just background information, skip them if you're in a hurry.

Now the launching and the user authentication should work correctly. But as you'll notice after authentication entrance will fade out and come right back. The reason is that we didn't tell entrance what to launch after authentication. This is done through the file Template:Filename (can be set at compile time by ENTRANCE_XSESSION) and the .desktop files in your xsessions directories. The following xsessions directories are scanned by entrance: Template:Filename (set at compile time by ENTRANCE_SESSIONS_DIR), Template:Filename and all xsessions directories in your $XDG_DATA_DIRS.

Entrance allows you to choose between multiple sessions which are can be configured via the .desktop files in the xsessions directories. After entrance authenticated the user correctly it executes this file and passes it a string as command line argument. If you chose Default as session it is just an empty string or "default" whereas the Failsafe session passes "failsafe". For any other session it's the exec line of the .desktop file of your session.

So we have to configure your X11 sessions. At first create Template:Filename and make it executable

touch /etc/X11/Xsession
chmod +x /etc/X11/Xsession  # this is important!

I use a modified version of KDM's Xsession script (got the base version from gentoo bug tracker): Template:File

That's it the next reboot should bring entrance up and after authentication the Default session should bring you into E.

Installing Themes

More themes to customize the look of e17 are available from exchange.enlightenment.org. Make sure you also check out e17-stuff.org.

You can install the themes (coming in .edj format) from the configuration dialog.

You can also change the theme for the etk toolkit (the one which is used by exhibit). You can start the dialog to change the etk toolkit by starting /usr/bin/etk_prefs

e17-themes (aur package), can automate the download and install of lots of themes from exchange.enlightenment.org


  • If X complains about X cursors not being available, get the package 'libxcursor'.
  • If screenlock does not accept your password add the following to /etc/pam.d/enlightenment:
auth required pam_unix_auth.so

External Links