ENLIGHTENMENT(1) Enlightenment Man Pages ENLIGHTENMENT(1)NAME
Enlightenment - The Window Manager that dares to do what others don't
This documentation is automatically generated for you from the online
help documentation. It is NOT to be considered a full substitute for
this documentation. It may be accessed by middle clicking on your
desktop and selecting the "Help" item. If you are not currently run‐
ning enlightenment, you may access this documentation by running the
dox Help Browser To do this, run ENLIGHTENMENT_BIN/dox ENLIGHTEN‐
MENT_ROOT/E-docs (where BIN and ROOT are the locations of your e bina‐
ries and shared files, respectively)
Enlightenment version 0.16.5
Topics: How To Use Documentation About Enlightenment Copyright Credits
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User Documentation Frequently Asked Questions
Welcome to the Enlightenment Documentation Viewer. Please select a
topic from the list.
This Documentation is intended to take you step by step through
Enlightenment and its default setup, how to use it, modify settings,
and put it to use for you. When you have finished reading each page
please press the NEXT button on the top of this window to go to the
next page, or use the Back button until you have reached the Docs Index
If you are reading this right now you have managed to get Enlightenment
itself installed correctly and are either running Enlightenment for the
first time or have just upgraded to a new version. Congratulations. Now
it's time to take you on a quick tour of the desktop you will have
Please remember that if you use a theme other than the default (Brushed
Metal) that it may look slightly or completely different to the con‐
tents of this User Documentation. Some behavior may also vary.
To relaunch this Help Browser at any time, middle click on your desktop
and select the "Help" Item. The documentation should come back up,
reloading to the first page. You can also use the "Home" key to take
you back to the introduction page at any time during the program.
Enlightenment is your Window Manager. The Window Manager controls the
appearance of the borders of your windows, their behavior and all user
interaction with positioning, killing, resizing, moving, iconifying,
shading etc. your windows, virtual desktops, multiple desktops, menus
attached to windows and some root window menus and can also control the
background of your desktop(s).
Enlightenment is a large and complex program and is by no means per‐
fect, but it is being worked on and is as stable as possible. It has
many advanced features, but may also be missing some features that you
would like to see. The version you are now running (0.16.5) is by no
means the end of development and improvements, fixes and new exciting
features are being worked on all the time. Please visit the
Web site often for new versions, fixes, patches and updates.
We hope that you enjoy using Enlightenment as much as we have enjoyed
writing it. We'd like to think that even if this isn't the right soft‐
ware for you, you at least can have fun playing around with what we
Copyright (C) 1997-2000 The Enlightenment Development Team
Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a
copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Soft‐
ware"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without
limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute,
sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons
to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following
The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included
in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.
THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS
OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MER‐
CHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN
NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER
LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING
FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER
DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.
Enlightenment has been written by:
The Rasterman (Carsten Haitzler), Mandrake (Geoff Harrison), Chutt
(Isaac Richards), Michael Jennings (KainX), Christian Kreibich (cK),
Sung-Hyun Nam, Kimball Thurston, Michael Kellen, Frederic Devernay,
Felix Bellaby, Peter Kjellerstedt, Troy Pesola, Owen Taylor, Stalyn,
Knut Neumann, Nathan Heagy, Simon Forman, Brent Nelson, Martin Tyler,
Graham MacDonald, Jesse Michael, Paul Duncan, Daniel Erat, Tom Gilbert,
Peter Alm, Ben FrantzDale, Hallvar Helleseth, Kameran Kashani, Carl
Strasen, David Mason, Tom Christiansen And others (see AUTHORS file).
A big thanks to several companies that helped support Enlightenment.
Red Hat Software (www.redhat.com) for allowing developers resources and
time to work on Enlightenment.
VA Linux Systems (www.valinux.com) for providing hardware, bandwidth,
Coke, and the patience to hire a couple of loony bin candidates to work
on something we (and hopefully you) think is interesting.
Xi Graphics (www.xig.com) for providing X servers to test out code on.
Not only should these people be thanked, but the whole E community -
those on the E mailing list, on #E on IRC on openprojects.net and all E
users who have provided feedback and debugging information, bug-fixes,
patches and support. A big thanks goes out to all of you who make a
project like this possible.
In addition we'd like to thank several other projects - such as
XFree86, Imlib, Esound, Freetype and many others, The people working on
these equally important projects should not be forgotten.
For updated information on Enlightenment, development, bug-fixes, snap‐
shots of development versions etc. please visit:
You may want to visit this site often as it changes regularly with
fixes and development releases -- also visiting the daily-snapshots
section on the FTP site is a good idea (see the snapshots section on
the website for more information).
There is an Official Enlightenment IRC channel where you can go and
"hang out" if you want - talk to other E users, developers, get some
help, drool together, or whatever. #E will kill me for this but get
onto any openprojects irc server (irc.openprojects.net) then join #E.
epic4 your_nick irc.openprojects.net
irc your_nick irc.efnet.org
or use your favorite graphical IRC client.
Please remember that it can get busy with 100's of people talking at
once. Not everyone is actually listening all the time or are in the
middle of a conversation. Be polite and patient, and have a sense of
humor and you'll have fun.
CVS Commit List Mail
To receive CVS Commit mails, please go to the CVS Commits List mail
This mailing list does not accept user-submissions. It is automatically
generated email that is sent out whenever the enlightenment CVS server
receives a commit. Sometimes it can generate a lot of email, sometimes
Developer Mailing List
If you would like to receive mail from the developer mailing list,
please go to the E-develop Mailing List mail page: http://enlighten‐
This mailing list is for discussing Enlightenment and it's development,
bugs, feature requests, etc. It is not a general chatter list. The
developers do read this mailing list and will often comment on subjects
brought up on the list.
Welcome To Enlightenment
Basic Intro Using Menus Mouse Bindings Mouse Configuration Using The
Window Border Changing Window Borders Default Keybindings Multiple
Desktops Changing Desktops Taking Apps Between Desks The Dragbar The
Pager The Iconbox Recovering Minimized Apps Remembering App Properties
Intro To Settings Window Groups
Desktop Backgrounds Tooltips Audio Special Effects Setting The Focus
Moving Windows Resizing Windows Window Operations Window Placement
Options Autoraise Settings KDE and GNOME Support Quick Intro to IPC How
To Edit Menus How To Change Keybindings Themes Extra Eyecandy Mainte‐
Now that you have started Enlightenment, if you are using it for your
desktop shell, your screen should look something like the image here on
Across the whole top of the screen you will see a bar with arrows
pointing up and down on the left and right ends. This is your desktop
On the bottom-left you'll see 3 boxes. The top box with the scrollbar
attached will be your Iconbox.
The other 2 boxes below it are Pagers for desktops 0 and 1. Everything
else is your desktop background.
Using Menus When you click with your left mouse button on the desktop
background you will see an "User Menus" menu appear (example displayed
on the right here). Applications you may have installed will appear in
this menu. To launch one of them simply select it from the menu.
Note: Menus in Enlightenment work like most menu systems. Either hold
down the mouse button and navigate with the button down, releasing on
the selection you want, or release elsewhere to not select anything.
You can also quickly click and release, then navigate: move the mouse,
and click again on the item you wish to select, or elsewhere if you do
not wish to select an entry.
To "stick" a menu up and leave it up so you can select items from it
multiple times, click and hold down the mouse and release on the title
of the menu (if it has one) and it will remain up. You can move it and
manipulate it like a normal window. Close the window to unstick the
Clicking the middle button on the desktop background will display
Enlightenment's main menu. You can access the other menus plus more
options from this menu (including those to log out, restart and display
Help information). A sample of this menu is shown to our left.
When you click the right mouse button a menu with the title "Settings"
will appear. This is Enlightenment's settings menu. From it you can
select various configuration dialogs that will assist you in customiz‐
ing your desktop to better suit your needs.
Mouse Bindings Of course, when you click on the desktop background of
your screen, normally you will bring up a menu. And of course, when
you click on the border of a window, you will do various things. But
these are not the only things you can do with your mouse.
In Enlightenment, there are several other actions that the mouse can do
by default. For example, by holding down the ALT key when you click
the left mouse button anywhere in a window, you will find that you can
move the window around the screen, just as if you had used the title‐
bar. You can also ALT middle-click in a window to resize it, or use
ALT and right-click to bring up the Window Operations Menu.
You will find that holding down the ALT key while clicking the middle
mouse button on the background of your desktop will bring up a menu
with the titles of all currently active application windows. Selecting
one of these will take you to that application. By using the CTRL key
instead of ALT you will get a menu displaying all current desktops as
sub-menus, with applications on each desktop in the desktop sub-menu.
Enlightenment makes extensive use of the mouse. However, you may be
missing some features because of the way that your mouse is configured
on your X server.
If your mouse does not have a middle button you should enable "Emulate
3 Buttons" in your X server. This option allows you to emulate a three-
button mouse by pressing both left and right mouse buttons at once. If
this does not work, three-button emulation may not be enabled. See
your X server documentation to configure this emulation.
This may vary from system to system. The OS and X server may also vary
the method in which you do this, if it is possible. Not having a middle
mouse button in Enlightenment, or for that matter X, is not a good
thing as it is almost assumed to be there, and is used by many applica‐
tions, including E.
If you have a Wheel-Mouse and X is configured to use it, Enlightenment
supports it by default.
Rolling your wheel up on the desktop background will take you back a
desktop . Rolling your wheel downward you will advance forward a desk‐
If this doesn't work, then it may be you haven't configured your X
server to understand a mouse with a wheel. If you use XFree86 you may
need to edit your XF86Config to have a "Pointer" Section like:
ZAxisMapping 4 5
You may need to modify this for your mouse.
Using the Window Border When you start an application, unless it has
special properties, it will come up on your screen with a border sur‐
rounding it that contains a titlebar and several control buttons. This
border is the primary interface to controlling an application window.
The Default setup (shown on the next page) gives adequate control but
still retains simplicity.
If you click left mouse button on the titlebar and keep the mouse but‐
ton down the window will follow your mouse wherever it moves. Respec‐
tively if you click your left mouse button and drag on any of the
resize handles, the window will be resized in that direction. Clicking
right mouse button on the resize handles will raise the windows to the
Clicking right mouse button on the titlebar or any button on the window
operations menu button on the top-left will display a menu that has
window manipulation options in it.
Double-Clicking (clicking the mouse twice in succession really fast)
will make the Window shade or unshade (depending if it was unshaded or
shaded to start with).
Clicking left mouse button on the iconify button will iconify the win‐
dow and send it off to the Iconbox . Hitting the Maximize button will
maximize the size of the application fill your screen. Hitting it again
will Unmaximize, bringing the window back to its normal size.
Clicking with the left mouse button on the close button will close the
window. If the application that owns that window does not respond to a
nice request to exit, then press the right mouse button on the close
button to forcibly terminate that window. This should not be used
unless the application is visibly "hung".
In addition to these methods, there are additional ways to manipulation
If you hold down the ALT key and hold down left mouse button anywhere
in the window (on the border OR in the application part) while drag‐
ging, you will move this window around. Doing the same but with the
middle mouse button will resize the window in that direction. Clicking
the right mouse button anywhere in the window while holding down the
ALT key will bring up the window operations menu.
Changing Window Borders
From time to time you may find that you don't like a particular border
that a window uses, for some reason or another. You can easily change
the border style of a window in Enlightenment using the
Window Operations menu, however. Select the "Set Border Style" menu,
and a list will be presented to you of available borders in this theme.
The most common use for this is to make an application shed its border,
using the BORDERLESS border type.
You can always click with ALT + Right mouse button anywhere in the win‐
dow to bring up the window operations menu again.
If you want to remember the border style for the next time you run this
application, you can always use the Remember dialog to remember the
current window border.
Below are the keybindings for E as it comes "from the factory"
CTRL+ALT+Home - Re-shuffle windows on screen to be Clean
CTRL+ALT+Del - Exit Enlightenment and Log Out
CTRL+ALT+End - Restart Enlightenment
CTRL+ALT+Up-Arrow - Raise window to top
CTRL+ALT+Down-Arrow - Lower window to the bottom
CTRL+ALT+Left-Arrow - Go to the previous desktop
CTRL+ALT+Right-Arrow - Go to the next desktop
CTRL+ALT+X - Close the currently focused window
CTRL+ALT+K - Kill the currently focused window nastily
CTRL+ALT+R - Shade/Unshade the currently focused window
CTRL+ALT+I - Iconify the currently focused window
CTRL+ALT+R - Shade/Unshade the currently focused window
CTRL+ALT+S - Stick/Unstick the currently focused window
CTRL+ALT+(F1 - F12) - Go directly to desktops 0 - 11
ALT+Tab - Switch focus to the next window
ALT+Enter - Zoom/Unzoom the currently focused window
SHIFT+ALT+Left-Arrow - Move to the virtual desktop on the left if there
SHIFT+ALT+Right-Arrow - Move to the virtual desktop on the right if
there is one
SHIFT+ALT+Up-Arrow - Move to the virtual desktop above if there is one
SHIFT+ALT+Down-Arrow - Move to the virtual desktop below if there is
Note: Zooming in and out of windows will only work if you have an
XFree86 server or one that implements the Xf86VidMode extension. You
also need to define lots of screen modes for your display, so ensure
your "Display" subsection of your XF86Config looks like:
Modes "1600x1200" "1280x1024" "1152x864" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480" "512x384" "400x300" "320x240"
Have a "Display" subsection per depth (this example is for 16 bit) and
all the resolutions defined as above.
Multiple & Virtual Desktops
Enlightenment supports both Multiple and Virtual desktops. There are
distinct difference between the two, and Enlightenment treats them dif‐
When you start Enlightenment you will by default have two desktops. In
Enlightenment desktops are geometrically unrelated work areas. They are
visually stacked on top of each other and can even be dragged down to
expose desktops underneath.
The best way to imagine this is that each desktop is a sheet of paper
with the first desktop (desktop 0) being glued in-place. You can re-
shuffle the stack of papers and slide one down to reveal a piece of
paper underneath - the only paper you can't slide is the first one.
Each desktop (or sheet) contains your application windows.
Windows normally live on one desktop, but can be made to exist on all
desktops - whenever you change to a new desktop the window will follow
you and be on that desktop too. This is known as being sticky. if a
window is sticky it will "stick to the glass of your screen" and stay
there until it is not sticky anymore or the window is closed.
Virtual desktops (also known as desktop areas) is a measure of how big
your desktops are. A desktop can be a multiple of your screen size in
size (2x1, 2x2, 3x3, 4x2 etc.). That means each desktop has an AxB
screen size of area allocated to it and you can be looking at any
screen-sized part of it at any time. It's just like getting more sheets
of paper and taping them to the sides of your current sheet of paper.
An easy way of changing your view is by just sliding your mouse in the
direction of a currently unviewable part of your desktop. As long as
you have Edge Flip enabled Enlightenment will automatically scroll over
to that part of the desktop.
To change the number of virtual desktops that you have, use the "Multi‐
ple Desktop Settings" dialog from the right mouse settings menu . You
should see a menu that looks something like the menu to the right. You
can use the slider bar to quickly select the appropriate number of vir‐
tual desktops you would like to use.
To change the number of virtual areas, use the "Virtual Desktop Set‐
tings" menu. This will bring up a menu that looks something like the
one on the left. Use the slider bars to extend the size of the virtual
areas to the size that you prefer. You can also use this dialog to
enable/disable edge resistance (when your mouse hits the edge of an
area) moving between virtual areas.
Enlightenment also allows you to set a different desktop backdrop per
desktop to help you customize your environment and differentiate which
desktop is which.
An easy way of having Enlightenment automatically pick up any pictures
you have is to make a directory in your ~/.enlightenment directory
called backgrounds and then fill that with your favorite backdrops.
Enlightenment will automatically discover this and index them for you
allowing you to select them and change their settings. More on this
topic is explained in the Desktop Backgrounds section.
There are several ways that you can change your current desktop - let's
go over a few of them here.
You can use the Keybindings alt-F1 through alt-F12 for the first 12
desktops. You can use the Keybindings Ctrl-Alt-Left and Ctrl-Alt-Right
to navigate to the next/previous desktop. You can use the Keybindings
shift-alt-directional arrow to change virtual areas in a given direc‐
tion. You can use the Pager to quickly navigate to the desktop/area
you want by clicking on the desired area. You can use the Dragbar to
quickly navigate to a particular application or a particular desktop by
using the middle and right mouse buttons. You can also use external
applications such as the GNOME panel's pager or the KDE panel's pager
to navigate desktops and/or applications. You will need to enable
Desktop Support for these to work.
Moving Applications Between Desktops
There are several ways that you can move applications from one desktop
to another. We'll go over a few of them now.
The first way you can move apps between desktops is using the Pager.
You can also move applications between desktops using the Dragbar.
You can also move applications between desktops using the KDE or GNOME
You can also move a window, then bring the window with you as you
change desktops using keybinding. =head2 The Dragbar
If you look along the top of your screen, you will notice a long thin
bar that looks something like the bar pictured below. This is called
your Dragbar. It gets its name from its primary purpose, which is
dragging desktops around.
If you are on any desktop except desktop 0, you can pick up and move
that desktop in another direction. Desktops documentation has more
information on how to change desktops. Once you have dragged a desktop
down, you can proceed to move windows between desktops this way,
instead of using the pager.
You can also use the Dragbar to retrieve windowlists. Use the middle
mouse button to retrieve a windowlist, and the right mouse button for a
windowlist sorted by desktops.
The Pager Pagers may not be a new idea in desktop environments, but the
Pager in Enlightenment (as seen on the right) is a highly advanced and
highly configurable tool for desktop and window control, as well as a
The pager lets you see your desktop screen area in miniature. It lets
you click on a certain desktop to "visit" it, click and drag windows
around in the pager itself to move them about the screen quickly, or
between desktops. In this example, we have two virtual areas. You can
see the current area (the one with the windows in it) is also high‐
Dragging a window from one area of a pager to another will move it
there, or to another desktop. Dragging it out onto the actual desktop
will drop that window right there. You can also drag a window into the
Iconbox to iconify the window.
Pressing right-mouse button over a blank portion of the pager gets you
the pager menu, allowing you to change settings. This will allow you
to set a couple of quick options, as shown on the left. For more
available options, you can select the "Pager Settings" item, and
another dialog will pop up, that looks like the one below.
This dialog box will allow you to set all sorts of additional parame‐
ters, many of which can increase the performance of Enlightenment on
your system. Disabling high quality snapshots and/or snapshots in gen‐
eral as well as continuous updates can seriously improve performance -
these features are intended for high end machines.
You can resize the pager to make it the size you'd like. Hold down ALT
and use the middle-mouse button to resize the pager in any direction.
Using left-mouse button while holding ALT and dragging will move the
window. Holding down ALT while pressing right-mouse button, just like
any normal window will get you a window operations menu.
In the default theme clicking the tab on the right side of the pager
with the arrow pointing right will shade and unshade the pager window
horizontally, allowing you to hide and unhide the window easily.
The striped area above this tab on the pager's border is a handle that
will allow you to move the pager about, just like the titlebar of any
The iconbox is the place the icons for all your iconified windows go.
It is one method of recovering minimized applications. Whenever you
iconify or minimize a window it will go into an iconbox and have an
icon displayed for it there. Clicking on the icon again will de-iconify
You can have as many icon boxes on your desktop as you want to. You
can create more by using the Middle Click Menu - select Desktop->Create
New Iconbox and a new Iconbox will pop up on your desktop. Each of
these Iconboxes can have individual configurations, as detailed on the
You can move the Iconbox around the screen using Alt-Leftclick on the
window, and then moving it to the desired location on the screen. You
can resize the Iconbox by alt-middleclicking on the window and then
adjusting the size as described in the Mouse Bindings section.
Clicking the right-mouse button anywhere in the Iconbox will bring up a
menu to configure that iconbox. This menu will look a little something
like the one here to the right. This menu allows you to also close the
Iconbox or open up an additional Iconbox.
To change the settings of an individual Iconbox, we'll use the right
mouse button menu and select "This Iconbox Settings" - this should get
us a dialog that looks something like the one to our left. You can
change the orientation, icon size, scrollbar options, display policy,
base image, and many more options of the Iconbox from this dialog. You
may choose to change the anchor of alignment for resizes - play with it
until it resizes appropriately for your Iconbox location.
If you want to customize the images used for the icons in your iconbox,
there is already an example configuration supplied. To make your own
configuration copy the icondefs.cfg file installed in your Enlighten‐
ment system config directory (/usr/local/enlightenment/config/icon‐
defs.cfg or /usr/share/enlightenment/config/icondefs.cfg) to your
~/.enlightenment directory and then edit it. On each line you will find
4 fields. The first field is the image file to be used. The image is
searched for in the usual search path if it is not an absolute path to
the image file. The search path is in order: ~/.enlightenment,
The second field on the line is a shell-glob like match for the title
of a window. If this field is irrelevant, NULL is used instead. NB:
the only valid wildcard in the glob pattern is "*". The third field is
the NAME property of the window and the fourth is the CLASS. The order
of search priority is last to first, so the last entry in the file that
matches a window's title, name and class globs will use the icon image
defined on the first line.
If you want all windows to have an icon then use:
"pix/pimage.png" NULL NULL NULL
This is the most general match for an icon and will match ALL windows.
If you use this make sure it's at the start of the file so it will only
match if no other matches are found.
There are several examples of using the globbing and matching in the
system icondefs.cfg file. Use that as a reference for your own addi‐
Recovering Minimized Applications
There are several ways to recover an application once you have mini‐
mized it. The most obvious way is to use the Iconbox . Of course, you
might have had some applications in your Iconbox when you accidentally
closed it. Or maybe you minimized some applications and forgot you
didn't have an Iconbox. Or maybe you don't like the Iconbox and usu‐
ally use KDE or GNOME's panel to recover them and forgot to launch
them. Never fear. You can always middle click on the Dragbar and get
a menu that will allow you to recover them. You can also Alt or Ctrl-
Middleclick on the desktop to get the same menus (in case you don't
have a Dragbar anymore).
Remember, at any time you can always create a new Iconbox to catch your
applications as they minimize, if you want to re-enable it. Unfortu‐
nately you'll have to reconfigure it since each Iconbox can have its
Remembering Application Properties In the window operations menu of
every window you will see an entry labeled "Remember...". If you select
this it will bring up the "Remember" dialog for that window (Note: only
one of these dialogs can be active at any one time), as shown to our
This dialog lets you selectively snapshot certain attributes of that
window at that time and have Enlightenment remember them. You may
choose to only remember some of the attributes, and possibly not have
the application started automatically for you. Choose what you want
Enlightenment to remember about that window and hit "Apply" or "OK" if
you don't need the dialog anymore, and Enlightenment will, the next
time that instance of the application is run, apply the current loca‐
tion, size, border style or any other attribute to that window.
Enlightenment can also launch the application for you upon startup if
you so wish.
Settings When you click the right mouse button on the desktop back‐
ground you will pop up the Settings menu. From here you can select an
aspect of Enlightenment to configure to your liking. There are too many
settings to actually document fully right now, but the likelihood is if
you want a particular behavior from Enlightenment, it is achievable by
merely playing with these options.
Combinations of options are often required to get the effect you want,
so some experimentation may be required. Do not be frightened. Nothing
you can do can't be undone by simply changing the options back to how
they were and clicking on Apply again.
Sometimes you have a number of windows on your desktop that logically
go together. Enlightenment allows you to group windows together, so
that whenever you change a property of one window in a group, the
change is reflected on the other group members. If you have a group
whose members span multiple desktops , changing a group's property
affects only windows of that group that are on the current desktop.
The properties that you can change for an entire group include setting
the window border, iconifying, killing, moving, raising/lowering,
sticking and shading of a window.
To define what properties are applied to a group by default, you go to
the settings menu and pick the "Group Settings" option, which will give
you a dialog window in which you can configure the settings, as shown
here on the right.
There are two different methods for manipulating window groups. First,
there's a comprehensive submenu available in each window's operations
menu called "Window Groups". This menu is shown here on the right.
You also are able to configure the group individually apart from the
default group settings (as shown on the previous page).
The second way is the window titlebar, which has the most important
options directly available for convenience. Shift-click to start a
group, Ctrl-clicking to add a window to the youngest group (also
referred to as the "current" group) and Shift-Ctrl-Click to destroying
a group. You can also click the middle mouse button for visualizing the
group(s) of a window. Click again to returning to the previous border.
Windows can be in multiple groups at the same time, so for many options
you have to indicate which group you are referring to. Selecting the
appropriate checkboxes (showing the group members' titles) at the top
of the dialog windows.
Selecting and Adding backgrounds
Often you will want to change the background of a particular desktop.
There are several ways you can do this. But of course, to change your
desktop, you'll need to give Enlightenment some graphics to play with.
A desktop theme may add a background or two to your available selec‐
tions, but most users want to have even backgrounds to choose from. To
add backgrounds to your selection, make a backgrounds directory under
your home directory. To do this using most shells you can type
Once you've done this, you should restart Enlightenment - this can be
done quickly and easily by simply hitting the Ctrl-Alt-End key combina‐
tion. When Enlightenment starts up, it will rescan these directories,
and add new files into the background selector.
Once you have added your backgrounds and restarted Enlightenment, you
should be able to go to the root menu desktop selector. To get to this
menu, middle click on the desktop, select "Desktop", and go to Back‐
grounds. You should get something that looks similar to the image on
the right. From here you will be able to navigate the backgrounds
(Click next for more information)
Once you have opened up the backgrounds menu, you should see something
similar to the image below. From here, you can put your mouse over any
of the images there, and it will change the desktop background of the
current desktop to the image that you have selected.
Enlightenment will attempt to choose the best settings for a particular
background, but if it gets it wrong you can always change the settings
by hand. By bringing up the settings menu with the right mouse button
and selecting the "Desktop Background Settings" item, you can bring up
a dialog that looks something like the one on the next page . ..
You can use this dialog to change your background, too , as well as
fine-tune all the various settings for each individual background
From time to time, as you use Enlightenment, if you don't remember what
does what, if you keep the mouse still for a little bit a tooltip will
pop up. The easiest example of this is when you hold the mouse over a
You can disable the tooltips or change the delay before they pop up by
selecting the "Tooltip Settings" dialog from the settings menu, as
shown here on the left.
Of course, Enlightenment comes preconfigured to play lots of little
blips and beeps when you do various things on your desktop. In order
to use sound in Enlightenment, you must have both ESounD and audiofile
installed. You can find more information about these libraries from
You can enable and/or disable sound at runtime simply by selecting from
the Settings menu the "Audio Settings" option, which brings up a dia‐
log, shown here at right.
Enlightenment has many features that are configured via the "Special
FX" settings dialog. Here you can configure the Dragbar , various
sliding speeds (including the speed of a windowshade), as well as tog‐
gle animation of different features. You can also configure the method
used for sliding windows, similar to resize modes .
There are several FX features disabled by default in a new installa‐
tion, including the animated display of menus. You can also enable
saveunders here, which may improve or slow down the performance of
Enlightenment on your X server, depending on server and configuration.
Setting the Focus
Enlightenment offers lots of different options for focusing windows.
By default, it comes up in sloppy focus mode. There are two other pri‐
mary focus modes supported by Enlightenment - click to focus and
Click To Focus most people are familiar with. You click on a window
and it receives the focus from Enlightenment.
Pointer Focus gives the focus to whichever window the pointer is sit‐
Sloppy Focus is similar to Pointer Focus, except that if you go over
the desktop background you still are focused on the last window
Next we'll tell you how to change these settings.
Enlightenment allows you to change your focus settings at any time.
Simply bring up the Settings menu and then select "Focus Settings" to
bring up a dialog that looks something like the one on the right. At
the top, we can select between our three focus modes, as described on
the previous page.
We can also enable some other features, such as one that will allow a
simple mouse click to raise any window to the foreground, as well as
several other advanced focus settings.
Here we can also enable the focuslist feature. This feature requires
Xkb to be enabled in your X server. If you don't have Xkb enabled,
please consult your X server documentation to see how to do this. The
focuslist is a window list that pops up as you cycle through your focus
using the ALT + TAB Keybinding. =head2 Moving Windows
Enlightenment comes with several different available methods for moving
a window. You can perform the actual moves using the Window
Border, or by using the available
Mouse Bindings . This will cause the window to move until you have
released the mouse button.
To change the mode that the moving of the windows uses (opaque being
the default), open up the Settings menu, and select "Move & Resize Set‐
tings". You can select from a list that looks similar to the one here
above-right. Experiment until you find one that suits you best.
For some serious eyecandy, try out the Translucent move mode. This
will only work if your X server and Enlightenment are running on the
same machine, however.
Enlightenment also comes with several available methods for resizing
windows. You can perform the actual resize on the window by clicking
on any resize-handle of your window border and dragging to the desired
size. You can also get the same effect by using the ALT + middle but‐
ton mouse binding in any part of the window.
To change the mode that the resizing of the windows uses (opaque being
the default), open up the Settings menu, and select "Move & Resize Set‐
tings". You can select from a list that looks similar to the one here
above-right. Experiment until you find one that suits you best.
The best eyecandy resize mode is probably technical move mode. This
mode shows you the height and width of the window, in addition to the
distance from the nearest edge.
The Window Operations Menu The Window Operations menu is a commonly
used menu that allows you to perform many different actions onto the
The Close function closes the window in question. Annihilate destroys
the window without regard to the application the window belongs to,
which is especially useful if the application refuses to respond to
being closed with Close.
The Iconify function iconifies the window. If you have an
Iconbox it is sent to the nearest one.
The Raise function raises the window above any windows that may be
obscuring it and Lower lowers it below windows it is obscuring.
Shade/Unshade toggles the shaded state of the window. Note that border‐
less windows are not allowed to be shaded.
Stick/Unstick toggles the sticky state of a window. A window that is
sticky remains "stuck to the glass" and thus is visible on all virtual
and multiple desktops.
Fullscreen/Window zooms in and out of the window changing resolutions
if possible. This feature will only work if you have your X server con‐
figured correctly and it supports the XVidtune extension. Your X server
may not like having resolutions changed - it is possible that an unsta‐
ble X server could crash if you use this. Be aware of this when using
Remember... displays the Remember Properties dialog that lets you
select things to remember about this instance of an application. The
attributes selected to be remembered in the state they are when you hit
Apply or Ok in this dialog. You will have to bring it up again if you
wish to remember a new state of the window.
In the Window Groups submenu there are various options for configuring
window groups and how this window relates to any groups you may have.
Note that you cannot group Pagers windows or Iconboxes together with
each other or any other windows.
You can quickly modify the size of a window to one of several aspects
of maximum sizes using the Window Size submenu.
Set Stacking lets you change the stacking layer of that window.
You can change the border using the Set Border Style menu if you wish
to use a different window border. If you change themes after you have
changed the border, and the new theme doesn't provide a border of the
same name, the window will fall back to using the DEFAULT border until
you change it again.
Setting up E to work with KDE and GNOME Enlightenment, though it
strives to be its own desktop environment, also supports KDE and GNOME
desktop environments wherever possible. Enlightenment comes set up to
support GNOME out of the box, in fact. To enable the KDE hints, how‐
ever, you must launch Enlightenment and then go into the "KDE Support
Settings" section of your Settings menu. From here you can enable or
disable KDE support in your copy of Enlightenment. This setting will
automatically save for the next time you launch Enlightenment. You
should be able to launch any of KDE's or GNOME's applications and have
them supported fairly well, including (but not limited to) the panel or
kpanel, and gmc and kfm.
Please see the Frequently Asked Questions for more information on how
to set up enlightenment to work with GNOME and KDE by default.
Window Placement and Autoraise
These two Settings dialogs allow you to configure various options for
the placement of windows. The two Dialog window options are for win‐
dows like the ALT+O open URL window in Netscape. Manual Placement will
force you to use the mouse to position every new window that attempts
to map itself.
The Autoraise settings Dialog will allow you to set a timer event that
causes a window to automatically raise itself to the foreground after a
set time. You can enable it here, as well as change the timer. This
is only useful in the sloppy and pointer focus modes.
Enlightenment and IPC
Enlightenment has a fairly interesting IPC system that allows external
applications (such as Eterm) to talk to Enlightenment and both ask for
information and change information. There is a program that was
installed with Enlightenment called "eesh" that is a simple shell
interface to the IPC in Enlightenment. It's even got its own documen‐
tation. You can go into eesh and type "help" and it should spit back a
list of commands that it understands.
Note: there are many commands that will show up in E's IPC that don't
necessarily work yet, or aren't fully implemented. You CAN potentially
do some really bizarre things to your system by using eesh, but for the
most part it's just another interesting interface to E. In your dis‐
tribution package you should have received some sample scripts written
in Perl that interface to E through eesh showing how you can externally
script E to do more things outside E's base functionality. Expect the
IPC to flesh out even more in future revisions.
To exit eesh, hit CTRL + D (EOF)
Editing Enlightenment's Menus
The first time you run Enlightenment as a user after you've installed
it, it should create a directory under your home directory called
.enlightenment. In this directory, there will be a file called
"file.menu" - this file controls the contents of your left-mouse button
Menu . The very first line of this file contains the title for the
menu, and the remainder of the file looks something like this:
"Eterm" NULL exec "Eterm"
Where each column represents:
Entry title , graphic for menu (or NULL) , exec "commandline"
You may have several files in here, including a KDE menu and a Gnome
menu if Enlightenment has detected their presence during installation.
If detected, your primary apps will be located in another file called
user_apps.menu. Each of these files is for you to edit as desired.
Editing Your Keybindings
To set your own keybindings, all you have to do is find the keybind‐
ings.cfg file that was installed with Enlightenment, and make a copy in
your ~/.enlightenment directory. This file is fairly long, but
shouldn't be too difficult to edit. Be careful! The keybindings in
this file will override ALL the default keybindings, as long as this
file exists, so edit this file with extreme caution (unless you know
what you're doing).
To reset your keybindings back to the default, simply remove this file
from your ~/.enlightenment directory. The next time you restart
Enlightenment it should reload the default keybindings into memory.
Enlightenment and Themes
One of the strong points of Enlightenment, of course, is that you can
change around the complete look and feel of your desktop whenever you
want to. Included with the 0.16.5 release are a few themes, to show
off a little bit of this configurability. You can select them by using
the middle mouse button menu , going to the "Themes" selector, and then
choosing a new theme. Of course, there are plenty more themes for
Enlightenment than come with it by default. You can find more by going
and searching around until you find something you like.
To install a new theme is simple: all you need to do is take the
bleh.etheme file and drop it into your ~/.enlightenment/themes direc‐
tory. Once you've restarted Enlightenment, it will automatically show
up in your Themes menu, and you can choose it just like any other
Enlightenment's Eyecandy Features
Of course, Enlightenment wouldn't be complete without just a few bits
of eyecandy to play with. Access them from the "Desktop" portion of
your middle mouse button menu. There are two toys that you can choose
The ripples effect - this causes little ripplets of water to reflect on
the bottom of your screen.
The waves effect - similar to ripples, but this one waves up and down
as opposed to side-to-side
Each of these can be turned back off simply by using the same menu that
you enabled it through.
Included Maintenance Scripts
Enlightenment comes with several scripts that are executable out of the
middle mouse button menu - these scripts can perform all sorts of main‐
tenance on the files that Enlightenment creates automatically for you.
When you select "Maintenance" you should get a menu that looks some‐
thing like the one above-right. You can also rebuild the KDE and GNOME
menus Enlightenment uses from here
As a warning, when you purge configuration information, the next time
you restart Enlightenment it will take longer to load. You can monitor
Enlightenment's usage using the query tools provided. If you change
themes a lot you will probably want to purge the config file cache
after you've settled on a theme. This will help keep your disk usage
by Enlightenment down.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I can't find my Iconbox or change its settings.
A: There are two possibilities here.
1. You don't have an Iconbox on your desktop right now. Just middle-
click and select Desktop/Create new iconbox
2. Your Iconbox is transparent and borderless. Iconify a window and
see if your icon appears. If so, rightclick on it to reconfigure your
Q: I Can't Seem To Find My Left Mouse Menu
A: Your menu files may be destroyed. Try rerunning the program that
initially generated them. First you'll want to remove the ~/.enlight‐
enment/*.menu files. Rebuild them using the Maintenance menu.
Q: All My Settings Are Mangled And I Can't Fix It
A: Well, if things get really messed up, you can always remove all of
Enlightenment's automatically saved files. go into ~/.enlightenment,
and remove the ...e_session* files, and then blow away the cached
directory. If your theme is broken, remove the user_theme.cfg file,
also. The next time you start Enlightenment it should reset everything
to the default.
Q: I Upgraded My Theme, But The New One Isn't Being Used
A: When you upgrade a theme that does not come with Enlightenment, when
you go into your ~/.enlightenment/themes directory, be sure to delete
the unpacked directory version of your theme that should be sitting
next to the theme, if it is there. Otherwise when Enlightenment
attempts to start the new version it will use the old files, which
causes this problem.
Q: I set my window to borderless and can't set it back or move it.
A: ALT + Right mouse button when pressed anywhere in the window will
give you the window operations menu. ALT + Left mouse button will move
the window and ALT + Middle mouse button will resize the window.
Q: How can I move or resize the iconbox?
A: As described above, ALT + Right mouse button will give you the win‐
dow operations menu, ALT + Middle mouse button will resize the iconbox
and ALT+left mouse button will move it. See the Iconbox documentation
for more help
Q: How can I disable that annoying desktop tooltip?
A: There is a special config option for it under the tooltip settings
Q: How do I set up Enlightenment to work with GNOME?
A: By default, Enlightenment supports all of the GNOME hints. However,
if you want to run GMC you may notice that clicking on the root window
does not always have the desired effect (for dragging icons, GMC's root
menus, etc). If you want to use GMC with enlightenment, there are a
couple of options. You can use alt+leftmouse and alt+rightmouse to use
the GMC root menus. Or, you can edit the keybindings.cfg file to
remove the bindings for your left and right mousebuttons. There is a
copy of keybindings.cfg that will do this for you that comes with
enlightenment. in /path/to/enlightenment/configs/ copy the keybind‐
ings.gmc.cfg into your ~/.enlightenment directory. When you restart,
you will no longer have the left and right mousebuttons bound to
enlightenment. To modify your system configuration, copy over the key‐
bindings.cfg file in that directory. For your convenience, there is a
keybindings.nogmc.cfg in case you want to reverse this change at a
later date. NOTE: you may choose to use virtual areas instead of vir‐
tual desktops since GMC does not handle clicks anywhere on the root
window on desktops other than 0. If you want to start enlightenment
from gnome-session, you should use the gnome control-panel to select
the new enlightenment as your window manager. Warning: Enlightenment
is slower when run from a session manager. You should opt to run
enlightenment and have enlightenment be your session manager instead of
running gnome-session. You can start "panel" and "gmc" by hand and
have enlightenment relaunch them as the preferred launch method. To do
this, once you have launched them by hand, alt-rightclick on them,
select "Remember" and then choose "Restart Application on Login".
Q: How do I set up Enlightenment to work with KDE ?
A: By default, Enlightenment does not support the KDE hints. You can
turn them on easily through your settings menus, however. If you want
to add support automatically upon launch (which can be disabled by the
autosaved user configuration) then copy the control.kde.cfg to the
~/.enlightenment directory and rename it to control.cfg. If you are
doing this after launching enlightenment for the first time, you will
want to remove the line from your ~/.enlightenment/...e_session.XXXXXX
file that looks like: 1366 0 simply remove that line and start up
enlightenment again. If your "KDE Support" settings panel still show
KDE support turned on, then you can simply check the box there, and KDE
support will remain on. You can launch kpanel and/or kfm from your
.xsession or .xinitrc files and they will work correctly. If you want
to edit the startkde script (system-wide configuration change) find the
line that contains kwm and replace it with /path/to/enlightenment.
Q: These Docs Didn't Help, Where Can I Get More Help?
A: Well, we obviously can't answer all of your questions just by pre‐
dicting them, so I would try the website as well as looking at the
mailing lists , especially the mail archives. Chances are that someone
else has probably had the same problem that you have. And if all that
still fails, you might try someone on the irc channel
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Please see our web site at http://www.enlightenment.org
3rd Berkeley Distribution Enlightenment 0.16.4ENLIGHTENMENT(1)