Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

How To Install Enlightenment (E17) on Ubuntu: A Guide to a New Desktop Environment

Ubuntu 5

Enlightenment, also known as E17, is a lightweight, highly configurable, and visually appealing desktop environment. This guide will walk you through the process of installing Enlightenment on Ubuntu, providing a fresh and new desktop environment for your system.

Quick Answer

To install Enlightenment (E17) on Ubuntu, you can either use the official repositories, compile from source, use Bodhi Linux, or install through a PPA. Each method has its own level of complexity and is suitable for different user levels. Choose the method that suits your needs and enjoy a fresh and visually appealing desktop environment on your Ubuntu system.

1. Installation from Official Repositories

The easiest way to install Enlightenment is from the official Ubuntu repositories. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Open a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T.
  • Enter the following command: sudo apt-get install e17 Here, sudo allows you to run commands with the security privileges of the superuser, apt-get is the package handling utility in Ubuntu, and install is the command to install a new package. e17 is the package name for Enlightenment.
  • After the installation, log out of your current session. In the login screen, click on the Ubuntu icon next to your username, and select Enlightenment from the dropdown menu.

2. Compiling from Source

If you’re using an older Ubuntu version, you may need to compile Enlightenment from its source code. This method is more complex and is recommended for advanced users. You can follow the instructions provided in this blog post to compile E17 from source.

3. Using Bodhi Linux

Bodhi Linux is a lightweight Ubuntu derivative that uses Enlightenment as its default desktop environment. If you’re open to trying a new distribution, Bodhi Linux can be a good choice.

4. Installation Using PPA

PPA, or Personal Package Archive, allows you to install software that’s not available in the official Ubuntu repositories. Here’s how you can install Enlightenment using a PPA:

  • Open a terminal window.
  • Add the official PPA using the command: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:efl/trunk Here, add-apt-repository is a script which adds an external APT repository to either /etc/apt/sources.list or a new file in /etc/apt/sources.list.d/.
  • Update the package information with the command: sudo apt-get update.
  • Install Enlightenment with the command: sudo apt-get install e17 libedje-bin libqedje0a libqzion0a. Here, libedje-bin, libqedje0a, and libqzion0a are additional packages required for Enlightenment.
  • Log out, select the Enlightenment session, and log in again.

5. Compiling from Source (Advanced)

For a more hands-on approach, you can compile Enlightenment from source. This method is complex and is recommended for advanced users. Use the script or follow the instructions on the Enlightenment website to obtain the necessary header files and source code.


Enlightenment (E17) offers a lightweight and visually appealing desktop environment for Ubuntu users. Whether you’re installing from the official repositories, using a PPA, or compiling from source, this guide has you covered. Remember to check the official websites or forums for the latest information and updates on installing E17 on Ubuntu. Enjoy your new desktop environment!

Can I use Enlightenment (E17) on other Linux distributions besides Ubuntu?

Yes, Enlightenment can be installed on various Linux distributions, not just Ubuntu. However, the installation process may differ slightly depending on the distribution you are using. It is recommended to refer to the official documentation or forums specific to your distribution for the installation instructions.

Can I switch back to my previous desktop environment after installing Enlightenment?

Yes, you can switch back to your previous desktop environment. During the login screen, click on the Ubuntu icon next to your username, and select your previous desktop environment from the dropdown menu. This will load your previous desktop environment for your current session.

Can I customize the appearance and settings of Enlightenment?

Yes, Enlightenment is highly configurable and allows for extensive customization. You can change the themes, icons, fonts, and various other visual elements to suit your preferences. Additionally, Enlightenment provides a settings panel where you can modify various desktop environment settings.

Are there any known compatibility issues or bugs with Enlightenment on Ubuntu?

While Enlightenment is generally stable, there may be occasional compatibility issues or bugs depending on your specific hardware and software configurations. It is recommended to check the official websites or forums for any known issues or updates related to Enlightenment on Ubuntu. Additionally, keeping your system updated with the latest software updates can help mitigate potential issues.

Can I uninstall Enlightenment if I no longer want to use it?

Yes, you can uninstall Enlightenment if you decide to switch back to your previous desktop environment or try a different one. To uninstall Enlightenment, open a terminal window and enter the command sudo apt-get remove e17. This will remove the Enlightenment package from your system.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *