Become Enlightened


Because it's so easy to get caught up in the KDE vs. Gnome debate, the Enlightenment window manager often goes overlooked. And for good reason - there are very few distros available that utilize Enlightenment as a default WM. As a former KDE user myself, I was hesitant to try anything different. However, like so many other Linux users, I am always willing to try something new. Enlightenment captured my attention.

One distribution, E-Live, comfortably mixes Debian with Enlightenment on a Live CD that may be installed as an alternative. I was able to install every program that I needed and am impressed at how quickly programs load. Even more captivating are the finishing touches applied by E-Live's developers complete with animated backgrounds (twinkling stars) and multimedia codecs preloaded.

If you love speed and power - you owe it to yourself to check out E-Live. It's fast, takes up less system resources as other WMs, and it may be installed on any machine that meets the following minimum system reqs:

"The minimum hardware for running Elive is a 100 Mhz CPU and 64 MB of RAM, but the minimum recommended hardware is 300 Mhz and 128 Mb of RAM. You don't need any special graphic card or 3D acceleration to run E-Live."

You are able to choose between E-16 (stable) or E-17 (default) when booting. Choose E-17... you won't be disappointed.

For some amazing screenshots of this rising star distro check out:

Watch the Developer's YouTube video at:


Arkadaslık sitesi's picture

Thanks You admin.
Arkadaslık sitesi

Elive Compiz

Lyle MacBride's picture

I recently downloaded the Elive Compiz iso from the main ELive page at: (This is a special version of ELive, not the regular Deveopment version and is stated to be an "unstable" release.)

I was pleasantly surprised at how fast the distro ran on a lower end system, (Celeron 2.8ghz - 1500mb ram - NVidia GeForce 6200 256mb), even with all of the E17 and Compiz "eye-candy" enabled while running "Live" from the cd.

ELive had no problems at all, and I was pleasantly surprised that it detected and configured my hardware seamlessly. I was able to get on the internet immediately, play cd's, mp3's and mpg's from a usb stick, and all of the other day to day activities that I would on my normal system. ELives "Eye-Candy" may not be for everyone, but I was impressed that even a 5 year old marginal system did not seem to have any problems with the E17/Compiz display or show more than minor signs of stress.

Overall, the ELive distro was fast, compatible, useful, and most importantly FUN. I will be using it "live" to amaze my friends and confuse my enemies until a "stable" release arrives. I hope that it will be out soon so I can install it and use it on a full time basis.

Lyle MacBride

On the road to Enlightenment

Mike Roberts's picture

Jay, thanks for suggestion about Enlightenment and Elive. That sounds like just the thing for an old Armada M700 test mule I've got. My M700 has a whopping 192MB of RAM. It is currently packing Xubuntu reasonably well. I'm curious how well Elive supports WiFi and EVDO cards. *ubuntu has been good at supporting my NetGear WG511T WiFi needs with "native" support. For my EVDO card(VZW PC5220) I've been using wvdial so I suspect Elive should be able to handle that with no problem.

I've been a DamnSmallLinux fan and user for a few years. Elive sounds like another nice bang for the processing power distro.

Yet another Hope/Crosby/Linux road trip I'll be taking...

Mike Roberts is a bewildered Linux Journal Reader Advisory Panelist.

E-Live & WiFi

jaykruizenga's picture

Hi Mike,

You posted: "I'm curious how well Elive supports WiFi and EVDO cards."

Not too good I'm afraid. At least not yet. E-Live is relatively new to the scene. A new E-Live development, announced by Distrowatch, may be what you are looking for. It is free to download but very unstable. Not certain if everything (too include WiFi) is working yet. But keep an eye on future developments. I know I will be.

Stretching my brain...

Shawn Powers's picture

Wasn't Enlightenment the window manager for Gnome back in the day? I seem to remember using "E" a lot back in the 90s, but then it sorta slipped off my radar. I could be way off base, that happens a lot, but I'm pretty sure Enlightenment was mainstream at one point...

Shawn is Associate Editor here at Linux Journal, and has been around Linux since the beginning. He has a passion for open source, and he loves to teach. He also drinks too much coffee, which often shows in his writing.

Gnome + Enlightenment = GEUbuntu

jaykruizenga's picture

Hi Shawn,

I think you might be right. I know that there is presently (not official yet) an Ubuntu-related distro that is combining both Gnome and Enlightenment - just as you remember. It goes by the name GEUbuntu.

The folks there at GEUbuntu seem to think that Enlightenment is being too heavily developed (constant changes and instabilities) for sole usage as a Windows Manager. But when combined with the unique features of Gnome they feel all is well.

The only other distro that I am aware of having used Enlightenment is Gentoo which has now dropped E17 like a lead balloon.

So, besides E-Live and GEUbuntu I am not aware of any other distros choosing to focus intently on Enlightenment. What a shame.

Jay Kruizenga

Enlightenment + old = Mandrake?

Ben's picture

I have a *really* (ok, not really, but) old Mandrake 7.0 disc, and (if I remember correctly) I think one of the desktop environments that you could choose was "Enlightenment", but I'd have to check again to be sure.

Now that I think about it, I guess I could install it in a VM, since the technology exists now. That'd be nice, since it was pretty fun to mess around in. ^.^