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How to install the Enlightenment Desktop Environment

Enlightenment is a window manager/desktop environment for the Linux platform. The primary focus is speed and low resource usage, and the developers claim it can run on nearly any Linux computer with no issues.

This environment is relatively unknown compared to other lightweight ones like XFCE4, Mate, or LXQt. Still, Enlightenment’s unique design and powerful customization options make it worth checking out. Here’s how to install it on your Linux OS.

Ubuntu Installation Instructions

On Ubuntu Linux, Enlightenment is provided in the official software repositories. That said if you want to get access to the latest software, it’s best to use the developer’s PPA.

Enabling the PPA must be done through the terminal. To open up a terminal window, press Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. From there, use the add-app-repository command below.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:niko2040/e19

After adding the PPA to Ubuntu, your software sources must be updated. To update, use the apt update command.

sudo apt update

Following the update, Enlightenment is ready to install on your Ubuntu Linux PC using the apt install command.

sudo apt install enlightenment -y

Debian Installation Instructions

Ubuntu users get a fancy software PPA, but on Debian Linux, the developer asks the user to compile the Enlightenment environment from scratch to use the latest release. The compilation process isn’t a huge problem, as the source code is easy to understand. To get started building the software, open up a terminal window with Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift +T, and install the various dependencies the program needs to build correctly.

Note: don’t want to build Enlightenment from scratch to get the latest version? Install the older version on Debian with sudo apt install enlightenment.

sudo apt install gcc g++ check libssl-dev libsystemd-dev libjpeg-dev libglib2.0-dev libgstreamer1.0-dev libluajit-5.1-dev libfreetype6-dev libfontconfig1-dev libfribidi-dev libx11-dev libxext-dev libxrender-dev libgl1-mesa-dev libgif-dev libtiff5-dev libpoppler-dev libpoppler-cpp-dev libspectre-dev libraw-dev librsvg2-dev libudev-dev libmount-dev libdbus-1-dev libpulse-dev libsndfile1-dev libxcursor-dev libxcomposite-dev libxinerama-dev libxrandr-dev libxtst-dev libxss-dev libbullet-dev libgstreamer-plugins-base1.0-dev doxygen git

After installing the many different software dependencies that Debian needs to build the software, use the Git tool to download the latest build of Enlightenment from the internet.

git clone https://git.enlightenment.org/core/efl.git

Once the code is done downloading, move the terminal session into the “efl” folder with the CD command.

cd efl

Run the “autogen.sh” script file included in the source code folder to generate a Make file and to check if all dependencies are installed correctly.

./autogen.sh

If the autogen script is successful, build the source code for Enlightenment with the make command.

make

Assuming the make command runs successfully, install the software on your Debian Linux PC with:

sudo make install

Arch Linux Installation Instructions

On Arch Linux, it is effortless to get your hands on the absolute latest release of Enlightenment with little effort. The reason? Arch is a bleeding-edge Linux distribution, so the developers reliably provide software updates.

To install Enlightenment on Arch Linux, you must have the “Extra” software repository enabled. As some users choose not to enable this repo, we’ll briefly go over how to turn it on.

First, open up a terminal window with Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, from there, open up the Pacman configuration file in the Nano text editor tool.

sudo nano -w /etc/pacman.conf

Scroll through the configuration file till you find “Extra” and remove the # symbol from in front of it. Then, save the edit by pressing Ctrl + O and exit the editor with Ctrl + X.

Once out of Nano, re-sync Pacman with:

sudo pacman -Syy

Finally, install the latest release of Enlightenment on Arch Linux with the following command.

sudo pacman -S efl

Fedora Installation Instructions

Fedora Linux is a Linux distribution that provides fast software updates. So, there’s no issue installing a relatively recent version of Enlightenment. To install, open up a terminal window using Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Alt + T on the keyboard. Then, use the dnf install command below to get it working.

sudo dnf install efl

Want the nightly release of Enlightenment for your Fedora Linux PC? If so, head over to the official documentation page and learn how to get the software from the special Fedora repository that the developers provide.

OpenSUSE Installation Instructions

OpenSUSE Linux does support Enlightenment pretty well and the software is included in official repositories. However, OpenSUSE users primarily use LEAP, which does not include new software. So, if you want the newest release of the Enlightenment environment, you must enable a third-party software repository.

Enabling the third-party Enlightenment repo on OpenSUSE requires the command-line, so, open up a terminal window with Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, use the zypper ar command to add it to the system.

sudo zypper ar https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/X11:/Enlightenment:/Nightly/openSUSE_Tumbleweed/x86_64/ Enlightenment_Nightly

After adding the repo, refresh OpenSUSE’s software repositories with the zypper ref command.

sudo zypper ref

Finally, install Enlightenment on your OpenSUSE Linux PC with the zypper install command below.

sudo zypper in efl efl-devel

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