Enlightenment with *buntu
- I have been running Kubuntu (jaunty, presently) for some time--although I also have Gnome installed for some variation from time to time.
Recently, I have been getting some crashes, largely because of the *many* browser tabs I usually have open at any given time, along with a few other programs running.
Just for kicks, I decided to check out the Englightenment window manager--and WOW, I *like* it!
It turns out that E16 uses fewer resources than KDM or GDM, and seems thus more stable on heavily loaded machines like mine. It is also much faster and more memory efficient even than XFCE--which, these days, seems to have somewhat lost its way a bit from the days when it was a truly lightweight alternative to KDE or Gnome...but I digress.
The current stable version of Enlightenment, E16, is available from the Ubuntu repositories. When you install it, you have various options at boot time. If you have both KDE and Gnome installed, for example, you have preconfigured choices to run KDE with Englightenment as the window manager; Gnome with Englightenment, or Englightenment by itself as a super-fast and lean (but eye candy filled, if you wish) window manager. Of course, you also have the straight KDE or Gnome options as well.
It works a little differently, but as you become used to it you will be amazed at the speed and utility it brings to the table. Instead of hte KDE menu button or the Gnome menu buttons, for example, with Englightenment you click on the desktop background anywhere--left button for the application menus, right button for configuration settings of all sorts. If you have booted into Englightenment +KDE, as I am doing presently, you have both.
Also, the desktop is very interesting. Let us say you have both a browser and, perhaps, a video player running. You can switch between them simply by moving your mouse to the side of your screen. Very slick not having to minimize/maximize all the time, but a little disconcerting when you are in the window that slides to the next on the right side--if you aren't too accurate with the scroll control on the right of the window, you suddenly find yourself in the other desktop.
I have not yet reset my number of desktops above two--I will do that later today just to see if the windows continue to scroll through the higher number wit the same method.
Also, opening and closing application windows is very fast.
There are entire distros which use Englightenment as the primary window system. However, I am very pleased with having such a large user community and the enormous repositories with pre-configured apps in the Ubuntu family. I also believe that having a primary distribution used by increasingly large numbers of people is an advantage in seeking to further the Linux penetration in the marketplace. Thus, I am happy to see such flexibility and am always discovering new things to make my computing more efficient and fun.
So--if you have never used Englightenment, give it a shot. You may be pleasantly surprised.
- This is funny, I considered installing Enlightenment a few days ago to
see how todays version runs but I have not done it yet.
The last time I used it was about 8 years ago on a really slow machine.
The machine was used for bookkeeping in my parents deli. KDE +
spreadsheet program was too much for the little system but it worked
fine with Enlightenment.
I just checked and Enlightenment is in the ARCH Linux repo so I will
give it a spin around the block later :)
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