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24 December 2012, 11:40

Enlightenment 0.17 (E17) Linux desktop is ready

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Zoom The desktop of a preview of E17 under Ubuntu

After twelve years of development, the Enlightenment project has released the first official version of the Enlightenment 0.17 desktop interface. Called E17 in short, the desktop is intended for Linux systems, but its Window Manager and many of its applications are also designed to run under various BSD derivatives, Solaris and OS X.

Rather than being based on GTK+ or Qt like the GNOME and KDE Linux desktops, Enlightenment 0.17, code-named "Zero", uses the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries (EFL). These libraries for creating graphical interface components were developed by the Enlightenment project and are also used in Tizen, the successor of MeeGo and LiMo. Parallel with the release of E17, the Enlightenment project has also released EFL version 1.7.4 to fix a number of bugs.

E17, a completely revised version of its 1997 predecessor E16, includes components such as a panel with an area for system messages and a window manager that supports virtual desktops. The user interface offers a multitude of compositing effects such as drop shadows, animations and fading but doesn't require any graphics drivers with 3D acceleration for these features to work.

The Enlightenment developers worked on E17 for years without ever releasing anything other than development versions. However, the interface was already quite suitable for some purposes and has been used in production on various occasions; Yellow Dog Linux, for example, used E17 as the default desktop in its distribution for the first generation of the Playstation 3 (PS3) games console. Enlightenment is also used in a number of current Linux distributions; among the most well-known of them is the Ubuntu derivative Bodhi 2.0. The BSD-licensed source code of E17 is available to download from the Enlightenment homepage; the download page offers links to other distributions and package repositories as well as instructions for installing the desktop under Ubuntu, openSUSE and other distributions.


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