e16 (1) - Linux Manuals

e16 - The Enlightenment DR16 Window Manager

e16 documentation

Enlightenment version 0.16.8


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Welcome to the Enlightenment Documentation Viewer. Please select a topic from the list.

This Documentation is intended to take you step by step through Enlightenment(E16) and its default setup, how to use it, modify settings, and put it to use for you. When you have finished reading each page please press the NEXT button to go to the next page, or use the Back button until you have reached the Docs Index.

If you are reading this right now you have managed to get E16 itself installed correctly and are either running E16 for the first time or have just upgraded to a new version. Congratulations. Now it's time to take you on a quick tour of the desktop you will have before you.

Please remember that if you use a theme other than Brushed Metal that it may look slightly or completely different to the contents of this User Documentation. Some behavior may also vary.

To relaunch this Help Browser at any time, middle click on your desktop and select the "Help" Item. The documentation should come back up, reloading to the first page. You can also use the "Home" key to take you back to the introduction page at any time during the program.

E16 is your Window Manager. The Window Manager controls the appearance of the borders of your windows, their behavior and all user interaction with positioning, killing, resizing, moving, iconifying, shading etc. your windows, virtual desktops, multiple desktops, menus attached to windows and some root window menus and can also control the background of your desktop(s).

E16 is a large and complex program and is by no means perfect, but it is being worked on and is as stable as possible. It has many advanced features, but may also be missing some features that you would like to see. The version you are now running (0.16.8) is by no means the end of development and improvements, fixes and new exciting features are being worked on all the time. Please visit the Web site often for new versions, fixes, patches and updates.

We hope that you enjoy using E16 as much as we have enjoyed writing it. We'd like to think that even if this isn't the right software for you, you at least can have fun playing around with what we have created.


Web site: http://www.enlightenment.org/

Forums: http://forum.enlightenment.org/

Bugs: http://bugs.enlightenment.org/

Download: http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=2

Mailing lists: http://sourceforge.net/mail/?group_id=2

IRC: #E on freenode

Documentation Index

Basic Intro
Using Menus
Mouse Bindings
Mouse Configuration
Using The Window Border
Changing Window Borders
Default Keybindings
Multiple Desktops
Changing Desktops
Taking Apps Between Desks
The Dragbar
The Pager
The Iconbox
Recovering Minimized Apps
Remembering App Properties
Intro To Settings
Window Groups

Desktop Backgrounds
Special Effects
Setting The Focus
Moving Windows
Resizing Windows
Window Operations
Window Placement Options
Autoraise Settings
Quick Intro to IPC
How To Edit Menus
How To Change Keybindings
Extra Eyecandy
Maintenance Scripts

Now that you have started E16, if you are using it for your desktop shell, your screen should look something like the image here on the left.

Across the whole top of the screen you will see a bar with arrows pointing up and down on the left and right ends. This is your desktop Dragbar.

On the bottom-left you'll see 3 boxes. The top box with the scrollbar attached will be your Iconbox.

The other 2 boxes below it are Pagers for desktops 0 and 1. Everything else is your desktop background.

Using Menus

When you click with your left mouse button on the desktop background you will see an "User Menus" menu appear (example displayed on the right here). Applications you may have installed will appear in this menu. To launch one of them simply select it from the menu.

Note: Menus in E16 work like most menu systems. Either hold down the mouse button and navigate with the button down, releasing on the selection you want, or release elsewhere to not select anything. You can also quickly click and release, then navigate: move the mouse, and click again on the item you wish to select, or elsewhere if you do not wish to select an entry.

Clicking the middle button on the desktop background will display E16's main menu. You can access the other menus plus more options from this menu (including those to log out, restart and display Help information). A sample of this menu is shown to our left.

When you click the right mouse button a menu with the title "Settings" will appear. This is E16's settings menu. From it you can select various configuration dialogs that will assist you in customizing your desktop to better suit your needs.

Mouse Bindings

Of course, when you click on the desktop background of your screen, normally you will bring up a menu. And of course, when you click on the border of a window, you will do various things. But these are not the only things you can do with your mouse.

In E16, there are several other actions that the mouse can do by default. For example, by holding down the ALT key when you click the left mouse button anywhere in a window, you will find that you can move the window around the screen, just as if you had used the titlebar. You can also ALT middle-click in a window to resize it, or use ALT and right-click to bring up the Window Operations Menu.

You will find that holding down the ALT key while clicking the middle mouse button on the background of your desktop will bring up a menu with the titles of all currently active application windows. Selecting one of these will take you to that application. By using the CTRL key instead of ALT you will get a menu displaying all current desktops as sub-menus, with applications on each desktop in the desktop sub-menu.

Mouse Configuration

E16 makes extensive use of the mouse. However, you may be missing some features because of the way that your mouse is configured on your X server.

If your mouse does not have a middle button you should enable "Emulate 3 Buttons" in your X server. This option allows you to emulate a three-button mouse by pressing both left and right mouse buttons at once. If this does not work, three-button emulation may not be enabled. See your X server documentation to configure this emulation.

This may vary from system to system. The OS and X server may also vary the method in which you do this, if it is possible. Not having a middle mouse button in E16, or for that matter X, is not a good thing as it is almost assumed to be there, and is used by many applications, including E.

If you have a Wheel-Mouse and X is configured to use it, E16 supports it by default.

Rolling your wheel up on the desktop background will take you back a desktop. Rolling your wheel downward you will advance forward a desktop.

If this doesn't work, then it may be you haven't configured your X server to understand a mouse with a wheel. You may need to edit your X server configuration to have a "Pointer" Section like:

Section "Pointer"
Protocol "MousemanPlusPS/2"
Device "/dev/mouse"
ZAxisMapping 4 5
Buttons 5

You may need to modify this for your mouse.

Using the Window Border

When you start an application, unless it has special properties, it will come up on your screen with a border surrounding it that contains a titlebar and several control buttons. This border is the primary interface to controlling an application window. The Default setup (shown on the next page) gives adequate control but still retains simplicity.

If you click left mouse button on the titlebar and keep the mouse button down the window will follow your mouse wherever it moves. Respectively if you click your left mouse button and drag on any of the resize handles, the window will be resized in that direction. Clicking right mouse button on the resize handles will raise the windows to the top.

Clicking right mouse button on the titlebar or any button on the window operations menu button on the top-left will display a menu that has window manipulation options in it.

Double-Clicking the title bar will make the Window shade or unshade.

Clicking left mouse button on the iconify button will iconify the window and send it off to the Iconbox. Hitting the Maximize button will maximize the size of the application fill your screen. Hitting it again will Unmaximize, bringing the window back to its normal size.

Clicking with the left mouse button on the close button will close the window. If the application that owns that window does not respond to a nice request to exit, then press the right mouse button on the close button to forcibly terminate that window. This should not be used unless the application is visibly "hung".

In addition to these methods, there are additional ways to manipulation windows.

If you hold down the ALT key and hold down left mouse button anywhere in the window (on the border OR in the application part) while dragging, you will move this window around. Doing the same but with the middle mouse button will resize the window in that direction. Clicking the right mouse button anywhere in the window while holding down the ALT key will bring up the window operations menu.

Changing Window Borders

You may find that you don't like a particular border that a window uses, for some reason or another. You can easily change the border style of a window in E16 using the Window Operations menu, however. Select the "Set Border Style" menu, and a list will be presented to you of available borders in this theme. The most common use for this is to make an application shed its border, using the BORDERLESS border type.

You can always click with ALT + Right mouse button anywhere in the window to bring up the window operations menu again.

If you want to remember the border style for the next time you run this application, you can always use the Remember dialog to remember the current window border.

Default Keybindings

Below are the keybindings for E as it comes "from the factory"

CTRL+ALT+Home - Re-shuffle windows on screen to be Clean
CTRL+ALT+Del - Exit E16 and Log Out
CTRL+ALT+End - Restart E16
CTRL+ALT+Up-Arrow - Raise window to top
CTRL+ALT+Down-Arrow - Lower window to the bottom
CTRL+ALT+Left-Arrow - Go to the previous desktop
CTRL+ALT+Right-Arrow - Go to the next desktop
CTRL+ALT+X - Close the currently focused window
CTRL+ALT+K - Kill the currently focused window nastily
CTRL+ALT+I - Iconify the currently focused window
CTRL+ALT+R - Shade/Unshade the currently focused window
CTRL+ALT+S - Stick/Unstick the currently focused window
CTRL+ALT+M - Maximize/unmaximize the currently focused window
CTRL+ALT+F - Toggle fullscreen mode of the currently focused window
CTRL+ALT+(F1 - F8) - Go directly to desktops 0 - 7

ALT+Tab - Switch focus to the next window
ALT+Enter - Zoom/Unzoom the currently focused window
SHIFT+ALT+Left-Arrow - Move to the virtual desktop on the left
SHIFT+ALT+Right-Arrow - Move to the virtual desktop on the right
SHIFT+ALT+Up-Arrow - Move to the virtual desktop above
SHIFT+ALT+Down-Arrow - Move to the virtual desktop below

Note: Zooming in and out of windows will only work if you have an X server that implements the Xf86VidMode extension. You also need to define multiple screen modes for your display, e.g. with a "Display" subsection of the X11 configuration that looks like:

SubSection "Display"
       Depth 16
       Modes "1600x1200" "1280x1024" "1152x864" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480" "512x384" "400x300" "320x240"

Multiple & Virtual Desktops

E16 supports both Multiple and Virtual desktops. There are distinct difference between the two, and E16 treats them differently.

When you start E16 you will by default have two desktops. In E16 desktops are geometrically unrelated work areas. They are visually stacked on top of each other and can even be dragged down to expose desktops underneath.

The best way to imagine this is that each desktop is a sheet of paper with the first desktop (desktop 0) being glued in-place. You can re-shuffle the stack of papers and slide one down to reveal a piece of paper underneath - the only paper you can't slide is the first one. Each desktop (or sheet) contains your application windows.

Windows normally live on one desktop, but can be made to exist on all desktops - whenever you change to a new desktop the window will follow you and be on that desktop too. This is known as being sticky. if a window is sticky it will "stick to the glass of your screen" and stay there until it is not sticky anymore or the window is closed.

Virtual desktops (also known as desktop areas) is a measure of how big your desktops are. A desktop can be a multiple of your screen size in size (2x1, 2x2, 3x3, 4x2 etc.). That means each desktop has an AxB screen size of area allocated to it and you can be looking at any screen-sized part of it at any time. It's just like getting more sheets of paper and taping them to the sides of your current sheet of paper. An easy way of changing your view is by just sliding your mouse in the direction of a currently unviewable part of your desktop. As long as you have Edge Flip enabled E16 will automatically scroll over to that part of the desktop.

To change the number of virtual desktops that you have, use the "Multiple Desktop Settings" dialog from the right mouse Settings Menu. You should see a menu that looks something like the menu to the right. You can use the slider bar to quickly select the appropriate number of virtual desktops you would like to use.

To change the number of virtual areas, use the "Virtual Desktop Settings" menu. This will bring up a menu that looks something like the one on the left. Use the slider bars to extend the size of the virtual areas to the size that you prefer. You can also use this dialog to enable/disable edge resistance (when your mouse hits the edge of an area) moving between virtual areas.

E16 also allows you to set a different desktop backdrop per desktop to help you customize your environment and differentiate which desktop is which.

An easy way of having E16 automatically pick up any pictures you have is to make a directory in your ~/.e16 directory called backgrounds and then fill that with your favorite backdrops. E16 will automatically discover this and index them for you allowing you to select them and change their settings. More on this topic is explained in the Desktop Backgrounds section.

Changing Desktops

There are several ways that you can change your current desktop - let's go over a few of them here.

You can use the Keybindings alt-F1 through alt-F8 for the first 8 desktops.
You can use the Keybindings Ctrl-Alt-Left and Ctrl-Alt-Right to navigate to the next/previous desktop.
You can use the Keybindings shift-alt-directional arrow to change virtual areas in a given direction.
You can use the Pager to quickly navigate to the desktop/area you want by clicking on the desired area.
You can use the Dragbar to quickly navigate to a particular application or a particular desktop by using the middle and right mouse buttons.
You can also use external applications such as the GNOME panel's pager or the KDE panel's pager to navigate desktops and/or applications.

Moving Applications Between Desktops

There are several ways that you can move applications from one desktop to another. We'll go over a few of them now.

The first way you can move apps between desktops is using the Pager.

You can also move applications between desktops using the Dragbar.

You can also move applications between desktops using the KDE or GNOME desktop pagers.

You can also move a window, then bring the window with you as you change desktops using keybinding.

The Dragbar

If you look along the top of your screen, you will notice a long thin bar that looks something like the bar pictured below. This is called your Dragbar. It gets its name from its primary purpose, which is dragging desktops around.

If you are on any desktop except desktop 0, you can pick up and move that desktop in another direction. Desktops documentation has more information on how to change desktops. Once you have dragged a desktop down, you can proceed to move windows between desktops this way, instead of using the pager.

You can also use the Dragbar to retrieve windowlists. Use the middle mouse button to retrieve a windowlist, and the right mouse button for a windowlist sorted by desktops.

The Pager

Pagers may not be a new idea in desktop environments, but the Pager in E16 (as seen on the right) is a highly advanced and highly configurable tool for desktop and window control, as well as a navigation tool.

The pager lets you see your desktop screen area in miniature. It lets you click on a certain desktop to "visit" it, click and drag windows around in the pager itself to move them about the screen quickly, or between desktops. In this example, we have two virtual areas. You can see the current area (the one with the windows in it) is also highlighted.

Dragging a window from one area of a pager to another will move it there, or to another desktop. Dragging it out onto the actual desktop will drop that window right there. You can also drag a window into the Iconbox to iconify the window.

Pressing right-mouse button over a blank portion of the pager gets you the pager menu, allowing you to change settings. This will allow you to set a couple of quick options, as shown on the left. For more available options, you can select the "Pager Settings" item, and another dialog will pop up, that looks like the one below.

This dialog box will allow you to set all sorts of additional parameters, many of which can increase the performance of E16 on your system. Disabling high quality snapshots and/or snapshots in general as well as continuous updates can seriously improve performance - these features are intended for high end machines.

You can resize the pager to make it the size you'd like. Hold down ALT and use the middle-mouse button to resize the pager in any direction. Using left-mouse button while holding ALT and dragging will move the window. Holding down ALT while pressing right-mouse button, just like any normal window will get you a window operations menu.

In the default theme clicking the tab on the right side of the pager with the arrow pointing right will shade and unshade the pager window horizontally, allowing you to hide and unhide the window easily.

The striped area above this tab on the pager's border is a handle that will allow you to move the pager about, just like the titlebar of any window.

The Iconbox

The iconbox is the place the icons for all your iconified windows go. It is one method of recovering minimized applications. Whenever you iconify or minimize a window it will go into an iconbox and have an icon displayed for it there. Clicking on the icon again will de-iconify it.

You can have as many icon boxes on your desktop as you want to. You can create more by using the Middle Click Menu - select Desktop->Create New Iconbox and a new Iconbox will pop up on your desktop. Each of these Iconboxes can have individual configurations, as detailed on the next page.

You can move the Iconbox around the screen using Alt-Leftclick on the window, and then moving it to the desired location on the screen. You can resize the Iconbox by alt-middleclicking on the window and then adjusting the size as described in the Mouse Bindings section.

Clicking the right-mouse button anywhere in the Iconbox will bring up a menu to configure that iconbox. This menu will look a little something like the one here to the right. This menu allows you to also close the Iconbox or open up an additional Iconbox.

To change the settings of an individual Iconbox, we'll use the right mouse button menu and select "This Iconbox Settings" - this should get us a dialog that looks something like the one to our left. You can change the orientation, icon size, scrollbar options, display policy, base image, and many more options of the Iconbox from this dialog. You may choose to change the anchor of alignment for resizes - play with it until it resizes appropriately for your Iconbox location.

If you want to customize the images used for the icons in your iconbox, there is already an example configuration supplied. To make your own configuration copy the matches.cfg file installed in your E16 system config directory (/usr/local/e16/config/matches.cfg or /usr/share/e16/config/matches.cfg) to your ~/.e16 directory and then edit it.

There are several examples of using the globbing and matching in the system matches.cfg file. Use that as a reference for your own additions.

Recovering Minimized Applications

There are several ways to recover an application once you have minimized it. The most obvious way is to use the Iconbox. Of course, you might have had some applications in your Iconbox when you accidentally closed it. Or maybe you minimized some applications and forgot you didn't have an Iconbox. Or maybe you don't like the Iconbox and usually use KDE or GNOME's panel to recover them and forgot to launch them. Never fear. You can always middle click on the Dragbar and get a menu that will allow you to recover them. You can also Alt or Ctrl-Middleclick on the desktop to get the same menus (in case you don't have a Dragbar anymore).

Remember, at any time you can always create a new Iconbox to catch your applications as they minimize, if you want to re-enable it. Unfortunately you'll have to reconfigure it since each Iconbox can have its own settings.

Remembering Application Properties

In the Window Operations menu of every window you will see an entry labeled "Remember...". If you select this it will bring up the "Remember" dialog for that window, as shown to our right.

This dialog lets you selectively snapshot certain attributes of that window at that time and have E16 remember them. You may choose to only remember some of the attributes, and possibly not have the application started automatically for you. Choose what you want E16 to remember about that window and hit "Apply" or "OK" if you don't need the dialog anymore, and E16 will, the next time that instance of the application is run, apply the current location, size, border style or any other attribute to that window. E16 can also launch the application for you upon startup if you so wish.


When you click the right mouse button on the desktop background you will pop up the Settings menu. From here you can select an aspect of E16 to configure to your liking. There are too many settings to actually document fully right now, but the likelihood is if you want a particular behavior from E16, it is achievable by merely playing with these options.

Combinations of options are often required to get the effect you want, so some experimentation may be required. Do not be frightened. Nothing you can do can't be undone by simply changing the options back to how they were and clicking on Apply again.

Window Groups

Sometimes you have a number of windows on your desktop that logically go together. E16 allows you to group windows together, so that whenever you change a property of one window in a group, the change is reflected on the other group members. If you have a group whose members span multiple desktops, changing a group's property affects only windows of that group that are on the current desktop.

The properties that you can change for an entire group include setting the window border, iconifying, killing, moving, raising/lowering, sticking and shading of a window.

To define what properties are applied to a group by default, you go to the settings menu and pick the "Group Settings" option, which will give you a dialog window in which you can configure the settings, as shown here on the right.

There are two different methods for manipulating window groups. First, there's a comprehensive submenu available in each window's operations menu called "Window Groups". This menu is shown here on the right. You also are able to configure the group individually apart from the default group settings (as shown on the previous page).

The second way is the window titlebar, which has the most important options directly available for convenience. Shift-click to start a group, Ctrl-clicking to add a window to the youngest group (also referred to as the "current" group) and Shift-Ctrl-Click to destroying a group. You can also click the middle mouse button for visualizing the group(s) of a window. Click again to returning to the previous border.

Windows can be in multiple groups at the same time, so for many options you have to indicate which group you are referring to. Selecting the appropriate checkboxes (showing the group members' titles) at the top of the dialog windows.

Selecting and Adding backgrounds

Often you will want to change the background of a particular desktop. There are several ways you can do this. But of course, to change your desktop, you'll need to give E16 some graphics to play with. A desktop theme may add a background or two to your available selections, but most users want to have even more backgrounds to choose from. To add backgrounds to your selection, make a backgrounds directory under your home directory. To do this using most shells you can type

mkdir ~/.e16/backgrounds

Once you have added your backgrounds, you should be able to go to the root menu desktop selector. To get to this menu, middle click on the desktop, select "Desktop", and go to Backgrounds. You should get something that looks similar to the image on the right. From here you will be able to navigate the backgrounds menus.

Once you have opened up the backgrounds menu, you should see something similar to the image below. From here, you can put your mouse over any of the images there, and it will change the desktop background of the current desktop to the image that you have selected.

E16 will attempt to choose the best settings for a particular background, but if it gets it wrong you can always change the settings by hand. By bringing up the settings menu with the right mouse button and selecting the "Desktop Background Settings" item, you can bring up a dialog that looks something like the one on the next page ...

You can use this dialog to change your background, too, as well as fine-tune all the various settings for each individual background available.


From time to time, as you use E16, if you don't remember what does what, if you keep the mouse still for a little bit a tooltip will pop up. The easiest example of this is when you hold the mouse over a Window Border.

You can disable the tooltips or change the delay before they pop up by selecting the "Tooltip Settings" dialog from the settings menu, as shown here on the left.


Of course, E16 comes preconfigured to play lots of little blips and beeps when you do various things on your desktop. In order to use sound in E16, you must have both EsounD and audiofile installed.

You can enable and/or disable sound at runtime simply by selecting from the Settings menu the "Audio Settings" option, which brings up a dialog, shown here at right.

Special Effects

E16 has many features that are configured via the "Special FX" Settings dialog. Here you can configure the Dragbar, various sliding speeds (including the speed of a windowshade), as well as toggle animation of different features. You can also configure the method used for sliding windows, similar to Resize Modes.

There are several FX features disabled by default in a new installation, including the animated display of menus. You can also enable saveunders here, which may improve or slow down the performance of E16 on your X server, depending on server and configuration.

Setting the Focus

E16 offers lots of different options for focusing windows. By default, it comes up in sloppy focus mode. There are two other primary focus modes supported by E16 - click to focus and pointer focus.

Click To Focus most people are familiar with. You click on a window and it receives the focus from E16.

Pointer Focus gives the focus to whichever window the pointer is sitting over

Sloppy Focus is similar to Pointer Focus, except that if you go over the Desktop Background you still are focused on the last window

Next we'll tell you how to change these settings.

E16 allows you to change your focus settings at any time. Simply bring up the Settings menu and then select "Focus Settings" to bring up a dialog that looks something like the one on the right. At the top, we can select between our three focus modes, as described on the previous page.

We can also enable some other features, such as one that will allow a simple mouse click to raise any window to the foreground, as well as several other advanced focus settings.

Here we can also enable the focuslist feature. The focuslist is a window list that pops up as you cycle through your focus using the ALT + TAB Keybinding.

Moving Windows

E16 comes with several different available methods for moving a window. You can perform the actual moves using the Window Border, or by using the available Mouse Bindings. This will cause the window to move until you have released the mouse button.

To change the mode that the moving of the windows uses (opaque being the default), open up the Settings menu, and select "Move & Resize Settings". You can select from a list that looks similar to the one here above-right. Experiment until you find one that suits you best.

For some serious eyecandy, try out the Translucent move mode. This will only work if your X server and E16 are running on the same machine, however.

Resizing Windows

E16 also comes with several available methods for resizing windows. You can perform the actual resize on the window by clicking on any resize-handle of your window border and dragging to the desired size. You can also get the same effect by using the ALT + middle button Mouse Binding in any part of the window.

To change the mode that the resizing of the windows uses (opaque being the default), open up the Settings menu, and select "Move & Resize Settings". You can select from a list that looks similar to the one here above-right. Experiment until you find one that suits you best.

The best eyecandy resize mode is probably technical move mode. This mode shows you the height and width of the window, in addition to the distance from the nearest edge.

The Window Operations Menu

The Window Operations menu is a commonly used menu that allows you to perform many different actions onto the current window.

The Close function closes the window in question. Annihilate destroys the window without regard to the application the window belongs to, which is especially useful if the application refuses to respond to being closed with Close.

The Iconify function iconifies the window. If you have an Iconbox it is sent to the nearest one.

The Raise function raises the window above any windows that may be obscuring it and Lower lowers it below windows it is obscuring.

Shade/Unshade toggles the shaded state of the window. Note that borderless windows are not allowed to be shaded.

Stick/Unstick toggles the sticky state of a window. A window that is sticky remains "stuck to the glass" and thus is visible on all virtual and multiple desktops.

Fullscreen/Window zooms in and out of the window changing resolutions if possible. This feature will only work if you have your X server configured correctly and it supports the XVidtune extension. Your X server may not like having resolutions changed - it is possible that an unstable X server could crash if you use this. Be aware of this when using this feature.

Remember... displays the Remember Properties dialog that lets you select things to remember about this instance of an application. The attributes selected to be remembered in the state they are when you hit Apply or Ok in this dialog. You will have to bring it up again if you wish to remember a new state of the window.

In the Window Groups submenu there are various options for configuring window groups and how this window relates to any groups you may have.

You can quickly modify the size of a window to one of several aspects of maximum sizes using the Window Size submenu.

Set Stacking lets you change the stacking layer of that window.

You can change the border using the Set Border Style menu if you wish to use a different window border. If you change themes after you have changed the border, and the new theme doesn't provide a border of the same name, the window will fall back to using the DEFAULT border until you change it again.

Window Placement and Autoraise

These two Settings dialogs allow you to configure various options for the placement of windows. The two Dialog window options are for windows like the ALT+O open URL window in Netscape. Manual Placement will force you to use the mouse to position every new window that attempts to map itself.

The Autoraise settings Dialog will allow you to set a timer event that causes a window to automatically raise itself to the foreground after a set time. You can enable it here, as well as change the timer.

E16 and IPC

E16 has a fairly interesting IPC system that allows external applications (such as Eterm) to talk to E16 and both ask for information and change information. There is a program that was installed with E16 called "eesh" that is a simple shell interface to the IPC in E16. It's even got its own documentation. You can go into eesh and type "help" and it should spit back a list of commands that it understands.

Note: there are many commands that will show up in E's IPC that don't necessarily work yet, or aren't fully implemented. You CAN potentially do some really bizarre things to your system by using eesh, but for the most part it's just another interesting interface to E. In your distribution package you should have received some sample scripts written in Perl that interface to E through eesh showing how you can externally script E to do more things outside E's base functionality. Expect the IPC to flesh out even more in future revisions.

To exit eesh, hit CTRL + D (EOF)

Editing E16's Menus

The first time you run E16 as a user after you've installed it, it should create a directory under your home directory called .e16/menus. In this directory, there will be a file called "file.menu" - this file controls the contents of your left-mouse button Menu. The very first line of this file contains the title for the menu, and the remainder of the file looks something like this:

"Eterm" NULL exec "Eterm"

Where each column represents:

Entry title, graphic for menu (or NULL), exec "commandline"

You may have several files in here, including a KDE menu and a Gnome menu if E16 has detected their presence during installation. If detected, your primary apps will be located in another file called user_apps.menu. Each of these files is for you to edit as desired.

Editing Your Keybindings

To set your own keybindings, all you have to do is find the bindings.cfg file that was installed with E16, and make a copy in your ~/.e16 directory. This file shouldn't be too difficult to edit. Be careful! The keybindings in this file will override ALL the default keybindings, as long as this file exists, so edit this file with extreme caution (unless you know what you're doing).

To reset your keybindings back to the default, simply remove this file from your ~/.e16 directory. The next time you restart E16 it should reload the default keybindings into memory.

E16 and Themes

One of the strong points of E16, of course, is that you can change around the complete look and feel of your desktop whenever you want to. Included with the 0.16.8 release are a few themes, to show off a little bit of this configurability. You can select them by using the middle mouse button menu, going to the "Themes" selector, and then choosing a new theme. Of course, there are plenty more themes for E16 than come with it by default. You can find more by going to:


and searching around until you find something you like.

To install a new theme is simple: all you need to do is take the bleh.etheme file and drop it into your ~/.e16/themes directory. Once you've restarted E16, it will automatically show up in your Themes menu, and you can choose it just like any other theme.

E16's Eyecandy Features

Of course, E16 wouldn't be complete without just a few bits of eyecandy to play with.

On the "Special FX" settings dialog you can chose two toys:

The ripples effect - this causes little ripplets of water to reflect on the bottom of your screen.

The waves effect - similar to ripples, but this one waves up and down as opposed to side-to-side

On the "Desktop Background" settings dialog you can enable "Theme Transparecy". A slider controls the opacity of the window borders, etc. with respect to the desktop background.

Included Maintenance Scripts

E16 comes with several scripts that are executable out of the middle mouse button menu - these scripts can perform all sorts of maintenance on the files that E16 creates automatically for you. When you select "Maintenance" you should get a menu that looks something like the one above-right. You can also rebuild the menus from here.

As a warning, when you purge configuration information, the next time you restart E16 it will take longer to load. You can monitor E16's usage using the query tools provided. If you change themes a lot you will probably want to purge the config file cache after you've settled on a theme. This will help keep your disk usage by E16 down.

Frequently Asked Questions

I can't find my iconbox or change its settings.

I can't seem to find my left mouse menu.

All my settings are mangled and I can't fix it.

I upgraded a theme but the new one isn't being used.

I set my window to borderless and can't set it back.

How can I move or resize the iconbox?

How can I disable that annoying desktop tooltip?

How can I set up E16 to work with GNOME?

How can I set up E16 to work with KDE?

These docs didn't help, where can I get more help?

Frequently Asked Questions: Page 1

Q: I can't find my Iconbox or change its settings.

A: There are two possibilities here.

1. You don't have an Iconbox on your desktop right now. Just middle-click and select Desktop/Create new iconbox

2. Your Iconbox is transparent and borderless. Iconify a window and see if your icon appears. If so, rightclick on it to reconfigure your Iconbox.

Q: I Can't Seem To Find My Left Mouse Menu

A: Your menu files may be destroyed. Try rerunning the program that initially generated them. First you'll want to remove the ~/.e16/menus/*.menu files. Rebuild them using the Maintenance menu.

Frequently Asked Questions: Page 2

Q: All My Settings Are Mangled And I Can't Fix It

A: Well, if things get really messed up, you can always remove all of E16's automatically saved files. Go into ~/.e16, and remove the e_config* files, and then blow away the cached directory. The next time you start E16 it should reset everything to the default.

Q: I Upgraded My Theme, But The New One Isn't Being Used

A: When you upgrade a theme that does not come with E16, when you go into your ~/.e16/themes directory, be sure to delete the unpacked directory version of your theme that should be sitting next to the theme, if it is there. Otherwise when E16 attempts to start the new version it will use the old files, which causes this problem.

Frequently Asked Questions: Page 3

Q: I set my window to borderless and can't set it back or move it.

A: ALT + Right mouse button when pressed anywhere in the window will give you the Window Operations menu. ALT + Left mouse button will move the window and ALT + Middle mouse button will resize the window.

Q: How can I move or resize the iconbox?

A: As described above, ALT + Right mouse button will give you the Window Operations menu, ALT + Middle mouse button will resize the iconbox and ALT+left mouse button will move it. See the Iconbox documentation for more help

Q: How can I disable that annoying desktop tooltip?

A: There is a special config option for it under the tooltip settings menu.

Frequently Asked Questions: Page 4

Q: How do I set up E16 to work with GNOME?

A: Start your GNOME session with

exec gnome-session

Q: How do I set up E16 to work with KDE?

A: Start your KDE session with

export KDEWM=e16
exec startkde

Frequently Asked Questions: Page 5

Q: These Docs Didn't Help, Where Can I Get More Help?

A: Well, we obviously can't answer all of your questions just by predicting them, so I would try the website as well as looking at the mailing lists, especially the mail archives. Chances are that someone else has probably had the same problem that you have. And if all that still fails, you might try someone on the irc channel


Please see our web site at m[blue]http://www.enlightenment.orgm[]


The Enlightenment Team <enlightenment-devel [at] lists.sourceforge.net>

Kim Woelders <kim [at] woelders.dk>