Saturday, October 9, 2010

Ubuntu 10.04 E17 LiveDVD

The Enlightenment foundation libraries (EFL) recently reached beta status after having been marked as alpha software for a decade. If you are unfamiliar with what EFL are, they can be summed up in a single quote from their front page:

"Enlightenment is not just a window manager for Linux/X11 and others, but also a whole suite of libraries to help you create beautiful user interfaces"

Enlightenment is easily my favorite Linux desktop environment and I feel it has not gotten the attention it deserves from distro developers largely due to it's long time alpha status. In fact the only Linux distributions with recent releases utilizing the Enlightenment desktop are the Slackware based Austrumi and PCLinuxOS.

Ubuntu Linux is my distro of choice for desktop usage and as such I felt it was wrong that there are no recent releases of it that come pre-configured with an Enlightenment desktop. Sure, there is MoonOS - but this is based on the no longer supported Ubuntu 9.04 - and then there is OpenGEU, which is based on the even older Ubuntu 8.10. There is also always the compiling from source option, but this is timely and something not most beginners want to attempt.

Now for the point of this post, I would like to announce the release of a pet project I have been working on for the last week:

This is an Ubuntu 10.04 based LiveDVD that is configured to have a usable Enlightenment desktop. I started off with an Ubuntu minimal CD, compiled and installed a stable build of E17 from SVN, configured the desktop to look beautiful, and then setup a default application set that should be able to accomplish the tasks of most every user.

You will notice that I use many Gnome/GTK tool sets in place of some of the default E17 ones, this is because I feel they do a better job of accomplishing their given task. I did this because while E17 is wonderfully pretty, I want the desktop to be as usable as possible. PCManFM is the default file manager, Shutter is included to take screen-shots, and parcellite is included as a light-weight clipboard manager. This release also includes non-free software such as Adobe Flash, Sun Java, multi-media codecs, and Skype (if there is an interest I will compile a version of the DVD excluding all non-free components).

The DVD is a 1.4 gb download that is currently being shared via a torrent download. You can find the 005 32bit release here. If you can spare the bandwidth please seed the torrent after downloading it.

And finally, a screen shot of what the desktop looks like:

I am not done working on this disc, so changes will be made over time. I am open to suggestions for improving the over all look/feel/functionality of the live disc - so if you give it a spin please leave some feed back! Also while this is a Live DVD, it is installable. So if you like it - feel free to make it your everyday desktop operating system :)

Looking for something more minimalistic? Check out Bodhi Linux!

~Jeff Hoogland


  1. Holy shit that is gorgeous! Great work. I will take it for a spin and see how she performs!
    Any word on future wubi version?

  2. Hi Jeff,

    This looks really interesting and I agree with your take on why E17 hasn't seen more use due to it's seemingly perpetual Alpha status.

    A couple questions though. Is this based on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS or is it based on 10.10? Also, any chance you'd build this in x64 or is that a whole lot more work?

    As it is, I'll likely throw this on a thumb-drive when I get a chance and give it a spin on my 1080p, 46" Samsung LCD to see how it looks. I'm glad you decided on PCManFM for the file manager.

    Take care,

  3. i'm still at 8.04 one of the reason is e17. hope to find repository where debs will be available for debian as well, i don't like ubuntu anymore.

  4. Wubi is a long-off thought.

    64bit will be around a few releases from now once I work out the rest of the little bugs. The current 32bit ships with PAE kernel though.

  5. Good job with the E17

    I've used Macpup (puppy linux derivative) that has E17 on it and a lot can be done with E17.

    Can you keep it under 700MB so it fits on a normal CD?

  6. Compiling a "minimal" E17 disc is on my todo list. For this I would only include the applications the operating system needs to function. I will try to get this done for my 003 release I am going to push out by the end of this week.

  7. Awesome. I'll repeat that, so that my next comment doesn't sound bad: awesome.

    Now, I'd really, really like to know when the 64 bit version becomes available. If you knew my history with Windows, Linux, and 32 and 64 bit machines, you'd laugh - but I ain't going backwards.

    I'm really shopping hard for an Enlightenment distro that works. I may even pay for Elive's installation module.

    Again, man, AWESOME! You've done far more than I've been capable of doing!

  8. @Runaway1956 If you can hold off for a few days I should have a 64 bit build by Monday. Just need to get around to setting it all up :)

  9. This looks great! How do you think it will run on an older (11 yr old) Thinkpad T41? I'm running 1.5 Gigs of RAM in it. Currently running Fedora 13 Xfce spin and it seems to run pretty well.

    Can't wait to try this!

  10. Should run great on those specs cmc - E17 is lighter than XFCE even.

  11. Many thanks for the e17 remix: fantastic job. Personally e17 is the only environment that feels right to me.
    One problem I've had with the remix (002 I think) is with themes. Nothing happens when I try to get themes online using theme selector, when I have tried to install downloaded themes still have no luck (even after trying to use edje_convert where I got this: /opt/e17/bin/edje_convert /home/greg/Downloads/A-OpenGEU-BW.edj
    /opt/e17/bin/edje_convert: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
    No idea what to do.
    Talking of themes, my all-time favourite is the Luna_Nuova_Sunshine OpenGEU theme.
    Finally: Whenever I look at a netbook I wonder why it isn't running e, I'm amazed that this doesn't seem to have received any attention.

  12. Thanks for the praise. Go ahead and download the 004 disc, I know the edje_convert command works in this version. 002 was very much a pre-release, so it had lots of issues over all.

  13. Jeff - nice work! Where is this minimal ubuntu e17 info going to be posted? I see you had said on the pinguyos page that it will not be there because that is intended to be a full blown desktop version. Thoughts on different names maybe? Also no need to include xchat, pidgin, or bittorrent client - those are all things that each individual can get depending on personal preference.


  14. @J82 I am open to suggestions on a name... As far as where it is going to be posted, I'll still provide a link to it in the Pinguy thread (it just won't go on the front page like the main E17 will when it is done).

    I will also do a blog post about it on here. I see what you mean about the extra internet applications, any others you think should be cut?

  15. Can't Download the iso.

    No one is seeding the torrent

  16. This project has been surpassed by Bodhi Linux -