Saturday, December 4, 2010

HOWTO: Enable Compiz under Bodhi (Enlightenment)

One of the reasons I gave for giving the Enlightenment desktop a try was its elegance. While it is true that Enlightenment has a good number of built-in effects that run on a wide range of systems, those with a more powerful system might crave something more. If you are coming to Enlightenment from a previous Linux desktop odds are you are aware of Compiz Fusion (a compositing window manager known for it's many different effects). Thanks to the Ecomorph module for Enlightenment, you can enable many of your favorite Compiz effects on the Enlightenment desktop.

First things first: installing Ecomorph. If you are using Bodhi Linux you can simply apt-get the needed packages with the command:

sudo apt-get install ecomorph*

On other Enlightenment distributions the install command and package names will vary. You can also always compile it from source. Once you have Ecomorph installed, load the module (Settings->Modules->System). It is also necessary to disable the Dropshadow (and built in compositing if it is enabled) module under Look (it conflicts with Ecomorph's built-in shadow).

Next, using your preferred text editor, as root, create a .desktop file for launching Ecomorph. For example, run the following in terminal:

sudo gedit /usr/share/applications/ecomorph.desktop

For the contents of the desktop file, paste in this. Save the file. Then, if you want to always start compositing on login add our newly created menu entry to your startup applications.

Finally, log out and from your session list select E17 - Ecomorph instead of Enlightenment when you log back in. Please note: if you did not add Ecomorph to your startup applications you will have to manually launch the desktop entry for compositing to become active.

Once Ecomorph is running, you can customize your desktop effects under Settings->Ecomorph

Ecomorph also adds a list of actions you can bind to your preferred key-sets (such as toggling expo). Configure these under Settings->Settings Panel->Input->Key Bindings. Enjoy your tricked-out Enlightenment!

Have any questions or if issues arise while installing/configuring Ecomorph feel free to drop a comment below.

~Jeff Hoogland


  1. You saved me an email, Jeff. I never knew really what Ecomorph was, thank you for explaining. P.S., still loving Bodhi!

  2. I haven't tested Echomorph in a while, has it gotten past it's stability issues?

  3. Using current builds of everything enlightenment I've been using ecomorph for wobbly+expo for the last few days without any crashes.

  4. Jeff, i am realluy happy that you have again created an interest for e17 in me.. I have used it with opengue (its development is stalled now) and I was not able to find any e17 distro after that ... then you came with bodhi which is in alpha..i have tried it and liked it ..but i am really sorry that i feel it is not showcasing all the ability of e17 in bodhi(i knew it is in apha so sorry for asking too much from you)..then i started the hunt for other e17 distros ...i found that sabayon is having e17 based edition and i installed it in VB...i really liked it..without installing any guest additions or any CL -fu i was able to get full screen using sabayon e17..(even ubuntu needed to install VB guest additions to get full screen...
    the thing is that each e17 distro is entirely different and behaves differently ..playing with sabayon e17, I found that the configuaration option in e17 is double the amount of if a new user is using e17 he will definetely be confused what i want to tell you is that if you can give all the awesomeness of e17 in bodhi by default, i can guarantee that, bodhi will be in top 10 of distro watch....

    I would like to have all the awesomeness of e17 which i saw in opengue by defult in gue had to themes a sunrise theme and a moon based theme..the sun based theme has a nice animation effect without any other sofwares like compiz in it which blowed me away and my friends ... so i would like to see the extremesm of hack in bodhi linux...till now my favourite e17 is open gue and the second is sabayon e17 ...i like the minimalism of bodhi(software selection, which we can add from other source) but i do not want the minimalism of awesomeness in bodhi...

    wish you good luck and i am waiting for the next alpha (beta) of bodhi linux...

  5. So other than a light colored theme and an animated background, what exactly is Bodhi missing from E17?

  6. jeff, i think the thing which really distinguish between e17 and other DE is "shelves"...i haven't seen any shelves in bodhi which really disappoints me..the other thing that i don't like in bodhi is the top panel as like in ubuntu..we don't want a distro which look like traditional my knowledge i havn't seen any top panels in e17...
    i would like to classify opengeu as artistic distro based on e17 and sabayon 5.4 e 17 as classic (professional) version of e17...the version of opengeu(not opengue, sorry for my typo in above comment) i tried is based on ubuntu 8.10 ... the first linux which i tried is ubuntu when i somehow stumbled upon opengeu 8.10 i was really surprised by the power and beauty of linux...actually if you look, the ubuntu was not even beautiful as it is now at that time neither it has really awesome themes like elementary, but the opengeu really changed my mind and i started using linux...

    so these are my suggestions for bodhi

    1.please remove the top panel in bodhi the true power of e17 by giving importance to shelves
    3.make a good theme like elementary with e17 and good icon sets(elementary based e17 theme will be really good..
    4.please be minimal only in software selection...i would really like to see extensive customization of e 17 theme..

    i am really sorry if i am asking too much ...

    waiting for the next release of bodhi..i have found your blog few weeks back from and read most of your articles...very informative...i really enjoy your blog...

  7. You are free to rearrange anything in Bodhi you like. The current default setup is designed to be something that is familiar and easy to use. If you do not like the defaults, well then feel free to change them! Enlightenment allows for a vast range of customization.

    No one default configuration is going to please everyone, so I really can't try to. Functionality is our first goal, if something in the current configuration hinders functionality, please let us know.

    Also, you ask me to utilize shelves more while at the same time you request I remove the top panel. That top panel IS a shelf, as well as the application launchers at the bottom - they are contained in a second shelf.

    Finally, you keep mentioning you like the Sabayon E17 defaults... They are just the bland E17 "Standard" profile last I checked. You can turn your Bodhi configuration into this exact same look (it is not something the Sabayon team put together) with the profile selector in the E17 settings.

  8. Well, I'd like to say too that I did not find anything wrong with the shelves.

    Besides that, all E17 configuration utilities are present in Bodhi. So, there's nothing else here, that Jeff can do.

    Regarding profiles, themes and icons, I also agree that no mater what Jeff chooses to place as default, in the iso, it would never satisfy 100% of users. That's normal and not important, providing that there are other options in the iso to choose from, witch is the case. Otherwise, most items allow user customization and it's even an almost unlimited number of possibilities to download from synaptic.

    Now, a few things I think Jeff could have a look about:

    - avoid by default, that windows do overlap the panels, when they are maximized.

    - Some users (including the distrowatch owner) complained about wrong detection of their screen resolution.

    - In the standard install, the start button is almost invisible. It's better to change the shelve where it's located to "alternate" style.

    - If there is a way to tweak the location of the various items in the main menu, try to make it like users are used to see them at the more popular distros (I'm not sure how much possible that is, with Enlightenment).

    One or two more thing that should be improved, but may not be possible, as they are Enlightenment "things":

    -At the right edge side of the screen, the dialog boxes go out of the screen (see the watch in the panel)
    - The Enlightenment dialog boxes have no borders, making it difficult to distinguish them when they overlap or when they're too close from each other.

    So, there is nothing here that is too serious to overshadow Jeff's work and most small glitches can be fixed at next release.
    Others may improve or be fixed by Enlightenment, while they're cruising to their final stable releases.

  9. Not quite sure what to do to ensure correct screen detection... I've booted my LiveCD on over a dozen system personally now and EVERY time it has detected the right resolution. Really need some bug reports for specific hardware before I can pin down that issue.

    Windows that overlap the top bar and the menu button being hard to see should be solved in 0.1.21

    See, I kinda like how the main menu in enlightenment is laid out... Makes sense to me that system settings are, well under settings!

    Good feed back though mate, keep it coming!

  10. bos.just suggestion.........
    how about if you make...2 edition......of bodhi linux.....
    1.minimalist edition.....just 350 mb
    2.ultimate edition...full compiz, wine,klamav,
    xbmc,enna.moovida,blender,gimp...full apps...this edition for people who like simple and easy .....

  11. My machine didn't take the latest round of updates/upgrades too well and I ended up reinstalling from the newest iso. I installed ecomorph again and for some unknown reason it's failing to draw any windows. They show up on the taskbar, and I figured out by clicking around that they *are* there, only they're invisible. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

  12. hi jeff,
    the link you gave to paste bin is not working, here is the cached copy, kindly update it;