How to theme Enlightenment E17

13 Ago/09

If you’ve read enough of my articles here on Ghacks, then you know my favorite window manager is Enlightenment E17. If you haven’t read much about it, you can catch up with my article “Get to know Linux: Enlightenment“. Like any good window manager, Enlightenment is themeable. But Enlightenment E17 takes themeing a step further than most window managers. Instead of having to manually edit flat text files, piece together a theme by changing various elements, or find the directory where themes must be saved, E17 themes a pre-packaged, all-in-one files that are imported with the push of a single button. In fact, I would say that themeing E17 is easier than any other window manager or desktop available. On top of that, the themes are really cool!

Another nice aspect is that there are plenty of themes available for the desktop. So with all of that said, let’s take a look at how to theme the E17 window manager.

Where to find themes

Before we go on it would be best to point out a couple of outstanding locations to find themes. There are two sites that house plenty of E17 eye candy (there used to be three main sites until Freshmeat dumped themes – BOO HISS!). Those sites are: Get-E and E17 Stuff. The latter has far more themes, but the former’s themes are much more interesting.

The files you are going to download are .edj files and contain every thing you need for your theme (including wallpaper). You can download them to any directory, so long as you have permission to access the directory. I would place them in a centralized location in your ~/ directory (like ~/Downloads). Once you have imported the theme you can them remove the .edj file from your directory.

Sift through these sites and download a few themes that you like.

The theme tool

Figure 1

Figure 1

If you open up your main menu in E17 (left click the mouse on a blank spot on your desktop) you will see the Settings menu. Click on that menu entry to open up the tool (see Figure 1) you will use to import and/or select your theme.

You will notice there are two radio buttons at the top left. Here you can switch from the system themes (pre-installed) or your personal themes (themes you have imported). When you import a theme you won’t have to make this switch.

With this tool open (and your themes downloaded) click on the Import button. When

Figure 2

Figure 2

you click this button a small window will open where you navigate around to locate theme you want to import. After you’ve located your theme click the OK button and you will see your theme instantly appear in the Personal listing of themes (see Figure 2). Select that them and then click the Apply button to make the change. The change in theme might seem to not happen at first. Give it a second or two and the change will magically happen.


You can chose to either use your theme’s wallpaper or your own personal wallpaper. To make this change click on the Main menu and then on the Settings menu. In this you will see the Wallpaper entry. Click that to open up the Wallpaper tool (see Figure 3).

Figure 3

Figure 3

As you can see you can select Personal wallpaper (wallpaper you have downloaded), System wallpaper (default wallpaper installed with E17), or Theme wallpaper (wallpaper included with the them). Make your selection and click OK.

If you click the Advanced button it allows you to set which desktops the wallpaper will be assigned to.

Final thoughts

Themeing a desktop has never been so easy. With Enlightenment E17 your desktop can look fairly amazing with only a few clicks.

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