Enlightenment is a window manager for GNU / Linux and BSDs developed by Carsten Haitzler since 1997. Enlightenment works with the X Window System, but since version 0.20 also with Wayland. In combination with the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries (EFL), Enlightenment mutates into a complete desktop environment.
EFL 1.24.1 as the foundation
For Enlightenment 0.24 to run, EFL 1.24.1 is mandatory. This version of EFL was released a week before Enlightenment and has only a few special improvements, such as the restriction that font sizes cannot be set to less than 1. Enlightenment 0.24 (usually written E24) is of course not yet included in the current Linux distributions or the BSDs, versions from 0.20 to 0.22 or 0.23 (Ubuntu 20.04) can be installed directly there. For E24, EFL 1.24.1 and then E24 must therefore be translated directly from the sources. On the download page of the source code, the developers show how the build environment and the actual compilation should work.
The developers name either GCC or Clang / LLVM and a long list of other libraries as prerequisites (dependencies). This also includes systemd, which shouldn’t (yet) bother Devuan and BSD users, because older versions of Enlightenment have so far only used the controversial service if it was available, that is, optionally. It remains to be seen whether this also applies to E24.
Step forward, but barely visible
E24 and the previous versions have many changes, but this is only partially evident for the user. With E24, for example, the preview symbols are now 256×256 points in size, and restarts are accompanied by gentle fades in and out. There is an improved crash handling, which is quite desirable, because as a VirtualBox VM the older E22 hangs up regularly under FreeBSD, for example.
The pager has given way to the usual “miniature preview” pager and the Bluetooth stack Bluez4 has been replaced by Bluez5. The screenshot tool has been significantly revised and now offers editing functions. The brightness and contrast of monitors and other display devices have been controlled via (lib) ddctil since E24. In addition, according to the developer, there is a long list of “common” bug fixes and minor improvements.
Unfortunately, no platform to try
In the past, there was basically a simple enlightenment distribution as a live system to give the modern desktop a try – this is no longer the case. Tizen is said to be running: Unified for smartphones and IoT devices with E24. The chic GNU / Linux distribution Bodhi switched to the parallel enlightenment fork Moksha some time ago. Elive, based on Debian GNU / Linux, is still part of E23 as is the slackENLIGHTENMENT based on slackware. In other words, Ubuntu 20.04 and an Enlightenment PPA are the most likely to get a working E24 desktop.