For those unfamiliar, Enlightenment is not just a window manager; it’s an entire suite offering a graphical shell built on top of the X Window System and, more recently, Wayland.
It stands out for its flexibility, extensive customization options, and a commitment to being resource-efficient, making it a favorite among users who want to tailor their desktop environment without compromising on performance.
The latest version of the Enlightenment window manager, 0.26, was recently released, marking exactly two years since the debut of its predecessor, version 0.25.
Enlightenment 0.26: New Features and Enhancements
Enlightenment 0.26 focuses on enhancing user experience through bug fixes and new functionalities. One of the highlights is adding a Direct Display Control (DDC) option to the backlight settings, offering more refined control over display brightness.
The update also introduces larger task previews, enhancing usability and making multitasking more efficient. Furthermore, the experimental Wayland (wl) mode now includes a watermark. This subtle yet significant addition ensures users are aware when they are operating in this advanced, albeit experimental, mode.
Continuing with the innovations, Enlightenment 0.26 also enhances file management capabilities. With the support for action desktop files in the Enlightenment File Manager (EFM), users can now add file actions directly, streamlining their workflow.
Further bolstering its feature set, the new release adds support for org.freedesktop.ScreenSaver inhibits and supports login lock/unlock D-Bus APIs. These integrations provide more robust control over system states and improve interoperability with other desktop components.
Enlightenment 0.26 also includes a new watchdog thread to enhance system responsiveness and stability. Enabled by default, this feature detects main loop hangs, ensuring smoother and more reliable operation.
The multimedia experience also receives a boost by adding an API to play sound samples, now supported in notifications. At the same time, audio management has been improved with additional parameters for mixer actions, allowing users to set specific volumes more precisely.
For users with multiple displays, the update adds an option to the RandR X11 support, allowing the use of the
xrandr command line instead of the direct API, offering more flexibility.
Touching on the need for advanced input settings, the release includes options for flat acceleration and high-resolution scrolling, catering to users who seek a more refined and responsive input experience.
Lastly, Enlightenment 0.26 allows hidden states to be set in NetWM, offering more control over window management and visibility. You can refer to the release announcement for detailed information about all changes.
Keep in mind that this release requires Enlightenment Foundation Libraries (EFL) version 1.27.0 or newer. It also recommends various other dependencies for optimal functionality, including LibEXIF for image processing, libpam for Linux authentication, and ConnMan for network configuration support.
Additional recommendations include BlueZ 5 for Bluetooth, bc for calculator functions in the everything module, PulseAudio for audio control, acpid for ACPI support, PackageKit for system updates, Udisks2 for removable storage management, and ddcutil for advanced backlight control. GDB is suggested for users who want automatic backtraces in the event of a crash.