Sunday, July 31, 2011

Easy E(17)

Ubuntu finally ships with a working E17, but there is a lingering problem: most of the modules are gone!

To get a full-featured install of E17, replete with modules and UI enhancements (finally! the settings panel entries re available from the main menu!), it is best to install from SVN.

Building E17 has always been an ordeal. Fortunately, the script makes downloading, building, and installing E17 from SVN to be quite a simple affair, once all of the dependencies are met.

To begin with, download the easy_e17 script from

There is a bug in the script which must be fixed if packages are going to be built. According to this bug report, the line (around 36 or 37)

  packages_full="$efl_basic $bin_basic $e_modules_bin $e_modules_extra $efl_extra

should be

  packages_full="$efl_basic $bin_basic $e_modules_bin $efl_extra $bin_extra $e_modules_extra"

... in order to get all the internal dependencies straight. Failure to do this results in the following error:
e_mod_main.c:1527:32: error: ‘ethumb_client’ undeclared (first use in this function)

Next, install all necessary dependencies to build E17 and the modules:

bash$ sudo apt-get install autopoint libudev-dev libgcrypt11 libgcrypt11-dev
bash$ sudo apt-get install libasound2-dev libasound2 libxine-dev 
bash$ sudo apt-get install paman padevchooser paprefs pavucontrol pavumeter 
bash$ sudo apt-get install libiptcdata-dev libmpd-dev cython libxcb-shape0-dev

According to this guide, the full list of dependencies is as follows:

bash$ sudo apt-get install xterm make gcc bison flex subversion cvs automake1.10 autoconf autotools-dev autoconf-archive libtool gettext libpam0g-dev libfreetype6-dev libpng12-dev zlib1g-dev libjpeg62-dev libtiff4-dev libungif4-dev librsvg2-dev libx11-dev libxcursor-dev libxrender-dev libxrandr-dev libxfixes-dev libxdamage-dev libxcomposite-dev libxss-dev libxp-dev libxext-dev libxinerama-dev libxft-dev libxfont-dev libxi-dev libxv-dev libxkbfile-dev libxres-dev libxtst-dev libltdl7-dev libglu1-xorg-dev libglut3-dev xserver-xephyr libdbus-1-dev liblua5.1-0-dev libasound2-dev libudev-dev autopoint  libxml2-dev

Chances are, however, that most of these are already installed.

The E17 build makes some assumptions about the location of the gcrypt libraries, so they must be symlinked:

bash$ sudo ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libgcrypt.a /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu
bash$ sudo ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/ /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu
bash$ sudo ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/ /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu

...other wise linker errors such as the following will appear:
../../src/lib/.libs/ undefined reference to `gcry_cipher_setiv'
../../src/lib/.libs/ undefined reference to `gcry_cipher_setkey'

The Xine development headers (libxine-dev) must be installed in order for emotion to compile; otherwise an error like this will appear:
configure: error: Xine, Gstreamer or VLC backends must be selected to build Emotion
Naturally, Gstreamer or VLC headers could be installed instead.

The asound2-dev and the pulseaudio tools are required to get the mixer module working. Without them, the error
No ALSA mixer found!
will appear in the mixer module settings. Note that pulseaudio requires that the current user be added to the audio group; this can be done with the following command:

  sudo adduser $USERNAME audio

Once all this is done, it is a simple matter to install E17 with the following command:

./ --instpath=/usr/local/e17 --srcpath=/home/$USER/src/e17 -i

This downloads the E17 source code to ~/src/e17, and sets the install directory to /usr/local/e17. There should be a nice success message if everything goes well.

Next, build all of the modules:

./ --instpath=/usr/local/e17 --srcpath=/home/$USER/src/e17 --packagelist=full -i

Upgrading is just as straightforward:

./ --instpath=/usr/local/e17 --srcpath=/home/$USER/src/e17 --packagelist=full -u

Final notes:

  * The composite module causes problems: when using the Software engine, it causes typing delays that make terminals near unusable; when using the OpenGL engine, windows do not update until there is a focus change (BIG problem). It should be disabled.

  * The shelf containing the systray module must be given the stacking order Above Everything; otherwise, the applications in the E17 systray will not receive mouse clicks (VERY BAD).

  * Determining the fonts used by various modules is easier when the source is available. The font classes used in the tclock module, for example, are in E-MODULES-EXTRA/tclock/tclock.edc. The time is displayed in text_class: "module_large", and the date is displayed in text_class: "module_small". The Settings->Look->Fonts dialog can be used to determine the font used for these classes by enabling (via the checkbox at bottom-right) the font class Modules::Small or Modules::Large, and setting the font (e.g. Sans/Regular/12 pixels) to be used for each.

UPDATE : Recent builds now fail when using --packagelist=full. Best stick with --packagelist=half if the full build fails.


  1. hello.

    I get this error"ELF header smaller then expected
    >grub rescue " after installing c++ using wine

    At restart : fatal error
    I am trying to rescue the system using a copy of kubuntu.
    I don't really know what to do next.

  2. Try the steps in this HOWTO:

    Requires a LiveCD.