I have been giving Bodhi Linux a lot of love lately. You can see my articles here (“Adding Visual Effects on Bodhi Linux” and “Bodhi Linux: Enlightened Ubuntu“). One of the main reasons I like Bodhi so much is the Enlightenment desktop. Not only is it a lightweight desktop, it’s also one of the most flexible desktops around. And ever since the developers of Elive created the Ecomorph plugin, users of E17 have been able to take their desktop to even higher levels of “cool”.
What is Ecomorph? Ecomorph is an OpenGL compositing manager that was created for the E17 desktop. Prior to this modules’ creation, E17 could not enjoy Compiz-like visual effects. Now, it can. Let’s take a look at how to get Ecomorph goodness with Bodhi Linux.
If you are using one of the latest releases of Bodhi Linux (0.1.7) you should already have Ecomorph installed. To find out if Ecomorph is one your desktop do the following:
- Left click on the desktop to open the mouse menu.
- Click Settings > Modules.
- Clock on the System tab.
- Scroll down until you see the Ecomorph listing.
- If you see it listed, it’s installed. If there is a green dot on the right side of the Ecomorph entry, it is loaded.
- If you do not see Ecomorph listed, it is not installed. If it is listed, but not loaded, select it and then click the Load button.
If, for whatever reason, Ecomorph is not installed I would highly recommend you not try to manually install it. I attempted this on a 0.1.4 installation and it was a miserable failure. There are dependencies that can not be met without serious work. So, if you are in this boat, backup your data and do a fresh install of the latest Bodhi Linux.
Now it’s time for the configuration of Ecomorph. To get to the configuration panel left-click the desktop to open the mouse menu and click Settings > Ecomorph. In this settings window (see Figure 1) you control all aspects of Ecomorph (besides mouse and key bindings).
This panel is broken down into sections. You will certainly want to visit the General section first, as there are some crucial features to enable. Those of you who know Compiz well, you will be familiar with the Cube and the Shift switcher. To enable these items you must first do so in the General section.
Under Viewport Plugins you can enable both the Cube and Cube Rotate. Make sure they are checked and then click Apply. Under Switcher Plugins you can enable the switcher you want to use.
After you enable the plugins you can then scroll down to the individual plugin sections and configure the plugin. Although you will find most of the configuration options in Ecomorph, that you are available in Compiz, there are some that you will find missing. Most notably are the Skydome and Cube Caps for the Cube. But you can configure zoom while rotating as well as transparency.
I am very happy to see Ecomorph finding its way to other distributions. For those that enjoy what Compiz brings to the desktop, the addition of Ecomorph to E17 could be considered a thing of beauty.
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