Enlightenment is a highly customizable window-manager that has been around for a long time. It is not as widely used (or known) as KDE and Gnome, probably because it has a bit steeper learning curve than other window-managers. Enlightenment supports all kinds of eye candy like opaque windows.
In standard Ubuntu repositories you can find Enlightenment e16 which is stable and easy to install. In terminal write:
sudo apt-get install e16
There is a more recent version available. e17 is still beta, so it is not totally stable and you may experience occasional crashes. This version is not available in Ubuntu repositories, which means that you have to install it manually. Fortunately this is quite simple process.
First of all you have to install lots of packages from Ubuntu repositories. These are required to compile enlightenment from source. You should install following packages with sudo apt-get install
xterm make gcc bison flex automake1.10 autoconf autotools-dev autoconf-archive subversion cvs 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 libxtst-dev libltdl7-dev libglu1-xorg-dev libglut3-dev xserver-xephyr libdbus-1-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 liblua5.1-0-dev libasound2-dev libudev-dev libxml2-dev
You may already have some of these packages installed on your system. After you have installed these you’ll have to run following script. Notice that you need working internet connection for this. Script will download sourcefiles from svn repository, then configure and compile them.
wget http://omicron.homeip.net/projects/easy_e17/easy_e17.sh chmod +x easy_e17.sh sudo ./easy_e17.sh -i
If there are errors (e.g. complaint of missing libraries etc.) try to follow suggestions and install missing packages (or what ever was the reason). If everything went fine then you should see some instructions on your terminal which suggest to set some environmental variables. You can run them on command line and also copy them to your .bashrc file.
Last thing to do is to configure e17 to appear on gdm/kdm login screen as one of the window-manager options. On command line do
sudo cp /opt/e17/share/xsessions/enlightenment.desktop /usr/share/xsessions/enlightenment.desktop
And you are ready to use Enlightenment. Just log out of current desktop session, and choose Enlightenment on login screen options.
Since enlightenment is beta software, it is developed constantly. If you want to update your installation to the latest version you can do that with
sudo ./easy_e17.sh -u
Enlightenment has a first-time setup wizard. You can choose language, theme, quicklaunch applications etc.