Customising The Linux Enlightenment Desktop - Windows Geometry

A customization tab for the Enlightenment Desktop screenshot

In this part of the Linux Enlightenment Desktop customization guide, we will be highlighting the different things you can do to resize and position windows.

To access the Windows Geometry settings left click on the desktop and when the menu appears choose "settings" and then "settings panel".

Choose the "Windows" icon at the top of the screen and from the menu that appears choose "Windows Geometry".

You will now see the Geometry settings panel as shown in the image above.

There are 5 tabs for the Geometry settings as follows:


The resistance tab deals with how the windows react when they come up against other obstacles such as other windows, on-screen gadgets and the edges of the screen.

The first checkbox lets you decide whether there will be any resistance or not. Basically, when you have resistance turned on it doesn't stop windows overlapping other obstacles completely. Instead, you get a short snap where the edges of the obstacles meet for a brief moment.

The other three controls on the resistance screen determine how close you are to the obstacle before resistance occurs.

The three sliders are for:

  • Other windows
  • Edge of the screen
  • Desktop gadgets

The first slider, therefore, determines how close every window can get to each other before there is a period of resistance. The second slider causes windows to pauses at the edge of the screen and the third slider causes windows to pause before overlapping desktop gadgets such as panels.


The maximization tab deals with how windows resize when you press the maximize icon in the top right corner of a window.

The screen is split into three sections:

  • Policy
  • Direction
  • Manipulation

The policy settings determine how the window resizes with the options as follows:

  • Full Screen
  • Smart Expansion
  • Fill Available space

Fullscreen obviously ignores all of the other items on the screen and makes the window fill the full screen.

Smart expansion resizes the window so that it fits in the way that Enlightenment deems is the best way.

Fill available space fills up the screen but stops at panels.

The direction settings determine the direction that the screen maximizes and can be one of the following:

  • Vertical
  • Horizontal
  • Both

If you only select vertical then the maximize button will only use the policy settings for vertical expansion. Similarly, the horizontal option will only expand the windows horizontally. Both is the default option and expands the windows in both directions.

The manipulation settings as with many of the other geometry settings are a bit baffling. In principle, the settings should be self-explanatory but the reality is that they don't appear to affect much.

The two options are as follows:

  • Allow manipulation of maximized windows
  • Allow windows above full-screen windows

It doesn't matter whether you have these boxes checked or not. For example, I find that windows can always appear above full-screen windows.


The keyboard screen has the following sliders:

  • Automatically accept changes after n seconds
  • Move by n pixels
  • Resize by n pixels

Unfortunately, there is no documentation for this feature and so it doesn't say what keyboard commands this relates to.


The automatic tab deals with some sensibility settings with regards to how windows are positioned and sized.

There are three checkboxes on this tab:

  • Limit size to useful geometry
  • Ensure initial placement of window inside useful geometry
  • Adjust windows on shelf hide

The first setting prevents windows growing so big that they become unwieldy and hard to use. The second setting makes sure the window is placed in a position where you can get at it. Finally, the third setting adjusts windows sizing and placement when you hide panels.


The transients tab lets you determine when transient effects occur. The options are as follows:

  • Follow move
  • Follow resize
  • Follow raise
  • Follow lower
  • Follow layer
  • Follow desktop
  • Follow iconify


There are thousands of individual settings within Enlightenment. Unfortunately, some of them appear not to have been documented.