The E17 Desktop

A Desktop Manager is the application that enables you to save files to your desktop, and to interact with your Home directory and the main partition of your computer's drive using your mouse. With Windows, OSX (the "Finder"), and with KDE and Gnome desktop managers are seamlessly integrated into the OS. By design, E17 did not until recently even offer its own desktop manager in order to keep the resource footprint as small as possible, enabling E17 to offer relatively good performance on embedded devices and slower systems. While a simple desktop manager is now available with newer releases of E17, Fixstars has opted to integrate the robust desktop manager Nautilus into YDL and E17.


Nautilus provides an interface for local file management and remote connectivity to Linux, OSX, Windows (and more). Nautilus also provides a network browser, file transfer agent, and remote file manager with support for SSH, public and private FTP, Windows Share (Samba), and WebDAV (HTTP/S).

Nautilus is the presented on the first virtual desktop of your default E17 configuration. The left-most, first virtual Desktop is distinguishable from the other three, as it contains desktop icons. If you right-click on the Nautilus background, you will find the pop-up menu to be Nautilus specific, such as setting the background image which defaults to the same as that of E17.

A Desktop Manager

Nautilus runs as a desktop manager on the first virtual desktop with the border, by default, absent. This provides a seamless, matching aesthetic with the E17 desktops. To return the border, OPTION-right-click on the Nautilus background, select "Borders", and apply accordingly.

Should you kill the Nautilus desktop file manager and desire to restart it, launch a terminal and then enter:

(nautilus&) [ENTER]

A File Manager

Nautilus also runs as local and remote file manager.

YDL Menu ==> Applications ==> System Tools ==> File Browser

The interface presented should look very familiar to that of Windows or OSX, KDE or Gnome. Viewable as icons or lists, you may quickly explore, rename, organized, and delete your local files. In addition, you can connect to remote Windows, OSX, and Linux servers via the following menu options:

File ==> Connect to Server
... or ...
Go ==> Network

Additional exploration and experimentation with Nautilus will reveal a host of unique configurations and powerful options.

Virtual Desktops

While Windows and OSX offer just one desktop, most Linux distributions offer 16 Virtual Desktops. Yellow Dog Linux with E17 offers up to 144--an astonishing array of desktop opportunities for the power user (or the organizationally challenged).

Each desktop may contain its own, unique wallpaper (background), or they may share a common theme. Applications may reside on a particular virtual desktop, or made to be "sticky" across them all. And if you instruct an application to remember its location, it will auto-launch upon reboot back to that same virtual desktop.

To modify the number of active virtual desktops you may right-click on the Pager (where the virtual desktops are displayed) or:

YDL Menu ==> Configuration ==> Configuration Panel

Scroll down to the category Screen and select Virtual Desktops. You may change the number of virtual desktops in use. You may also select "desktop flipping", the ability to switch your focus from one desktop to the next adjacent desktop by simply sliding your mouse to the edge of the screen.

You may switch desktops by selecting from the Pager in the E Shelf at the top of the screen, or by choosing a particular application from the "Windows" available to you via a left-click on the Desktop. This action will not only bring to focus the application chosen, but switch you to the Desktop which contains that application.

Change Desktop Wallpaper

Changing the background image is simple.

YDL Menu ==> Configuration ==> Wallpaper

You may select from the default background provided with the YDL theme, from a series of backgrounds under the System category, or from those which you provide as Personal.

Those included as System or Theme images are in an .edj format. This E17 unique package offers an opportunity for a dynamic background with mouse-over animation or very subtle motion. More about E17 backgrounds at open_in_new

Personal images may be in a .png, .jpg, or .edj format, and activated as follows:

You may select from the default background provided with the YDL theme, from a series of backgrounds under the System category, or from those which you provide as Personal.

  1. Select the "Personal" radio button.
  2. Select the "Picture ..." button.
  3. Locate your desired image, select it, choose the "Fill and Stretch Options", "File Quality", and then press "OK".
  4. Press "Apply" and your photo will be applied to the chosen Desktops.

.png and .jpg files are automatically converted to .edj format when selected, placement and compression compiled into the .edj document. Your personal background images are stored in /home/[user]/.e/e/backgrounds.

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