Solus Team Plans to Exit GTK and Adopt Enlightenment Desktop (EFL)

The unique Solus Linux project plans not to invest time and effort to GNOME desktop, instead looking ahead with Enlightenment Desktop.

In a recent blog post from Joshua Strobl (Solus Experience Lead) announced this decision. On the post he outlined a number of issues and concerns related to GNOME development philosophy, GTK development plans which forced the Solus team to move away from GTK and adopt an alternative.


At first i was thinking:

Well i totally get reasons for dropping GTK, but why Enlightenment…?

Then i read & remembered about qt licensing problems:

All right…Now it makes more sense, since what other tk is there to use…DTK (Deepin)? :laughing:

P.S. Also i had no idea about looking nice for starters, we’ll see how it grows :slight_smile:


I think the direct blog post is actually a better source for information.

Some points of interest.

  • The gnome developers seem to be dead-set on splitting the Linux community in gnome and non-gnome. This is depressing to me. I feel like we are headed back into the days where you have to choose between GTK and other applications to have any kind of consistency.
  • The decision to try to build their applications in straight C using the EFL library is interesting
  • If they continue down this path, budgie will look very different in the future.
  • Solus has a reputation for making plans and never actually executing on them fully so it will be interesting to see what all this looks like a year from now.

Except that if you read the original blog the primary reason is that the devs don’t like C++.


I like it! :+1:

Edit: Their plans that is. It’s outside the box. I will wait and see what they do.

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Yes :joy:

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Well, I completely understand people who don’t like C++, it’s an ugly language.

It’s still the most useful one in my opinion, but ugly as sin.


REPENT!!! :latin_cross:


I really don’t understand why they had to make another DE based on another DE. I know it is easier than writing everything from the ground up. But things like this happen when someone base off another thing.

The same kind of thing happened to LM when Ubuntu switched to Unity. But they’re in a good place now with Cinnamon which is their own thing. Anyway, DE is their’s and Distro is their’s up to them.

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They’re making DE from another TK (ToolKit for making GUI), it’s different thing :upside_down_face:

And making TK from scratch is very hard, and not very practical for us users, especially since we have already adopted GTK / qt and they both need separate settings…We don’t need more :joy:

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Cinnamon is still based on gtk/gnome. LM/Cinnamon is going to face many of the same problems that Budgie is facing. The same is true for MATE/XFCE which both depend on gtk. It will be interesting to see what they all decide to do.


Last time I checked Enlightenment was a security mess (2017). Maybe they have cleaned up their act since then. Regardless Solus has always suffered from “shny new thing, shiny new direction syndrome”. Basically dealing with the boring nuts and bolts that make a good project successful, they continue to focus on being the cool project. I wish them luck, but with such a small developer core, this is probably going to either take forever, or it will tank the project.

I tried the Enlightenment DE recently on Arch. It was interesting but still a bit buggy, and kind of confused. Some options were duplicated within different parts of the settings. It was light and responsive though. Apparently Samsung use that toolkit in a lot of their products so I assume they must be seeing something good in it.

I have restrained myself from a rant :face_with_symbols_over_mouth: and may post some more considered thoughts tomorrow.


I am sure we will welcome your comments/opinions. Sleep well :grin:

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:pensive: Im not even gonna bother with a full response to this, the level of hissy fits, misinformation, mud slinging, and knee jerk reactions in the Linux community right now is getting exhausting and people like Tobias at Gnome or Strobl arent helping the situation. Everyone’s too busy being mad to read through MR, Blogs from other folks involved, etc.

The in fighting and chest beating needs to stop and they need to all work together like has been asked previously to flesh out the API/Solution but instead they all wip out their junk and measure who is bigger. :expressionless:


If the devs at Solus want to change what they are doing. That’s their prerogative. I have no issue with that. As if I just an average Linux user is going to tell them anything. If i don’t like the result obviously i won’t use that desktop or distro. They are the ones that have to work with it so it makes sense they know what is best for them. People don’t like there reasons too bad. It’s the end product that matters. There’s nothing more to say. There’s lots of choice out there and I already made mine. EndeavourOS!


You should take a look at firefox and kde/plasma as well. I think you would like them. :rofl:


Implying there is any other choice besides EndeavourOS :upside_down_face:

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Well that’s the other choices I’m talking about! :laughing:

It’s not that simple. If you want up to date GTK (aka GTK 4+ ) the Gnome team (let’s face it, most Gnome devs are also the main GTK devs AND the main Fedora contributors) has coded it in such a way that it is almost impossible to avoid a Gnome look and feel. Of course the Solus team mad a bad decision (one that now also Pop! has done) and based their DE so close to source that it’s not actually a Fork, just a “shell” on top of Gnome.

Anyway, I have been arguing for quite some time that GTK needs to be forked. I doubt Cinnamon or Mate will ever move past GTK 3 anyway, since their whole existence is mandated on NOT being Gnome or forced to look like Gnome.
The GTK devs / Gnome devs are really more and more a closed ecosystem where they no longer care about any impact on Linux as a whole, only about Gnome and don’t really care what happens to anyone else using “their” toolkit. They’re basically Apple, but in FOSS clothing.