When comparing XMonad vs Enlightenment, the Slant community recommends XMonad for most people. In the question“What are the best window managers for Linux?” XMonad is ranked 3rd while Enlightenment is ranked 16th. The most important reason people chose XMonad is:
XMonad is written, configured, and fully extensible in Haskell. This means that users aren't limited to a small set of pre-programmed layouts and actions: anything can be programmed into the configuration. It's simple to modify basic settings, and the example config has lots of comments to get you started. Haskell keeps this code clean, concise, and readable, and its type system keeps you safe from any serious mistakes. This makes it fast and light, even on very small and slow systems.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Fully extensible with Haskell
XMonad is written, configured, and fully extensible in Haskell. This means that users aren't limited to a small set of pre-programmed layouts and actions: anything can be programmed into the configuration.
It's simple to modify basic settings, and the example config has lots of comments to get you started. Haskell keeps this code clean, concise, and readable, and its type system keeps you safe from any serious mistakes. This makes it fast and light, even on very small and slow systems.
Pro Efficient to use
XMonad is a very minimal and efficient window manager, especially if the user is familiar with Haskell.
Pro Very stable
Use of Haskell, in conjunction with smart programming practices, guarantees a crash-free experience.
Pro Handles multiple monitors well
XMonad can handle multi-monitor setups by default.
Pro Absolutely minimal
The entire window manager is extremely small, and includes nothing beyond basic window manipulation and tiling. Out of the box, there are no window decorations, status bar nor icon dock; just clean lines and efficiency.
Pro Highly configurable
If you enjoy programming, you can even add features to XMonad to make it your perfect desktop environment, and the Contrib modules give you most of what you need to do exactly that.
Pro Edit configuration and reload on-the-fly
Configuration is compiled into the WM, and it can be changed/updated on-the-fly, without requiring a full reload.
Pro Great availability of libraries
The use of Haskell as an extension language means that popular pieces of functionality are easily shared and widely available as Haskell Libraries. Many default layouts, and tools for quickly and easily building your own, are available through XMonad-contrib, and highly re-usable configurations are commonly shared through blog articles and the Xmonad Wiki. The documentation in XMonad-contrib is very clear and easy to read.
Pro Xinerama support
XMonad has full support for Xinerama: windows can be tiled and managed across multiple physical screens.
Pro Dynamic Tiling
XMonad uses dynamic tiling which means that it automatically handles arranging your windows into various layouts which the user can cycle through.
Pro Intuitive model which separates "screens" and "workspaces"
XMonad separates screens and workspaces. A screen "projects" a workspace. You can put a window to a specific screen, regardless of which workspace is currently projected onto that screen. This is more intuitive than other WMs e.g. i3, which only has the notion of workspace but not "screen" and requires you to remember workspace numbering. It is especially beneficial for multi-monitor setups.
Pro No programming experience required to configure the environment
Configuring the environment of Enlightenment is done through a UI, so no prior knowledge of coding languages or editing of config files is needed.
Pro Beautiful interface
Enlightenment offers a beautiful interface with eye candy: it can be themed easily to the user's liking and includes an optional compositor.
Pro Virtual desktop previews
Enlightenment allows for virtual desktop previews within its desktop widget for switching desktops within its thumbnails.
Pro Lots of themes available
There is a large selection of themes available for the Enlightenment window manager, meaning that customization to one's preference is very straight-forward.
Pro Quick mouse-driven menus
Enlightenments menu is easily and quickly accessible by left-clicking anywhere on the desktop.
Pro Fast and good with battery life
Great for laptops.
Con Steep learning curve for uninitiated users
Like a lot of tiling window managers, the learning curve for XMonad is quite steep.
Con Requires a lot of Haskell dependencies
XMonad depends on GHC (the Glasgow Haskell Compiler) which can take up about 700 MB or disk space.
Con Requires knowledge of Haskell for configuration
Understanding of Haskell is required in order to configure XMonad.
Con Ugly default theme
The default theme is rather ugly so it's necessary to apply a new theme as soon as you install Enlightenment.
Con Sub-menu does not change direction when out of space
When you right-click for the menu in the right part of the screen but there is insufficient space for the cascading menu, you have to interrupt your selecting and move your pointer to touch the right edge of your screen - this manually moves the menu over to the left a little bit, so it has space. If there is a sub-menu, you have to once again move your pointer to the extreme right edge of the screen, for it to move over - and so on, for each level of sub-menu.
Every other OS and app/program in the world today, simply changes direction to where the sub-menus cascade. Whether that be upwards because it's too close to the bottom (we see this in the selection menus in our browsers in forms, or to change sides as we are accustomed to in all programs). This is logical, universal, expected behavior. But not in e17.
Overlaps and spaces between windows are both pointless.
Con Minimal set of utilities
Enlightenment only comes with the bare essentials, meaning there is little that can be done upon first install in comparison to other more fully featured desktops. This does, however, leave all the customization of what apps to install up to the user, which may be a plus to some and is directly comparable to most other bare bones Window managers.