Compiz Fusion on Ubuntu Feisty

Compiz Fusion on Ubuntu FeistyI used to play around with Beryl on my computer as it looked really cool and had a rather rapid development process 😉

However, after the feuding between the Beryl fork and the original Compiz crew calmed down, they have now – happily – rejoined forces with a new approach called Compiz Fusion.

From my initial experiences with it (now a couple of weeks), it is seems more stable than Beryl was and seems to run more smoothly! The new configuration tool is very nice (although lacking any help whatsoever) and effective. And, there are some very nice new features.

So, here’s how I installed the latest Compiz Fusion on Ubuntu Feisty. NOTE: This is not officially released software and might break things so don’t try this if you are unsure. Having said that, it hasn’t broken my set-up.

A member of the Compiz Fusion team has set up a repository for Ubuntu. The instructions can be found on this thread of the forum.….

But to simplify it here are the steps for Ubuntu Feisty i386. (There is a separate repo if you are running the 64bit version, instructions on the thread above). Open a terminal and cut and paste the text that looks like this.

1, Add the new repositories to your synaptic manager:

sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

Simply cut and paste the info below into the bottom of your /etc/apt/sources.list file

# Treviño's Ubuntu feisty EyeCandy Repository (GPG key: 81836EBF - DD800CD9)
# Many eyecandy 3D apps like Beryl, Compiz, Fusion and kiba-dock snapshots
# built using latest available (working) sources from git/svn/cvs...
deb feisty eyecandy
deb-src feisty eyecandy

2, Add the key for the repo:

KEY=81836EBF; gpg --keyserver --recv $KEY && gpg --export --armor $KEY | sudo apt-key add -

3, Update your local package list:

sudo apt-get update

4, If you have an old version of compiz installed, remove it first…

sudo apt-get remove compiz-core

And do agree to remove “ubuntu-desktop” if you are asked, it’s only a meta-package and won’t harm your system.

5, To download and install the base packages…

sudo apt-get install compiz # compiz-gnome AND/OR compiz-kde

6, Install the configuration tools…

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager # compizconfig-backends-* ?!

7, To install the Fusion packages…

sudo apt-get install compiz-fusion-*

8, Finally to run Compiz, open a terminal and type:

compiz --replace

or press ALT-F2 and enter the command in the box.

That’s it!CompizConfig Settings Manager

Under your System > Preferences menu you should now have CompizConfig Settings Manager. Run that and you can play about to your hearts content. In my machine, I have a very old GeForce PCX 5300 graphics card. It really is nothing special and it cost me about £20 from eBay. It runs Compiz Fusion very nicely indeed.

ExpoThe best-looking features, for me at least, are the reflections that have been added to the cube, and the superb looking Expo plugin. I find myself using the expo plugin more and more because it is fast, and using the cube + rotation just to impress those who use Windows! To see expo work with the default settings, enable it in the CompizConfig Settings Manager [CCSM] and move your mouse to the top left corner or hit Super-E. (Super being the Windows key on my keyboard.)

Ring Switcher

Another neat tool is the Ring Switcher. This lets you rotate all your open apps in front of your very eyes and it looks very impressive. To use the Ring Switcher, enable in CCSM, and use Super-Tab.

I have now had Compiz Fusion on my computer for a few weeks with very few glitches or issues. Occasionally a window or a drop down menu may be black but I have had no spectacular failures (fingers crossed and all that). The black windows seems to be a memory issue. If I close a few other apps then the problem goes away. Of course if you get really stuck, just use CTL-ALT-BSPACE to restart X!

Here’s the new Compiz Fusion home I recommend the forum and the blog as good places to start!

Now who thinks Vista cool? You couldn’t even get Aero to run on this computer!

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