Compiz-Fusion On Ubuntu 7.10 “Gutsy Gibbin”

By | 2007/10/04

I’ve been playing around with Compiz-Fusion on my Macbook over the past week or so and realize it could make a good topic for a tutorial. The problem is that it took me *zero* configuration to get it going. While this is good and a great boost for Desktop users everywhere I don’t really have much to share with the wide-world on setting it up.

What I do have to share however are the key shortcuts and settings that I like to use.

Install Compiz Config Settings Manager

To customize your configuration you’ll want to install the compiz config settings manager tool. You can use your favorite package manager front-end or the command line to install:

sudo aptitude install compizconfig-settings-manager

This will add an entry to your System > Preferences menu listed as “Advanced Desktop Effects Settings”.

Make sure that you have “extra effects” turned on by navigating to System > Preferences > Appearance, selecting the Visual Effects tab, and selecting Custom at the bottom. Clicking the Preferences button will also launch the Compiz Config Settings Manager.

Configuration / Shortcuts

The settings that I like include:

  • rotate cube
  • desktop cube
  • cube caps
  • expo (must have!)
  • wobbly windows
  • water effect
  • group and tab windows
  • shift switcher

Once you have these selected you’ll be interested in the keyboard shortcuts to use them listed below:

  • rotate cube : ctrl-alt-arrow or ctrl-alt-left-click and drag
  • expo : super (windows button)-e
  • water effects : shift-f9 (toggle)
  • group and tab : select window with super-s, group with super-t, ungroup with super-u
  • shift switcher : super-tab

While the cube is fun to look at I don’t think it provides any more functionality than standard virtual desktops. Expo on the other hand I think does add functionality by letting you lay out your displays to see the bigger picture, and reorganize windows as needed. group and tab is difficult to explain but this does add a good deal of functionality and organization to applications that may be related. this is a very cool feature. I also just prefer the shift switcher vs normal alt-tab look.

What are your favourite effects? What other shortcuts do you suggest?

UPDATE: For those still having issues getting Compiz working properly see my Compiz-Check and EnvyNG Configuration Tips post.

68 thoughts on “Compiz-Fusion On Ubuntu 7.10 “Gutsy Gibbin”

  1. Jeff Schroeder

    Hold down Super and drag a box to select windows for the group plugin. You will know it is for the group plugin if it is a black box. Some people prefer this over Super s to select windows.

    To those who don’t know, Super = windows key.

  2. Jim

    Thanks for this! Just upgraded to 7.10 and was wondering how to config all this!!

  3. Lane

    At last! Some instruction on what keys to use to make Compiz do its tricks! There are plenty of posts telling how to install it and change the settings. But I’ve never seen a complete list of how to switch things on and off after you have it configged.

  4. LT

    I find the full screen wobble a bit scary to look at. It’s like it’s trying to jump out of the screen. Otherwise compiz is looking quite nice, I’ve started using it by default again. Still some minor problems, but I can play games while having it on. Which is a must for me personally. Had to switch it off before playing a game in older builds.

  5. Henrik Pauli

    I just installed it for the first time today and I liked it — for the most part. I changed the cube’s shortcuts to use Super instead of Ctrl+Alt, but otherwise it’s the same. I use the cube, fading windows, expo, and the shade? that exposé-like thing. Whatever its name is. I put that on Super+Tab.

    It’s surprisingly fast on my Ati 9600 (RV350) card with the free drivers — in the mean time KDE3’s kwin is utterly sluggish (then again, it was never designed with compositing in mind — I wanted to try KDE4 kwin, but it’s not in the packages).

    My problems with compiz now are related to the graphics card (translucent things are often some random videoRAM data vomited on the screen), and part features: I love the way kwin windows snap to each other as well as the screen, and I couldn’t make inactive windows translucent in compiz. Also, I wonder if it comes with its own windecor or can only show whatever decoration I have set in kwin and hope for the best?

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  8. Sindre Røkenes Myren

    Favorite shortcuts:
    Here are a short description abouth how I like to set up the shortcut-keys:

    I have wroten an entiare documet on this, but the basics is simple. I give the basic modifier-buttons difftrent tasks.

    Win: Controls the workspace/Desktop (i.e Rotate cube, show desktop)
    Alt: Controls the windows
    Ctrl: In-program actions..

    You can Extend the Logic:
    Win + Alt: Operations that include both workspace and windows (i.e move window to new workspace).

    With this basics one can create good and logical shortcuts that makes it possible to wark faster.

    I have also tried experimental logics for the keys one can combine with the modifier keys:
    Alt + Insert – Brings up the run-menu
    Alt + Delete – Terminates the window
    Win + Menu – Brings up the mainmenu
    Alt + Enter – Maximate
    Alt + Control + Enter – Full screen

    These are logical, and easy to learn, but some of them require more hands then the old one (Alt + F2 is easier to click than Alt + Insert)

  9. Muscar

    I can’t rotate the cube, i press Ctrl – Alt and i klick left mouse button and drag but nothing hapend

  10. the_who

    i cant rotate but my workspace desktop only 2…i can’t add to 4…so its not a cube but a paper :(

  11. john

    i am not able to rotate the cube either..everything seems to work fine..any suggestions?

  12. Fernando

    Impossible to check the “extra effects”. Reverts to none. Desktop effects could not be enabled. help?

  13. leoftw

    [quote]i cant rotate but my workspace desktop only 2…i can’t add to 4…so its not a cube but a paper :([/quote]

    Right click on the workspace columns on the bottom and add more workspaces :)

  14. MaurizioDW

    Hi, thanks for your tutorial,but I have a different problem…well,I’ve just installed the last version of Ubuntu(the Gutsy Gibbin) where Compiz Fusion is already on,but it doesn’t run.ok there’s no problem.I tried to check where was my fault,and so I tried to change the Visual Effects tab from “None” to “Custom” but I couldn’t did it!!!I have a Mobile Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3110 as graphics card but I don’t think is it the problem…or not?Can you help me?