XGL Compiz & nVidia : Ubuntu 6.06.1 (Dapper Drake)

By | 2006/06/18

This tutorial outlines how to install XGL and Compiz desktop managers on an Ubuntu Dapper desktop. Also included are instructions for installing 3D acceleration drivers for an nVidia based graphics card.

This tutorial is based on Ubuntu 6.06 LTS (Dapper Drake) and my nVidia GeForce4 MX 440 card.
You’ll need the “restricted” repositories included in your /etc/apt/sources.list file.

For 3D accelleration you’ll need to install the following packages:


nvidia-glx-legacy (only for older model cards)

linux-restricted-modules-$(uname -r)

After you’ve installed the those packages run the following command:

sudo nvidia-glx-config enable

Then hit ctrl-alt-backspace to restart X. If you see the nVidia splash screen your drivers are properly installed.

I used the instructions from the compiz.net forum to get my installation working. I used the second howto, which allows you to create a seperate session for XGL and Compiz . This can help later if/when you run into problems. You can always revert back to your normal Gnome session & bypass any XGL issues you might have.

Basically these instructions include:

Add the following to your sources.list file (or use the pastebin’d copy above):

deb http://www.beerorkid.com/compiz/ dapper main

deb http://xgl.compiz.info/ dapper main

deb-src http://xgl.compiz.info/ dapper main

Install these packages:

sudo apt-get install compiz xserver-xgl libgl1-mesa xserver-xorg libglitz-glx1 compiz-gnome

Create a script to start XGL:

add the following to /usr/bin/startxgl.sh


Xgl -fullscreen :1 -ac -accel glx:pbuffer -accel xv:pbuffer & sleep 2 && DISPLAY=:1

# Start GNOME

exec gnome-session

Create a script to start Compiz:

add the following to /usr/bin/startcompiz


killall gnome-window-decorator


gnome-window-decorator & compiz --replace gconf &

Make both of those files executable:

chmod 755 /usr/bin/startxgl.sh

chmod 755 /usr/bin/startcompiz

Create an entry for a new XGL session:

add the following to /usr/share/xsessions/xgl.desktop

[Desktop Entry]Encoding=UTF-8




At this point you can reboot, select the XGL session, ALT-F2 “/usr/bin/startcompiz” and see how things work. If they work well you can add /usr/bin/startcompiz to your gnome session auto-start and you’re set.

Update: To solve a few stability issues I have added the following steps.

Install the gset-compiz package. Run gset-compiz and disable Dock & Water. This should solve most of the stability issues when using XGL.

One thought on “XGL Compiz & nVidia : Ubuntu 6.06.1 (Dapper Drake)

  1. Pingback: » Top Ten Ubuntu Tutorials : User Voted Ubuntu Tutorials : Breezy - Dapper - Edgy - Feisty

Comments are closed.