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.