Cube And Effects for Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Kubuntu and Edubuntu in release 10.04, 11.10 and 12.04

Warning

Please be careful here, and follow the instructions to the letter. While every effort has been taken to ensure that this guide works correctly, as with all software, there is an element of chance. Also, people who are new to Ubuntu should probably not read this guide, get settled in for a week or so at least before deciding to change/modify your window manager. Having said that, please enjoy the guide and have fun with your Compiz!

Purpose of this guide

This guide is intended to be as non-technical as possible and just a beginning point for learning about the cube and effects available in compiz after which you will be more familiar with compiz and can experiment on your own.

Some people want a minimal operating system (in which case, don't read this!) and some prefer a system with attractive, sparkling desktop effects. This guide explains how to add:

  • Desktop Cube which makes it easier to use multiple workspaces,

  • 3D Windows which allows the windows that are open to lift up off the screen when the mouse wheel is used to spin the cube,

  • Rotate Cube which makes the cube spin,

  • Cube Gears which you can see turn when you spin the cube if you have Transparency enabled. It is a nice effect.

  • Various other impressive effects, including wobbly windows, window animation, rain and many more.

Remember that desktop effects are heavier on the computer and might give you a slower system if your computer does not have adequate resources.

History

Compiz was first released by Novell (SUSE) in September, 2006. Some of the developers split off from the Compiz project to work on their own version called Beryl. In 2007 the two reunited under one banner and became compiz-fusion.

Requirements for the cube to work

Your video card must be able to support 3D graphics. You may be able to use the open-source "experimental 3D Nouveau driver" for NVIDIA cards, if not you will need to have a proprietary / closed-source driver. For AMD/ATI cards you can use the open-source or proprietary / closed-source, both have advantages and disadvantages.

The closed-source drivers often are available from additional drivers (or restricted drivers in older Buntu versions). These drivers are easier for a person with little experience with ubuntu to install. If none is available you need to get it from another source (please refer to the driver section for more details on downloading open-source drivers). Intel open-source drivers are included in the kernel however some have still been problematic where 3D graphics is concerned.

Update your system before beginning.

Install CompizConfig Settings Manager

In this guide you will use CompizConfig-Settings-Manager (ccsm) to configure Compiz effects.

If you do not already have ccsm installed you will need to install it now. The package is called "compizconfig-settings-manager" - also install "compiz" and some extra plugins for Compiz, "compiz-fusion-plugins-extra", "compiz-fusion-plugins-main", and "compiz-plugins".

1. You can use the Software Center or Synaptic Package Manager to install ccsm, Compiz and the extra plugins, however it is easier to open a terminal, then copy and paste the following command into it.

sudo apt-get install compiz compizconfig-settings-manager compiz-plugins-extra compiz-plugins-main compiz-plugins 

2. After you copy and paste the command it will ask for your user password. Just type it in, be aware that the system will not show the password as you type it so when you are done just hit the enter/return key and the command will be performed.

Compiz

In ubuntu there are many plugins, animations and different settings that can be adjusted to get great desktop effects and make using your desktop quicker and easier, but only a few of them will be covered after we get the cube working.

Because there are so many plugins, it can be difficult to find the plugin you are looking for so in the upper left corner of ccsm there is a filter where you can put in a few letters of the plugin you are looking for and it will find it for you.

In the next section you will see how to configure compiz and its plugins to get the cube to work.

Ubuntu 10.04, Edubuntu 10.04 and 12.04

compiz7.png

1. Right click on the background, then click on "change desktop background" in the window that opens. Click on "visual effects" then choose "extra" and it will attempt to activate desktop effects. In Edubuntu 12.04 there is no visual effects tab so go to step 2.

2. Install ccsm, then open ccsm in all versions of Ubuntu/Edubuntu using the GNOME 2 desktop enviroment by going to System>Preferences>CompizConfig-Settings-Manager, then type "Cube" into the filter. Now put a check mark by the "Desktop Cube" Plugin. You will need to click on "Disable Desktop Wall" in the window that opens.

For all versions of 11.10 not using the Unity desktop environment: You will have to click on the "Desktop Cube" plugin a second time and it will warn that "Desktop Cube requires the plugin OpenGL". Click on "Enable OpenGL", then a window will open that says "OpenGL requires the plugin Composite", click on "Enable Composite".

3. Also enable "3D Windows" (optional, but cool), "Rotate Cube" and "Cube Gears"(optional, but cool), by ticking the relevant boxes.

4. Click on "general options" at the top of the window, then "Desktop Size" and change Horizontal Virtual Size value to 4, then click on the back button and the cube should be working. The other two settings in this window should be 1.

5. Make sure Move Windows, Resize Windows and Window Decorations are enabled.

6. Enable Viewport Switcher then hold the mouse wheel down and move the mouse around to move the cube.

7. Switch desktops by using Ctrl+Alt+Left/Right arrow key and spin the cube with Ctrl+Alt+Left/Mouse Button.

Note: If the cube and effects do not start automatically, try to manually start them by hitting ALT+F2 or open a terminal then type

compiz --replace
  • into the window or dropdown that opens.

Ubuntu and Edubuntu 11.10

1.Install ccsm.

2. Open dash by using the super key also known as the windows key, you will see that the launcher opened and there is an (A) on the application icon, hold down the super key and press the (A) key and dash opens, type "ccsm" into the search box and it will bring up compizconfig-settings-manager, or you can Hit Alt + F2 and then type "ccsm" to open compizconfig-settings-manager.

3. Type "Cube" into the filter, now put a check mark by "Desktop Cube". You will need to click on "Disable Desktop Wall" in the window that opens.

4. Now a window opens that says "Desktop Wall provides the feature Large Desktop which is required by the plugins Ubuntu Unity Plugin". Now disable the "Ubuntu Unity Plugin".

5. Also enable "3D Windows", "Rotate Cube" and "Cube Gears". Now re-enable "Ubuntu Unity Plugin".

6. A window will open that warns "some bindings of Ubuntu Unity Plugin conflict with other plugins. Do you want to resolve conflicts?" Choose "resolve conflicts".

7. A window opens that has a button to "Disable Rotate Flip Left", click to disable it.

Note: The computer will probably be unresponsive for several seconds, just wait and Unity should come back up.

8. Refer to the Ubuntu 10.04 section number(4) above to continue setup starting with Desktop Size and change Horizontal Virtual Size to 4.

9. If you need to reset unity or compiz click here

Ubuntu 12.04

1.Install ccsm.

2. Open dash by using the super key also known as the windows key, you will see that the launcher opened and there is an (A) on the application icon, hold down the super key and press the (A) key and dash opens, type "ccsm" into the search box and it will bring up compizconfig-settings-manager, or you can Hit Alt + F2 and then type "ccsm" to open compizconfig-settings-manager.

3. Click on unity plugin then uncheck the unity plugin, click the back button and put a check mark by desktop cube.

After you put a check mark by desktop cube a window opens that says “Disable Desktop Wall” click on disable desktop wall then a window opens that says “The application Compiz has closed unexpectedly”. Compiz will be unresponsive for a few seconds, when it recovers uncheck to send error report then click on the close button for that window.

4. Also enable "3D Windows" (optional, but cool), "Rotate Cube" and "Cube Gears"(optional, but cool), by ticking the relevant boxes. Now re-enable "Ubuntu Unity Plugin".

5. Refer to the Ubuntu 10.04 section number(4) above to continue setup starting with Desktop Size and change Horizontal Virtual Size to 4.

6. If you need to reset unity or compiz click here

Xubuntu 10.04, 11.10 and 12.04

1.Install CCSM.

2. Click on Applications>Settings>CompizConfig Settings Manager and make sure Composite and OpenGL are enabled (in Xubuntu 11.10). Now start at number (2) in the Ubuntu 10.04 section above beginning with "enable Desktop Cube Plugin" to prepare to get the cube and effects working (note: it won't actually work until you reload your window manager, as described in step 4).

3. Go to Applications> System> Synaptic Package Manager and install Compiz Fusion Icon and compiz gnome.

4. Go to Applications> System> Compiz Fusion Icon. Click on it and a blue icon will appear in the upper right corner of the screen. Right click on the icon, choose Select Window Manager and click on Compiz then Reload Window Manager.

5. Right-click Compiz Fusion Icon, highlight "Select Window Decorator" and click on "GTK Window Decorator" or you will not have the close, maximize, minimize buttons on your windows.

6. Compiz Fusion Icon must be added to the startup so it will run when you boot Xubuntu by going to:

7. Applications> Settings> Settings Manager> Session and Startup> Application Autostart> Add. In the window that opens for name type "compiz fusion", for description type "desktop effects" or "cube", then for command type

fusion-icon

Note: You can also right click Compiz Fusion Icon and click on Settings Manager to open ccsm

9. Before you restart your computer, add compiz to the startup application like this.

10. Applications> Settings> Settings Manager> Session and Startup >Application Autostart> Add. In the window that opens for name type "compiz", for description type "desktop effects" or "cube", then for command type

compiz --replace

Kubuntu 10.04, 11.10 and 12.04

1.Install ccsm.

2. Go to the Start menu, Click on Applications>Settings>Compiz Settings Manager.

3. Make sure Composite and OpenGL are enabled (in Kubuntu 11.10), now start at number (2) in Ubuntu 10.04 section above beginning with enable Desktop Cube Plugin to get the cube and effects working.

Note: Before you restart your computer compiz needs to be added to the startup applications.

Kubuntu 10.04: How to add compiz to startup

4. Click on the K-Menu>Applications>Settings>System Settings>Advance>Autostart>Add Program. Type "Compiz" in the little drop down window then click ok. In the window that opens click on Applications, for command type

compiz --replace

click ok, now reboot and compiz should start automatically. If not refer to number (8) in the Ubuntu 10.04 section above to manually start it.

Kubuntu 11.10 and 12.04: How to add compiz to startup

5. Click on the K-Menu>Applications>Settings>System Settings>Startup or Shutdown>Autostart>Add Program> Type "Compiz" in the little drop down window then click ok. (For Kubuntu 12.04 type "ccsm".) In the window that opens click on applications, for command type

compiz --replace

click ok, now reboot and compiz should start automatically. If not refer to number (8) in the Ubuntu 10.04 section above to manually start it.

Lubuntu 10.04

1. In 10.04 the Compiz PPA needs to be added first. Copy and paste the following command into the terminal, run each line one at a time. If you need help with the terminal, refer to CompizConfig-Settings-Manager section above for directions on running commands in the terminal.

2. To open the terminal, click on Start Menu>Accessories>LXTerminal

~$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:compiz/ppa && sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade 

3.Install ccsm.

4. Start Menu>Preferences>Desktop Session Settings. In the window that opens click on Advanced Options, in the box that says "Window Manager" remove openbox-lxde and type "compiz ccp" then click ok.

Note: If the compiz ccp configuration does not stay perform number (5) below.

5. Menu>Accessories>Leafpad>File>Open>.config>lxsession>LXDE>desktop.conf . Change "window_manager=open-lubuntu" to "window_manager=compiz ccp", save and exit.

6. Click on the Start Menu>Preferences>Synaptic Package Manager then install compiz fusion icon.

7. Start at number (2) in the Ubuntu 10.04 section above beginning with enable Desktop Cube Plugin to get the cube and effects working.

8. Need to add two more desktops by holding down the mouse wheel while the cursor is on the background then click add desktop.

9. Click on the Menu>System Tools>Compiz Fusion icon. A blue icon will appear in the panel on the lower left hand side of the screen. Right click on the icon, choose "Select Window Manager" and click on "Compiz" then "Reload Window Manager".

10. Before you restart your computer check and make sure all setting are working properly, then Compiz and Compiz Fusion icons need to be added to the startup applications.

How to add Compiz and Compiz Fusion icon to startup

11. Click on Menu>Accessories>LXTerminal, copy and paste the following command into the terminal. In the window that opens type your user password.

~$ gksudo leafpad /etc/xdg/lxsession/Lubuntu/autostart 

12. Now you are in the Autostart file, add

@compiz --replace
@fusion-icon

below the last entry.

Lubuntu 11.10 and 12.04

1. Refer to CompizConfig-Settings-Manager section above for directions on running commands in the terminal.

2. To open the terminal, Click on Menu>Accessories>LXTerminal

3.Install ccsm.

4. Menu>Preferences>Desktop Session Settings. In the window that opens click on "Advanced Options", in the box that says Window Manager remove openbox-lxde and type compiz ccp, then click ok.

5. Click on the Start Menu>System Tools>Synaptic Package Manager, then install Compiz Fusion icon.

6. Make sure Composite and OpenGL are enabled, now start at number (2) in the Ubuntu 10.04 section above beginning with enable Desktop Cube Plugin to get the cube and effects working.

7. You need to add two more desktops by holding down the mouse wheel while the cursor is on the background then click add desktop.

8. Click on the Start Menu>System Tools>Compiz Fusion icon a blue icon will appear in the panel on the lower left hand side of the screen, right click on the icon choose Select Window Manager and click on Compiz then Reload Window Manager.

9. Before you restart your computer check and make sure all setting are working properly then compiz and compiz fusion icon need to be added to the startup applications.

How to add compiz and compiz fusion icon to startup

10. Click on Start Menu>Accessories>LXTerminal copy and paste the following command into the terminal, in the window that opens type your user password.

gksudo leafpad /etc/xdg/lxsession/Lubuntu/autostart 

11. Now you are in the Autostart file, add

@compiz --replace
@fusion-icon

below the last entry, and reboot.

Extra Settings in Desktop Cube Plugin

1. In Desktop Cube Plugin you can change the color of the Cube Caps, and in version 10.04 you can set a picture to display on the caps. The picture need to be png, jpg or svg format. Click on "Appearance" at the top of the window, the first option is to change the top and bottom color of the Cube.

2. The Skydome is a background for the virtual space in which the cube is located (it can be seen when the cube is zoomed out, like when it is being rotated with the mouse). Click on "Skydome" in that window and you can set an image for Skydome, select "Render Skydome" and "Animate Skydome" for a very nice background and effect when you rotate the Cube.

Bind Plugins To The Corner Of The Screen

Expo Plugin In Desktop

1. Enable "Expo Plugin" and choose the top right corner in the "Bindings Tab" under "Expo Edge" then Click Ok, now all virtual desktops can be displayed when you move your cursor to the top right corner of the screen.

Scale Plugin In Window Management

Note: This Plugin lets you display all active windows at the same time when you move your cursor to the corner of the screen that you set it to use.

2. Enable "Scale Plugin" then click on it. Under "Bindings" tab click on the one that says "Initiate Window Picker For All Windows" and choose the top left corner.

Note: Now all active windows can be displayed at once when you move your cursor to the top left corner of the screen, in the next portion of this guide I will show you how to setup effects like "Burn", "Airplane" and a few others.

Compiz Animations In Effects

1. Put a check by "Animations" and "Animations Add-on". Click on "Animations Plugin", now make sure the tab highlighted at the top of the window is "Open Animations", then right under "Open Effect" double click on the first line in the small window which is called Glide 2.

2. In the window that pops up where it says "Open Effects", click on it and select "Airplane". Set duration to 500 so it will stay open long enough to enjoy the effect, then close the window.

3. On setting duration you may have to adjust accordingly for your computer. Between 400 to 500 should be good for most people but on some slower systems you may find that you need to shorten the time, or if your system is faster lengthen the time.

4. Click "Close Animations" at the top of the screen. Right under "Close Effect" in the small window double click on the first line, when the window opens next to "Close Effect" select "Burn" and for duration select 500 then close the window.

5. Click "Minimize Animation" at the top of the screen. Right under "Minimize Animation" in the small window double click on the first line, which is called Zoom. When the window opens next to "Minimize Effect" select "Beam Up", duration 500, then close the window.

6. Click on "Focus Animation" and in the small window double click on the first line, which is called (N/A). Next to "Focus Effect" select "Dodge" and set the duration to 400 then close the window.

7. The dodge effect is not included in 12.04 by default but you can install it by following the directions here

Wobbly Windows In Effects

1. Enable Wobbly Windows, then click on the "Wobbly Windows Plugin", now make sure that "Snap Inverted" is not checked and go down to "Map Effect" and set it to "Shiver".

Note: There are many other effects and settings with which to experiment. I recommend changing them one at a time, so if you have an undesirable outcome you will know what to change back.

Transparency

1. If you want transparency so you can see the gears click on "Desktop Cube Plugin" and at the top of the window click on "Transparent Cube", then "opacity during rotation" is set to whatever amount you want, 75 is a good setting to start at.

Window Managers & The Commands To Start Them Manually

Compiz

compiz --replace

Metacity

metacity --replace

Kwin for Kubuntu

kwin --replace

Window Decorators & The Commands To Start Them

GTK Window Decorator

gtk-window-decorator --replace

KDE Window Decorator

kde-window-decorator --replace

Emerald Decorator

emerald --replace

Video Card Drivers

Nvidia

Amd/Ati

Troubleshooting

http://wiki.compiz.org/Troubleshooting

Ubuntu 11.10

If you notice choppy movement in your windows or ubuntu has slowed down try the following:

Click on the "Composite" tab and un-check "Detect Refresh Rate", then go back to the Main Menu and click on the "OpenGL" tab. Uncheck "Sync to Vblank".

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CategoryGraphics

CompositeManager (last edited 2013-03-30 19:26:02 by wildmanne39)