As some of you know, I gave up on MS Windows a long time ago. I have a small partition with Vista on it, but I run open Suse Linux more than 90% of the time. I have also moved into the realm of Composited Desktops. I had been running Beryl, but it merged back into Compiz earlier into the year and became Compiz Fusion. A few nights ago openSuse finally released some packages of Compiz Fusion as Compiz 0.5.2 was released. The Gods were smiling on me and I had a decent connection, so off I went and got the packages. I uninstalled Beryl, installed Compiz Fusion and began to play with the Geeky goodness. If you thought Mac OSX Dock apps or the semi-transparent windows in Vista were cool, look at this!

Almost all of the functionality of Beryl is there (minus the floating windows in the cube), plus a lot more. My favorite, the Transparent Floating Cube, for my desktop has been slightly improved, I can now draw fire on the desktop as well as using it as an animation. There are new animations and a ton of new plugins that bring all of the eye popping candy of a fully composited desktop to view. I can even run screenlets (Vista Gadget and Mac Dock type applets) on the desktop now without needing a daemon or other frame to run them through. The CPU load is minimal and it runs smooth and fast. Most of the goodness doesn’t screenshot too well, but I captured some of my favorites below. All are available either through the packages or git repositories if you are running Compiz Fusion, and as with everything Linux – its all free.

So enjoy my screenshots fellow Linux geeks, and take that all you Mac heads and Windows worshipers. tongue laugh And as a note to my wife, look in the upper right hand corner or my desktop.

imageThe Coverflip style window switcher via the Shift Plugin. This plugin also does a Vista Flip3d Style switcher, but the iTunes style Cover flip is cooler. Not only does it show all your open windows in the cool cover flip style, but they are actually live! I can even see fullscreen video in the Cover Flip without any frame rate loss.

imageThis is the Expo Plugin. Think of it as a kind of desktop pager. You can drag any window to any desktop, open any desktop, etc from the Expo view. The desktops are also live in this plugin. It maintains all the composite goodness of wobbly windows, animations, transparency, full screen video, etc.

imageThe Atlantis Cube (git:// One of the cooler things about Compiz Fusion over Beryl, is that people have figured out how to make use of the empty space inside your cube. Anyone who uses any flavor of Linux knows about the venerable Atlantis Xscreensaver. Well this is Atlantis inside my Cube! My own little fishbowl full of whales, sharks, and dolphins anytime I rotate the cube. Its just fun to watch.

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Comments & Trackbacks
:o) I’m happy that you’re happy with your new toys. I’m one of the folks that will always understand this stuff as MAGIC! Enjoy, Friend.

Posted by United States Lin on 08/06 at 07:18 PM
Could you kindly give me the url to the packages you used for this demonstration? I represent a slackware based distro that would like to implement this. I have found the the compiz core source but need all the goodies to make it work.

Posted by Canada Robert on 08/06 at 10:40 PM
You might want to drop “_thumb” from your image links wink

Posted by United States cornelius on 08/07 at 12:29 AM
The Compiz Fusion Packages are readily available through the git repositories
here. I would recommend downloading the source and compiling for slackware. Specifically, make sure you grab the Fusion plugins packages as they contain all the eye candy stuff, except atlantis and I listed the git link in the article for that.

You may need to grab “git” from somewhere. It basically works like svn, yum, etc. Just type git clone git:// and it will download the source trunk to you machine.

You will also need an implementation of XGL and/or AIGLX as the base layer as Compiz Fusion, Beryl, et al don’t function under the normal xorg layer.

All the other information you would need can be found at and
There is a slackware thread here.

Hope that gets you started.