Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Compiz Fusion in Feisty with Xgl

This is the guide everyone has been waiting for, this not only works for the Dell Inspiron 1501 but works for any computer running an ATI card using Xgl.

Check ATI Driver
In a terminal type:

You should see this output in your terminal window:
display: :0.0 screen: 0
OpenGL vendor string: ATI Technologies Inc.
OpenGL renderer string: RADEON XPRESS Series
OpenGL version string: 2.0.6334 (8.34.8)

If you get something different make sure you enable the proprietary ATI driver via the Restricted Driver Manager. You can find it in the top left menu bar under S
ystem>Administration>Restricted Drivers.
(This is what you get when using the Dell Inspiron 1501, other users can check for enabled 3D by using the command
glxgears, you should see spinning gears)

Install Xgl

In a terminal type:
sudo apt-get install xserver-xgl

Setting Up XGL
In a terminal type:
sudo gedit /usr/local/bin/

and this to the file:
Xgl :1 -fullscreen -ac -accel xv:pbuffer -accel glx:pbuffer &
cookie="$(xauth -i nextract - :0 | cut -d ' ' -f 9)"
xauth -i add :1 . "$cookie"
exec dbus-launch --exit-with-session gnome-session
save and close file

Then make the xgl script executable by entering this into a terminal:
sudo chmod a+x /usr/local/bin/

Creating a XGL Login

Make the script, by typing this into a terminal:
sudo gedit /usr/share/xsessions/xgl.desktop

add this text to the file:
[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Start an Xgl Session
save and close file

Remove Compiz & Desktop Effects
sudo apt-get remove compiz-core desktop-effects

If you have Beryl Installed Remove Beryl Too
In a terminal type:
sudo apt-get remove beryl-ubuntu beryl-manager emerald

If you want to use emerald as your decorator for Compiz Fusion do not remove the emerald package.

Add the Compiz Fusion Repository

In a terminal type:
sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

Add this to the end of your your source list:
deb feisty eyecandy
deb-src feisty eyecandy
save and close file

Add the tuxfamily Repository Key
In a terminal type:
sudo wget -O- | sudo apt-key add -

Update Your System
In a terminal type:
sudo apt-get update

Install Compiz Fusion

In a terminal type:
sudo apt-get install compiz compizconfig-settings-manager compiz-plugins compiz-gnome compiz-fusion-plugins-extra compiz-fusion-plugins-unofficial libcompizconfig-backend-gconf

Now you just have to log off, log into your Xgl session and run Compiz Fusion.

To run Compiz Fusion:
compiz --replace

To run the Compiz Setting Manager:

I find Compiz Fusion to be faster and more responsive then Beryl. I don't use Beryl's window manger, Emerald. If you want to use Emerald with Compiz Fusion, it's as easy as sudo apt-get emerald and to launch it's emerald --replace. I didn't mention it in my guide because I prefer Compiz's gtk-window-decorator, and don't want to put up with the hassle of people asking my questions about software I don't use.


Q: Compiz Fusion doesn't load/work?
A: Make sure you are you logged onto your Xgl session. Select it at startup from sessions.

Q: I don't have windows decorations.
A: Did you run ccsm (compiz setting manager) and enable Window Decorations

Q: I don't have a cube.
A: Did you run ccsm (compiz setting manager) and enable 3D cube

Q: I get error: E: Couldn't find package ******, can you help?
A: You have to add the repository correctly and then update it. Do those steps over again.

Q: How do I get Compiz Fusion to load when I log in?
A: You have to add compiz --replace to your startup session. First, go to System>Preferences>Session. Then click on the New button on the right hand side of the menu. Add compiz --replace to your startup.

Hope you guys like the guide.
edited by pHreaksYcle


Hortinstein said...

hey great guide worked perfect for me... and it runs really smoothly

Damon said...

I'm frightened to try this after my last attempt to get Compiz Fusion to work. It completely hosed gnomes window management and I was left with no window decoration - i.e. no brown bar at the top of active windows and no minimise/maximise/close icons.

redDEAD said...


I started this site because there are a lot of bad howtos out there. This one works, it's tailor made for Dell Inspiron 1501 user, the fact that it works for other ATI card users is a small bonus. I was the guy who got Beryl working on ATI cards using Xgl in Feisty the right way. Give it a try, there is no way it can hose your system. The worst thing that can happen, even if you really mess it up is that Compiz Fusion won't work.

Christopher said...

I also found that i had to completely remove beryl and emerald, because emerald wasent working properly. i.e: the window decoration would be transparent, still there but transparent, with no way to fix it. So im stuck with plain old metacity, which is ok, but not flashy by a long shot. Installing emerald again, results in installing all the beryl packages, which breaks my fuzion. Either way has anyone got a good window decorator to work, or is there a way through ccsm to install windows decorations that i've over-looked?

Christopher said...

hey red if you get this, before you publish the last comment, dont publish the last. I made a bit of a fuss, about the window manager, but i've seen my mistake. to keep emerald, simply dont remove it the first time!!! yes i could be a bit brighter, but we all have our dark days.

Bram said...

Window decorations didn't work until I restarted. And then I only got one desktop and my cube was flat. But I figured out where in the settings to change that.
Thanks for the guide!

masterscout1977 said...

This was a great guide and it worked for me... Only the first time. I restarted the computer and logged back in in XGL, but I cant seem to get the effects to work anymore. I don't know if anyone else has had this problem or not, or if I am just lucky. I am very new to linux, and I have found your site to be an incredible help, I don't think I did anything to screw it up, I just restarted and logged in in XGL. Any ideas on how to restore fusion?

redDEAD said...


You have to run the compiz fusion command, compi --replace to get it to work. Did you? Can't work if you don't start it up.

Andrew said...

Great guide. This is exactly what I did to get it working for me. So many people seem to want to make it hard than it really is.

A tip for people with emerald problems. Make sure you are getting emerald from the same repo as C/F. Some repos (the old official Beryl one for instance) don't seem to be updating Emerald any more so their versions might not be compatable with C/F. The repo listed in this article has emerald as well. Use that version.

Pete S said...

I've got good news: it's working now. All I had to do was install an update to libdecorations0 I believe. At any rate, compiz fusion is working. Great guide!

wayne said...

This is an excellent how-to. I was able to get compiz fusion up and going within 5 minutes. I also installed kiba-dock via your instructions, and all went well. My 1501 is screaming with eye candy!!! Thanks for all your hard work - keep up the excellent how-to's :o)

To get compiz fusion to autostart, perform the following (indicated by menu selections and textbox entries):

System --> Preferences --> Sessions

Startup Programs --> New

Start Program Name: Compiz Fusion
Command: compiz --replace

That should do it.

Captain Haircut said...

I had been running Beryl for some time, but was excited to upgrade to something even shinier.
I kept getting an error message "Window manager warning: "" found in configuration database" and compiz would not start.
I ended up opening synaptic "don't scoff at me, I know but it has uses" I had to do a search for compiz and for beryl and completely remove all components AND their configuration files. Then I followed the walkthru again and it started right up.

Lee said...

hey, great blog. but i'm having trouble getting the sudo apt-get install compiz
command to work. It returns:

E: Couldn't find package compizconfig-settings-manager

any ideas?

Citizen Kane said...

I can't install it Gives me an error of:

:~$ sudo apt-get install compiz compizconfig-settings-manager compiz-plugins compiz-gnome compiz-fusion-plugins-extra libcompizconfig-backend-gconf
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
E: Couldn't find package compizconfig-settings-manager

redDEAD said...

E: Couldn't find package ******

You have to add the repository correctly and then update it. Do those steps over again.

mahe_hellraiser said...

Does compiz fusion work for all ati cards?? ... i mean it didnt work for mine. X1600pro.....when i run compiz fusion...i get an error saying.....some path is missing or invalid path or something.....

redDEAD said...

How would I know if Compiz Fusion works with all ATI cards? The X1600 Pro should work with Compiz Fusion but I am neither a developer or owner of any other ATI cards. Are you sure you did everything right?

Anonymous said...

If your using 64bit version you have to change souces to


Knollix said...

is there a Problem with amd64 ?
I got the same error:
Couldn't find .....

Kartofel said...

Thanks Red - another good how to, that works just fine on my 1501!
P.S. Have anybody experienced any problems with compiz-fusion after the last update?
My CF lost all the settings, plus slowed down a lot. For now, I just turned it off for a while. Now I'm waiting for new updates ... maybe they will fix it soon.

redDEAD said...


Yup last update nerfed my setup too. To Fix it go into ccsm, go to preferences and reset to defaults.

Kartofel said...

After the last update, things went back to normal. Let's not forget that it's still a development version of CF. I wonder how it will work when is announced as a stable version.
IMHO, there are still many things to do, but let's hope they will solve it all anytime soon.


Daniel Alberson said...

how would i set this up if i wanted to run c/f in KDE?

Emalice said...

Awesome, reddead, you are just awesome. After trying each and every howto's about compiz, yours just made my day in no time.

One thing, though, for all those who had to kiss too many frogs before finding their compiz charming : when logging onto your xgl session, if the screen appears completely scrambled and you can't see a thing, it's probably because the composite option is still enabled in your xorg.conf file. Logout, edit the file, log back in, enjoy...

joe said...

I'm getting a ccp plugin error when I run compiz -replace in an xgl session. any ideas on what the problem is?y

redDEAD said...

compiz --replace is the correct way to launch compiz fusion in an xgl session

joe said...

pardon my typo. compiz --replace caused the ccp plugin error. any ideas? I couldn't find anything definitive in the ubuntu forums. and I have your exact hardware (1501 etc)

P2PAlaska said...

redDEAD, you made my week! I installed and am learning Ubuntu Feisty just to try Compiz Fusion & your guide made installation on my AMD 3200+ / ATI 9600 Pro machine painless.

I've been using puters since DOS 2.0, Linux is coming fairly easy to my old brain lol.

Compiz fusion & Ubuntu rocks so hard I doubt I'll ever use my W2k3 or Vista boxes for anything other than MediaServers.

Thanks buddy!

Neil said...

Thx m8 love the guides....not a linux guy yet but learning a lot...coming from windows seemed daunting but folks like you help light the way...keep up the great work.

Christopher said...

Thanks a bunch for this guide. I've been racking my brain for almost a year now. I was about to give up on my ATI Radeon Xpress 200M card for my Compaq Persario V500. I knew there had to be a way to get this video card humming. And your guide was simple and worked right away. Thanks a bunch.

freeman110888 said...

Fabulous guide, man! Runs like water on my Inspiron1501.

james bond said...

Thanks for getting me this far! Best guide I've come across yet, however I'm still facing some problems and hope somebody can help me out. I have all the effects working, my only problem is that the top bars on all my windows have gone missing. I'm talking about where the minimize/maximize and close buttons are usually located. Does anyone know what the problem could be and how to fix it? Any help is much appreciated.

redDEAD said...

james bond
reset all your settings to default and your problems should be fixed

Honza said...

deb feisty eyecandy-amd64
deb-src feisty eyecandy-amd64


tom wright said...

could you include instructions for amd64 users

the only bit that is different is you have to add different entry's to the sources list:
deb feisty eyecandy-amd64
deb-src feisty eyecandy-amd64

redDEAD said...

I don't do 64 bit Ubuntu. I don't have the extra PC, time or patience to deal with it. AMD64 is a waste of time and effort in my opinion. The "added" speed benefit is nonexistent. I much prefer to use 32 bit Ubuntu and only support it when I write my guides.

jamillikan said...

You deserve an A+ for your instructions. Although I don't have a Dell Inspiron 1501, I do have an ATI 9550 card in my computer. Following your instructions for Feisty Fawn worked flawlessly.

Once again, thanks for this fine article. Hellen Keller should be able to read and follow these instructions!

Ben said...

Great tutorial! I'm actually trying to do this on Gutsy. The default effects are working, but I can't open the Compiz Settings manager. Do I need to get the files from a different repository?


redDEAD said...

for compiz setting manager, sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

spayced said...

Trying on Nov. 8, 2007, ubuntu7.10 Dell dimension 4700C ATI Radeon X300 the instructions fail.
The file /usr/local/bin/ does not exist. When I run the command to install xserver-xgl it actually installs libglitz-glx1 instead. Whats going on?

MoNeY_MaN said...

Thanks for the guide. Everything is up and working well. I have a Dell 1521 with an ATI x1270 gfx card and worked like a charm exactly as posted. Now off to tackle the last challenge of my laptop. To get bluetooth to work with my new AD2P headset so i can walk away from the computer and listen to music with no wires.

Coffee Addict said...

Cheers mate, thanks for the excellent guide.

The odd thing is, everything works (I get the basic eyecandy), except for running ccsm. Can't change any settings. I get the following error message:

AttributeError: 'compizconfig.Plugin' object has no attribute 'Initialized'

Anyone know what this means?


redDEAD said...

coffee did you install ccsm?
In a terminal:
sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

Coffee Addict said...

Red: yes I did. It also appears in the system -> preferences menu (although without an icon). Removing and re-installing does not seem to work. Running ccsm gives the following output:

Traceback (most recent call last):
File "/usr/bin/ccsm", line 45, in [module]
idle = ccm.IdleSettingsParser(context)
File "usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/ccm/", line 229, in __init__
File "usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/ccm/", line 228, in [lambda]
File "usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/ccm/", line 225, in FilterPlugin
AttributeError: 'compizconfig.Plugin' object has no attribute 'Initialized'

([module] and [lambda] were originally with less-than and greater-than signs, but comment won't allow these).

I'm an Ubuntu newbie - sorry for asking stupid questions. BUT I'M SO CLOSE! :-)

thx for the heads-up