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Tag: Compiz

Enabling Visual Effects in Ubuntu

Somebody asked a question regarding my video on youtube.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOp83ByFrMA

Unfortunately I don’t really have time to explain the details nor am I sure if Ubuntu supports his/her graphics card so I’m putting here some information which can be a starting point to get what he/she wants.

To enable some basic visual effects, select the ‘Appearance’ menu.
-System -> Preferences -> Appearance
System -> Preferences -> Appearance

-Select the ‘Visual Effects’ tab -> Select the ‘Extra’ effect -> Click the ‘Close’ button.
Select the 'Visual Effects' tab -> Select the 'Extra' effect -> Click the 'Close' button.
If Ubuntu or Compiz doesn’t support your graphics card, you may get some error message here.
If you are using ATI or nVidia Graphics card, I strongly recommend you to install EnvyNG which automatically checks what Graphics card you use and finds the proper driver for it. It only works for ATI and nVidia ones.  I am using Intel one so I cannot use it and therefore can’t explain how to use it.  To install it, open the ‘Synaptic Package Manager’
System -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager
and search by envyng then you can see ‘envyng-core’, ‘envyng-gtk’ and ‘envyng-qt’. Install envyng-gtk (I assume you’re using Ubuntu but not Kubuntu) and it will install envyng-core and envyng-gtk.

OK, get back to the visual effect one. After selecting the ‘Extra’ visual effect, it should have some visual effects and now it’s time to customise it to have more effects. If you have not installed ‘CompizConfig Setting Manager’ yet, install it first.

-Run ‘Add/Remove Applications’ -> 1. Make sure it shows ‘All available applications’ -> 2. Search ‘compiz’ -> 3. Check ‘Advanced Desktop Effects Settings (ccsm) -> 4. Click the ‘Apply Changes’ button.
Run 'Add/Remove Applications' -> 1. Make sure it shows 'All available applications' -> 2. Search 'compiz' -> 3. Check 'Advanced Desktop Effects Settings (ccsm) -> 4. Click the 'Apply Changes' button.

Run the ‘CompizConfig Setting Manager’
-System -> Preferences -> CompizConfig Setting Manager
System -> Preferences -> CompizConfig Setting Manager

Now you can have whatever you want with Compiz-Fusion!
e.g.) To have the Cube, enable the ‘Desktop Cube’ and ‘Rotate Cube’

Do whatever you want!

Do whatever you want!

My Desktop in April 2009

Ubuntu Linux Desktop 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope 64bit + Compiz + Mac4Lin + GNOME Do + Cairo Dock

Ubuntu Linux Desktop 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope 64bit + Compiz + Mac4Lin + GNOME Do + Cairo Dock
(Same Screencast but Lower Quality than the First One)

CPU: E2160 1.80 GHz
RAM: 4 GiB
Graphic Chip: Intel G33/31 (on board)

This is Ubuntu Linux 9.04 just released about two days ago (24th, April) as I already mentioned in my previous post.

I used a LiveCD of Ubuntu Linux 9.04 to check if it works well on my PC. It fortunately works well so I upgraded mine from 8.10 to 9.04.  The screencast above is made after the upgrade. It looks slow in the video yet that’s because of the software I used to record the desktop. It works really fast indeed without the software used to screencast.

These are screenshots taken before the upgrade.

Start Upgrading to 9.04

Start Upgrading to 9.04

Upgrade In Progress

Upgrade In Progress

The size of the memory installed on my PC is 4 GiB but it does not have to be 4GiB or bigger.  I need 4 GiB for the software I use to develop web applications.  Those development tools and servers require lots of memory.  However, based on my experience, without using that kind of heavy applications, 2 GiB is enough or even 1 GiB is still fine although for 1 GiB memory I rather recommend Xubuntu which is a type of Ubuntu with Xfce as its desktop environment.  Xfce is lightweight and fast.

Anyway, Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope works fine so far although I found some trivial problems such as the one described here.
https://bugs.launchpad.net/gnome-app-install/+bug/354563/

This part is added on the 3rd of May, 2009
WARNING: If you would like to install Ubuntu 9.04, you had better check out the Ubuntu 9.04 release notes especially the known issues part.
http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/releasenotes/904

※ Intel graphics card users should read carefully ‘Performance regressions on Intel graphics cards’ and ‘Display freezes with Intel graphics cards’ issues in the release notes. You may also visit the link below to solve these problems with the Intel graphics cards but follow the post at your own risk.
http://www.ubuntugeek.com/intel-graphics-performance-guide-for-ubuntu-904-jaunty-users.html

Compiz also seems to be a bit unstable yet hasn’t crashed.  I’m sure the Ubuntu development team will make it stable soon.  It normally becomes fairly stable one month after it is released.  In the meantime, the users can report all the bugs they found through the issue tracking system for Ubuntu that is Launchpad.

So what I feel about the new release is that it seems to be more stable than the previous release (8.10). I’m quite satisfied so far.  The following information is a quick review of the new one.

* The problems in the previous version (8.10) yet fixed in the new version.
-X-Window (probably only GNOME?) freezes if Ctrl+Alt+F1~F6 keys are pressed to enter console mode => Fixed in 9.04

-Firefox freezes with Google toolbar when opening more than one Firefox window. => Fixed in 9.04 (I’m not sure if it was fixed before but I had it when I used 8.04).

-The window decorator of some KDE applications using QT library (e.g. Umbrello, Kompare) disappears and it is impossible to resize the windows of these applications. As far as I remember, it only happens in 64bit version meaning 32bit version doesn’t have it. => Fixed in 9.04

-Using comma to separate cells in Open Office 3.0 Spread Sheet causes some error. The bug described here.
https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/openoffice.org/+bug/306602
=> Fixed in 9.04. Ubuntu 8.10 doesn’t have Open Office 3.0 but 2.4. When I installed 3.0 through the repository the information about which is taken from the link blow, it had that problem.
http://news.softpedia.com/news/How-To-Install-OpenOffice-org-3-0-in-Ubuntu-8-10-96449.shtml

Oh I forgot to say that Ubuntu 9.04 has Open Office 3.0 pre-installed by the way. :)

OK, these are what I found so far.

I’m using Compiz, GNOME Do, Cairo Dock and many other useful applications.  One good news is that Cairo Dock which is my favourite Dock application can now be found from the Ubuntu repository which means all I need to do in order to install it is to use ‘Add/Remove Application’ menu. 😀  I had to add the Cairo Dock repository manually before if I want to install it or even worse scenario is downloading the deb package file and install it manually.

A new file system namely ext4 which is faster than ext3 is available in Ubuntu 9.04. However, for now it might not be a good idea to use it as there may be some problem like this.
https://bugs.edge.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/317781?comments=all
It seems to be fixed though. Anyway, the comments in this bug report post are very interesting. 😀  This might be evidence of how Linux is being evolved by the developers as well as the users of it I believe. :)

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