This is probably one of the most interesting features of compiz (or beryl) when it comes to making Linux look like Mac OS X. In Mac world, it is called dashboard. The basic idea is to have some hidden widgets (or screenlets in Linux world) and bring them into focus in front of all other windows, and desktop of course, by hitting a key.
When you install Ubuntu Linux Feisty Fawn (7.04) the default composite manager would be compiz. The bad news is that handling widgets is implemented in beryl (the other composite manager). The good news is that since compiz and beryl are merging, this feature is now available in compiz. It is just not installed by default. Most of the unique beryl features or plugins are now ported to compiz and you have to install them yourself through synaptic. To do that, go to synaptic, find and install:
Now you have to activate your new plugins in compiz.
Open Configuration Editor and go to:
/apps > compiz > general > allscreens > options
You need to add widget to active_plugins.
Now, you need to have some widgets/screenlets installed. If you have followed one of my previous posts about installing screenlets, chances are you have a handful of them on your desktop by now. Right click on one of them, hit properties and check Treat as Widget.
Since compiz is not bug free you might see some unusual activities! Stay calm, and from your compiz tray icon (where is my compiz manager?), deactivate and reactivate GL Desktop.
Now if you hit F9, you should see dashboard like effect.
May 14, 2007
at 11:57 PM