July 4, 2007

How to install Compiz Fusion

[Important notice: I have posted a new guide on installing compiz fusion. I encourage you to use the new guide]

As you may know by now, Compiz and Beryl have merged and the resulting composite manager is called Compiz Fusion. As the name implies, Compiz Fusion has the best of two. The good news is that it is not just an amalgamate of Compiz and Beryl. It shows very good features and eye candies too. One beautiful eye candy is the reflection in Expose mode. You are well aware that reflection has become a hot feature everywhere. Apple has the lead and even Microsoft uses reflections! Where? have look at the left lower corner of Media Player 11.
I am particularly pleased to see that we have a nice and (almost) user friendly setting manager in place.

I assume that you are using Ubuntu Feisty Fawn (7.04) and gnome.
The first step is to disable Compiz (desktop effect) if it is running.

Then you need to un-install Compiz. So in terminal type:

sudo apt-get -y remove compiz-core desktop-effects

Then add the following line to third party repositories in synaptic:

deb http://download.tuxfamily.org/3v1deb feisty eyecandy

In terminal type:

wget http://download.tuxfamily.org/3v1deb/DD800CD9.gpg

and then:

sudo apt-key add DD800CD9.gpg

Now in synaptic, hit reload button.
The penultimate step is to install Compiz Fusion. In terminal:

sudo apt-get -y install compiz compiz-gnome compizconfig-settings-manager compiz-fusion-plugins-extra libcompizconfig-backend-gconf

Finally, in terminal type:

compiz --replace

to activate Compiz Fusion.

You should be able to find your new Compiz setting manager in your preferences menu.
As usual, you may add the latter command to your sessions to have it up and running every time the system starts up.


Anonymous said...

Erm, if you're assuming Ubuntu and GNOME why are you saying to install compiz-kde & libcompizconfig-backend-kconfig?

"Knows how" said...

True! I corrected that part.

Anonymous said...

Nice Article.

Trevino's repositories are a little unstable as he uses the latest svn.

I'm using Compiz Fusion from that repository atm and the gconf backend appears to be broken, hence the need for a compiz --replace at the start of a session even though compiz is started automatically with the session. Also my sessions take forever to start now.

That aside the compiz fusion plugins are great. I use expose more than the cube now.

The ring switcher is interesting but scales the windows much too small by default imo.

Overall - even though this is a bleeding edge thing to do to a box - I think it's worth it just for the extra functionality.

I've even switched wobbly windows back on and have Burn as my close animation. With the springs wobbly windows start to make sense and burning for a closing window is quite cathartic. These are things I considered silly before :)

Piero said...

Thanks for guide.
One question, just in case it wouldn't work: how to restore the default compiz feisty feature?

"Knows how" said...

Good question! Un-install what you have installed. To do so, replace "install" in the command by "remove".
Then remove what you have add as repository in synaptic. Hit "reload" in synaptic. then install compiz from within synaptic. That should be the original one.

BTW, why shouldn't it work?

Michael said...

I did this and now I have no Window Manager (borders and gadgets). The compiz part is working (cube, fading, etc). What am I missing?

Piero said...

I'm getting two problems:
after "sudo apt-key add DD800CD9.gpg
Now in synaptic, hit reload button." I'm getting:

W: GPG error: http://hendrik.kaju.pri.ee feisty Release: The following signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY 3C33E735F854AFD7

and after compiz --replace
I'm getting

The program 'compiz' is currently not installed. You can install it by typing:
sudo apt-get install compiz-core
bash: compiz: command not found

Anonymous said...

@michael if you have beryl, select metacity as the window manager and close beryl before running compiz --replace

Piero said...

Finally I've got it.
But I'm missing something since pressing CTRL+left/right arrow doesn't make the cube appears...

"Knows how" said...

Re: Piero

You can assign any key combination to any action in compiz setting manager.

gabriel raphael said...

xxxxxx@ubuntu-desktop:~$ compiz --replace
Fatal: Failed test: texture_from_pixmap support
Checks indicate that it's impossible to start compiz on your system.

can anyone help me?

Eric said...

I'm getting the same problem, and its driving me crazy, because i cant find a fix anywhere! I NEED Compiz Fusion, can someone please help?!

"Knows how" said...

You might have some problem wit your graphic card. What is your graphic card? I suggest that you post your problem in Ubuntuforums.org though.

Eric said...

I have a 256MB ATI Mobility FireGL V5250 graphics card.

Richard said...

rich@linux:~$ compiz --replace
/usr/bin/compiz.real: symbol lookup error: /usr/lib/compiz/libdecoration.so: undefined symbol: decor_apply_gravity
Window manager warning: "" found in configuration database is not a valid value for keybinding "toggle_shaded"

Window manager warning: "Disabled" found in configuration database is not a valid value for keybinding "toggle_shaded"

could someone help me with this error?

John said...

Im retarded and didn't disable desktop effects before removing compiz now there is now top of my windows to more around and no option to turn desktop effects off, what should I do?

"Knows how" said...


As an emergency measure, in terminal, type: "metacity --replace"

This gives you title bar and windows border back.

John said...

Thanks for helping before, so I went through everything and now I have the settings manager, but none of the effects seem to work. When I do compiz --replace it mostly just says:

A handler is already registered for the path starting with path[0] = "org"

a lot of times, but there are a few other things that come up

/usr/bin/compiz.real (core) - Warn: Unable to parse XML metadata from file "ccp.xml"

inotify_add_watch: No such file or directory
/usr/bin/compiz.real: symbol lookup error: /usr/lib/compiz/libdecoration.so: undefined symbol: decor_apply_gravity

Window manager warning: "" found in configuration database is not a valid value for keybinding "toggle_shaded"

any suggestions?

John said...

I found an update in my update manager after doing that the effects work except now there is no title bar and window border.

John said...

Never mind figured it out

Thanks for the guide and help.

"Knows how" said...


Would you mind telling me how you fixed that?

Anonymous said...

i get this message after typing in the last step
can anyone help?
compiz --replace
/usr/bin/compiz.real (core) - Fatal: No GLXFBConfig for default depth, this isn't going to work.
/usr/bin/compiz.real (core) - Error: Failed to manage screen: 0
/usr/bin/compiz.real (core) - Fatal: No manageable screens found on display :0.0
Window manager warning: "" found in configuration database is not a valid value for keybinding "toggle_shaded"

"Knows how" said...

I'm afraid your graphic card might be in compiz black list.

Which graphic card do you use? Which version of Ubuntu are you using?

Anonymous said...


please let us know how you fixed that, thanks in advance.

there are a number of causes for that error and i have yet to find why im getting it.

Anonymous said...

hi..im having a problem after i've type the compiz --replace in the terminal..

and this is the error...

Checking for Xgl: not present.
No whitelisted driver found
aborting and using fallback: /usr/bin/metacity
pls.. help me,how can i fix this problem to enable my compiz fusion config in the preferences.....

Anonymous said...

I keep getting an error in terminal after i paste in:'pubuntu@pubuntu:~$ sudo apt-get -y install compiz compiz-gnome compizconfig-settings-manager compiz-fusion-plugins-extra libcompizconfig-backend-gconf'.
It says: 'E: Could not get lock /var/lib/dpkg/lock
- open (11 Resource temporarily unavailable)
E: Unable to lock the administration directory (/var/lib/dpkg/), is another process using it?'
Can anyone help please?