Animate the Desktop with Xgl and Compiz

To get Xgl working well, it is essential to harness the 3-D rendering capabilities of your graphics card and setup the plug-ins with the composite window manager, compiz This excerpt is from Chapter 3: Using SUSE Linux on Your Desktop, from the book SUSE Linux By Chris Brown PhD, published by O'Reilly Media. Reprinted with permissi
Section 12: Animate the Desktop with Xgl and Compiz

Given the rapid pace of software development in the Linux world, it is inevitable that some topics that are bleeding-edge as this book goes into production will be mainstream technology by the time you get to read it. One such is the Xgl X server and the compositing window manager compiz. Together with a modern graphics card, these components (which are shipped with SUSE Linux 10.1) offer some stunning visual desktop effects comparable (dare I say this?) to the best that the Mac has to offer. These effects include transparent windows, fade-in/fade-out of windows and menus, animated window minimization, and the ability to put four desktops onto four faces of a cube and spin the cube (in 3-D) to switch desktops. The overall result is to give the desktop a more fluid, organic feel.

Tip: Of course, the command-line die-hards will consider 3-D on the desktop about as much use as a carpet in the garage. I am personally not a great fan of so-called eye-candy. But then, I don't buy decorations for my mobile phone, download polyphonic ring-tones, or wear jewelry in my navel. I think it's an age thing.

At the time of writing, this technology is running on only a limited number of platforms and you may have a rough ride working through this lab. Novell is planning to release this technology as a core part of SLED (SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktopâ



Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Great stuff!

Tim Brown's picture

I upgraded from SuSe 10 to 10.1 today. At first I was really bothered that my 3d acceleration wasn't even an option. Then I found out it had to do with XGL. So, I did some searching. I found the following:

These instructions were flawless and giving precise steps. It couldn't have been easier to follow.

I have been using Suse for a few years. I recently played with Elive but the learning curve seemed a bit high. This improvment has me hooked!


Out of date?

Nicholas Petreley's picture

This is already out of date for Ubuntu. For example, you use csm instead of gconf-editor to tweak compiz and the plugins. Does SUSE still use gconf-editor?

Yup. And even that reply is o-o-d!

Anonymous's picture

The compiz codebase has had a (friendly?) fork with (as far as I can see) the hardcore r'n'd continuing in the original and padding out going on in Beryl.

See also: which has pages for a slew of distros.

Retitle the Magazine: "Desktop Linux Jounal"

Anonymous's picture

"...and the file you need to download is, which is a self-extracting shell archive. (For some reason, NVIDIA chose not to use RPM as a package format.)"

Not everyone uses RPMs, some people use Debian, Ubuntu, Kanotix (my Favorite), or any one of the other 100s of distros. Has "Linux Journal" turned into "Suse Journal"? Also, when did LJ become "Desktop Linux Jounal"?
Oh, must have been when the editor change took place?