A New Era of Compiz


Compiz is a compositing window manager that enables users to enjoy clever desktop effects and transparency. Compiz is included in many distributions' default installs and in many others' repositories. At one time its future was in question with new major desktop environments planning to incorporate their own effects. When those effects failed to materialize as publicized, the popularity of Compiz continued to grow. But with newer systems and desktop enviroments, Compiz needed to be rewritten. So, after a long developmental period, Compiz 0.9.0 was released.

Sam Spilsbury, developer of Compiz, announced the release of Compiz 0.9.0 on Compiz mailing list. This is the first major release since the merger of Compiz, Compiz++, NOMAD and Compiz Fusion and also the first major release since being completely rewritten in C++. Besides moving from C to C++, this release brings a new developer API, and splits the rendering framework into plugins.

By splitting the rendering framework into composite and opengl plugins, Compiz can be used as the known compositing window manager or as a backend for other 3D desktop programs such XRender or Clutter. Another significant change, decoration reparenting, will allow Compiz to run with decorations as non-compositing when used with the revamped GNOME or KDE Window Decorators. Integration with QT main loop and the creation of a KApplication provides better integration with KDE. A new DBus plugin will now use the screen number to identify the Compiz instance. A major redraw bug that caused ripping or skips in rendering was also fixed.

In plugins-main support was added that lets users drag windows to edges of screens and have them fill the adjacent screen. Users may also like that support for automatic wallpaper rotation was added in plugins-extra. All plugins were also rewritten in C++ using the new API.

Tarballs are available at http://compiz.org. Early testers should consult the announcement for important building information.


Susan Linton is a Linux writer and the owner of tuxmachines.org.


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Gnome 3

andriabolton2009's picture

They didn't mention anything about Gnome 3, I wonder if compiz will be compatible with Gnome 3, I assume it will be. Can't wait to see what these guys come up with, 10.04 Ubuntu + Compiz is great! Use "zoom" effect for tooltip windows, it looks really nice.
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compiz is great, when you

kmonk's picture

compiz is great, when you know how to use it.


Anonymous's picture

FAIL - misleading info here

Compiz was supposed to be

Anonymous's picture

Compiz was supposed to be just a quick hack as a proof of concept of Xgl capabitilities... This was said by one of its very own authors in an interview back in the day... So, it's 2010, and compositing should be now done by Metacity or KWin and no longer Compiz... PLEASE Compiz die soon and leave us alone...

I am a relatively new user

Anonymous's picture

I am a relatively new user (starting with Ubuntu Hardy Heron)and have been actively promoting distros like Ubuntu, Linux Mint and Knoppix among my peers and even school kids. In fact, I have personally installed them on atleast sixteen machines and five of them are triple booting! All of them are thrilled beyond measure when they see the visual magnificence of Compiz.

Therefore,I ,in my humble opinion, believe that Compiz is doing a great job and can't wait to see the latest release included in the new distros ...

Long live Compiz ... !!!

I've been using KDE's effects

mikesd's picture

since I stopped using Compiz, and I'm happy. Compiz was a resource hog for just some pretty effects that KDE does itself rather well.

That which does not kill me only postpones the inevitable.


JShuford's picture

Thank you...

...I'm not just a "troll", but also a subscriber!

compiz lover

vidoe's picture

Compiz made me love linux. Since i saw it i am big fan. I am soon to test new release.

Compiz on Gnome 3.0?

Anonymous's picture

They didn't mention anything about Gnome 3, I wonder if compiz will be compatible with Gnome 3, I assume it will be. Can't wait to see what these guys come up with, 10.04 Ubuntu + Compiz is great! Use "zoom" effect for tooltip windows, it looks really nice.

Oh yeah, and don't forget to install ubuntutweak and enable transparent windows like Mint, also looks great.

Toyota MR2 Carbon Fiber Hoods

It depends

Sam Spilsbury's picture

If you want to use the old school GNOME panel, then compiz is still compatible with "gnome 3". If you want to use GNOME Shell on the other hand, then you will not be able to use Compiz at the same time. This is because the GNOME developers have decided to write their own window manager and require-by-design that it be running in order to run GNOME shell. Personally I think this is a bad design decision, but there isn't anything Compiz can do to change that, save for forking all of GNOME Shell and doing tons of work to make it work separate to any window manager.

So many options!

Franknbeans's picture

I find it odd that Gnome, who uses Compiz the most, whines about too many options. While Compiz is overloaded with an insane amount of options.

KDE on the other hand is known for its ability to tweak nearly everything. But the KWIN desktop effects are rather simple. Very few options compared to Compiz.

Choice in open source is often an interesting conundrum.

Gnome does not uses compiz.

Anonymous's picture

Gnome does not uses compiz.

Care to clarify your comment?

armahillo's picture

Care to clarify your comment? I am running Compiz in Gnome right now. At face value, your comment is wrong -- but I think perhaps you mean that on some sort of philosophical or subtextual level?

Compiz can be run while using

Anonymous's picture

Compiz can be run while using Gnome, but Compiz is not part of the Gnome project

Failed to materialize?

Rob's picture

At one time its future was in question with new major desktop environments planning to incorporate their own effects. When those effects failed to materialize as publicized...

Errr... huh? Native desktop effects have been in KWin since the beginning of KDE 4.

compiz history

eMBee's picture

susan may have been talking about the initial growing popularity of compiz before kde4. kde4 was released in 2008, the major compiz buz was 2006 and 2007, i lived through it.

things have been quiet around compiz for a long time now. i am still using compiz, but i have not seen any major changes (in the stable releases for end users) since maybe 2 years or more. i am looking forward to a comeback of compiz with the 0.9.x series.

greetings, eMBee

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