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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Compiz Fusion on Gutsy Gibbon

One of the coolest improvements in the new Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) is the eye candy brought to us by the Compiz Fusion application. Not much of it is very useful in a functional way but it sure is cool! The install has zero configuration and playing around with it is nothing but fun. Here is a how-to and helpful setup for some of the cooler affects thanks to Ubuntu-tutorials

Install Compiz Config Settings Manager

To customize your configuration you’ll want to install the compiz config settings manager tool. You can use your favorite package manager front-end or the command line to install:

sudo aptitude install compizconfig-settings-manager

This will add an entry to your System > Preferences menu listed as “Advanced Desktop Effects Settings”.

Make sure that you have “extra effects” turned on by navigating to System > Preferences > Appearance, selecting the Visual Effects tab, and selecting Custom at the bottom. Clicking the Preferences button will also launch the Compiz Config Settings Manager.

Configuration / Shortcuts

The settings that I like include:

- rotate cube
- desktop cube
- cube caps
- expo (must have!)
- wobbly windows
- water effect
- group and tab windows
- shift switcher

Once you have these selected you’ll be interested in the keyboard shortcuts to use them listed below:

- rotate cube : ctrl-alt-arrow or ctrl-alt-left-click and drag
- expo : super (windows button)-e
- water effects : shift-f9 (toggle)
- group and tab : select window with super-s, group with super-t, ungroup with super-u
- shift switcher : super-tab

Cube affect

Once you successfully have the 3D effects enabled and have compizconfig-settings-manager installed navigate your way to “System > Preferences > Advanced Desktop Effects Settings”. Click on “General Options” at the top of the list and select the “Desktop Size” tab. The first slider on that tab is for “Horizontal Virtual Size”. Change this from two to four and close the window. You should now have four desktop panes for use with a cube vs the two desktop panes as default.

Check out a video of this cool desktop effects application in action

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