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Compiz

Compiz brings to life a variety of visual effects that make the Linux desktop easier to use, more powerful and intuitive, and more accessible for users with special needs. It is an OpenGL-based compositing and window-manager. Compiz is the original compositing window manager from Novell's XGL project. It is developed by David Reveman and community.

Compiz is one of the first compositing window managers for the X Window System that uses 3D graphics hardware to create fast compositing desktop effects for window management.

By default Compiz configuration settings manager is not installed under Ubuntu Linux 7.10. So first install compiz manager:
$ sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

Please note that compiz only worked with 3D hardware which was supported by Xgl. Most NVIDIA and ATI graphics cards are known to work with Compiz on Xgl. On board Intel card (Intel GMA) also reported working with compiz.

Turn on 3D Compiz Effects

Right Click on Desktop > Change Desktop Background > Select Visual Effect Tab > Select Extra or Custom
Ubuntu Linux: Turn on 3D Compiz Effects for the X Window System
(click to enlarge image)

Save the changes.

How do I use or see the 3D effects?

Now everything is turned on, but how do you use it? Just hit the following key combinations to see effects:

  • ALT + TAB: Switch windows
  • Windows key + Tab: Switch windows
  • Ctrl + Alt + Left/Right Arrow: Switch desktops on cube
  • Ctrl + Alt + Left-click anywhere on wallpaper and drag
  • Try minimizing and maximizing windows
  • Try Dragging windows
  • Double click titlebar
  • Windows key+right-click Zoom-in once
  • Windows key + wheel mouse up : Zoom-in manually

To get idea about 3D effects, please see following youtube video (video may not work inside RSS reader, so click here to view the same):

Further readings:

Compiz Documentation