Install Compiz Fusion and Emerald Window Decorator (Ubuntu 9.10, Fedora 12)

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Compiz comes installed by default in Ubuntu 9.10, and if you have desktop effects turned on then you have compiz activated already. But if you want to customize the desktop effects you would have to install fusion icon. Also if you want to use aero glass like themes with customizable control over shadow and transparency etc, you might want to use Emerald as the window decoration theme manager. So, go ahead and install all the stuff needed by doing this (I am including packages which might already be installed but just in case it wasn’t it would get installed):

sudo apt-get install compiz compiz-plugins compiz-wrapper compiz-gnome compiz-core emerald compiz-fusion-plugins-main compiz-fusion-plugins-extra fusion-icon

In Fedora emerald comes pre-installed with lots of themes, this is not the case in Karmic, you would have to install them manually, you can download themes of your choice from websites like:

Now to have compiz running with your  chosen settings and effects you would need to have the fusion-icon app running at all times. Launch it now from Application>System Tools menu. You should be able to see blue cube icon in your Taskbar (Notification Area). Right click on this icon to reveal this menu:

You can change compiz settings by going into Settings Manager and install new Emerald Themes by choosing Emerald Theme Manager. If anything with the window manager goes wrong and X display looks messed up, then Reloading Window Manager should fix it most of the times. Also for Emerald to be your default window decorator when Compiz is running, you would have to choose it from Select Window Decorator menu.

Next thing to do is to ensure that compiz gets loaded everytime you start your computer. To do this add fusion-icon in the list of Startup Applications inside System>Preference Click add to add new startup application and enter the following data as shown below:

Now Add it and Compiz would be loaded with your chosen settings every time. Let me also list out couple of my favorite  settings for compiz fusion, which you can enable using CompizConfig Settings Manager:

1. Expose effect (you take your mouse to a chosen corner and you get Mac like Expose effect): For this to work all you need is the Scale (plugin inside Wndow Management settings selected)

2. Viewport Switching (switch/flip between your virtual workspace by using mouse roller): This effect used to be enabled by default inside older versions of Ubuntu, but in Karmic they haven’t enabled it by default. You can enable it by selecting the following inside Viewport Switcher settings. This really facilitates the workflow.

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Meditating towards his "nerdvana", lifehacker is a teacher by the day and a nerdy blogger by the night. He lives to learn and yearns to learn living.

2 Comments on “Install Compiz Fusion and Emerald Window Decorator (Ubuntu 9.10, Fedora 12)”


  1. Make Ubuntu 9.10 Look Like Mac (Snow Leopard) « Hack Your Life!
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