An In Depth Look at Compiz Fusion in Ubuntu

The upcoming Ubuntu 7.10 release will include Compiz Fusion by default. “Desktop effects by default in Gutsy - how Compiz Fusion enhances Ubuntu’s desktop of version 7.10“ explains how Compiz is integrated, the default configurations, what happens when Compiz fails, why Compiz by default is good, and why this might be the right time for it. If you are wondering what Compiz by default means for you, this is what you want to read.

The desktop effects have been integrated very well in the (GNOME) desktop of Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon.

Compiz replaces Metacity almost seamlessly and adds convenient functionality with the help of Compiz Fusion.

While there are still certain issues to resolve until everybody benefits from this (such as fglrx users, although it has to be pointed out that Xgl may not be necessary anymore, at the end of the year) most are taken care of.

Nevertheless, Ubuntu doesn’t want to take risks and excludes certain set-ups without further ado from this decision, so the concerned users shouldn’t even notice there has been changed anything at all.

I found it particularly interesting to find out how the Ubuntu developers must have decided to include Compiz now. The next release is long-term-support, so if Compiz is not it Ubuntu 7.10 it is likely that it would not make it in until the release after 8.04, a full year from now.

But the problem is, the next version (code name: Hardy Heron) of Ubuntu is a LTS release, so it’s best to test those packages thoroughly before this. It’s even questionable if Compiz will be turned on by default in Hardy anyway, so we would have to wait for the release after the next one.

[update] The author has a few more things to say about changes in Ubuntu 7.10 RC.

Archived Comments


I have the 7.10 beta and it does seem to integrate quite nicely. The already pointed out pitfall is for fglrx users needing to use XGL to see the effect. I hope they fix that issue soon. I would also like to see better integration of Emerald into the system.


To get the compiz working with my nVidia 6800 card some /etc/X11/xorg.conf tuning was required. After playing a bit with compiz I decided to go back to Metacity because my special keyboard shortcuts didn’t work with Emerald .

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