Workaround for Pink Shadows with Compiz

This is a bug that’s really been bothering me since I installed Ubuntu 8.04 Beta. When using Compiz, window shadows would appear pink, another odd colour, or not at all. Restarting Compiz a few times would usually cause the shadows to stop displaying.

Compiz shadow working properly

This is a bug in the way that the proprietary Nvidia driver is packaged for Ubuntu. It’s been known for a while, but recently a somewhat easy workaround has been found.

The command below creates a symlink for the Nvidia driver. Copy and paste it (one line) into a terminal and run it:

sudo ln -sf /usr/lib/nvidia/ /usr/lib/xorg/modules/

Log out and back in, and your Compiz shadows should be working properly. Hopefully now it won’t be long until the the package is fixed.

Archived Comments


Which of the NVIDIA drivers are you using?
Neither the 169.x nor the beta 173.x driver has the file
as a matter of fact, (at least for the beta drivers) /usr/lib/nvidia/ doesn’t even exist…

I suspect the suspect the *fix* is in…


Thank you so much, this was affecting my girlfriend’s computer and I didn’t know how to fix it. Thank you.


It’s been a bug for a very long time (on Hardy at least). I’ve had shadows turned off for months.


Thanks for the tip, so far it works.


Hi, yes this fixes the annoying glow issue, but you may have to remove the original .so file first, otherwise linking will just tell you the file already exists.

sudo mv /usr/lib/xorg/modules/ /usr/lib/xorg/modules/


i tried this on my box(ubuntu 8.04+nvidia driver 171.06.01) and it killed X be careful when using this!!


I’m using nvidia-glx-new 169.12 from the Ubuntu 8.04 repositories.


Funny enough I was just researching solutions to this yesterday. I came across an even easier one:
“sudo apt-get install xserver-xgl”
just manually install the ‘xserver-xgl’ package through Synaptic or something.

Hope this helps everyone else, this worked perfectly for me.


Thanks a lot !! This fixed the problem finally…


I ran this from a terminal on my machine 8.04 hardy final, and it fixed the pink shadow issue FINALLY!!!

Thank you!!!



Thanks for the tip, I had the same issue…

I have a question about another problem that has been bugging me for days now:

With Compiz & Gnome, sometimes when I click on a window in the task bar (to display it), it goes half away on another desktop, so it’s partly on each, but it seems the coordinates are somehow wrong, for example if I click on the maximize button for that window, it doesn’t take the full screen and If I click somewhere in it, it doesn’t do it at the correct position… And once it happens, if I click on any other window in the task bar, it gets wrong too. Sometimes the windows disappear completely (even though the process is still running).

The only ways I have to “fix” temporarily the problem is to:
1) close all windows, then it doesn’t do it anymore
2) restart X…

I know my explanation is not quite clear, sorry, but if you had this already, I think you’ll see what I mean.

I tried looking for known bugs but didn’t find any that matched my problem and I’m not too sure where it can come from (gnome, compiz, emerald, ubuntu?).

Thanks in advance if you find anything that can help me ;))

Have a nice day.


Works as a charme, thanks a lot!


Thanks mate, I love you for this.

I did not even have pink shadows but no shadows at all! (using restricted drivers on fresh install with 8800GTS)

The drivers from the nvidia web site worked fine but you have to reinstall them when the kernel changes (fun during the alpha period)

Works great now!


Installing xserver-xgl package fully fixes the shadows bug.
Additionally, glxgears shows twice better performance, boosting fps from 7k up to 14k. CPU usage goes down as well, making the whole UI work noticeably faster.

My PC: Asus G1S (8600M GT) + Hardy (8.04) final.

Yaser Sulaiman

This trick fixed the pink shadows problem.

It also fixed the corrupted transparent window decorations. I temporarily solved that problem by setting metacity_theme_active_opacity to 1 in the GNOME configuration editor. Now, I can make them transparent again.

Thanks Tom!


Thank you, you may have my firstborn child!!!

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