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Summary help replacing me
Compiz Configuration
Cairo Compmgr

Compiz is a compositing window manager. It provides its own window manager, Emerald. Therefore it cannot be used simultaneously with other window managers such as Openbox, Fluxbox, or Enlightenment. Users who want to keep their current window managers and add some effects to it may wish to try Xcompmgr instead.



Users of major DEs can make good use of compiz-manager, performing brief requirements checking and switching to fallback WM in case of errors. Discovering setup and hardware issues can also be done with compiz-checkAUR script (available in AUR).


All compiz packages, available in official repositories, can be installed with group compiz-fusion.

For those who do not want to install EVERYTHING there are also groups compiz-fusion-gtk and compiz-fusion-kde for Gnome or KDE correspondingly.

Users who wish to select the packages individually may start with compiz-core and one of decorators.

Note: Lack of configured window decorator can render your X workspace slightly unusable.

Initial configuration

While the appearance of the windows and their contents is a function of GTK+ and Qt, the frames around the windows are controlled by the Window Decoration plugin. To use it make sure you have a window decorator installed. Depending on what packages you have downloaded you can choose among several window decorators. The most common ones are Emerald, kde-window-decorator, and gtk-window-decorator. The emerald decorator has the advantage that it fits better to compiz's screen handling and offers transparency effects. To set your default window decorator type the following command string in the "Window Decoration" plugin's settings under the field "Command".

Ensure that the "Window decorator" plugin is enabled in ccsm's "effects" tab, the "command" field is filled in to start a decorator.

To set emerald as your default window-decorator type:

emerald --replace

To set the kde-window-decorator as an alternative to Emerald type:

kde4-window-decorator --replace

To set the compiz-decorator-gtk as an alternative to Emerald type:

gtk-window-decorator --replace

Activate important plugins!

There is high possibility that you will want to activate a few plugins that provide basic window manager behavior or else you will have no ability to drag, scale or close any windows as soon as compiz is activated. Among those plugins are "Window Decoration" under Effects and "Move Window" & "Resize Window" under Window Management. Ccsm may be used to achieve this. Launch CompizConfig Settings Manager:

$ ccsm
Simply put check marks next to those plugins to activate them.

Additional software


  • Emerald — Compiz's own window decorator with few dependencies. (Note: Works but is buggy and no longer maintained) || emerald


Starting Compiz Fusion

Manually (with "fusion-icon")

Launch the Compiz Fusion tray icon:

$ fusion-icon
Note: If it fails (almost never), you may try it with dbus-launch:
$ dbus-launch "fusion-icon"

Right click on the icon in the panel and go to 'select window manager'. Choose "Compiz" if it isn't selected already, and you should be set.

If this fails you can start compiz-fusion by using the following additional command to replace your default window decorator with Compiz's window decorator (Emerald):

$ emerald --replace

Again, note: If you want to use compiz window decorations make sure you have the "Window Decoration" plugin marked in the compiz settings through ccsm.

Manually (without "fusion-icon")

Launch Compiz with the following command (which replaces your current window manager):

$ compiz --replace ccp &

A quick overview over common compiz command-line options:

  • --indirect-rendering: use indirect-rendering (AIGLX)
  • --loose-binding: can help performance issues (nVidia?)
  • --replace: replace current window-manager
  • --keep-window-hints: keep the gnome window-manager gconf-settings for available viewports, ...
  • --sm-disable: disable session-management
  • ccp: the "ccp" command loads the last configured settings from ccsm (CompizConfig Settings Manager) otherwise Compiz will load with no settings and you won't be able to do anything with your windows like dragging, maximizing/minimizing, or moving.


Note: The first and last methods will load Compiz-Fusion as the default window manager instead of KWin. This is faster than loading Compiz with 'fusion-icon' because it avoids loading two window managers at startup. This also prevents that annoying black screen flicker you might see using other methods (when KWin switches to Compiz on KDE's desktop loading screens). The downside is that if Compiz crashes, it may be more difficult to recover your desktop

Use System Settings (easiest)

Go to: System Settings --> Default Applications --> Window Manager --> Use a different window manager

If you need to run compiz with custom options select "Compiz custom" (when you run fusion-icon from a terminal you can see the command line with which compiz was started). Create a file called "compiz-kde-launcher" in /usr/bin. Then make the file executable: chmod +x /usr/bin/compiz-kde-launcher.

For example:

 compiz --replace ccp &

Autostart with "fusion-icon"

Add a symbolic link, that points to the fusion-icon executable, in your KDE Autostart directory:

$ ln -s /usr/bin/fusion-icon ~/.kde4/Autostart/fusion-icon

Next time KDE is started, it will load fusion-icon automatically.

Autostart Link without "fusion-icon"

Warning: DO NOT create compiz.desktop if you intend to install compiz-decorator-gtk; it will create a file conflict.
  • Append a desktop entry in the KDE Autostart directory. If it doesn't already exist (it should), create the file ~/.kde4/Autostart/compiz.desktop with the following:
[Desktop Entry]
Exec=/usr/bin/compiz ccp --replace
# name of loadable control center module
# autostart phase
# name we put on the WM spec check window
# back compat only
Note: If compiz.desktop already exists, you may have to add "--replace" and/or "ccp" to the Exec variable. Without "--replace", Compiz won't load since it will detect another window manager already loaded. Without "ccp", Compiz will not load any of the settings and plugins that you have enabled through CompizConfig Settings Manager (ccsm) and you won't be able to manipulate any of your windows.
  • If you want to use the optional fusion-icon application, launch fusion-icon. If you log out normally with fusion-icon running, KDE should restore your session and launch fusion-icon the next time you log in if this setting is enabled. If it doesn't appear to be working, ensure you have the following line in ~/.kde4/share/config/ksmserverrc:
Note: This is a KDE specific setting that will allow you to restore other apps next time you log in, not just fusion-icon.

Export KDEWM without "fusion-icon" (preferred)

As root you must create a short script by doing the following in your terminal. This will allow you to load compiz with the switches because doing it directly via export KDEWM="compiz --replace ccp --sm-disable" doesn't seem to work.

$ echo "compiz --replace ccp --sm-disable &" > /usr/bin/compiz-fusion
Note: If this line doesn't work, make sure the "fusion-icon" package is installed and then use this line instead:
$ echo "fusion-icon &" > /usr/bin/compiz-fusion
Be sure to complete the whole method before trying this substitute.

Ensure that /usr/bin/compiz-fusion has executable (+x) permissions.

$ chmod a+x /usr/bin/compiz-fusion

Choose one of the following:

1) Compiz for your user only --> Edit the file ~/.kde4/env/ and add the following line so KDE will load compiz (via the script you just created) instead of loading KWin.
2) Compiz system wide --> Edit the file /etc/kde/env/ and add the following line so KDE will load compiz (via the script you just created) instead of loading KWin.
Note: If that still doesn't work, yet another alternate way to accomplish the above method is to include the line
export KDEWM="compiz-fusion"
in your user's ~/.bashrc file.
Note: If you optionally use the /usr/local/bin directory it may not work. In that case you should export the script including the whole path:
export KDEWM="/usr/local/bin/compiz-fusion"


If you have installed GNOME3 with gnome-shell, either enable forced Fallback Mode (System Info > Graphics) or simply uninstall gnome-shell.

Note: Fallback Mode is not necessary if you choose the Compiz/Cairo-Dock session method below.

Alternate Session for GNOME (Preferred Method for Experienced Compiz/Dock Users)

The gnome-session-compizAUR can be used to add an additional menu entry in the GNOME session login dialog. This method does not require foced fallback mode and/or modifications to sensitive system files/settings. Also, you can switch between GNOME Shell and Compiz/Cairo-Dock between sessions. If you can't get it working, you can always go back to your original GNOME session.

For this method to work, Compiz and Cairo-Dock (Taskbar/Panel) may have to be configured initially for fresh accounts, from another working session (ccsm in GNOME Shell worked fine for me).

This method completely replaces the GNOME's window manager and panel (they are not launched at all, rather than being replaced or killed later). So, before actually switching to this alternate session, you may want to configure corresponding/alternate features of the original panel application in Cairo-Dock:

  • Add Application Menu icon to Cairo-Dock and remember its key-bindings.
  • Remap Application Menu key-bindings to ALT+F1 and ALT+F2, for convenience.
  • Add Clock, WiFi, NetSpeed icons to the dock as applicable.
  • Add Log-out icon:
    • Set the command for logout to "gnome-session-quit --logout"
    • Set the command for shutdown to "gnome-session-quit --power-off"
  • Add the Notification Area Old (systray) icon to Cairo-Dock.

Autostart (without "fusion-icon") (Preferred Method)

This Method makes use of the Desktop Entry Specification to specify a Compiz Desktop Entry and of the GConf default windowmanager setting. Thanks to the Desktop Entry you should be able to select Compiz as a windowmanager out of GDM.

1)If the following file doesn't already exist (it should), create it /usr/share/applications/compiz.desktop containing the following:

[Desktop Entry]
Exec=/usr/bin/compiz ccp  #Make sure ccp is included so that Compiz loads your previous settings.
# name of loadable control center module
# autostart phase
##-> the folloing line cause gnome-session warning and slow startup, so try not to enable this
# X-GNOME-Autostart-Phase=WindowManager 
# name we put on the WM spec check window
# back compat only
Note: If compiz.desktop already exists, you must make sure that the "ccp" is included in the Exec variable. Having "ccp" included simply tells Compiz to load your previous settings, otherwise you won't have any functionality.

If the above doesn't work (in most cases it does), for example if you notice some issues with windows refreshing or low performance, try:

Exec=/usr/bin/compiz ccp --indirect-rendering


Exec=/usr/bin/compiz --replace --sm-disable --ignore-desktop-hints ccp --indirect-rendering

Instead of

Exec=/usr/bin/compiz ccp

Some Users noticed a "lag" of 4-10 seconds when loging in from a login manager. The solution is to change the command to:

Exec=bash -c 'compiz ccp decoration --sm-client-id $DESKTOP_AUTOSTART_ID'

as noted in the forum. You can also add the extra parameters as described above if needed.

2) Set some GConf parameters using the gconftool-2 command in a terminal window or do it visually with Configuration Editor (gconf-editor). The following outlines using the command line method, but you can also see which keys to change using gconf-editor:

Note: Since those parameters apply to a given user, you must logout from the root account and log in as that other user before proceeding with the next steps. GConf will fail, if called from a root account.
gconftool-2 --set -t string /desktop/gnome/session/required_components/windowmanager compiz

The following are optional and in most cases not necessary (the respective keys are deprecated since GNOME 2.12). But iny any case, if the above didn't succeed the next two statements are still valid and should be tried.

gconftool-2 --set -t string /desktop/gnome/applications/window_manager/current /usr/bin/compiz
gconftool-2 --set -t string /desktop/gnome/applications/window_manager/default /usr/bin/compiz

Autostart (without "fusion-icon") (With gnome3 fallback mode session)

Edit file /usr/share/gnome-session/sessions/gnome-fallback.session:

Replace your windows manager (gnome-shell,metacity...) with compiz in RequiredComponents line.

Change DefaultProvider-windowmanager line to DefaultProvider-windowmanager=compiz

Here is part of my gnome-fallback.session:

Note: I took out gnome-panel as I am using avant-window-navigator as my panel. I'am using gnome3 fallback mode with compiz, make gtk-window-decorator start with compiz, and make avant-window-navigator start automatically.

Autostart (without "fusion-icon", Gnome prior to 2.24)

This is a way that works if you use GDM (and I'd assume KDM too).

Make a file called /usr/local/bin/compiz-start-boot with the contents:

export WINDOW_MANAGER="compiz ccp"
exec gnome-session

and make it executable (chmod +x /usr/local/bin/compiz-start-boot). Next create the file /etc/X11/sessions/Compiz.desktop containing the following:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Compiz on GNOME

Select Compiz on Gnome as your session and you're good to go.

Autostart (with "fusion-icon")

To start Compiz fusion automatically when starting a session go to System > Preferences > Startup Applications. In the Startup Programs tab, click the Add button.

You will now see the Add Startup Program dialogue. Fill it in as follows.


Compiz Fusion



Comment: (Put anything you like or leave blank.)

Note: You can also use "compiz --replace ccp" instead of "fusion-icon" to load compiz but there will be no fusion-icon. The ccp value will tell compiz to load your previous Compiz settings as configured with CompizConfig Settings Manager (ccsm).

When you're done hit the Add button. You should now see your startup program in the list in the Startup Programs tab. It must be checked to be enabled. You can uncheck it to disable Compiz on startup and switch back to Metacity.

You may also need to use the gconftool-2 command in a terminal window to set the following parameter, otherwise fusion-icon might not load the windows decorator.

gconftool-2 --type bool --set /apps/metacity/general/compositing_manager false
Note: This method will be slower due to the fact that Gnome will first load the default window manager (Metacity), then will launch fusion-icon which will load the Compiz window manager to replace Metacity. Essentially, it will take the amount of time that it takes to load two window manangers to get Compiz loaded. The first method is preferred and eliminates this issue.

Mate Desktop

Autostart (without "fusion-icon") (Preferred Method)

As with Gnome, create a compiz.desktop file (see Compiz#Autostart_.28without_.22fusion-icon.22.29_.28Preferred_Method.29), then set Compiz as the default window manager :

  • on Mate prior to 1.6, edit the following mateconf entries (note: the last two are deprecated values):
mateconftool-2 --set -t string /desktop/mate/session/required_components/windowmanager compiz
mateconftool-2 --set -t string /desktop/mate/applications/window_manager/current /usr/bin/compiz
mateconftool-2 --set -t string /desktop/mate/applications/window_manager/default /usr/bin/compiz
  • on Mate 1.6 and higher, edit the following gsettings value
gsettings set org.mate.session.required-components windowmanager compiz


Xfce autostart (without "fusion-icon")

This method will start Compiz directly through the XFCE session manager without loading Xfwm.

Please note the change to xml config files in XFCE newer than 4.2

To install the session manager, install xfce4-session.

Now we have to configure the default/failsafe session of XFCE.

Edit the ~/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-session.xml or (to make the change for all XFCE users) /etc/xdg/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-session.xml:

Replace the xfwm startup command,

 <property name="Client0_Command" type="array">
   <value type="string" value="xfwm4"/>

with the following:

 <property name="Client0_Command" type="array">
   <value type="string" value="compiz"/>
   <value type="string" value="ccp"/>
Note: the ccp value will tell compiz to load your previous Compiz settings as configured with CompizConfig Settings Manager (ccsm).

To prevent the default session from being overwritten you may also add this:

 <property name="general" type="empty">
   <property name="SaveOnExit" type="bool" value="false"/>

To remove the existing sessions, run:

$ rm -r ~/.cache/sessions

Xfce autostart (with "fusion-icon")

Method 1:
Note: This method is the least preferred since it loads both window managers. All the other XFCE methods only load Compiz without loading Xfwm.

This will load Xfwm first then replace it with Compiz.

Open the XFCE Settings Manager & then Sessions & Startup. Click the Application Autostart tab.


  (Name:) Compiz Fusion
  (Command:) fusion-icon
Note: You can also use "compiz --replace ccp" instead of "fusion-icon" to load compiz but there will be no fusion-icon. The ccp value will tell compiz to load your previous Compiz settings as configured with CompizConfig Settings Manager (ccsm).
Method 2:

Edit the following file (settings in this file is used in preference)

$ nano ~/.config/xfce4-session/xfce4-session.rc

Or to make the change for all XFCE users (root access required)

# nano /etc/xdg/xfce4-session/xfce4-session.rc

Add the following

[Failsafe Session]

Comment out Client0_Command=xfwm4 if it exists.

This will cause xfce to load Compiz instead of Xfwm when the user has no existing sessions.

To prevent the default session from being overwritten you may also add


To remove the existing sessions

rm -R ~/.cache/sessions
Method 3:

Check if this file exists:


If not do:

cp /etc/xdg/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-session.xml ~/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-session.xml

and edit ~/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-session.xml

or (to make the changes for all xfce4 users) /etc/xdg/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-session.xml:

Edit Client0_Command that it look like this:

<property name="Client0_Command" type="array">
    <value type="string" value="fusion-icon"/>
    <value type="string" value="--force-compiz"/>

if --force-compiz doesn't work use compiz --replace --sm-disable --ignore-desktop-hints ccp instead.

Add the SaveOnExit property if missing and set it to false:

<property name="general" type="empty">
   <property name="FailsafeSessionName" type="string" value="Failsafe"/>
   <property name="SessionName" type="string" value="Default"/>
   <property name="SaveOnExit" type="bool" value="false"/>

finally remove old xfce4 sessions:

rm -r ~/.cache/sessions

Now xfce4 will load compiz instead of Xfwm.

As a Standalone Window Manager

The package compiz-core by itself is sufficient to start using compiz-fusion. However ccsm and emerald (or another window-decorator) are additional highly recommended packages. You may install fusion-icon, compiz-fusion-plugins-main, compiz-fusion-plugins-extra or any other package later on at any time.

To autostart compiz-fusion configure .xinitrc to launch compiz as:

exec compiz ccp

You can also add other command-line options to your .xinitrc

Or if using fusion-icon, configure .xinitrc as

exec fusion-icon

However chances are you will need additional apps (e.g a panel) for optimal usability. So to autostart such apps simply add them to your .xinitrc as:

tint2 &
cairo-dock &
exec fusion-icon
Note: Add a terminal-emulator to this autostart list while starting for the first time to help configure compiz.

An alternative method, utilizing a simple script entitled
# add more apps here if necessary or start another panel, tray like pypanel, bmpanel, stalonetray

If this script dosn't work for you, or you get issues with dbus utilize this script:
cd /home/<yourusername>
eval `dbus-launch --sh-syntax --exit-with-session`
/usr/bin/X :0.0 -br -audit 0 -nolisten tcp vt7 &
export DISPLAY=:0.0
sleep 1
compiz-manager decoration move resize > /tmp/compiz.log 2>&1 &
# add more apps here if necessary or start another panel, tray like pypanel, bmpanel, stalonetray

Make it executable

chmod +x

And add it to .xinitrc, like this:

exec /path/to/file/

Feel free to use a different panel, tray, or start a whole bunch of applications with your session. See this forum thread for more info.

Note: Using a separate script instead of running everything from xinitrc is the only way to let all launching applications use ConsoleKit: see this article.

Add a root menu

To add a root menu similar to that in Openbox, Fluxbox, Blackbox etc. you must install the package compiz-deskmenuAUR. Upon a restart of Compiz-Fusion, you should be able to middle click on your desktop to launch the menu.

If it does not automatically work, enter the CompizConfig Settings Manager, and in Commands tab, within the General Settings menu, ensure that there is a command to launch Compiz-Deskmenu, and the appropriate key binding is set to Control+Space.

If it still does not work, enter the Viewport Switcher menu, and change "Plugin for initiate action" to core (NOTE: for versions 0.8.2+ it's 'commands' instead of 'core'), and "Action name for initiate" to run_command0_key.

An alternative is to use mygtkmenu, also in AUR.

Allow users to shutdown/reboot

Refer to this wiki page. If using "The Modern way" of policykit You can add the command to ccsm->General->Commands and assign a short-cut key to it or alternatively you can use a launcher application.



You must do this so your windows function like you expect them to!

Using compiz-manager

In order to use compiz-manager, you need to install it from community:

pacman -S compiz-manager

Compiz-manager, that is now installed in /usr/bin/compiz-manager, is a simple wrapper for Compiz and ALL of its options. For example, you can run


and see what the console returns for more info. You can use it in all the scripts that start Compiz. Very simple!

Using gtk-window-decorator

In order to use gtk-window-decorator, install the package compiz-decorator-gtk and select "GTK Window Decorator" instead of "Emerald" as your window decorator in fusion-icon or whatever other program you are using to configure compiz.

gconf: Additional Compiz Configurations

To achieve more satisfying results from Compiz, you can tweak its config with gconf-editor:

$ gconf-editor

Note that now compiz-core isn't built with gconf support; It is now built with gconf support through compiz-decorator-gtk. So, you need to install it if you want to use gconf-editor to edit your Compiz configuration. The Compiz gconf configuration is located in in the key apps > compiz > general > allscreens > options.

"Active plugins" is where you specify the plugins you would like to use. Simply edit the key and add a value(refer to the key apps > compiz > plugins to see possible values). Plugins I’ve found useful are screenshot, png, fade, and minimize. Please do not remove those enabled by default.

ATI R600/R700 Notes

While using fusion-icon you shouldn't experience any problems because it takes care of everything for you, but if you are using one of the autostart methods that do not involve fusion-icon you will run into trouble. For example when using the Xfce autostart method without fusion icon you must edit ~/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-session.xml per the instructions above. However, if you follow the directions above explicity you will find that compiz does not load. You must instead make your xfce4-session.xml file look like this

<property name="Client0_Command" type="array">
 <value type="string" value="LIBGL_ALWAYS_INDIRECT=1"/>
 <value type="string" value="compiz"/>
 <value type="string" value="--sm-disable"/>
 <value type="string" value="--ignore-desktop-hints"/>
 <value type="string" value="ccp"/>
 <value type="string" value="--indirect-rendering"/>

This example targeted Xfce specifically, but it can be adapted to any desktop environment. It's just a matter of figuring out how to add it to the proper config file. The key thing is the required command which if typed on a command line would look like this

LIBGL_ALWAYS_INDIRECT=1 compiz --sm-disable --ignore-desktop-hints ccp --indirect-rendering

This is how Xfce's session manager interprets the above XML code. Notice that you do not need --replace because you are not first loading xfwm and then compiz.

Tips and tricks


If you are using KDE, GNOME or XFCE and something is not right, for example you don’t see borders for your window, you can switch back to default DE window manager with this command:

wm_name --replace

with kwin, metacity or xfwm4 instead of wm_name.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Default plugin keyboard shortcuts (plugins have to be activated!)

A more detailed list can be found under CommonKeyboardShortcuts in the Compiz wiki or you can always just look at your plugin's configuration (ccsm).


Tango-view-refresh-red.pngThis article or section is out of date.Tango-view-refresh-red.png

Reason: please use the first argument of the template to provide a brief explanation. (Discuss in Talk:Compiz#)

Missing GLX_EXT_texture_from_pixmaps

On ATI cards (first solution) If you run into the following error when trying to run Compiz Fusion on an ATI card:

Missing GLX_EXT_texture_from_pixmap

This is because Compiz Fusion's binary was compiled against Mesa's OpenGL library rather than ATI's OpenGL library (which is what you are using). Re-install libgl-dri (yes you will have to uninstall fglrx temporarily) to get Mesa's OpenGL library.

copy the library into a directory to keep it because ATI's drivers will over write it.

mkdir /lib/mesa
cp /usr/lib/ /lib/mesa

Once you have it copied, you can reinstall your fglrx drivers (It should have been removed when you installed libgl-dri). Now you can start Compiz Fusion using the following example syntax:

LD_PRELOAD=/lib/mesa/ compiz --replace &

On ATI cards (second solution)

An other problem could arise with GLX_EXT_texture_from_pixmap, it is possible that the card could only render it indirectly, then you have to pass the option to your libgl like that :

 LIBGL_ALWAYS_INDIRECT=1 compiz --replace ccp &

(Workaround tested on the following card : ATI Technologies Inc Radeon R250 [Mobility FireGL 9000] (rev 02))

On Intel chips

First off, check that you're using the intel driver as opposed to i810. Then, run the following command to run compiz (must use this every time.).

LIBGL_ALWAYS_INDIRECT=true compiz --replace --sm-disable ccp &

If you then do not have borders, run

emerald --replace

As at 17-Oct-07 the Compiz-Fusion Wiki states: "If you are using an Intel GMA card with AIGLX, you will need to start Compiz Fusion with LIBGL_ALWAYS_INDIRECT=1 appended."

Compiz starts, but no effects are visible

If you have installed compiz-decorator-gtk: Check if GConf schema was correctly installed:

 gconftool-2 -R /apps/compiz/plugins | grep plugins

make sure that all plugins are listed (not only fade!). If not, try to install compiz schema manually (do this as normal user, not as root!!!):

 gconftool-2 --install-schema-file=/usr/share/gconf/schemas/compiz-decorator-gtk.schemas

Note: Compiz basic plugins are not enabled by default. You should enable "Move Window", "Resize Window", and "Window decoration" plugins in settings manager from fusion-icon to have a usable window manager.

Compiz starts, but gtk-window-decorator does not

It is a configuration problem for gconf and gconfd. I solved it by removing ".gconf" dir in my home, but I'm using KDE. If you are using Gnome you should enter your ".gconf" directory and remove all compiz keys. This will erase your compiz settings, so be sure to reconfigure. Finally exec as user:

 gconftool-2 --install-schema-file=/usr/share/gconf/schemas/compiz-decorator-gtk.schemas

Compiz appears to start, but there are no window borders

When you run fusion-icon from commandline, you get output like this:

* Detected Session: gnome
* Searching for installed applications...
* NVIDIA on Xorg detected, exporting: __GL_YIELD=NOTHING
* Using the GTK Interface
* Metacity is already running
* Setting window manager to Compiz
... executing: compiz --replace --sm-disable --ignore-desktop-hints ccp
compiz (core) - Warn: No GLXFBConfig for depth 32
compiz (core) - Warn: No GLXFBConfig for depth 32
compiz (core) - Warn: No GLXFBConfig for depth 32
compiz (core) - Warn: No GLXFBConfig for depth 32
compiz (core) - Warn: No GLXFBConfig for depth 32
compiz (core) - Warn: No GLXFBConfig for depth 32

All you need to do is edit your /etc/X11/xorg.conf and find the "Depth" directive inside the "Screen" section; change all occurences of this value to 24. This occured to me with my colour depth set to 16; but also happens when it is set to 32.

You may also try adding Option "AddARGBGLXVisuals" "True" & Option "DisableGLXRootClipping" "True" to your "Screen" section if you are using the Nvidia binary driver. (Radeon, and the open 'nv' driver will not work with this option as far as I can tell.) If you used any other Options elsewhere in xorg.conf to get compiz working and still have no luck, try commenting them out and using only the aformentioned ARGBGLXVisuals and GLXRootClipping Options.

Note: Check that "Window decoration", "Move" and "Resize" plugins are enabled with Compiz Settings Manager or gconf-editor.

With gconf-editor you can easly enable "Window decoration", "Move" and "Resize" plugins.

 $ gconf-editor

Navigate to apps/compiz/general/allscreens/options

Add/Edit "active_plugins" Key (Name: active_plugins, Type: List, List type: String).

Add "decoration", "move", and "resize" to the list.

Another way to fix this:

  • Launch ccsm.
  • Find windows decoration and make sure it is enabled.
  • Now click on it, to edit the options.
  • If the entry behind command is empty, put the value gtk-window-decorator there.
    • Alternatives are kde-window-decorator and emerald
  • Click Back and Close
  • If all went well, the borders should appear.

Compiz starts and borders appear, but windows won't move

Be sure you have the "Move Window" plugin installed and enabled in the compiz settings manager.

Blank screen on resume from suspend-to-ram using the Nvidia binary drivers

If you receive a blank screen with a responsive cursor upon resume, try disabling sync to vblank:

gconftool -s /apps/compiz/general/screen0/options/sync_to_vblank-t boolean false

fusion-icon doesn't start

If you get an output like this from the command line:

[andy@andylaptop ~]$ fusion-icon
 * Detected Session: gnome
 * Searching for installed applications...
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/bin/fusion-icon", line 57, in <module>
    from FusionIcon.interface import choose_interface
  File "/usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/FusionIcon/", line 23, in <module>
    import start
  File "/usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/FusionIcon/", line 36, in <module>
  File "/usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/FusionIcon/", line 362, in check
  File "/usr/lib/python2.5/", line 172, in makedirs
    mkdir(name, mode)
OSError: [Errno 13] Permission denied: '/home/andy/.config/compiz'

the problem is with the permission on ~/.config/compiz. You have set the owner of a folder in your area as root. To change this, run (as root)

chown <username> /home/<username>/.config/compiz

Choppy animations, even though everything configured correctly

If everything is configured correctly but you still have poor performance on some effects, try disabling CCSM->General Options->Display Settings->"Detect Refresh Rate" and instead choose a value manually. Tested on both nvidia and intel chips. Can work wonders.

Alternatively, if your chip is nvidia and you are experiencing an inadequate refresh rate with "Detect Refresh Rate" enabled in Compiz, it's likely due to an option called DynamicTwinView being enabled by default which plays a factor in accurately reporting the maximum refresh rate that your card and display support. You can disable DynamicTwinView by adding the following line to the "Device" or "Screen" section of your xorg.conf file, and then restarting your computer:

Option "DynamicTwinView" "False"

Doing so will allow XrandR to accurately report the refresh rate to anything that detects it, including Compiz. You should be able to leave "Detect Refresh Rate" enabled and get excellent performance. Once again, this only applies to nvidia chips.

Fix Gnome Screenshot

To re-enable gnome-screenshot (the default behavior caused by hitting Template:Keypress) simply go to Settings Manager>Commands and map 'gnome-screenshot' to the 'PrtScn' key. This is advantageous because you can also use the Compiz-Fusion 'Screenshot' plugin at the same time since the action that enables it is <Super>Button1 thereby giving you two methods to do a screen capture (one of which gives a full screen capture in a single keystroke).

Get GNOME Workspace Switcher work with Compiz-Fusion

In older versions of Compiz, the Gnome Workspace Switcher applet would actually work with Compiz-Fusion (i.e. rotate cube/move plane etc.), but recent versions seem not to. This is due to a new feature introduced in Compiz, which allows real seperate workspaces. For example, if you have a desktop plane with four planes, and have four desktops enabled in Gnome, it sums up to a total of 16 different workspaces. Currently, there is no animation associated with "real" workspace changing. To get the Workspace Switcher work, do the following:

In GConf, set the following options:

/apps/compiz/general/screen0/options/number_of_desktops = 1
/apps/compiz/general/screen0/options/hsize = 4 (this is an example)
/apps/compiz/general/screen0/options/vsize = 1 (this is an example)

Screen flicks with NVIDIA card

For fixing it, create /etc/modprobe.d/nvidia.conf file and add line:

options nvidia NVreg_RegistryDwords="PerfLevelSrc=0x2222"

Fix Custom Cursor Theme on Gnome 2.30

Create or edit /usr/share/icons/default/index.theme for default, or per user (non-root) ~/.icons/default/index.theme, and add this lines:

[Icon Theme]
[Desktop Entry]

"Foo" is the name of the cursor theme.

Screen artifacts on Firefox / Thunderbird

Note: Altough this issue is not strictly related to Compiz, it has been added here due to popular misconception that Compiz itself may be the cause.

Some users noticed a strange behavior with AMD/ATI Catalyst drivers starting from 10.6 release. Artifacts are visible mainly with Mozilla applications, where the GUI shows black spots of variable size. This is caused by different 2D acceleration tecnique introduced with Catalyst 10.6. The problem can be fixed following the troubleshooting steps in the ATI Catalyst page

Setting the window manager back to Metacity after uninstall

Removing compiz with pacman does not set your window manager back to metacity. This can result in no window borders being drawn, an inability to minimize, and an inability to change the focus. To change it back, run the command "gconf-editor" in the terminal (install it if you do not have it already). Use this to set the value of the key /desktop/gnome/session/required_components/window_manager from "compiz" to "metacity". Log out and back in for this change to take effect.

Context menu in applications (firefox, ...?) disappears on mouseover

Try disabling "focus stealing prevention" (general options).

External notes

Troubleshooting page on

See also