Compiz Troubleshooting

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Notes: please use the second argument of the template to provide more detailed indications. (Discuss in Talk:Compiz Troubleshooting#)


KDE fallback

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

 kwin --replace

GNOME fallback

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

metacity --replace

XFCE fallback

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

xfwm4 --replace

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 don't 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."

Fusion-Icon showing up as red "X" in status bar, icon missing in menus

The GTK icon cache needs to be refreshed (hopefully this will be added in the .install file of the package). Run the following command:

# gtk-update-icon-cache -f /usr/share/icons/hicolor

if this fails try installing the package hicolor-icon-theme:

# pacman -S hicolor-icon-theme

Fixed with new community package.

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:

  • Open ccsm (run it as a command from the terminal, or start it from the system menu).
  • 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 don't 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.

Desktop wallpaper and xorg-server 1.9

Currently the wallpaper plugin of compiz-fusion doesn't act correctly with xorg-server 1.9. to fix it refer to this forum page.

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

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

External notes

Troubleshooting page on