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Using the Composite extension with Xorg

Install Packages

pacman -S xorg - obviously you need this, version 6.8.0 or higher.
pacman -S xapps - contains xcompmgr and transset.

Edit your xorg.conf

Add an "Extensions" section to your xorg.conf, and enable the Composite and RENDER extensions:
(Note: RENDER is automatically enabled if you enable RenderAccel for your Nvidia card -- see below)

Section "Extensions"
        Option "Composite"      "Enable"
        Option "RENDER"         "Enable"

If your graphics card is an Nvidia card, enable RenderAccel in the Device section for your graphics card:

      Option  "RenderAccel"   "true"

Run xcompmgr

xapps comes with a (proof-of-concept) composition manager named xcompmgr. To run it:

xcompmgr -c

To have it run every time X starts, add this to your ~~/.xinitrc:

xcompmgr -c &

Instead of -c you can experiment with the other switches for different types of effects or no effects at all. For example, -cf will include a fade effect.
See xcompmgr --help for a list of options.

Setting transparency on windows

Transset is a program that will let you manually set the transparency of windows.

transset n

.. Where the optional n is a number from 0 to 1. 0 fully transparent, 1 no transparency.

Running transset presents you with a new cursor, and you click the window whose transparency value you want to change.


  • Fluxbox windows won't raise
    This is fixed in fluxbox CVS after 0.9.10. See [1] for more info.
    A workaround in 0.9.10 is to set the layer of the Slit to "Desktop" (flux menu -> Configure -> Slit -> Layer -> Desktop).
  • Mozilla Firefox crashes when entering a Flash site
    Here is how to fix it: Create a executable file in /etc/profile.d called flash.sh.
    Include this in it:

You still have your composite, you still have your flash. Works perfectly. (Thanks punkrockguy318)

  • GLX no longer working?
    Do you get this when running glxgears?
Xlib:  extension \"GLX\" missing on display \":0.0\".
glxgears: Error: couldn't get an RGB, Double-buffered visual.

Then add this here to your device-section:

Option      \"AllowGLXWithComposite\" \"true\"
  • XWindows Freezes up completely, Keyboard is unresponsive, but mouse still works
    If this happens, you probably need to reboot your computer using the button on your computer tower. This appears to be a bug with the Composite extension and Nvidia drivers. Simply remove all the changes from your xorg.conf (ie. Composite, RENDER, RenderAccel, and AllowGLXWithComposite). You will be unable to use the Composite Extension until it becomes more stable.
    Some have found removing the RenderAccel setting alone has prevented lockups.