Ever wondered how to make your Ubuntu desktop more spiffy? It’s easy when you enable the desktop effects through Compiz Fusion. Compiz “aims to provide an easy and fun-to-use windowed environment, allowing use of the graphics hardware to render each individual window and the entire screen, to provide some impressive effects, speed and usefulness.”
Here’s how you get started:
We need enable Compiz by going to System->Preferences->Appearance->Visual Effects and select the “Extra” radio button.
You can install Compiz settings manager from the terminal…
$ sudo aptitude install compizconfig-settings-manager
or install it from synaptic.
You can access Compiz Settings Manager from: System-> Preferences-> CCSM
Here first we click Enhanced Desktop Zoom and show where we can remap the keys. To zoom (we demonstrate the zoom here as well as using it to show the command line when we install ccsm) the default is super+mouse wheel (super is usually mapped to the Windows key for US keyboards).
Next we click the Animations Add-On, and show what is available, enabling it.
Then onward to animations, and show how to add animations to the random effects pool, and how to turn on random animations. If we don’t select any animations from the pool, the random animations will be from the entire list.
And voila, all the desktop affects you could ever ask for! I’m going to put Compiz in a few sections and next week I’ll be touching base on the aspects of functionality, such as multiple window managing, desktop switching and window thumbnail previews!
[ Note: In order to use Compiz Fusion and most of its advanced effects you will need a reasonably decent Graphics Card. Most of these effects and CCSM can be used is all Linux Distro, but here only Ubuntu is used as an example. ]
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