Controlling desktop effects: Compiz notes for FC12

This post was written by eli on May 4, 2012
Posted Under: Linux

Using Fedora Core 12, I wanted some control over my wobbling windows, and in particular which corner is the hot spot for displaying all open windows.

The first thing I needed to find out, is the name of the toolkit doing this: So it’s Compiz.

First, install the Compiz Configuration Setting Manager

# yum install ccsm

It now appears in System > Preferences (as Compiz Configuration Setting Manager).

The next issue is that the settings are ignored. This is because compiz is executed with the gconf plugin by /usr/bin/compiz-gtk, which is what the Gnome environment runs.

So following one of the comments in this bug report, edit /usr/bin/compiz-gtk so that the runCompiz function in the file’s beginning says:

exec compiz --ignore-desktop-hints glib ccp $@

And to get this launched, go to System > Preferences > Desktop effects, turn off the effects and turn them on again (choose “standard” and then “compiz” again). Note that the preferences in the Desktop effect are now ignored, and the ones chosen in Compiz Configuration Setting Manager are used instead. But hey, this is what I wanted in the first place.

In particular, I moved the “hot corner” to the bottom left, which I hit by accident much less.  This is done in Compiz Configuration Setting Manager > Window Management > Application Switcher > Scale > Initiate Window Picker. Maybe I should exchange this with a keystroke instead.

When compiz crashes

That’s an ugly one. The windows lose their window manager frames, so they can’t be moved. Navigating between windows is impossible or difficult. The trick is to get compiz up and running without messing things up too much.

Quick solution. Use CTRL-ALT-F3 to get a plain textual console, log in, and type:

$ compiz --display :0 --ignore-desktop-hints glib ccp --replace &

Note that ampersand at the end. It’s a bad idea to have compiz running in the foreground (even worse to stop it).

This should be an alias, as a matter of fact. The –display flag is redundant if the command is issued from a shell window (as opposed to the text console).

The –replace flag is most likely not necessary (since compiz has crashed anyhow), but it doesn’t hurt.

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