Sunday, October 21, 2007

Ubuntu 7.10 - Gutsy Gibbon with XGL

Upgraded my Ubuntu to 7.10 yesterday, the coolest add-on to it is the support of Compiz Fusion (Compiz effects came in at 7.04 actually). Some of you might have seen the effects, which I will briefly walk through those that I have experienced later before I end this short blog entry.

A few problems that I experienced after the upgrade were:

  1. Restricted drivers manager not working. It said something like this:
    You need to install the package linux-restricted-modules-* for this program to work.
    Solution: Install the restricted module, e.g.
    apt-get install linux-restricted-modules-2.6.22-14-generic

  2. Couldn't turn on Compiz effects via System -> Preferences -> Appearance -> Visual Effects. It said something like:
    Desktop effects could not be enabled
    Solution: Turn on "Composite" in /etc/X11/xorg.conf, i.e.
    Section "Extensions"
    Option "Composite" "1"

    However, before that, you have to install the GL based X server, i.e.
    apt-get install xserver-xgl

    Then, restart your X server (ALT + CTRL + Backspace) after you have made configuration changes.

  3. IDE and Java applications such as IntelliJ and Netbeans were broken with blank swing interface. I noticed that the menus were still working when I moved my mouse over them.

    Solution: Set AWT_TOOLKIT to MToolkit, for instance, add this entry to /etc/profile:
    export AWT_TOOLKIT="MToolkit"
    Then, reload the profile (source <profile>) and restart your IDE.

To find out what can Compiz effects do, please take a look at this Youtube video. I noticed and managed to discover some newly added effects:
  1. Shadow effects
  2. Maximize and Minimize effects
  3. Blinking/fading effects caused by error/alert, e.g. backspace on an empty text box in Pidgin; filling in invalid phrase in Firefox search box;
  4. Wobbly window effects while it's dragged
  5. Transparent effects (use ALT + Wheel Scroll on a window)
  6. ALT + Tab with real-time snapshots
  7. M$ + E to choose desktops
  8. M$ + Wheel Scroll to zoom
  9. M$ + Right Click to zoom in once

Read these to discover more:
  1. Compiz documentation
  2. Novel - Xgl on Suse 10.1 (see Xgl Shortcuts section)

- yc, impressed

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