Linux Compiz Fusion:An Unparalleled 3D Environment

Discussion in 'Computer Software' started by Dark Star, Jul 6, 2008.

  1. Dark Star

    Dark Star Well-Known Member


    Compiz Fusion : An Unparalleled 3D Environment

    Operating System has advanced much from what we used to see/use in 90's . Apple was the first to bring 3D Desktop and several eye catching effect to the user with its OSX based Operating System. But with its limited hardware support OSX is still a mystery for most of users.... Microsoft soon follow the trail as they released their most successful OS Windows XP. Though by default Windows XP doesn't have 3D effects , it provides a handful of useful GUI tools to ease the use of work .. But then all these are heavily paid Operating System.. Seeing these changes Linux started advancing at vary rapid rate, being an Open Source Software Libre people contribute much and within no time Linux surpassed both of them in terms of Eye Candy and Visual Appeal.

    Earlier there were two 3D Composite Manager for Linux namely Beryl and Compiz , both provided plethora of 3D effects .. Compiz Fusion is the result of a merge between the well-known Beryl composite window manager and Compiz Extras, a community set of improvements to the Compiz composite window manager. Compiz Fusion 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.

    If you guys think Mac OSX with its Aqua Interface and MS Windows Vista with its Aero interface is the best looking Operating System , then you are sadly mistaken ! The freedom and flexibility Compiz Fusion provides is beyond imagination..

    When I presented my Desktop to my friends they think its a part of Coding , and people { minority who still don't know about Linux and Compiz Fuison} over Internet might be thinking how those kind of stuff are possible ? Even few advance Windows user might have inception that Compiz Fusion is very tough to use or we have to Compile it blah blah blah..

    If you are among those guys then this “Thread is dedicated for you” ..Here I'll Review Compiz Fusion and all its features in lay mans language.


    Compiz was first Composite Manager for X Windows System developed by Novell. Compiz used the 3D hardware to provide specatular 3D Effects.. Later on Beryl was Introduced , Beryl was developed by few Compiz developers who were removed from the original Compiz project. Beryl was much advance than Compiz..It had Emerald Theme Manager , Animations like Fire etc for Minimize/Close/Open/Maximize Windows..

    In the mid 2007 it was decided to merge Compiz and Beryl projects to release a much better,stable and sophisticated product .. Earlier named Compcomp but later on named Compiz Fusion..

    Compiz Fusion works well with the latest and major Desktop Environment namely KDE 4 / 3 , Gnome 2.2x, Xfce 4.x and others..

    Getting Started​

    You need not to worry that you have to compile Compiz Fusion.. Mostly all the Linux Distribution now ship Compiz Fusion as an addon.. Most of the Linux Distro make Compiz Fusion as their default Desktop Environment while some provide option to/not to use Compiz Fusion as the default Environment..

    Few Popular Distro that allow out of the Box Compiz Fusion are Ubuntu , openSUSE, Mandriva, Fedora, Sabayon etc.. So all you need to do is to install any of your Favorite Distro and you are on your way to experience a great Composite Manager that will mesmerize you .

    Compiz Fusion come with plethora of new and useful plugins.. Compiz Fusion requires the following component to work properly : -
    • Compiz :– Compiz is an OpenGL composite manager for Xgl and AIGLX.
    • Compiz Decorator :- Compiz provides support for Windows Decorator for both GTK and QT desktop. Though you can use an universal decorator named Emerald.
    • Compiz Fusion : - Compiz Fusion is a set of applications based on the compiz OpenGL compositing manager. It uses the ccp configuration backend, contains additional compiz plugins, and provides the ccsm configuration interface.
    • Compiz Plugins : -Compiz Fusion has now lots of more sophesticated and complex plugins database when compared to earier Composite Manager..These Plugins are divided into different categories..
    1. Main : - This is the most stable set of plugins that are included by default. This is a combination of the Compiz Extras and Beryl communities
    2. Extra : - This set of plugins add extra features to Compiz.. Providng you a cutting edge 3D desktop. These plugins will be installed after you will install Compiz Settings Manager.
    3. Unsupported : These set of plugins do work but might create some trouble with Compiz. These are third party plugin will are not developed by Compiz developers.
    4. Development :This set contains plugins under development.. Some of the third party plugins are also a part of it.
    Compiz Config Settings Manager : This is one stop for managing all the installed plugins.. You can enable/disable any plugin, enable new feature [pre-installed], change settings,add vide/text/picture support and many more..

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    System Requirements : Few people might be thinking what does it takes to run all those Glorious effects.. and after witnessing Vista heavy system requirements people might be thinking that it just another pocket burner.. So let me tell you are wrong ! Compiz Fusion just works fine in 256 MB of Ram with decent processor. I have been running Compiz Fusion in Pentium 4 with 256 Mb Ram now 768 :p and all the effects works like a charm in Intel Onboard Graphics..

    Though few effects like Water requires special drivers say better Open Gl support that can be gained from Onboard ATI and nVIDIA card.. Compiz can even work great on 256Mb if you choose the Right Desktop Environment. Like XFCE + Compiz Fusion will be less resource hungry combo :)

    Considering you have installed a new Linux or Compiz Fusion, its time to begin.. Most of the new distro comes with easy Switching Option.. In Gnome Appearance Tool provide option to Enable/Disable Compiz, in KDE it depends on distro. Distro like Mandriva, openSUSE allow to enable from their respective Control Center..

    Few other method to Enable Compiz fusion are Fusion Icon , Compiz Switch or you can enable Compiz Fusion by pressing ALT +F2 and then typing compiz –replace

    Eye Candy / Plugins​

    Its all done Compiz Fusion/Linux Distro installed now its time to learn about plugins that Compiz Fusion comes with ..As already told few distro doesn't comes with Copiz Config Settigs Manager , so you have to install CCSM to explore the full potential of Compiz Fusion..

    The Compiz Settings Manager has divided the plugins into the following categoris :
    1. General : The Section allows you to tweak Compiz and its plugin to work as you want..This Section contain all the tweaking tools from Compiz.
    2. Accessibility : The Section allows you to configure Compiz to sits your Viewing,Reading , Work ability... This Section Consists of Plugins named Add Helper , Brightness & Saturation, Colour Filter, Enhanced Desktop Zoom, Show Mouse, Magnifier, Negative and Opacity.
    3. Desktop : This is the section from where all eye candy part begings.. This section will provide plugin that will make your desktop twist,turn, multiply and more.. This section consists of Plugins named Clone Output , Desktop Cube, Desktop Plane, Desktop Wall, Expo, Fade to Desktop, Rotate Cube, Show Desktop, Viewport Switcher and Widget Layer.
    4. Effects : This Section provide various plugins to pimp up your daily work ... Consists of 3D Windows, Animation, Bicubic Fllter, Blur Windows, Motion Blur, Cube Gear, Cube Atlantis, Cube Deformation & Reflection, Fading Windows, Snow, Log In/LogOut, Minimize Effect , Paint Fire On the Screen , Reflection, Water Effect, Trailfocus, Windows Decoration and Wobbly Windows.
    5. Extra : This section contains few extra effects namely Annotate, Benchmark, Screenshot, Splash and Windows Preview.
    6. Image Loading : This Section consists plugins which support image processing under Compiz Manager..
    7. Utility : This section contains Primary plugins which allow Compiz to interact with system components easily and efficiently . Consists plugins like Crash Handler, Cube Caps, Dbus, Error Notification, Glib, Inotify , Mouse Position Polling, Regex Matching, Resize Info, Scale Addon, Scale Window title filter, Userspace Filesystem, Session Managment, Video Playback, Workaround.
    8. Windows Management : This section consist the most useful plugin that ease the switching of multiple Windows at once.. People working with multiple Windows would love these plugins.. Some of them are Application Switcher, Extra WM Action, Group Tab and Windows, Maximumize, Place Windows, Put, Resize Windows, Ring Switcher, Scale, Shelf, Shift Switcher, Snapping Windows, Windows Rules..
    Note : Plugins can vary from distro to distro and the version of Compiz Fusion you have installed..

    So you have learn a bit about Compiz and its plugin . Lets a take deep look about Major plugins of the Compiz Fusion..

    3D Desktop : One of the exotic features of Compiz Fusion which turns your desktop into 3d Cube,Sphere, or Cylinder.. This plugins provide optimum eye candy when all related plugins are Enabled namely Rotate Cube, Cube Deformation and Plugin, Cube Caps.. This plugins comes handy in switching Workspace or Multiple Desktop. People used to work with multiple desktop will find this plugins handy . Along with eye candy it can be useful in making work easy and zippy..

    The newer version of Compiz 0.76 or above features new plugins Cube Deformation and Reflection. This new plugin is the merger of new Cube Deformation and old Reflection plugin.. With the help of this plugin you can turn your desktop into cool looking 3D Calender or Sphere..

    Key Bindings / Shortcuts : CTRL + ALT + Mouse 1

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    3D Cube | 3D Cylinder | 3D Sphere

    Unfold : As the name indicates this plugin unfold all the work space into sheet of Desktop.. This plugin is a part of 3D Cube.. This plugin is also good for Workspace Switch..

    Key Bindings / Shortcuts : CTRL + ALT + Down Arrow Key


    Unfold Plugin

    3D Windows : This plugin turns all the active Windows into 3d looking Windows when you are using 3d Desktop Cube plugin..


    3D Windows during 3D Sphere

    Animation : This plugins provide astonishing effect .. This plugin provide eyecandy to the Minimizing/Maximizing/Opening and Closing Windows... This is the most highly customizable plugin ,provide plethora of beautiful effects.. This Plugin will turn provide effects like Airplane, Beam Up, Burn, Curved Fold, Domino, Dream, Explode, Fade, Fold, Glide 1 and 2, Horizontal Fold, Leaf Spread, Magiz Lamp, Razr, Sidekick, Skewer, Vaccum, Wave and Zoom.. You can even chose Random Effects for different effects at every action..

    Animation turns working with Windows a real fun and using Animation plugin infront of Windows User proves great.. You just can notice the sheer jealous in their eyes.. Animation does not restricts to Windows it provides effects even to Menu's , Tool Tip and Pop Ups..

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Burn | Explode | Razr | Skewer

    Expo : Expo plugin is most useful plugin for shifting documents/windows from one workspace to another..It easy to use and switching workspace was never easier than this , thank to the Expo. Apart from moving Windows to another Workspace it provide great eye candy , sure Compiz Developer has lots of idea to merge Fun with work :)..

    Key Bindings / Shortcuts : SUPER [Windows Key] + E


    Expo Plugin

    Windows Switcher : Compiz comes with 3 useful and beautiful Windows switcher , these switcher make easier to distinguish between Windows and help you easily find the exact Window that you want in no time.. Using these switcher not only saves time but also provide great eye candy.. The three Switcher are as follow :--
    1. Application Switcher : - Application Switcher is the most simple switcher , provide a Thumbnail of the Windows with name in a Rectangular Stack , it proves to be the most useful switcher. Unlike other two its very low on system usage..This plugin comes handy when working with multiple Open Windows..
    2. Ring Switcher : - Ring Switcher is an old plugin for the Beryl Barracks.. It allow to organize your Windows in a Ring and will let you switch to your Windows in a modern fashion..
    3. Swift Switcher : - Following the latest trend in the marker, Compiz Developers has provided Swift Switcher with 2 new face.. Swift Switcher can be modified into 2 new looks. Namely Flip and Cover. The former is idolize from Vista Flip 3d and the latter is similar to iTunes Cover Switcher..
    Key Bindings / Shortcuts : CTRL + SHIFT + S

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Cover Switcher | Flip Switcher | Ring Switcher

    Group Tab and Windows :
    Group tab and Windows allow you to merge all your open Window in a Single Window . That will save space and allow you quick access to any of the merged window if you want.. Tabbing Windows in this fashion is pretty useful for developers and for those people who tend to open lots of Windows ... This plugin help user to manage Windows easily and efficiently significantly saves people frustration.This plugin also saves space in the Taskbar by not over populating the Taskbar..

    Key Bindings / Shortcuts : Selection : ALT + S

    Tabbing : ALT + T

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Tabbed Windows Preview | Tabbed Windows In Action | Grouped Windows

    Accesbilty Plugins : These plugins help user to set the OS according to their need.. These plugins comes handy if you have low eyesight, and other problem. These plugins help you do your day to day work with ease even if you have some problems.. Some of these plugins are :-
    1. Brightness and Saturation
    2. Enhanced Zoom / Desktop Zoom
    3. Colour Filter
    4. Negative
    5. Show Mouse..
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Before & After Enhanced Zoom

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Negative & Show Mouse Plugin

    Pain Fire & Annotate Plugin : These are enhanced plugin that let write in your desktop.With the help of these plugins you can draw arrow that help you doing Presentations and Showing Documents..

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Annotate & Paint Fire

    So this is it.. I have tried to cover major plugins of Compiz Fusion.but this doesn't meant that Compiz is limited to this , the plugin directory is far more complex..This is just a preview... Compiz Fusion stands out to be the best 3D desktop Environment not only in terms of Eye Candy but it ease the interaction of User and Computer.. There are few other plugins to look at like Paint Fire, Snow, Water, Cube Gears , Cube Atlantis..

    You can even install development plugins from GIT . Compiz Fusion is Open for everyone so if you want to contribute go ahead :)

    Still thinking , stuck with old boring Windows and limited resources ? C'mon make the move..Its time for you to experience the next Gen Windows Manager coupled with a strong base i.e. Linux...Leave the old boring Windows and Mac.. Try new Try Linux. .

    Keep the Comments and Suggestions Coming


    Darky.. ;)
    15 people like this.
  2. DanDroiD

    DanDroiD New Member

    as always... a great Job Darky :D ...

    You must spread some @%! around.... blah blah... sorry... reps next time :p
  3. SidhuScorpion

    SidhuScorpion New Member

    Gr8 guide DS, good effort.:)
  4. cool_cat

    cool_cat Active Member

    so attractive!
  5. vishalrao

    vishalrao Global Moral Police

    this "spread reps" thing should also deactivate after a certain time, meaning i dont need to unnecessarily spread reps around (to random people) just to give it to someone who earns it regularly... but i should be able to simply re-rep if some time period elapses...
  6. OP
    Dark Star

    Dark Star Well-Known Member

  7. ArZuNeOs

    ArZuNeOs New Member

    nice tut for the tux fans
  8. FilledVoid

    FilledVoid New Member

    Excellent write up!
  9. gamepagol

    gamepagol Active Member

    just awesome i can say:hap2: ... will try after i got my old hdd back...

    specially 3D Sphere n 3D Cylinder
  10. spynic

    spynic New Member

    good stuff there.. havent tried the spherical stuff yet
  11. rushabht

    rushabht New Member


    10 chars!
  12. cool_cat

    cool_cat Active Member

    dugg mr.shashwat :D
  13. OP
    Dark Star

    Dark Star Well-Known Member

    Thanks a lot :) I hope it somehow make to popular page :p
  14. unni

    unni Active Member

    Me too dugg. By the way, this is my first post on this forum.
  15. Balkazzaar

    Balkazzaar New Member

    u will never stop to amaze people with Linux...simply awesome i say...good job man...:) as always....
  16. vpp84

    vpp84 New Member

    Its just getting better day by day...cant w8 till it gets proper Windows Replacement!
  17. anibhatt

    anibhatt Active Member

    congratz on hitting digg's main page :D
  18. Safin

    Safin Well-Known Member
    Super Mod

    Congratulations for digg front page :)

    You now join an elite club to be repped by me :p
  19. Lackey

    Lackey New Member

    awesome post :)
    if i just had that kinda config now..!!
  20. OP
    Dark Star

    Dark Star Well-Known Member

    Lol :p Thanks :D Yep am a bit surprised to see people response :p Was thinking of 80+ diggs but now it reached over 630 :p

    P.S: 850 guest and 1 Member :p

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