Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Howto: ATI fglrx driver + Xgl + compiz on Debian Sid for KDE users

Filed under
Howtos

A how-to on manually installing Xgl and compiz on Debian Sid, for KDE users, with the proprietary ATI graphics driver ("fglrx").

Note: This how-to was done with Kanotix, which is very close to stock Debian Sid. I think it'll work on stock Debian Sid, but since I don't have Sid on my spare partition at the moment, I can't test it. If someone here can, it would be much appreciated.

Note: You should already have the fglrx driver installed and enabled before you start installing Xgl.

Note: If you have an nvidia card, AIGLX is a much better way to go than XGL. The new beta nvidia driver, v1.0-9626, supports AIGLX. AIGLX is better for the following reasons: AIGLX is built into X.org (whereas Xgl runs on top of X.org), so it's easy to enable and will get regular updates along with the rest of X.org; and you still get 3D accelleration with AIGLX, meaning you can run, for example, Google Earth (you don't get 3D accelleration with Xgl).

So why not run AIGLX with the ATI driver? Because, as far as I can tell, the proprietary ATI driver doesn't support the "composite" extension. Evidently you can run AIGLX using the non-proprietary "radeon" driver, but it's much slower. So, on my laptop, which has an ATI Radeon Xpress 200M, for example, if I want those fancy desktop effects, I'm stuck with Xgl.

1.Install the following packages from the normal Sid repositories:
libdrm2
libpng3
libxdamage1
libxcomposite1
libxfont1
libglitz1
libglitz-glx1
libgl1-mesa-glx
libfontenc1

Note: Even though compiz packages are in Sid now, they're aimed at GNOME users and don't come with a Preferences utility or a Theme Selector utility. So we'll install a more functional compiz package later.

2. Add to /etc/apt/sources.list:
deb http://cairographics.org/packages/debian/ unstable/
deb-src http://cairographics.org/packages/debian/ unstable/

Then "apt-get update" and install:
libsvg-cairo1
libsvg1

3. Add to /etc/apt/sources.list:
deb http://www5.autistici.org/debian-xgl/debian/ binary-i386/

Then "apt-get update" and install:
xgl
compiz
cgwd-themes

4. Edit /etc/kde3/kdm/kdmrc:
In section "[X-:*-Core]":
change
"ServerCmd=/usr/bin/X -br"
to
"ServerCmd=/usr/bin/Xgl :1 -fp /usr/share/fonts/X11/misc -fullscreen -ac -accel glx:pbuffer -accel xv:pbuffer -br"

Even better, comment out the existing "ServerCmd" so you can go back and forth between Xgl and regular X.

5. Edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf:
In the keyboard section, add: "Option "XkbOptions" "altwin:super_win" "
In the screen section, make sure the default color depth is 24
In the graphics card section, make sure that "sw_cursor" is disabled/commented out

6. Edit /etc/init.d/kdm:
After the "set -e" line, add this line (omit the quotation marks):
"export LIBGL_DRIVERS_PATH=/usr/lib/dri"

At this point, Xgl should be running when you log in to KDE.

7. To start compiz:
Bring up a konsole window and type "compiz-start.py &" You should now have compiz window decorations, wobbly windows, a desktop cube, etc.
You should also have a cgwd icon in your system tray (click on it to set compiz options and select themes!).

In order to start compiz when KDE starts, make a file named "compiz.desktop" with the following text:

[Desktop Entry]
Encoding=UTF-8
Exec=xmodmap -e 'keycode 113 = Mode_switch' -e 'keycode 22 = BackSpace';compiz-start.py
GenericName[en_US]=
StartupNotify=false
Terminal=false
TerminalOptions=
Type=Application
X-KDE-autostart-after=kdesktop

Double-click on it, and the screen should flicker and...you have compiz going, with all the effects (wobbly windows; destop cube; etc.). You should also have an icon in your system tray that allows you to select themes and set preferences.

If you want it to run every time you log into KDE, put it in ~/.kde/Autostart.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

problem with Gtk

I did every step. At my lovely desktop IBM machine it worked. But now i tried it to a laptopt that has an intel videocard it didnt worked.Here is the output when i tried compiz-start.py

/usr/bin/compiz-start.py:199: GtkWarning: Can't set a parent on widget which has a parent

menu.append(item)
compiz: No composite extension
Couldn't load settings. Reverting to defaults.

** (cgwd:3529): WARNING **: Cannot open pixmap: unshade

** (cgwd:3529): WARNING **: Cannot open pixmap: above

** (cgwd:3529): WARNING **: Cannot open pixmap: unabove

** (cgwd:3529): WARNING **: Cannot open pixmap: sticky

** (cgwd:3529): WARNING **: Cannot open pixmap: unsticky

I can see the icon that will show preferences and the seelection at the tray. But there is no compiz effects on the desktop.
I will be happy if you help me.

compiz not installable on Sid

I tried your instructions for installing compiz on Sid. I ran into a dependency problem as the compiz package requires libdbus-1-2, but Sid only has libdbus-1-3 and dpkg/apt-get doesn't recognize it as fulfilling the dependency.

Any ideas as to if compiz will work with libdbus-1-3?

More in Tux Machines

FATHOM releases Crystallon

  • FATHOM releases Crystallon, an open-source software for lattice-based design
    Lattice structures are integral to 3D printed designs, and Aaron Porterfield, an industrial designer at additive manufacturing service bureau FATHOM, has developed Crystallon, an open source project for shaping them into structures.
  • FATHOM Introduces Open Source Software Project for Generating 3D Lattice Structures
    California-based FATHOM, which expanded its on-site managed services and announced important partnerships with Stratasys and Desktop Metal last year, is introducing a fascinating new open source project called Crystallon, which uses Rhino and Grasshopper3D to create lattice structures. FATHOM industrial designer Aaron Porterfield, also an Instructables member, developed the project as an alternative to designing lattices with commercially available software. He joined the company’s design and engineering team three years ago, and is often a featured speaker for its Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) Training Program – and as the project developer, who better to explain the Crystallon project?

Kernel and Graphics: Machine Learning, Mesa, Wayland/Mir, AMDGPU

  • AI-Powered / Machine Learning Linux Performance Tuning Is Now A Thing
    A year and a half ago I wrote about a start-up working on dynamically-tuned, self-optimizing Linux servers. That company is now known as Concertio and they just launched their "AI powered" toolkit for IT administrators and performance engineers to optimize their server performance. Concertio Optimizer Studio is their product making use of machine learning that aims to optimize Linux systems with Intel CPUs for peak performance by scoping out the impact of hundreds of different tunables for trying to deliver an optimal configuration package for that workload on that hardware.
  • Pengutronix Gets Open-Source 3D Working On MX8M/GC7000 Hardware
    We've known that Pengutronix developers had been working on i.MX8M / GC7000 graphics support within their Etnaviv open-source driver stack from initial patches posted in January. Those patches back at the start of the year were for the DRM kernel driver, but it turns out they have already got basic 3D acceleration working.
  • SDL Now Disables Mir By Default In Favor Of Wayland Compatibility
    With Mir focusing on Wayland compatibility now, toolkits and other software making direct use of Mir's APIs can begin making use of any existing Wayland back-end instead. GTK4 drops the Mir back-end since the same can be achieved with the Wayland compatibility and now SDL is now making a similar move.
  • Mesa 18.1 Receives OpenGL 3.1 With ARB_compatibility For Gallium3D Drivers
    Going back to last October, Marek of AMD's open-source driver team has been working on ARB_compatibility support for Mesa with a focus on RadeonSI/Gallium3D. Today that work was finally merged. The ARB_compatibility support allows use of deprecated/removed features of OpenGL by newer versions of the specification. ARB_compatibility is particularly useful for OpenGL workstation users where there are many applications notorious for relying upon compatibility contexts / deprecated GL functionality. But ARB_compatibility is also used by a handful of Linux games too.
  • AMDGPU In Linux 4.17 Exposes WattMan Features, GPU Voltage/Power Via Hwmon
    AMD's Alex Deucher today sent in the first pull request to DRM-Next of AMDGPU (and Radeon) DRM driver feature material that will in turn be merged with the Linux 4.17 kernel down the road. There's some fun features for AMDGPU users coming with this next kernel! First up, Linux is finally getting some WattMan-like functionality after it's been available via the Windows Radeon Software driver since 2016. WattMan allows for more fine-tuning of GPU clocks, voltages, and more for trying to maximize the power efficiency. See the aforelinked article for details but currently without any GUI panel for tweaking all of the driver tunables, this WattMan-like support needs to be toggled from the command-line.

Wine and Ganes: World of Warcraft, Farm Together, Madcap Castle, Cityglitch

Security Leftovers