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

Linux Foundation Broadens Relationship With Surveillance

  • Facebook joins The Linux Foundation as a platinum member

    Most web-based companies are built on Linux and open-source software. Two-billion member social network Facebook is no different. For years, Facebook has not only relied on open-source, it's been an active contributor to major open-source projects. These include the React JavaScript library; the Open Compute Project, which open sources data-center hardware; and Linux's cGroup2 container software. Now Facebook is joining The Linux Foundation membership at the Platinum level. [...] While Facebook has been criticized for how it deals with privacy and politics, it has impeccable open-source credentials. It was already the lead contributor of many Linux Foundation-hosted projects, such as Presto, GraphQL, Osquery, and ONNX. The company also employs many Linux kernel key developers and maintainers.

  • Amundsen Joins LF AI as New Incubation Project

    LF AI Foundation (LF AI), the organization building an ecosystem to sustain open source innovation in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and deep learning (DL), today is announcing Amundsen as its latest Incubation Project.

  • LF AI Accepts Amundsen as Incubation Project

    The Amundsen data discovery project has joined the LF AI as an incubation project. Amundsen is a data discovery and metadata engine aiming to improve the productivity of data analysts, data scientists and engineers by indexing data resources. “Think of it as Google search for data,” the LF AI announcement said.

Graphics: Mesa 20.2 RC2 and DXVK 1.7.1

  • mesa 20.2.0-rc2
    Hi list,
    
    Available today is mesa 20.2.0-rc2. This is the second release candidate for
    the 20.2 release. Currently our open to close ratio on blocking bugs is looking
    really good. This release is dominated by changes to radeonsi, radv, and aco,
    with a few additional changes sneaking in for freedreno, meson,  etnaviv,
    st/mesa, anv, and a few utility fixes.
    
    Dylan
    
    
  • Mesa 20.2-RC2 Released With Many Fixes For RadeonSI + RADV Drivers

    The second weekly release candidate of the forthcoming Mesa 20.2 is now available for testing. Mesa 20.2 is aiming for release around the end of August or early September depending upon how the bug situation plays out. This quarterly feature release to Mesa3D brings many new Vulkan extensions, the RADV driver using ACO by default, initial support for Navi 2 GPUs, initial support for Intel Rocket Lake and DG1, OpenGL 4.3 for LLVMpipe, and much more as outlined in last week's article.

  • DXVK 1.7.1 Released With Many Game Fixes For Direct3D Over Vulkan

    It's been nearly three months without a new DXVK release for mapping Direct3D 9/10/11 atop the Vulkan API while finally today there is a big feature release out. DXVK 1.7.1 was released a few minutes ago as the first update since May. While the version number isn't significant, this version does have many changes.

  • Direct3D to Vulkan translation layer DXVK 1.7.1 is out, lots of game fixes

    After a few months since 1.7 went out, DXVK 1.7.1 is now live to further improve Direct3D to Vulkan translation. This is the project that helps to power Proton, the compatibility layer for Steam Play. This release adds support for newer Vulkan extensions, fixes bugs and has new GPU driver requirements. On the driver side, the VK_EXT_transform_feedback extension is now required which has been supported in drivers on Linux since late 2018 / early 2019. Specifically you will need at least NVIDIA 415.22 and for AMD / Intel it looks like Mesa 19 covers both.

Devices/Embedded: Raspberry Pi and Android Devices

  • Indoor air quality HAT for Raspberry Pi boasts high-res TVOC sensor

    Avnet’s $49.95 “Renesas ZMOD4410 Indoor Air Quality HAT for Raspberry Pi” can be used to measure volatile organic compounds, humidity, and temperature, as well as estimate carbon dioxide levels. Avnet has launched a Renesas ZMOD4410 Indoor Air Quality HAT for Raspberry Pi (AES-RHSEN-ZM44-G) that joins other indoor air quality measurement add-ons for the Pi including Metriful’s $44.50 Sense module and Pimoroni’s $57 Enviro+ pHAT. The ZMOD4410 HAT lacks some of the extras of those boards, but appears to offer a higher quality total volatile organic compound (TVOC) sensor with its Renesas ZMOD4410, which offers resolution ranging from parts-per-billion to parts-per-million.

  • Tiny module and dev kit run RT Linux on STM32MP1

    Exor’s 25.4 x 25.4mm, extended temp “NanoSOM nS02” module runs real-time Linux and its XPlatform industrial IoT software on a soldered, 800MHz STM32MP157 with up to 1GB DDR3L and 32GB eMMC. An “OpenHMI nS02” dev kit with 5-inch touchscreen is optional. Italian embedded technology firm Exor Embedded has launched a NanoSOM nS02 module that runs real-time Linux on the new 800MHz version of ST’s dual-core, Cortex-A7 based STM32MP157. As with the recent, Apollo Lake based, FPGA-enabled GigaSOM GS01 module, Exor announced the product with Arrow, which will be distributing the module and an OpenHMI nS02 Development Kit (see farther below).

  • Zidoo Z10 Pro & Z9X Realtek RTD1619DR 4K Android Media Players Launched for $229 and up

    We previously wrote about some upcoming Realtek RTD1619 media players targeting the videophone and audiophile crowd, and expected them to launch very soon with models from Zidoo and Dune HD. Zidoo has now launched two models with the awaited Zidoo Z9X and a new, higher-end Zidoo Z10 Pro which can be purchased on Aliexpress for respectively $229 and $349 with free shipping.

  • Snapdragon 626 Powered Rugged Tablet Comes with NFC, RFID and Barcode Readers

    Estone Technology has launched another rugged tablet with UA-80 IP-67 waterproof rated, and MIL-STD-810G compliant rugged Android tablet powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 mobile platform driving an 8″ capacitive touchscreen display.

Python Programming

  • Announcing the new Jupyter Book

    Jupyter Book is an open source project for building beautiful, publication-quality books, websites, and documents from source material that contains computational content. With this post, we’re happy to announce that Jupyter Book has been re-written from the ground up, making it easier to install, faster to use, and able to create more complex publishing content in your books. It is now supported by the Executable Book Project, an open community that builds open source tools for interactive and executable documents in the Jupyter ecosystem and beyond.

  • Holdgraf: Announcing the new Jupyter Book

    On the Jupyter blog, Chris Holdgraf announces a rewrite of the Jupyter Book project. LWN looked at Jupyter and its interactive notebooks for Python and other languages back in 2018; Jupyter Book extends the notebook idea.

  • EuroPython 2020: Live Stream Recordings available

    We’re happy to announce the public availability of the live stream recordings from EuroPython 2020. They were already available to all conference attendees since the sprint days.

  • Learn Any Programming Language with This Learning Plan

    All it takes to master any programming language is the right learning plan. If you know anything about programming you should be aware that often you can’t tell whether what you are doing is wrong until it’s too late. That’s what makes programming a frustrating skill to master — long hours doing the wrong things. But hey, whether you want to make programming your full-time job or just a hobby, you can always make the learning curve less steep. The secret to getting it right with coding is this: have a learning plan! While the plan will not do the hard lifting for you, it will definitely provide the much-needed elbow grease to keep you grounded and focused as you learn programming.

  • Deploying Django to AWS ECS with Terraform

    In this tutorial, we'll look at how to deploy a Django app to AWS ECS with Terraform.

  • Matt Layman: Rendering Calendars - Building SaaS #68

    In this episode, I worked on rendering a calendar of important events in a school year. We built out the appropriate data structures, and I wrote some new model methods and added tests. On the last stream, I created a new model to track breaks in the school year. The app now shows the calendar for the school year, and I want to display the breaks on the calendar. Before digging too far into the code, I provided my thoughts about using Docker for development from a question that came from the chat.