Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
In part 1, openSUSE got installed and configured on a Compaq Presario V2000 with an ATI Radeon Xpress 200M PCIE graphics chipset and a 32-bit CPU. Now it's time to go for the bling.
How easy is it to get the graphic goodness of Beryl going? Pretty dang easy.
Installing the ATI driver
The first step is getting ATI's proprietary "fglrx" driver installed. (Why do they call it "fglrx"? Maybe it's an acronym for "Free/GPL/Libre Releases X-rays." Who knows?) The openSUSE wiki has a how-to for that, too. The basic steps are as follows:
The installer can run in GUI mode under KDE, or run in text mode from a console. I'd recommend running it outside of X Windows, in a console, for only one reason: its dialog box was too tall to fit on my screen. Besides, you need to be in a console at runlevel 3 in order to enable it using Sax2, anyway.
After accepting the license agreement, choose the "Generate Distribution Specific Driver Package" option, and the installer will create an rpm for you (named something like "fglrx_7_1_0_SUSE102-8.32.5-1.i386.rpm"). Install the rpm (with "rpm -ivh").
sax2 -r -m 0=fglrx
and Suse will configure xorg.conf to use the driver. Type "init 5" to get back into KDE, and it should now be using ATI's driver. You can verify that you are by running the command "fglrxinfo" at a bash prompt. (Accelleration should be enabled by default.)
(Whew. That was harder to write than it was to do!)
Installing Xgl and Beryl
Unless you specifically deselected them during installation, you probably already have Xgl and Compiz installed. Check with "rpm -q xgl" and "rpm -q compiz" at a bash prompt. If they're not installed, simply install them using your favorite package manager.
There's one change to make to /etc/X11/xorg.conf in order to use Xgl. You'll have to add a section that looks like this to the end. (Please ignore those < br / > tags; they're just a figment of your imagination.)
Section "Extensions" Option "Composite" "0" EndSection
You enable Xgl by going to a bash prompt as root and running the command "gnome-xgl-switch --enable-xgl" and then restarting KDE.
Finally, there's one more configuration change to make. There's a "Translucency" option in KDE that's set by default to "on," which has to be turned off in order for compiz (and Beryl) to run correctly. It's in the KDE Control Center under Desktop > Window Behavior > Translucency. Uncheck the "Use translucency/shadows" box and restart KDE again. You should finally see compiz going, and have a desktop cube, which you can roll around by holding down Ctrl+Alt with one hand, and clicking on the desktop and moving the mouse, with the other.
Why not just stick with compiz? You can, of course, but beryl offers a whole lot more options.
By now you know the drill: the openSUSE wiki has a how-to for Beryl. If you're still using YaST to configure repos and install packages, the steps are as follows:
> beryl-manager &
You should at least see a red gemstone icon show up in your system tray -- that's Beryl-Manager. You may need to click on it, then click "Select Window Manager," and choose "Beryl." After that, you may need to click on "Reload Window Manager." If all goes well, you should see the screen flicker, the Beryl splash screen come up, and you're finally done.
Well, almost. There's a ton of configuration options available in the "Beryl Settings Manager," and a bunch of window decorations/themes to choose from in the "Emerald Theme Manager." After all that work, you get to play around with it.
Finally, putting symlinks to /usr/bin/beryl-manager and /usr/bin/beryl-xgl in ~/.kde/Autostart will make beryl start automagically every time you start KDE.
openSUSE is laptop-friendly, has an eye-pleasing KDE configuration, is well-documented and easy to install, and has most of the packages you'd expect from a modern Linux distro. Not everything is perfect, though.