It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s …

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s … No no kiddo, it just Ubuntu running XGL and Compiz! Absolutely your desktop also could look like this! It’s free and it’s beautiful, definitely! Hurry up kiddo, you can see the Xgl/Compiz how to below if you want to try this!

tb xgl tb xgl tb xgl tb xgl
tb xgl tb xgl tb xgl tb xgl

How To Cook XGL/Compiz On Ubuntu (Nvidia)

Just another Xgl/Compiz tutorial based on my experienced when I was installed it on Ubuntu 6.06 LTS.


Xgl is is a new Xserver architecture layered on top of OpenGL and takes advantage of available accelerated 3D rendering hardware. Xgl can perform intricate graphical operations–such as rendering antialiased fonts–noticeably faster than other available Xservers that do not use OpenGL. More important than speed alone, Xgl accelerates complex composite operations, making possible new stunning visual effects through on OpenGL-enhanced composition/window managers like Compiz. These visual effects have broad practical use, making Linux more accessible for the visually impaired, and creating a workspace that is easier to comprehend and navigate for less experienced users.


  • Ubuntu 6.06 LTS
  • Nvidia Graphics Card
  • Xgl/Compiz Packages
  • Some musics please

Breakfast Time

If you want to try Xgl/Compiz on desktop, first I suggest you to download Xgl/Compiz packages from Community Compiz. Well there are the packages on Ubuntu universe repository but this packages are already out of date or lack of plugins and tool that you need to run Xgl/Compiz. So hurry up start your Ubuntu, open the Terminal and your favorite editor (I’m using Gedit in this HowTo).

Done? Now you need to add Community Compiz repository into /etc/apt/sources.list

$ sudo cp /etc/apt/sources.list /etc/apt/sources.list.backup
$ sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

Add the entry below into your /etc/apt/sources.list (place it anywhere you like kiddo)

deb dapper main

Next you need to get GPG key for that repository

$ wget -O - | sudo apt-key add -

Update your packages lists, check if everything work then install the packages

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install xserver-xgl compiz compiz-core compiz-plugins compiz-gnome gnome-compiz-manager cgwd cgwd-themes

Now Xgl/Compiz has been installed in your Ubuntu, not bad huh?

Lunch Time

Now we’ll change some config files if you want running Xgl/Compiz. Get Ready!

Backup /etc/X11/xorg.conf and then edit it please! I assumed that you already installed Nvidia proprietary driver. Please install nvidia-glx package, if you had not installed this package! See help in your Ubuntu how to install it (System > Help > System Documentation.

$ sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.backup
$ sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Find this section (your values may vary)

Section "Device"
    Identifier  "NVIDIA Corporation NV34M [GeForce FX Go5200]"
    Driver      "nvidia"
    BusID       "PCI:1:0:0"

Add this following lines below BusID entry

    Option      "RendelAccel" "true"
    Option      "AllowGLXWithComposite" "true"
    Option      "Triplebuffer" "true"

After this you need to add entry for Xgl into /etc/gdm/gdm.conf-custom. This will change usual X server with Xgl Server.

$ sudo cp /etc/gdm/gdm.conf-custom /etc/gdm/gdm.conf-custom.backup
$ sudo gedit /etc/gdm/gdm.conf-custom

Add the following lines:


name=Xgl server
command=/usr/bin/Xgl :0 -fullscreen -ac -accel glx:pbuffer -accel xv:pbuffer

When your done save all files restart your computer and relax.

Dinner Time

Now we’re ready to see one of the most interesting feature in Linux desktop platform, I’m sure this will change the way people think about Linux. So enjoy your dinner before its cold.

tb xgl tb xgl tb xgl tb xgl
tb xgl tb xgl tb xgl tb xgl

Before this if you want to run Xgl/Compiz you need to create some files & shortcut manually. But now all you have to do is just click the icon, then what will happen next? As you see in the pictures above, your desktop will be floating in space. No shit kiddo!

To run Xgl/Compiz right click Gnome Compiz Manager which is locate in Gnome panel system tray.


See what I mean before? From here you’re ready to explore some cool feature on Xgl/Compiz by yourself. You can rotate your desktop like a cube, scale your desktop like exposé’ feature in Mac OS X, make your windows transparent, makes windows or menus wobble while they are being moved or resized, make your windows look like Vista, etc. etc. What do you think about Xgl/Compiz? Very beautiful isn’t it?

With Gnome Compiz Manage you can set up basic Xgl/Compiz configuration and if you want to explore more Xgl/Compiz configuration you should using Gconf Editor (Application > System Tools > Configuration Editor). Like below, examples of the shortcuts setting that I used for my desktop. You can change it into anything you like using Gconf Editor.

Description Shortcut
Lower Window <Control><Super>l
Raise Window <Control><Super>r
Maximize Window Horizontally <Control><Super>h
Maximize Window Vertically <Control><Super>v
Maximize Window <Alt>F10
Minimize Window <Alt>F9
Unmaximize Window <Alt>F5
Decrease Opacity <Alt>Button5 (Scroll Forward)
Increase Opacity <Alt>Button4 (Scroll Backward)
Show Desktop <Control><Alt>d
Slow Animations <Shift>F10
Toggle Window Maximized Horizontally <Shift><Super>h
Toggle Window Maximized Vertically <Shift><Super>v
Window Menu <Alt>space / <Alt>Button3 (Right Click)
Decrease Brightness <Shift>Button5 (Scroll Forward)
Increase Brightness <Shift>Button4 (Scroll Backward)
Initiate Window Move <Alt>F7 / <Alt>Button1 (Left Click)
Toggle Screen Negative <Super>m
Toggle Window Negative <Super>n
Put Window To Bottom Center <Super>KP_Down
Put Window To Bottom Left <Super>KP_End
Put Window To Bottom Right <Super>KP_Next
Put Window To Center <Super>KP_Begin
Put Window To Center Left <Super>KP_Left
Put Window To Center Right <Super>KP_Right
Put Window To Top Center <Super>KP_Up
Put Window To Top Left <Super>KP_Home
Put Window To Top Right <Super>KP_Prior
Put Window To Restore Position <Super>KP_Insert
Put Window To Viewport Left <Alt>KP_Left
Put Window To Viewport Right <Alt>KP_Right
Start Resizing Window <Alt>F8 / <Alt>Button2 (Middle Click)
Start Cube Rotation <Alt>Button1 (Left Click)
Rotate Cube Left <Control><Alt>Left
Rotate Cube Right <Control><Alt>Right
Rotate Left with Window <Shift><Control><Alt>Left
Rotate Right with Window Shift><Control><Alt>Right
Transforming Windows From All Workspaces F10
Transforming Windows Of Current Application F11
Transforming Windows From Viewport F12
Switch Next window <Control><Alt>Tab
Popup Switcher And Select Next Window <Alt>Tab
Switch Previous Window <Shift><Control><Alt>Tab
Zoom Out <Super>Button4 (Scroll Backward)
Zoom In <Super>Button5 (Scroll Forward)
Initiate Zoom In <Super>Button3 (Middle Click)

Clean Up

Some troubleshooting if you got the problems when running Xgl/Compiz

The wobble effect not working smoothly

  • Open Gconf Editor
  • Go to: apps > compiz > general > screen0 > option
  • Uncheck "detect_refresh_rate"
  • Then set the "refresh_rate" to 60

If you experience problems with keyboard mapping

xmodmap /usr/share/xmodmap/xmodmap.<language>

Replacing you country code for language. For US English I use this command:

xmodmap /usr/share/xmodmap/


Good luck & have a nice day! Cheers!

  1. Aaaarrgggg!!!!!! I want that!!!! Tapi apa daya graphic card tidak mendukung :((

    Beli notebook baru lagi aahhhh *mimpi kaleeeeeee* :((

  2. eh sob pake vga card intel yah?
    ini ada tutorial buat intel pake aiglx, coba2 aja liat di sini
    siapa tau bisa!
    atau mungkiin pinjem kompie tetangga aja klo mo nyoaba!
    heheehue :P

  3. koq gak bisa yaghhhh!!!

    gak ada effek2nya :(
    masksudnya setting shortcut yg terakhir itu gmn sih, plizz jelasin, kirim ke imel yah :)


  4. koq g bisa yah…?
    pdhl udah ngikutin langkah2 dg benar, eh maksudnya yg terakhir (tentang shortcut itu gmn sih?)? koq bikin bingung??

  5. binun yah? hhehehe
    itu untuk shortcut tinggal setting lewat gconf-editor (Applications > System Tools > Configuration Editor) … om pake GNOME kan? klo KDE saya gak tau dimana! trus klo dah masuk gconf-editor tinggal ke apps > compiz … nah dibagian itu shortcutnya disetting (cari2 entri untuk shortcut) … silakan ganti2 sesuai keinginan dan selera! Trus klo pake gnome-compiz-manager juga bisa tuh om setting shortcut tinggal buka aja itu aplikasi lebih mudah lagi! Selamat mencoba!

  6. hehe.. gw udah bosen ama ginian.. skr gak pake lagi :P abisnya gvim jadi lambat.. trus gak bisa (maksudnya gak beres) kalo pake 2 monitor *blom nyoba lagi si*

    gvim lambat waktu pake macbook (vga intel sekian, pake aiglx). trus waktu nyoba 2 monitor jadi kaya 1 layar lebar gtu, bukan sperti xinerama (ini nyoba di desktop).

    akhirnya, ya balik ke yg normal2 aja :D

  7. eh.. window manager nya udah themeable ya? *ketinggalan jaman* jadi pengen nyoba lagi..

  8. iyah window manager dah bisa diganti2 … seru2 sob trus ada yg kaya persis wm-nya human … /me jadi tertarik mo bikin wm sendiri ;) dan lumayan stabil kok bos menurut saya … nah itu cuman boros resource aja! kayanya pake dual core trus memory segede gajah ama vga buat gamer, pasti enak tuh jalaninnya!
    eh pake 2 monitor bisa yah om? blum coba pinjem donk monitor atu lagi! hehehe :-P

  9. Disclaimer : gw newbie. Serius.

    Gw install XGL diatas instalasi Ubuntu yang masih baru. Clean install.

    cgwd dan cgwd-themes gw sempet crash. Ada beberapa dependency yang ga ikut keinstall karena konflik sama satu paket (gw lupa namanya). Bisa jalan setelah gw remove paksa, lalu ngelakuin update (apt-get upgrade).

    Setelah itu baru ngelakuin langkah2 diatas. Hasilnya keren, ini temen-temen entry data (non-programmer) kompinya udah pake Ubuntu semua. Katanya bosen sama tampilan XP yang gitu2 aja.

    Tapi sekarang gw sendiri ga pake ini lagi. Makan resourcesnya meski ga gede2 amat, tetep aja bikin lambat. Sekarang malah pake xfce.

    Eh, ada cara nggak, supaya kita bisa nentuin pada saat login mau pake XGL atau nggak?

  10. konflik ama paket gcompizthemer bukan? /me gak install itu paket!
    iyah si om xgl/compiz cuman enak buat pamer sama tetangga , nunjukin bahwa linux juga gak kalah tampilan dgn os lain … mungkin klo dah full support tuh si xgl/compiz pasti lebih enak makenya!
    dulu ada caranya bikin entri xsessions … mungkin bisa liat disini om untuk info lebih lanjutnya … tp gak tau apakah itu masih bisa dipakai untuk saat ini. *Blum dicoba*

    nb: newbie juga manusia om :)

  11. bisa 2 monitor. kebetulan di lab skripsi kemarenn ada monitor berlebih. daripada nganggur, ya dipake. kalo pake xgl, xxineramanya gak beres.. blom nyoba lagi sih..

  12. kapan2 nyobain ah

  13. [...] To be honest, I feel jealous for Andi, since he already feel the ultimate power of XGL on his box. Why I feel jealous?? Because I can’t run XGL with my small i915 card (I tried XGL before and believe me, you’ll never want to see your box suffered like that). Then few days ago Toni told me about this AIGLX and Beryl thing that runs nice animation (like mac .. i want to be like mac) on default onboard i915 intel cards. Well, gotta give it a try then. First attempt was to search at ubuntuforums and found this nice tutorial and this another one (i prefer the second coz it seem official). As you may think, it became a total failure!!! My desktop turn upsidedown and no respond to any click i gave … ssshhhh, should do the ultimate Ctrl+Alt+Backspace to kill X and login again … [...]

  14. pake ATI gimana niiihh,,,,, nyoba mesti gagal trs Xglnya..
    ada tutorialnya ngakk? ada yg bisa bantu..

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