Dec 5 2007

How to enable advanced Compiz Fusion desktop effects in Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon (7.10)

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If you run Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon (7.10) and your video card will handle the effects, you’ll notice that a subset of effects from Compiz Fusion are enabled by default. You can change to more advanced effects by going to System -> Preferences -> Appearance, clicking on the “Visual Effects” tab and choosing the “Extra” option.

This is OK, but you know your inner geek wants the over-the-top spinning cubes, wobbly windows, flame-writing effects. Fortunately, this is an easy task. The steps are below:

-Go to the terminal and type:
sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

-Now go to System -> Preferences -> Appearance, click on the “Visual Effects” tab, and choose the “Custom” option. Beside the “Custom” option there is a “Preferences” button.

This will open up the settings menu for Compiz-Fusion that you did not have before.

That’s it! Really it is. Play around with the settings until you are satisfied. Warning: This can be a HUGE productivity drain ;)

Now you can have desktop effects like the ones in the video below (I know this is an older Compiz video, but it is still my favorite). With the compizconfig-settings-manager installed, all of the effects shown in the video can be turned on if your video card will handle it.

Happy Cube Spinning!

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6 Comments on this post


  1. Tim Spencer said:

    Great work. How do I get all 4 sides on the cube? Looks like I only have 2.

    February 18th, 2008 at 1:54 pm
  2. Tim Spencer said:

    Nevermind! I got it – under the general tab set horizontal to 4 and number of desktops to 4. Werd.

    February 18th, 2008 at 2:34 pm
  3. BeNiza said:

    Good work. Really informative, i struggled a lot to get it done until I visit here. Thanks. BTW, I think it would be a great help if you could tell us how to do the same using Synaptic?

    March 24th, 2008 at 6:06 am
  4. Oscar Salguero said:

    Learn how to enable the effects at:

    (In Spanish, soon in English and Deutsch)

    October 14th, 2008 at 10:44 am
  5. Oto Kiralama said:

    Great work.
    Thank you..

    June 17th, 2010 at 12:00 pm
  6. navanee said:

    I am using Dell inspiron n5010 with specification is intel 3i processor,3GB Ram,320 GB HD and OS is Windows 7 & ubuntu 10.10
    my problem is i can’t enable the NORMAL visual effects,when i enable the normal visual effects it say “Desktop effects could not be enabled”,please give a solution for me.

    July 9th, 2011 at 1:36 pm


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