SurlyJake Blog

Compiz Desktop in Debian Squeeze

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It has come to my attention that this post is out of date. Since Squeeze’s release, I have not been able to update it. Your best bet to get compiz working correctly would be to follow to the directions in the Debian wiki:

Getting compiz running on squeeze is surprising easy. Debian has included a document to help set it up, but there are a few little things necessary to get it to be usable.

  1. Get the packages installed.

    apt-get install compiz compizconfig-settings-manager compiz-fusion-plugins-main
  2. Follow the instructions here: to customize your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file

  3. Restart gdm

     /etc/init.d/gdm restart
  4. open up a terminal and type

     compiz --replace
  5. If a went well, you should see everything flash around as it redraws your desktop.

  6. My window decorations (title bars) dissapeared when I enabled compiz. Additionally, i couldn’t drag windows by clicking on the title bar. To fix this: go to

    1. System –> Preferences –> Compizconfig Settings Manager

    2. Scroll down to the “Effects” section and enable “Window decoration”

    3. Scroll down to “Window Management” and enable “Move Window”

  7. If you want to use the desktop cube and/or workspaces, you will need more than the single or dual workspaces provided by default.

    1. System –> Preferences –> Compizconfig Settings Manager

    2. Click “General options”

    3. Select the “Desktop size” tab.

    4. Set the “Horizontal Virtual size” to whatever you want. For a cube… 4

  8. If you want compiz to start automatically with GNOME:

    Add “compiz —replace” to “Desktop –> Preferences –> Sessions –> Startup Programs”