March 10, 2008

Enabling Composite with Metacity in Ubuntu 8.04

One of the more exciting changes (for those of us who like eye candy and freedom) in Metacity 2.22 is the ability to use Metacity as a composite manager. This means that you can use cool stuff like Avant Window Navigator, or see the pretty version of Gnome-Do without running something like Compiz-Fusion. This is particularly exciting for me, because the compositing in metacity does not rely on GL extensions in graphics drivers. I personally value freedom over shine, so I have chosen to use the free radeon drivers vs. the proprietary fglrx ones that include AIGLX support. I know that on some cards the radeon driver supports AIGLX (better than fglrx does too), but my card is a goofy one, the Mobility Radeon x200m, and the radeon driver does not support 3d on my card. Here is how to enable metacity to run as the composite manager for your gnome desktop. I'm doing this on Ubuntu 8.04 (flock 6).
alex@hardy-test:~$ gconf-editor
In gconf-editor, go to apps > metacity > general and check "compositing_manager." C'est tout! You now have a composited desktop, without running Compiz! Enjoy, mes amis!

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