Tuesday, December 19, 2006

AIGLX/Beryl

Beryl is a super-sweet, super-configurable fork of Compiz (also see earlier post). Here I will describe how I got it set up on my system and some cool things to do with it.

Setup

Here are my specs:
  • 2 Hyundai 17" screens
  • 32-bit OS (Ubuntu Edgy Eft 6.10)
  • nVidia Geforce graphics card
Following the instructions on the Unofficial Edgy Eft Starter Guide, I got AIGLX/Beryl to work on only one screen without problems. To enable Twinview (sharing one desktop accross two physical screens), enter sudo nvidia-settings in a terminal and go to X Server Display Configuration (this, by the way, beats the hell out of hacking the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file). Click the Configure... button on the middle right and select Twinview. Be sure to back up your xorg.conf file before clicking Save to X Configuration File at the bottom and then exiting out of the settings manager. Hit Ctrl+Alt+Backspace to restart the X server.

Unfortunately, Beryl on Twinview made windows appear without titlebars or borders. I also got this message in the terminal when I disabled the session startup scripts and tried to run beryl-manager in the terminal:

beryl: No GLXFBConfig for depth 32
beryl: No GLXFBConfig for depth 32
beryl: No GLXFBConfig for depth 32

So, to the xorg.conf file! Under the Screen section, add this line:

Option "AddARGBGLXVisuals" "true"

I restarted the X server again and everything worked fine. Well, let me qualify that: at least nothing was obviously wrong. Some things are still somewhat slow like window resizing and scrolling. It appears that
others are having similar problems. However, this works well enough for me.

Features/Cool things to do

All these commands (and the themes) are completely configurable... just fool with the settings by clicking on the red stone in the system tray and selecting one of the managers... here are just some of the default settings
  • Ctrl+Super_L: water drop on desktop (hold down keys and move mouse for trail)
  • Shirt+F7: Window wake
  • Shirt+F9: Raindrops
  • Super+Mouse Wheel: Zoom
  • Alt+Mouse Wheel: Make a window transparent/opaque
  • Super+N: Make a window negative
  • Super+M: Make the whole screen negative
  • Alt+Left Mouse Button: Drag a window
  • Alt+Click Wheel: Resize a window
  • Ctrl+Alt+Left/Right: Spin the cube
  • Ctrl+Alt+Left Mouse Button: Drag the cube
  • Alt+Tab: Switch applications
  • F10: Expose-like effect
Here's where to configure desirable features in the Beryl Settings Manager:
  • A 3D world: Have windows separated in a third dimension from each other (drag and rotate the cube to see!)
  • Animations: Flames, Magic Lanterns and such
  • Scale: Expose-like effect
Some Beryl demos on YouTube

No comments: