How to install Compiz Fusion in Ubuntu Hardy Heron.

Here is a little tutorial in how to install the famous Compiz Fusion. I have it installed in my PC and it runs ok because I have a sucky video card.

1. – First you have to enable your graphic card, so you can use 3D effects go to System > Administration > Hardware Drivers. Type in your password (if it ask you for it) The Hardware Drivers tool should show your graphic card, check the box. A little window should pop up you just hit enable. Now it should start downloading and installing the driver for the video card. Now close the the Change Applied box. After you closed the windows i’ll will ask you to restart the computer go head and do that.

Hardware not installed

Restart Computer


It should look like this after rebooting

New Hardware found

And then like this

Hardware in use

2. – Installing Compiz Fusion

There are two ways to install Compiz Fusion by Terminal or with the Synaptic Package Manager. Open the Synaptic Package Manager. Go to System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager, on the search box type

  • compizconfig-settings-manager
  • eremerald


Click on the boxes and select Mark for installation the packages will have dependencies so accept the dependencies by clicking Mark button. Now click the Apply button. The packages are being downloaded and installed. After the packages are installed close the Synaptic Package Manager.

3. Customizing Desktop Effects.

Use Compiz Settings Manager to configure or customize Compiz’s behavior. Go to System > Preferences > Advanced Desktop Effects Settings. To use Emerald Go to System>Preferences>Emerald.

Compiz Setting Manager

I leave you here with some shortcuts for Compiz Enjoy!

SUPER+SHIFT+C = clear fire
CTRL+ALT+LEFT ARROW = rotate cube
CTRL+ALT+DOWN ARROW = flat desktop
SHIFT+ALT+UP = initiate window picker
CTRL+ALT+DOWN = unfold cube
ALT+TAB = window switch
SUPER+TAB = flip switcher or ring switcher, depending on which is enabled.
ALT+F7 = initiate ‘move windows’
SHIFT+F9 = water effect
SHIFT+F10 = slow animations

CTRL+ALT+D = show desktop
SUPER+S = select single window
SUPER+T = tab group
SUPER+Left = change left tab
SUPER+Right = change right tab
SUPER+G = group windows
SUPER+U = ungroup windows
SUPER+R = remove group window
SUPER+C = close group
SUPER+X = ignore group
Hold the SUPER button (Windows key)then select the windows you want to group and then hit SUPER+G.


44 thoughts on “How to install Compiz Fusion in Ubuntu Hardy Heron.

  1. u mention that there are TWO ways to install…one with the package manager, and one with the terminal

    /i dont see the terminal steps?
    //thats what i need

  2. Very neat and crisp tutorial.. But do include Terminal commands. like sudo apt-get install compiz compizconfig-settings-manager .. Not try to be rude but this article seems a rip off of How to forge 😦

  3. hey, the gabfather thanks for the response.
    Yes, I might know how to change a hard drive in a laptop but the hard drives a pretty small, so its hard to get. and they are many sizes, so i think u need to open it up anyway and u have to do that to put your new hard drive on 😛
    But remember you don’t need to change your hard dive on a laptop because laptops are only for buissnes uses and stuff so u don’t need more than 160Gb in it.They are NOT FOR game’s,well mine is the new macbook pro 4gb ram so i can play with it some games but it get really hot (which is bad).

    I didn’t understand by the term “changing blog’s?”

    P.S if u know how to use the terminal that would be gr8 cuz i still don’t know how to use the one in windows that good…

  4. I have got both emerald and compiz settings manager installed. Wht do u do after that? I have tried changing the settings in compiz but then the windows looks the same.. I wanna try and see the 3D windows effect. Please walk me through it. Thnks


  5. Well now go to System>Preferences>Appereance. Once you are on the window click on the Visual Effects tab, then click on Extra and if gives you this error “Desktop effects could not be enabled” go to System>Administration>Hardware Drivers and install the drivers for you video card. After you installed it is gonna ask you to restart the computer go head and do that.
    “Note, If your video card has a 3D capabilities and handles Compiz it should work after you log in the system again. (What is your video card?)
    But if not you will have to install Xserver-xgl. “Note This is just in case your video don’t handle Compiz”
    To do this open a terminal and type
    “sudo apt-get install xserver-xgl” and then restart the computer. Log in again and let me know what happen. Cheers!

  6. Compiz output form terminal:

    Checking for Xgl: not present.
    FATAL: Error inserting battery (/lib/modules/2.6.24-19-generic/kernel/drivers/acpi/battery.ko): Operation not permitted
    No whitelisted driver found
    aborting and using fallback: /usr/bin/metacity

  7. ty for this man. im just begining to understand linux and this kind of support is great because it encourages everyone to continue and keep learning something new to them. instead of leaving it just cos they dont undertand it.

    great job and ty again

  8. no virtualization software (including parallels) supports 3d acceleration. its not possible to use desktop effects on a mac unless you partition the hard drive or run ubuntu from an external hard drive

  9. Thanks for adding that bit about enabling compiz in Appearance. I’m very new to this ubuntu thing, and I had no clue about that step. This page helped me a whole lot in getting compiz running. Everywhere else I went didn’t seem to be for hardy, but I tried running a dozen different sudo apt-get commands when I didn’t have to. Who knows what I put on here, haha.

  10. Hello.

    Thanks very much for this. This tutorial was neat and easy to understand – Also the only one I could follow properly. You have done a great job, Gabfather.

    Once again, Thank-you!


  11. After the restricted driver install and reboot, the popup shows it is in use, but the box is never checked. If I do that Ubuntu won’t recognise the video input. I fix this with xfix.

    Just a question: I could use the windows opacity in Xubuntu, but my card won’t support it in Ubuntu…???

    Card: ATI Radeon Xpress 200 (2D, I believe).

  12. is it chipset integrated? If it is all that I recomend you to do is , I know this is not much help but this is what I did, is just buy a new video card anything pretty much is better that ATI Xpresss 200 series I had the same one chipset integrated in it was just terrible. Now if you are just gonna stay with Xubuntu leave it like it is. Cheers!

  13. hi gabfather ,
    this tutorial is simple and helpful i installed ubuntu and able to use t now…

    am using a dell d630 it has got no Super key

    read through few forums Windows key doesn work as Super key for me… can u pl help wit tat…

  14. hey sorry for disturbin u after sum googling i found the solution myself…

    i jus had to set the keyboard model in system settings…


    edited the keyboard model to mine .. window key works as Super… 🙂


  15. OMG, I’m so sorry i didn’t have the chance to helped u!, i have been really busy at college lately. I’m glad u find a solution, and i promise to help u next time u need anything =)

  16. ive done all the above steps, while my linux mint has compiz already installed and all effects working, when installed on ubuntu hardy it doesnt do anything. i have my graphics card in use so i dont know what elce could be wrong or missing.

    wobbling effect wont even work, and cube doesnt rotate. pls help.

  17. Thanks for the tutorial, but i have a bit of a problem none of the animations are working like Fire, Water effect etc. Is this because i need to enable it on compiz config settings manager?.

  18. Im sorry for taking me too long to respond. Yes you have to enable the fire and water effect and any other effect that you want. Also you will have to know the shortcuts in order for them to know. Hope this helps.

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