Compiz issues in 20.04

Anyone got Compiz to work? Because I failed, like I did in UM 14.04!

I installed SPM and then Compiz, including all the items cited here by @Wimpy in his 19.10 release info

If you love :heart_eyes: Compiz, it can be installed by opening a terminal and running the following command:

sudo apt install compiz compiz-core compiz-mate compiz-plugins compiz-plugins-default

Only having one window manager to target means we can promptly deliver new features and minimise development effort.

plus I installed Compiz Config Manager.

And then used MATE Tweak to enable. Result was that I lost all window decoration, including min/max/close. And the Main Menu and all of it's sub-menus had a ~6px black surround. I could find no obvious way to address either ...

Worse, when I used MATE Tweak to reset the Windows manager to Marco (Adaptive) the window decoration and controls came back, but the Main Menus are all moved down and right by those ~6px. You can see it happen when you first go into each menu (I use Traditional layout): the menu displays with the same wide black borders and then those borders instantly turn transparent (I'm testing on a slow DuoCore) but their width does not change. That clears the black borders but doesn't reposition the sub-menu back up and left.

I believe we have 2 issues here, big one first:

Lack of critical Compiz support
Happy to have to install Compiz manually. But it needs to be workable/usable after. In 15.04 IIRC @wimpy added some additional configuration settings to make Compiz work correctly (see here), over and above the compiz-mate CCM option. I believe those have to still be present in a base UM 20.04 insatll, or have some way of installing them via SPM. As it stands Compiz in 20.04 is as bad as it was in the original Ubuntu MATE beta release!

Dependency in Marco menu CSS
The Marco menu CSS seems to assume some default state of the menu's border width which will not be true if Compiz was the prior WM. A reboot without Compiz installed seems to clear this up, and the menus display correctly. But there is an underlying setting issue with the menu border width in Marco CSS. Or, compiz-mate compatibility needs some further additions to bring it inline with Marco in 20.04.

Happy to file either or both of these as bugs if thought appropriate, but not sure who to report them to.

Also happy to test further by copying files over from my 18.04 system - if someone will direct as to which.

[ Also see my message #39 above as to how this can impact users doing and upgrade from 18.04 used with Compiz - they will also lose windows decoration on first boot post upgrade I believe. ]

Yes, but it took setting up many values under the hood using CCSM. I need Enhanced Zoom Desktop and a little else so it wasn't too bad.

@Wimpy did a lot to make Compiz work out-of-the-box and integrated well with MATE with good presets in past versions but so far I don't see it in 20.04. Anyone?

It was removed from the default install since 19.10

Sorry, but that's neither the issue nor the problem.

Installing Compiz is easy (compared with configuring it), but even following @Wimpy's install instructions many, many MATE-specific files are NOT installed. Eg. on 18.04 Compiz CCSM > Preferences > Profile is set to "mate". That's not possible under 20.04. At least 1 file related to this is /etc/compizconfig/mate.ini, a 191 line file covering ~30 attributes. But that file's not available - along with many others - in 20.04 after installing compiz-mate. That's the issue that I'm trying to report ...

And without window decoration, window controls and the ability to move windows it is very difficult/tedious to debug on a small laptop screen!

Thanks, @franksmcb. Too bad as it only seems to lack initial settings but I don't use much except the zoom for old eyes which is second to none.

I have already reported bug 1864218 about problems with Compiz in Ubuntu MATE 20.04 LTS.

I think it should be fixed as soon as possible to easy upgrade process for user of previous releases. I'm ready to help by testing.

While running installation right now I see low contrast of desktop icon text and its highlight when focus is actually on installer window:


OK, got my widow decoration and controls back, so I can debug some.

UM 18.04 included the file /etc/compizconfig/mate.ini in compiz-mate, but that file is missing from compiz-mate in 20.04.

I presume that file was in compiz-mate in UM 19.10, but I don't have a copy of 19.10 to confirm. Can anyone with 19.10 see if the file was part of compiz-mate?

Without this file it is impossible to select "mate" in CCSM > Preferences > Profile, which was the default, already present, setting in 18.04. (It includes amoung other things the MATE logos for the cube, but also more important things like crash handlers, reverting to Marco, etc.)

Note there must be other files also missing because copying it over to 20.04 manually after the fact doesn't help.

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I see that 19.10 has mate.ini file, while 20.04 LTS do not have it.

I tried to manually install compiz-mate package from 19.10 on 20.04 LTS but with no luck. Window decorations are still missed. Will try to dig deeper. Thanks for the pointer!

Bug report for that was already posted here: Ubuntu MATE 20.04 Pre-release Testing

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Windows decoration is a Compiz option: CCSM > Effects > Window Decoration. Enable it. It's default settings should work, if not set Command field to either /usr/bin/gtk-window-decorator or gtk-window-decorator - either should work.

Comment #4 on Launchpad #1864218 explains why everything is disabled. Looks like the Compiz folks want configuration files to be provided by the upstream projects:

So @Wimpy would need to bundle mate.ini into a package. Interestingly, he hadn't responded to the review :point_up:

I had a stab at fixing that - no luck. Will have another look at that again - it bothers me too!

Edit: Theme fixed.


@lah7 Thanks for that link.

OK, I have it all working now (with the exception of the cube's top & bottom logos). Details here in case others want to try now, to give guidance (if needed) on a possible fix, and/or as a workaround in 20.04 Release in the event that it is not addressed by then.

Using lah7's link to the diff list as a guide you need to:

  • Create/copy 65compiz_profile-on-session into /etc/X11/Xsession.d

  • Append those 8 lines shown to /etc/compizconfig/config

  • Create/copy mate.ini to /etc/compizconfig

  • And the 2 files Ubuntu-Mate-Dark-no-logo.jpg and unbuntu-mate-desktop-circle_of_mates_dark.png to /usr/share/backgrounds/ubuntu-mate-common (sourced from any earlier UM release)

Then reboot. But be warned that you will lose any config changes that you have made to CCSM since installing 20.04 (by overwriting them with Wimpy's default).

Regarding how to release, I wonder if these files can't just be part of the UM 20.04 release itself. They aren't very big and they will have no effect if Compiz is not installed or enabled. Possibly the X11 session file (65compiz... ) is inelegant. I don't know if MATE Tweak restarts X11 when changing WM, if it does - or could - perhaps MATE Tweak could install it only when needed/switching to Compiz?


Guess it's high time for me to get back on the horse and see if Scott's 0.8 branch per my instructions work on Focal.

Ubuntu MATE bug report submitted.

My thanks to @Bill_Mi, @Norbert_X and particularly @lah7 for their help.


That could be ubuntu-mate-settings. I think that package could be configured to say "Yes, I replace compiz-mate!"

I'm confused over the existence of compiz-mate now we know why it's been stripped down. The package description is misleading:

This package contains files needed to integrate compiz with the MATE desktop

As we can see from 19.10 - there is no overwrite needs, so we simply need to backport/adapt 19.10 packages to 20.04 LTS. On local machine it ends with success.

Actually I think there are with the splitting of /etc/compizconfig/config (so I'm guessing that is the reason for the debian/control "breaks" question in the merge post). Ie. Compiz will always create it's own, now much smaller, /etc/compizconfig/config, so that file is going to exist already on all Compiz installs, so we would need to overwrite it or append to it I think.

Perhaps need to copy whatever Unity and Flashback Gnome have done? As merge post indicates that they have already addressed.

And possibly breaks in /control may be needed to prevent independent compiz upgrades by MATE users?

@Wimpy was live streaming yesterday - near the end @franksmcb sent a link to the merge. Martin was quite surprised this had actually happened, says he'll have a think:

(near the end - 2:23:37)

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Another recent live stream from @Wimpy. No fix yet, it's going to need a little more work/research, especially to ensure no breakage of users coming from 18.04 and 19.10.

(work on Compiz starts about half way through)