How to make the desktop super neat? (Compiz style)

Hello UM Community,

I’ve always wanted to configure my GUI so that it stand out from the norm by applying a lot of visual tweaks (such as the windows “burning” when they are closed and/or having the menus wave and/or seeing a screen “explode” into several cubes upon closing it and/or having that “block” with 4 sizes that rotates upon changing desktop) but I’ve always failed to do so properly.

Now with UM I feel that I have a strong enough distro to input the time needed into making all of this happen (And I also have the right hardware as machines nowadays are just sick in terms of ressources).

I wanted to know if some of you had already a setup like this going? Just yesterday I have began searching for generic knowledge bases on how to make it happen but by experience I’ve always reached a point where I messed up my whole X environment and/or something similarly weird happened which just made me says “fsck it” and I had to reinstall.

Therefore, any advices into configuring MATE into the most “outer space” configuration possible?

I know for a fact this doesn’t need a lot of ressources as Knoppix 7.3 is configured that way on their live DVD and that it works on a P4 with a 32MB AGP card.

Thanks in advance,

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Hurry someone answer, I wanna try it too :slight_smile:

Install CompizConfig Settings Manager (sudo apt install compizconfig-settings-manager compiz-plugins-extra). I’ve played with it somewhat, but, frankly all that “prettiness” gives me a headache if I’m actually trying to get things done. It is fun to play with on occasion, though.

Just remember, Compiz can be a royal PIA sometimes…

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So far I can hold ctrl+alt and spin the cube. My system seems just fine so far. What other things can you do?

Try Ctrl+Alt+Up arrow and
Ctrl+Alt+Down arrow
to get different overviews of your workspaces.

Try snap your windows to different corners of the screen

Try hover your cursor over the windowdecoration and move the mouse wheel. Windows might roll-up. You can also try to double-click the windowdecoration for the same effect.

Try different plug-ins in Compiz Config Settings Manager.

CCSM offers a lot of control. But sometimes I feel the most crucial options have been left out.


Cool @ down arrow. Up arrow didn’t do anything. How do I get a wallpaper behind the cube or is it even possible. Going to try the other stuff now :slight_smile:

What about tiox

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My instructions should still work for 16.10 if he has that, I should test that some time. I’ve been slowly chipping away at my tut stuff, mostly working at my own speed instead of any degree of urgency.

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Open CCSM, go to Desktop Cube > Appearance > Skydome Image
and select your favourite wallpaper to be displayed behind the Cube.

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I use Ctrl+Alt+Up for Expo plug-in. Enable Expo and use this command for Expo > Bindings > Expo Key.

In Expo mode you can move windows between workspaces. I don’t think it’s possible to change to custom wallpaper/skydome in this mode.

I am on Ubuntu MATE 14.04 so if you are using UM 16.04 things might have changed.

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Thanks I will check out the tiox link…

By the way is there a way to rotate the cube without using ctrl+alt? I seem to remember seeing something about using a configuration of one of the mouse keys along with the scroll wheel, but it doesn’t work here.

That would be ccsm (from compizconfig-setting-manager). You can install it, or if you followed my guide for backporting to older Compiz ccsm is automatically provided from soreau’s git repo.

I should make a note of this; You only want older Compiz if you are not satisfied with the present Compiz 0.9 feature set. I would highly recommend you use a live session to test things out before you completely break your system on accident and / or see the effort is probably not worth it for the few features you never used from the experimental branch, or from any of soreau’s older git repos.

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I wimped out. I changed something in the compiz settings and my system froze. I couldn’t undo it. After a reboot I could undo it and did. All good again. The cube still spins and looks cool. Really thats enough “cool” for me since I see no use for it anyway :slight_smile: Thanks for the help everyone.

Hence why I said to test it in a live session beforehand, so you can predict behaviour on your installed system.

Try it again there and if something still cocks up, tell me what went wrong; I will resolve it when my house gets power again.

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I appreciate the help but I would have to remember everything that I did to get it to this point and I am too lazy :slight_smile: For years everything that I read about it comes with a the same caveats, and its just not that important.