Ubuntu MATE Compiz vs Linux Mint MATE Compiz

Compiz works exactly the way I like it in Linux Mint MATE, except for the Wobbly Windows. These I can easily deactivate with just one click in the CompizConfig Settings Manager. Time spent: 1 minute.

Ubuntu MATE falls short in this regard, making it less attractive to newcomers who are not familiar with tweaking their system:

  1. The out-of-the-box experience is not as smooth. CCSM must be installed separately. At least it should be offered as an option in the Software Boutique.
  2. The majority of Compiz users - I believe - like it for some of its special effects. Productivity alone is not a sufficient reason to enable Compiz. Having a default option which showcases what it can do in a reasonable way is much better than making it appear too similar to other window managers. The same applies to panel layout designs in MATE Tweak.
    3. I have already spent too much time reading through the forums without finding an adequate solution to get the desktop cube to rotate while still keeping the window resizing features activated (like in Linux Mint MATE).

I happily accept the decision that some time ago the community voted against Wobbly Windows in a poll. But I believe Wimpy was right in guessing that having it enabled would have made for a smoother and more impressive out-of-the-box experience for new users (despite the fact that many will get tired of them and turn them off). How about a default rotating cube instead for 16.10?

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I am using compiz as main window manager, but to me and from my experience of UM running 3 computers and differents hardwares, Compiz is not stable enough to be considering as a default window manager of Ubuntu MATE. Stability and lightness (don’t know if it is the appropriate word) seems to be main objective of Ubuntu MATE team. As far as i know, Ubuntu MATE is expecting to be also install on old or not recent hardwares. (Not only of course, mine are not old)
From my point of view, UM must be able to run very different computers and hardware out of the box.
Helping people who have no possibilities having expensive hardware to get Linux system running in a efficient, easy to use way of computing.
But, this is just an opinion …

In CompizConfig Settings Manager (CCSM) you can export and import Compiz profiles. (in CCSM Preferences)

I did import a profile from Linux Mint, but now I am running with a mix of Linux Mint, Ubuntu MATE and my own settings.

CCSM can be a little flaky in my opinion. Sometimes changes don’t take effect right away. Closing CCSM and rebooting will ensure your changes load correctly.

I prefer to uncheck Sync to Vblank in General OpenGL settings.


Maro, features like wobbly windows and rotating cubes not being enabled by default only “falls short” if one considers such things to be crucial features. You clearly do, and that’s fair enough.

But, I fail to see how you are able to speak for the majority of new users in that regard.

I do understand how some of these features are more readily present in, say, Mint Mate. That’s just the way of things. Each distro makes its own decisions as to what it prioritizes and each has strengths and weaknesses as a consequence.

As it happens, I very much like Mint and it is my second favorite distro after UM. Especially in aesthetic terms. For me though, the software update system on Ubuntu Mate, especially its GUI, is superior as is UM’s general level of stability compared to Mint. But, that’s just my take. Other opinions are available.

That's been on the "ideas to add" list for ages, but as we know, Compiz is no toy without a warning sign. :warning: Since incorrectly configuring it can really mess itself up, it's one reason why hasn't been added already.

One idea is to implement a screen to choose how much effects to have: (Each it's own Compiz profile)

For the main point though, @mrtribute has a good solution to get the best from Linux Mint's Compiz settings. :slight_smile:

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UM aims to not be heavy on reasources . Wobbly windows requires mutch compositing work to be done every time you move a window does incrasing the CPU usage . UM provides compiz out of the box and there are many tutorials on compiz over the internet so it is not nessesary to be enabled by default .

Hi @maro,

I’m a big compiz user - it has the best Enhanced Zoom Desktop around. And that’s not just my opinion, I heard Jonathan Nadeau considers it THE best, too. I see Jonathan is a Mate contributor for assistive technology: https://ubuntu-mate.org/ubuntu-mate-1504-presskit/

My 62 year old eyes LOVES this zoom! And yes, I can’t imagine not calling it productivity in my case.

Wobbly Windows? Naw… turn it off first thing. Looks silly.

The cube? Keeewwwl! :joy:

I’m not sure why you’re loosing window resizing? Keyboard or mouse? I enable the cube regularly and would be happy to discuss it.

I would love to see compiz eye candy enabled by default. I think @Wimpy is right in thinking that it would attract more new users. I think that enabling the cube by default is a great idea as well as somthing in the software boutique pointinig at CCSM .

That would kill it out of the box for users with low specs machines and new users would quickly get into trouble using CCSM.


Expo out of the box would be way better for this. If people want the cube, they can enable it in CCSM, which we kind of need to include instead of relying on people to just know they need that.

If you want to have the same compiz settings on all your machines navigate to <yourhomefolder>/.config/compiz/compizconfig/ and copy the files there to your other machine. Default.ini stores my compiz settings and the config file in my case stores some MATE settings.

(I’m using compiz-reloaded(0.8) some yours may be different in compiz(0.9) )

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Thanks a lot. This worked great! I was also able to adjust Compiz to my liking in Ubuntu MATE without importing another profile. The window resizing problem is solved. The only remaining problem are white screen artefacts around the upper panel which occur when rotating the cube. They are most obvious when using the default Ambient-MATE theme. Importing the Mint MATE Compiz settings has not solved this issue, so I am beginning to think this could be a hardware issue.

I agree that Mint has a more polished out-of-the-box experience and I especially like the flat themes. For a while I preferred Linux Mint’s update system and I still think the Update icon in the panel is a nice feature. After learning more about it, I am more critical towards the idea of update policies. I think a system should never trade security for stability. And if a system is not stable, there is something inherently wrong with the architecture of that system. Hence, my new interest in the Solus operating system.

I think my original post is a bit misleading. I don’t like Wobbly windows at all. Instead, I wanted to make the argument to have the rotating cube enabled by default as a better way to show off what Compiz can do. I would not have objected to a Wobbly windows default configuration simply because I can easily turn them off by one click.

I think that is a great idea.


As far as I understand, Compiz is not the default window manager. Those who enable it probably have much faster machines.

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True enough. THough, any budget model machine today, provided they using somewhat-modern motherboards (think the last three generations) should handle Compiz without skipping a beat.

I know on my old Dell N7110 it works nicely, but that might be a specific hardware configuration which is enabling that.

About wobbly windows, I’ve always believed that wobbliness should had been merged into snapping windows because both plugins provide the same base functionality of snapping windows; I know, I use Wobbly Windows just because it’s easy eye candy and I have the snap function inverted so it requires me to hold shift to disable snapping.