Because FLOSS is handy, isn’t it?

Compiz Fusion under Debian Lenny on my home desktop

Posted by isilanes on August 26, 2007

I recently wrote (actually, my last post, 12 days ago), a howto of sorts with my experience installing Compiz Fusion on my laptop. Yesterday I came back from my vacations, and repeated the feat with my destop computer at home.

The setup is quite different:

CPU: AMD Athlon 2800+
Graphics: nVidia FX 5700 (256MB)

And the effort is also quite different: it took me much less! Partially, this was because of my previous exprerience, but mainly the reason is that the graphics card here is nVidia. Yes, let the world know that ATI cards suck on Linux.

The problem is that ATI cards need XGL to have Compiz running, but nVidia cards make use of AIGLX natively, so the installation has only two steps: (1) installing the nVidia driver, and (2) installing the Compiz Fusion packages.

Installing the latest nVidia driver

As with the ATI card in my laptop, I decided to use the proprietary drivers from the nVidia site. The choice-making interface is so similar, actually, to that of ATI. I had to go Graphics Driver->GeForce FX series->Linux x86->Go!, and download this installer.

BIG WARNING: before actually installing anything, remove a previous installation of the nVidia drivers, if you installed them “the Debian way”. For that, do:

% aptitude purge nvidia-glx

I have a friend who did not do so and… Ok, ok, it happened to me. If you do not do the above, everything seems to work fine, but everytime you reboot the X server will crash, and you might get incredibly annoyed by that.

To perform the installation, simply run, as root:

% sh path-to-file/NVIDIA-Linux-x86-100.14.11-pkg1.run

Then, just modify your xorg.conf file to contain the following:

Section "ServerLayout"
  Identifier     "Default Layout"
  Screen       "Default Screen" 0 0
  InputDevice    "Generic Keyboard"
  InputDevice    "Configured Mouse"
  Option         "AIGLX" "true"


Section "Extensions"
  Option         "RENDER" "true"
  Option         "Composite" "Enable"
  Option         "DAMAGE" "true"

Installing Compiz Fusion packages

The procedure is exactly the same covered in my previous post. In short:

1) Add the Shame repository to your /etc/apt/sources.list:

deb http://download.tuxfamily.org/shames/debian-sid/desktopfx/unstable/ ./

2) Get the signature for the repo:

% gpg --keyserver pgpkeys.mit.edu --recv-key 11F6E468
% gpg -a --export 11F6E468

3) Update and install:

% aptitude update
% aptitude install compiz-fusion-all --a

Any time you want to run Compiz, just execute:

% compiz --replace -c emerald

Shorter than the ATI thing, uh?

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