Introduction to Compiz/XGL
What is it/are they/are you talking about?
Xgl and Compiz were developed by David Reveman, first indpendently and then at Novell. Both are included in OpenSUSE (and of course the commercial SLED) which is supported by Novell. I will let them explain themselves :)
- OpenSUSE description of XGL
- OpenSuse wiki on Compiz
- Compiz combines together a window manager and a composite manager using OpenGL for rendering.
The best way to understand why I am blogging about it is to look at some of the videos. This stuff makes your desktop seriously cool (and, of course, allows you to be more productive :P)
XGL is not to be confused with AIGLX - a RedHat championed set of extensions to the current X server to achieve a similar effect. Compiz can run on AIGLX.
Though they were developed 'behind closed doors' for some time, XGL and Compiz are both now open to community scrutiny and patches, and as of mid March it seems to be all go, with new patches and features daily! There is discussion of the 'closed doors' approach, in copmarison to the scrutinisable open approach of AIGLX here
How Can I Get Them?
The way you get Compiz and Xgl will vary depending on which distribution you are using.
Please note: XGL and Compiz are unstable and such should not be run in critical situations.
If you have Nvidia hardware you are likely to have more luck than those with ATI, provided you are using propriety(I.E binary only) drivers
- For Ubuntu (Dapper Drake - Unstable), check out the excellent HowTos in the forums:
- For SUSE you can use the excellent OpenSuse Wiki page
- Gentoo Linux has a very good Wiki on installing the Gentoo ebuilds
- Mandriva, too has a simple way of getting XGL
- This Ubuntu based thread shows you how to build from source – so is potentially good for everyone!
What Can it Do?
I think it is best that I let the blog speak for itself on that one! I try to have a new post for every new feature or fix.
The key thing about Copmiz is that all of the effects are provided by plugins. It is very modular and extensible, and this blog is devoted to providing the latest information about new plugins
The openSUSE wiki on Compiz has information about the standard functionality/Available plugins