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New in Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal Beta 1 full details here

Install Compiz and Emerald in Xubuntu 12.04

Are you having problems with your current Ubuntu Unity setup and want something better, lighter and more eye candy than this tutorial is for you. By installing Compiz and Emerald on Xubuntu 12.04 you can get your perfect Ubuntu Linux setup better than Unity.Xubuntu comes with XFCE window manager which is alternative user interface to default Unity/Gnome. I am writing this tutorial because at this moment I am really not liking Unity (believe me I tried several times). As for alternatives I looked upon Gnome Shell, KDE and XFCE, Gnome Shell is even worse than default Unity, KDE is nice but really not of my taste but the XFCE based Xubuntu really caught my eye. It was light weight and more like Gnome 2 user interface.

The only thing that troubled me is adding sweat Compiz animations and window manager themes. This problem was resolved after bit searching, tweaking and experimentation. Now I am successfully running Compiz and Emerald on Xubuntu 12.04 without any problems and it is fantastic.

Install Compiz Xubuntu 12.04

To install Compiz use following commands.

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install compiz compiz-core compiz-gnome compiz-plugins compiz-plugins-default compiz-plugins-extra compiz-plugins-main compiz-plugins-main-default compizconfig-backend-gconf compizconfig-settings-manager libcompizconfig0 libdecoration0 python-compizconfig fusion-icon

Now after installing Compiz you need to setup it correctly, to save you trouble you can use my profile and than tweak it according to your needs. Here is the link, right click on it and select save target as. After profile is downloaded, go to CompizConfig Settings Manager > Preferences > Import and select downloaded profile.

Or you can just tweak Compiz settings through CompizConfig Settings Manager.

Install Emerald Xubuntu 12.04

Now to install Emerald on Xubuntu 12.04 first you have to install necessary packages to compile emerald.

Download these packages via following command

sudo apt-get install git autoconf libtool libwnck1.0-cil-dev libwnck-dev intltool libdecoration0-dev gawk

After installing necessary packages download Emerald

Now, i am assuming that you downloaded file in downloads folder, use following command to install Emerald

cd Downloads
cd emerald-*
./autogen.sh && make clean && make distclean && ./configure --prefix=/usr && make && sudo make install

Now you have successfully installed Emerald.

Configure Emerald and Compiz

First you need to add Emerald in Compiz, to do so go to CompizConfig Settings Manager > Window Decorations and in Command field replace text with follwoing:


After adding Emerald in Compiz you need to add compiz to System start up.

Go to XFCE menu > Settings > Settings Manager > Session and Startup > Application Autostart > Add

Name: Compiz
Description: Compiz Autostart
Command: sh -c "sleep 10 && compiz --replace"

I used sleep command because I was having difficuilties using simple compiz –replace, you can test and see if compiz –replace works for you.