How exactly to get Compiz Fusion running with no knowledge of linux and no linux install

Important update: I added the installation of Restricted Drivers. This is necessary for compiz to work! :)

UPDATE 2: I changed the links for the wallpaper and panel BG because uploadingit.com is offline right now.

Thanks to user "alex", I have decided to make a complete tutorial to get from Windows to my basic setup. This actually shouldn't take more than a day or two, which is not bad, considering you're installing an entire new operating system.

I. Obtaining Ubuntu

  1. Go to the Ubuntu Download Page and get Ubuntu 7.04, typing all the requested information in.
  2. When your ~700MB download is finished, burn the ISO image to a disc with your favorite CD burning software.
  3. This part might be difficult for those with not so good computer knowledge, but you have to get your computer to launch off the cd. It depends on how your computer is made, but you might need to change the boot order in the BIOS. Or, you might have to do a key command to boot off the cd.
  4. When you've booted off the ubuntu cd, you'll have an option to "Install or boot Ubuntu". Go ahead and choose that, you won't lose any data yet.
  5. The CD will boot, and give you a working desktop environment. This is all running off the cd, and as a result nothing is saveable, and no settings are retained after reboot.
  6. Double-click the install icon on the desktop.
  7. Follow the instructions. When it comes to partitioning, if you want to keep windows, then DON'T choose the option to completely format the drive, otherwise do.
  8. Install Ubuntu on your system. This might take only 20 minutes, depending on the state of your hardware.
  9. Restart your computer, and if you have windows and ubuntu installed, choose the first option for ubuntu. Log in.
  10. You've installed ubuntu!
Now on to the next step!

II. Installing the proprietary graphics driver (skip if you have intel or another that's already supported)
  1. Open up System>Administration>Restricted Drivers Manager.
  2. If you have an nVIDIA card, it will show up on the list. Install it by following the easy instructions. Make sure it's enabled.
  3. As prompted, restart your computer.

III. Getting the wallpaper and the panel candy and setting up your black theme
  1. First, download my green wallpaper here.
  2. Right-click the desktop and choose "Change desktop background."
  3. Browse to the folder in which you've saved my wallpaper, and choose it.
  4. Now get this png image.
  5. Right-click the panel on the top, and choose "Properties". In the Background tab, choose the png as the background image. You might have to make the panel thinner for it to look good. That's in the general tab.
  6. Go to the System>Preferences>Theme menu item. Choose the option "Customize".
  7. Under the Controls tab, choose Glossy
  8. Under the Colors tab, make the:
    1. Windows/Background #3E3E3E
    2. Input boxes/Background #4A4A4A
    3. Selected Items/background #616161
    4. And all the text items white.
  9. Under the Window Border tab, choose Glossy
  10. Under Icons, choose Tangerine.
  11. Close the Theme Details window, and choose "Save theme..." and save your theme.
  12. Now, to fix a little bug with the tooltips, get Gnome Color Chooser (to install, download and double-click)
  13. Open up Gnome Color chooser (system>preferences) and under the Specific tab>Tooltips make Background #565656.
  14. To fix some bugs with Firefox, do this (terminal):
    1. cd /usr/share/firefox/res
    2. sudo cp forms.css forms.css.bak
    3. sudo gedit forms.css
    4. (text editor): replace all instances of " background-color: -moz-Field " with background-color: #ffffff; //-moz-Field
    5. replace all instances of " color: -moz-FieldText; " with " color: #000000; //-moz-FieldText; "
    6. Save and quit.
Now you have a black theme and a nice wallpaper/panel! On to Compiz Fusion!

IV. Installing Compiz fusion through Trevinho's Eyecandy Repository, and installing Avant-Window-Navigator (dock)

We are going to use terminal commands, because it is faster that way. Don't be afraid, these aren't hard to use.
  1. Open up a Terminal window (applications>accessories>terminal)
  2. type into the terminal: sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list
  3. Type in your password (it will appear that nothing is happening, but the password is being received)
  4. A nice text editor with a bunch of text in it already should open up. Go to the very bottom of this and add the following five lines:
    # TreviƱo’s Ubuntu feisty EyeCandy Repository (GPG key: 81836EBF - DD800CD9)
    # Many eyecandy 3D apps like Beryl, compiz and kiba-dock snapshots
    # built using latest available (working) sources from git/svn/cvs…
    deb http://download.tuxfamily.org/3v1deb feisty eyecandy
    deb-src http://download.tuxfamily.org/3v1deb feisty eyecandy
  5. Save the file and close the text editor. Type into the terminal: gpg --keyserver subkeys.pgp.net --recv 81836EBF
  6. Type into the terminal: sudo apt-get update
  7. Type into the terminal: sudo apt-get upgrade
  8. You might get a bunch of updates now, so just wait until they're done.
  9. Now type into the Terminal: sudo apt-get install compiz-fusion-plugins-extra compiz fusion-plugins-main compiz-fusion-plugins-unsupported compizconfig-settings-manager avant-window-navigator emerald emerald-themes
  10. That should install the dock, and compiz-fusion.
V. Launching Compiz Fusion and the dock
  1. Type into the terminal: compiz --replace ccp && emerald &
  2. You should now have wobbly windows! try it out. If it doesn't work, you might have to adjust some settings, but it should work fine.
  3. Under System>Preferences>CompizConfig Settings Manager you can change your settings. You will have to enable the plugins before they work (of course).
  4. Under Applications>Accessories>Avant Window Navigator you can launch the dock.
  5. You can adjust your panel settings so that the bottom panel is deleted, and the trash can is moved up to the top panel, etc, but I'm not going to get into that.
  6. Now, to get it so that you can close the terminal without stopping your compiz fusion, type alt-F2 and run the same command as if you were in a terminal.
VI. Installing my Emerald theme (for window decorations)
  1. Download my theme here.
  2. Go to System>Preferences>Emerald Theme Manager.
  3. Choose "Import..."
  4. Choose my .emerald file you downloaded.
  5. Choose it in the list now.
  6. You should have a sleek black window decoration now!
VII. Making it so Compiz Fusion starts on boot

I'm sorry, but I'm not sure about this yet. Eventually, there will be a tray icon that works pefectly, but not yet. Just wait... This is alpha software. You can search the forums for a solution. I'm sure there's one somewhere :)

OK! You're done!

Keep in mind that your Ubuntu install won't play DVD's or mp3's, etc, yet. You have to research that elsewhere :) For help you can go to the Ubuntu Forums.

If you want to install a new program, you can go to Applications>Add/Remove applications and choose applications to install. They'll download and install automatically.

And finally, to get out of compiz, do alt-f2 and type metacity --replace. That should dump you back into the default ubuntu window manager. I would suggest quitting Avant-window-navigator first though, since it doesn't run properly without compiz.

Tell me how it works !

EDIT: Due to questions about gmail notifier, I felt obliged to hack it. Here's a fix for it to work with dark themes.

Also, follow these instructions, and your firefox controls will look better!


yznn said...

Nice guide but i'm confused. Don't we remove default compiz before install compiz fusion? Or it isn't necessary?

And I have a question; it doesn't seems so different than beryl's last version. Is there any big difference between Beryl and Compiz Fusion ?

Chris said...

I linked this to a friend of mine who wanted to try out Ubuntu and it worked extremely well - thanks for the great guide!

Robert said...

Great tutorial, easy to follow. I have some issues though. When I check my gmail I can't read the messages or the sender information. It's probably do to your firefox edits, do you know of a firefox theme that will give the same effect without the problems. Second when I tried to load compiz from the terminal I get Segmentation fault (core dumped)
Window manager warning: "" found in configuration database is not a valid value for keybinding "toggle_shaded"
without any "wobbly windows" any ideas? I'm gonna search around the forums to see if I can solve this. Just to let you know, I did have beryl running before. Thanks.

Gavin said...

@robert: The gmail checker error, I know about, but since it's not related to Firefox, it's a) not caused by those hacks, and b) not fixable.

I'll try to look into it again, but I have this problem as well. It is quite annoying, and a fix might be to either change the color to grey or offwhite...

Let me see if I can hack it.... ;)

As for the error with compiz, try opening up gconf-editor (by typing it in a terminal) and then searching for "toggle_shaded" including the first checkbox in the search window. There will be two results, click the first and note that in the top right box it's there too. Under "value" you won't find anything. That's wrong. Change it to "disabled" like the others.

Try it again, hope that helps!

Gavin said...

@Robert: You're in luck! It won't be hard to hack at all! :) I'll write a howto in another post for you, but basically you have to change an icon in /usr/share/apps/gmail-notify/ . Gmail Notifier is a python app, by the way, which makes it super-easy to hack anyway ;)

Gavin said...

@robert: look here for instructions and a bg image :) Enjoy!

Robert said...

I think you may have been a little confused about my gmail problem. When I'm in my inbox in firefox, I can't read the sender information and after I click on a message I can't read the text. img483.imageshack.us/img483/596/untitledbg6.jpg

The problem with compiz still happens but only the Segmentation fault (core dumped) part. I haven't had a chance to check the forums yet but if I figure it out, I'll let you know.

I'm also checking out firefox themes if I find one that fixes my problem I'll let you know about it too.

Gavin said...

@Robert: Hey, sorry about that ;) At least it inspired me to fix my one problem...

The gmail problem, etc, is solvable on the page with my emerald theme (grey-neu). Someone commented on how to fix it.

When I get time, i'll add it to the howto :)

Robert said...

Disappointing news...the fixes in the comments didn't solve my problem. I will try to restore to my backuped file from all the edits and try them again. Maybe I didn't copy something right. I'll let you know, but I wont be trying this until tomorrow, it's kinda late/early (1am).

Gavin said...

@robert: THIS WILL WORK!! ;)

type about:config into your firefox window.

type in the search box "use_system_colors" and set the "Browser.display.use_system_colors option to "false".

Then change "browser.display.focus_text_color to #000000 by searching for it too.

restart firefox.

Robert said...

Sorry...that didn't fix it. I'm about to try to restore the files and try from the beginning. I'll let you know if I fix it.

Robert said...

I figured something out...my problem wasn't caused by the edit of forms.css file, it was from making that theme. I changed it back to the Ubuntu default (human) and I can now read my gmail inbox. I wonder what changes made that happen?

Robert said...

Ok...maybe it was the forms.css file. I have restarted my computer and firefox several times since I reverted back to the original and I noticed my tabs are gray again and I can now read my gmail inbox. I don't know whats going on. I'm just gonna leave it like this for now I guess. I did solve/fix one problem though, compiz works now. I used the directions on http://compiz.org/Compiz_and_Compiz_
and now compiz starts, but emeraled themes don't. I sill have my metacity decorations. I'm searching the forums for a fix.

christianpeso said...

The way I got Compiz to run at startup was actually by mistake. I had Beryl installed before I installed compiz. When both were installed, I right clicked the Beryl diamond by the time and went to select window manager and chose compiz. Now when I start my laptop, compiz starts also. I still have the Beryl diamond in the corner, but no big deal.

Christian Peso

Anonymous said...

Hello, i have a problem when i type on terminal " compiz --replace ccp && emerald & " :S, my mail is rulesramones@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I don't know if i'm doing something wrong but i don't get the compiz fusion manager when I go into system and preferences. Did I do something wrong?