Sunday, May 4, 2008

Compiz/Beryl + Nvidia (KDE/Gnome)

Finally all the essential packages are officially in Debian, so this wants to be a little tutorial about the installation of Beryl or Compiz on Debian without using packages made in ubuntu o converted through alien. We need only few steps, so it's good to follow whem to have a 3D desktop on your Debian!

The first thing to do is to update Xorg to 7.1 version: on Debian Sid (unstable) ed Etch (testing) it's present.. Verify the version installed with the command:
$ Xorg -version

If you just noticed you have currently installed a version older than 7.1 you can update by typing on the console:
$ apt-get update
$ apt-get install xserver-xorg

After the update verify now in this listing the presence of your video card; If your card is listed means the new Nvidia drivers are not supported, so you are obliged to use XGL and quit this tutorial.

Then you have to download the new NVidia drivers available here: Linux Drivers.
To a guided procedure for the driver's installation on your Debian box I forward you to a PiloZ's howto named Installing NVIDIA drivers .

The new drivers are needed for Beryl/Compiz to work correctly because they introduce the

GLX_EXT_texture_from_pixmap extension which allows to execute them without additional layers.

Once you installed and loaded the module let's go on.

Now you have two possibitles: installing Compiz or Beryl. If you have a good vga I suggest Beryl because it's nicer and full of "useless" but beautiful effects, if you wish to understand the thread follow this link Compiz VS Beryl.

Compiz has been inserted in the unstable part on Debian so external repositories aren't necessary, use apt:
$ apt-get install compiz

Indeed, to install Beryl:

1. add the following repository in sources.list
deb debian-unstable beryl-svn

2: add the GPG key:
$ wget -O- | sudo apt-key add -

3: update the list:
$ apt-get update

4: and finally install Beryl:
$ apt-get install beryl

Now modify /etc/X11/xorg.conf:
In the "Screen" section add:
# It enables the 32bit ARGB to use the Alpha channel (transparency)
Option "AddARGBGLXVisuals" "True"

# Option "DisableGLXRootClipping" "True"
# it makes some opengl-based composite manages work correctly

make sure you have this on your "Module" section (placed at the beginning):
Load "glx"

at the end add these entries:
Section "Extensions"
Option "Composite" "true"

Now restart the X session and check all is working.
If you installed Compiz then type:
$ compiz --replace

Else (Beryl) use:
$ beryl-manager

Cross your fingers and have fun with Beryl/Compiz!

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