The Free Geek

Ramblings of a Free Software Geek

Move over Compiz, welcome Beryl Tue, 10 Oct 2006 14:19:48 +0530

Filed under: AIGLX,Free Software,Open Source Software,Ubuntu — Bon Goose @ 14:19:48

One of the coolest things about Free Software is that no one person can really control the direction of a project by dictatorship. While I agree that having a benevolent dictator has helped many projects like the Linux kernel and Python, sometimes the ability to fork a project proves to be a boon.

This is what has happened with Compiz and its friendly fork Beryl. The compiz community led by ace programmer Quinn Storm was doing an awesome job enhancing compiz and writing new plugins. They also wrote cgwd (later Emerald), a custom window decorator for GNOME based on the proof of concept gwd by David Raveman. But apparently David Raveman (author of Compiz & XGL) had some issues with accepting patches from Quinn and was not cooperating with the community. As a result, Beryl was born which is mainly Compiz + patches by Quinn Storm and the community.

I moved from Compiz to Beryl today and I was awestruck. Beryl seems to be way ahead of Compiz in terms of features (like Emerald) and sheer eye-candy. The beryl-manager application is an extremely useful and awesome little thingy. It simply rocks! Here is how you can switch from AIGLX + Compiz to AIGLX + Beryl on Dapper —

  1. Remove all compiz packages from your system but keep the aiglx packages.
  2. Remove all old compiz repositories from your /etc/apt/sources.list and add the following
    deb dapper main aiglx
  3. Do a apt-get update and then apt-get dist-upgrade.
  4. Install the meta-package beryl and you are done!
  5. Restart the X server and run beryl-manager. Enjoy the awesomeness.

With Beryl the previous issues with missing window borders are also gone. So you can do away with apt-pinning which I was doing to keep my AIGLX from breaking. More documentation is available at the Beryl project wiki.
You can watch the following movie on to get an idea about Beryl and its advantages over Compiz. Enjoy 🙂