Friday, March 2, 2007

Beryl: Desktop Fireworks

If you want to make your Ubuntu desktop really come to live, Beryl is the answer. It's an accelerated OpenGL desktop manager that gives you a lot of bells and whistles visual feedback on your window manager operations.

Installing is not as simple as you might wish, but it isn't too hard either. On the Beryl wiki there's an entry on how to install Beryl on Ubuntu and you can basically follow that.

The only notes I have on the installations steps are:

I had an error message while starting Beryl. As a consequence I had no window manager! The message was:

beryl: No GLXFBConfig for depth 32

After doing some searches on the web I found a post that gave a solution to this problem. Just add the following to "Device" section on your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file:

Option "AddARGBGLXVisuals" "True"
Option "DisableGLXRootClipping" "True"

Also I skipped the entire "Configuring Beryl" section and just added beryl-manager to my Startup Programs in System > Preferences > Sessions

Next you have to configure Beryl. There's a ton of options, animations, keyboard shortcuts, themes, etc, etc that you can tweak with to make your desktop look exactly like you want it to! And if you have a bit of patience and 28Mb of spare memory to run Beryl, it's really worth the trouble.
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