Enabling Compiz Fusion On An Ubuntu 8.04 LTS Desktop (NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200)

Version 1.0
Author: Falko Timme

This tutorial shows how you can enable Compiz Fusion on an Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (Hardy Heron) desktop (the system must have a 3D-capable graphics card - I'm using an NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 here). With Compiz Fusion you can use beautiful 3D effects like wobbly windows or a desktop cube on your desktop.

This document comes without warranty of any kind! I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!


1 Preliminary Note

I have tried this on a desktop computer with an NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200. It should work the same way with all other NVIDIA graphics cards.


2 Enabling The NVIDIA Driver

To use 3D effects on an NVIDIA graphics card, we need the proprietary NVIDIA driver which we can install from the Hardware Drivers tool. The Hardware Drivers tool can be started either by clicking on its icon in the upper right taskbar...

... or from System > Administration > Hardware Drivers:

Type in your password:

The Hardware Drivers tool should offer an NVIDIA accelerated graphics driver for installation:

Choose that driver; a new window will pop up where you confirm your choice by clicking on the Enable button:

Afterwards the NVIDIA driver is being downloaded and installed:

You can now close the Changes applied window...

... as well as the Hardware Drivers tool (but note the Needs computer restart line in the Status column). Click on the restart icon in the upper right corner...

... and then on the Restart Now button to reboot the system:

After the reboot the system uses the proprietary NVIDIA graphics driver.


3 Installing Compiz Fusion

Open the Synaptic Package Manager (System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager):

You can use the search function to find the packages we need. These are:

  • compizconfig-settings-manager
  • emerald

Click on the checkbox to the left of the two packages and select Mark for Installation:

If a package has dependencies, accept these dependencies by clicking on the Mark button:

Next, click on the Apply button:

A new window opens where you must click on Apply again to confirm your selection:

Afterwards, the packages are being downloaded and installed:

After all packages have been installed, you can close the Synaptic Package Manager:

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5 Comment(s)

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There has been a recurrent problem with some distros and this card(try googling fx5200 boot linux), it is solved adding

blacklist intel_agp to /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist, maybe you'd want to add this just in case.

 The problem is that the kernel panics at boot.


it works without problem; thanks...

By: Anonymous

Well Well Well still no 1 go compiz fusion .deb for those useing mobile brord

By: sip xn

the guide is fantastic... tks...very much...

By: Anonymous

i have a gateway AMD athlon x2 dual core:

specs: ATI Radeon HD 3200 graphics
With up to 1919MB of HyperMemory supporting Shader Model 4.0 and Microsoft DirectX 10.0. HDMI interface for connecting to an HDTV.

compiz fusion dont work:

Checking for Xgl: not present.
Detected PCI ID for VGA:
Checking for texture_from_pixmap: not present.
Trying again with indirect rendering:
Checking for texture_from_pixmap: present.
Checking for non power of two support: present.
Checking for Composite extension: present.
Comparing resolution (1366x768) to maximum 3D texture size (8192): Passed.
Checking for Software Rasterizer: Not present.
Checking for nVidia: not present.
Checking for FBConfig: present.
Checking for Xgl: not present.
/usr/bin/compiz.real (core) - Error: Could not acquire compositing manager selection on screen 0 display ":0.0"
/usr/bin/compiz.real (core) - Fatal: No manageable screens found on display :0.0