Enabling Compiz Fusion On An Ubuntu 9.04 Desktop (NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200)

Version 1.0
Author: Falko Timme
Last edited 05/14/2009

This tutorial shows how you can enable Compiz Fusion on an Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) 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 from System > Administration > Hardware Drivers:

The Hardware Drivers tool should tell you that there's an NVIDIA graphics driver available for your system. To install it, click on Activate:

Type in your password:

Afterwards the NVIDIA driver is being downloaded and installed:

The Hardware Drivers tool should now tell you that a system restart is required to activate the driver. Click on Close to leave the Hardware Drivers tool...

... and then reboot the system:

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


3 Installing Simple Compizconfig Settings Manager (simple-ccsm)

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

Select the package simple-ccsm (simple Compizconfig settings manager) and install it:

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5 Comment(s)

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From: HoTMetaL at: 2009-05-21 20:46:41

Users who have older GPUs like the GeForce FX-series, who must use the 173.x series of proprietary drivers instead of the 177.x and 180.x drivers, should be aware of a rendering bug in Ubuntu's version of 173.x in the Jaunty and Intrepid repositories.

Until the driver in the repo is updated to 173.14.18 or newer, users of these older cards may experience some rendering issues using Compiz with Ubuntu's version (173.14.16) of Nvidia's driver. There's a bug filed about this in Launchpad.

From: lado at: 2009-07-23 00:37:39

Nice how to...... following your tutorial with my ATI MOBILITY RADEON HD3470 graphic cards just work fine.

 The following are just the different aspect:

from add remove programs.... install the  ATI binary X.Org driver and ATI Catalyst Control Center ("Catalyst Control Center for the ATI Radeon and FireGL graphics accelerators")

 then... open system ..... admin..... hardware drivers just like above and install.

follow the remaining of the tutorial above.


 well it would be nice if you could just include the above graphic card in the HEADLINES.

now that is what we call OPEN SOURCE. 

From: Lenka at: 2009-11-03 08:37:15

Very nice post, thank you.

But what can I do .. SUPER button is not working. Only with mouse.

SUPER+MOUSE  = zooming - works ok, but shortcuts with the keys (SUPER+S = select single window, SUPER+T = tab group, SUPER+Left = change left tab, SUPER+Right = change right tab, SUPER+SHIFT+DRAG LEFT MOUSE = draw fire,....) do not work. :(

I appreciate any help


From: Dian at: 2009-10-12 12:48:04

I using ati radeon 3100 and amd turion x2 64 its very fantastic, thanks for nice post :)

From: AllanScott at: 2009-09-11 04:07:54


Not meaning to burst any bubbles here. But an easier way would be to skip to the end. In 9.04 if you choose System -> Preferences -> Appearances. Then go to the "Visual Effects" tab and choose either of the bottom two options, Ubuntu installs ALL the necessary drivers/applications needed to have said effects. Would cut your two page tutorial, down to about a paragraph.

It worked for me on both my pc, and my laptop. (even if said laptop really shouldn't be pushing itself that hard, I swear the thing was on the maiden voyage of the Santa Maria)