Tag Archives: compiz-fusion

Compiz Fusion in Ubuntu Inside a Virtual Machine


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Do you Ubuntu? If not, what’s your excuse? You don’t have to run it as your primary operating system, but all the cool kids are using it! Linux is sorta like ice cream – there are a ton of different flavors! It doesn’t even matter which distro you choose… go with what tastes right to you.

Ubuntu is certainly maturing over time. The latest release has mixed reviews, but are mostly positive. Each generation is more stable, and easier to use. I’ve talked about Linux in the past, especially when it comes to things you can only get inside of Linux… such as Compiz Fusion.

Since Ubuntu is open-source, you may want to give back to that community someday. Who knows? You could be the coder who comes up with the next great advance! But I know that most of you are regular users like I am, and that’s ok!

Now, if you want to run Ubuntu on your desktop, you might want to use virtual machine software. Can you guess which one I’m using? There’s a lot of software out there that can allow you to run an operating system inside of a piece of software. Everyone knows what I’m running now, right? If you were going to guess Parallels or VMWare, you would be incorrect… even though I have coupons for both of them.

What I’m using is VirtualBox from Sun. The same people that brought you Java have now brought you open-source virtualization technology for your desktop. So I’m running an open-source operating system inside of an open-source virtual machine!

Sun has enabled 3D acceleration inside of VirtualBox! So Compiz Fusion is even MORE amazing. It’s insanely smooth – and amazingly cool! I’ve never seen Compiz Fusion running inside a virtual machine before. Not only does it run inside of VirtualBox… it runs very well!

It’s fun to run an operating system like this. Give it a shot… it doesn’t cost you a thing!

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Top Five Reasons to Love Compiz Fusion in Linux

Geek!This is Tyler Condoulo’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

So, you’ve just switched to Linux, probably to the Ubuntu distribution, due to its popularity. Some of the reasons you switched to Ubuntu were pre-installed software, security, or because it works better on older computers than Vista. Come on, don’t lie – the main reason you switched is because you wanted all the effects from Compiz Fusion you saw on Youtube. I will show you the top 5 Compiz Fusion effects that are either just for fun, or will increase your productivity. Before I start, I would like to note that any reference to the Super Key is what Linux/UNIX calls the Start key with the Windows logo on it.

  • Desktop Wall – This happens to be one of my favorite Compiz Fusion effects, as it still provides a smooth transition from one desktop to the next, but it doesn’t require as much graphics power as the desktop cube does (especially with all its effects). This also doesn’t limit you to having desktops just horizontally, but you can have multiple desktops vertically, and still easily switch between them with the following keyboard shortcuts:
    • ctrl+Left – Move to the desktop to the left of the current desktop
    • ctrl+Right – Move to the desktop to the right of the current desktop
    • ctrl+Up – Move to the desktop above the current desktop
    • ctrl+Down – Move to the desktop below the current desktop
  • Expo – Another one of my favorite desktop tools from Compiz Fusion would be the Expo plugin. This plugin will show all of your desktops on one entire wall, and one of my favorite features of this plugin would be the ability to move windows between the desktops while viewing it. This would allow one to organize what they have on one desktop, or what they have on another, much more easily than without it. To access it, press the key combination Super+e. Some of the effects you can apply to this plugin would be displaying it at an angle, or in a curve, you can change the reflection, etc.

  • Scale – This may be a feature in OS X, but it is in Compiz Fusion as well, and I do find it very useful. I might as well include it in this list. This is pretty much Expose’. I’m not gonna go in-depth into it, but it shows a scaled version of each open window in a certain arrangement. By default, you use the key combination Alt +Shift+Up to access it, keep Alt+Shift, and then use your arrow keys or mouse to browse the windows shown.

  • Enhanced Zoom + Negative – Both of these are available in OS X, but both of these in combination in Compiz Fusion can help you on a couple different levels. For example, as Chris Pirillo has done many times on his stream, he will zoom into something and have everything negative when wanting to point something out on his monitors, or even just zoom in. On another level, you can make everything go negative, but have one window in, which isn’t negative, to help you focus on something, as shown below (with it being zoomed in.)

  • Desktop Cube – The desktop cube has to be one of my favorite plugins for Compiz Fusion. It is absolutely amazing what you can do with the cube. You can add a few effects, turn the cube into a sphere or Cylinder, have the windows pop out of the cube, have it transparent, or even have a fish tank in the middle of the cube. The basic function of the cube, though, is to organize your workspace into a cube of course. However, the shape changes depending on how many desktops you have. It can be a flat sheet, triangle, cube, etc.