Monday, July 27, 2009

Compiz, the cube, wallpapers, and desktop icons...

As of now, compiz doesn't get along too well with Gnome or XFCE desktops as far as wallpapers are concerned. The wallpaper plugin to compiz allows one to set different backgrounds for each virtual desktop, but those backgrounds are obscured by Nautilus in Gnome and xfdesktop in XFCE.

One way to to get back the compiz wallpapers is to disable the desktop drawing by Nautilus and xfdesktop. This has the unfortunate side-effect of removing all desktop icons as well. Under Gnome, it also disables auto-mount of removable drives. Sadly, one has to live with this trade-off until someone fixes the whole thing.

With Gnome, there is another option that works most of the time.
1. Turn on desktop drawing by Nautilus.
2. Enable compiz and the desktop cube.
3. In CCSM, under General Options -> Desktop Size, set the sliders to 4-1-2.
4. Check that rotate cube works across the 4 virtual desktops.
5. Check the pager in the bottom panel - it should show 2 desktops.
6. Click on the second desktop - you should see the wallpapers set up in the wallpaper plugin of compiz, and you should be able to rotate through the 4 virtual desktops on this (second) cube.
7. If the Gnome panels don't appear, open a terminal (it's a good idea to set up a shortcut key to launch the terminal, otherwise you may get stuck on the second desktop without the panels), and killall gnome-panel. The panels should reappear.

If all went OK, the 4 virtual desktops on the first desktop should show the same (Gnome) wallpaper as well as the desktop icons. The 4 virtual desktops of the second desktop should show the compiz wallpapers, *without* any desktop icons. If both sets of virtual desktops show the same (Gnome) wallpaper, try logging out and back in - it worked for me most of the time!

No comments: