Intense Software: Compiz Fusion

Compiz Fusion is naturally one of those things that people want to have. Eye-candy like this is one of the main reasons people are attracted to Windows Vista, but it is actually one of the main downfalls to all operating systems. Eye-candy is just what is it is, something pretty that we all like to see. The reason something like this is a downfall for operating systems is that it takes a lot of resources to produce the wanted effect. Not all computers are capable of running this type of program and those that do meet the minimum requirements find that their Processor is constantly running at a high speed.

Now I am just likely everyone in the Linux community, wanting their system to meet their needs and looking just like they want it in the process. I own a laptop that is not too old, but not that new either. It’s hardware is that of mid-range value and can run fair amount of software that takes many resources. Compiz Fusion happens to be one of these programs. The problem with having it is that the fan constantly runs at high speed and my laptop always heats up. Another problem that I had found before, in my experience, had been my ATI graphics card.

Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbons (version 7.10) has gotten a lot better in dealing with ATI graphics cards, although not all are still supported. The graphics card that is in my laptop, the ATI Radeon Xpress 200M, is a card that is basically on the fence. Some people can get it to work while others always end up in defeat. For ATI cards it has been my experience to enable a little program called XGL. This causes the card to lose direct rendering, which is useful for playing games, but allows compositing, which is what allows Compiz Fusion and other eye-candy to function in Linux.

Compiz Fusion in itself is easy to set up in Ubuntu Gutsy, as all it takes is to install the restricted drivers and then enable the graphics. With Nvidia graphics cards, this is easy as stated (as long as your card is not too old). With ATI cards on the other hand, a lot need XGL to run programs like Compiz Fusion while some are easy as Nvidia. These problems are mainly due to the fact that the ATI drivers are still proprietary and AMD/ATI has not been helpful in releasing them to the open source community.

To conclude, Compiz Fusion is a great program to impress your friends and get them to love the operating systems that are commonly known as Linux. Before your recommend these things to friends, the hardware must be known and researched to find out if they may been alright is using a hardware-intense program like Compiz Fusion. 


~ by masterjs on March 15, 2008.

3 Responses to “Intense Software: Compiz Fusion”

  1. It seems you’re implying nVidia drivers are open source. They are not. nVidia drivers are still proprietary to the best of my knowledge.

  2. The thing is Nvidia allows them to be accessible to the Linux community, giving us more compatability with all the distributions.

  3. Yes, that’s true. I’m not saying that it’s not a good thing. It’s a step in the right direction, but I think we as a whole would prefer open source drivers.

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