Now, that we have installed and enabled Desktop Effects (Compiz) in our openSUSE, how do we use it?
Compiz Fusion / Desktop Effects enables a bunch of plugins by default and one of them is the Desktop Cube. The Destop Cube shows the multiple workspace on your desktop as a Desktop Cube. Imagine your Desktop as your cube and each side of the cube is a workspace in your multiple worlspace desktop and thats exactly is a desktop cube. This cube can also be unfolded and shown as a strip of slides where each slide is a desktop workspace.
Prior to enabling and using Desktop Cube, the most important aspect of the Desktop Cube are your keyboard and mouse (or touchpad in case of a laptop)
Apart from the standard special keys on your keyboard like <CTRL> <ALT> <SPACE> <SHIFT> keys there are few others, you need to familiarise with. They are
Super Key – “Windows Key” on your keyboard (if found)
Mouse Key mappings
Button1 – Left-click button on your mouse
Button2 – Right-Click button on your mouse
Button3 – Middle click button or clickable wheel on your mouse
Button4 – Forward scroll on the wheel of your mouse
Button5 – Backward scroll on the wheel of your mouse
Enable Desktop Cube
Let’s first see how to enable the Desktop Cube and the Rotation. The Desktop Effects or Compiz Fusion plugins can be enabled from CompizConfig Settings Manager (ccsm). This can be started from Applications – Applications – CompizConfig Settings Manager or can be started from the terminal as follows:
opensuse11:~ # ccsm
This should launch the CompizConfig Settings Manager
Here, select the checkboxes for “Desktop Cube” and “Rotate Cube”. This enables the Compiz Desktop Cube.
Start Desktop Cube
Lets have a preview, to start the Desktop Cube,
1. Press and hold the keys <CTRL>+<ALT> on the keyboard.
2. While holding the keys, click, hold and drag the Button1 (left click button on mouse). Drag in any direction to view the cube
You should see the cube in action, each side of the cube is a desktop workspace. How is that for a start????
Almost everything about the cube is customizable, from the image on top of the cube or the background image of the cube (Skydome as in Compiz). To customize the Desktop cube, from the CCSM, click the Desktop cube to open the properties.
In the properties window,
the General tab allows you to change the key mapping
the Appearence tab allows to customize the appearence, change images for cube top and background (SkyDome)
the Behaviour tab allows to change the cube behaviour. For instance, to view the cube from the inside
the Transparent Cube tab allows to change the transparency setting.
Lets have a look at some of the effects of the Desktop Cube
Unfold the Cube
To unfold the cube and show it as a strip of slides with each slide representing one side of a Cube
1. Press and hold <CTRL>+<ALT><DOWN Arrow>. This should bring up the strip.
2. To move the strip, while holding the above the keys, press the <Left Arrow> or the <Right Arrow> to move in that direction. You may press and hold this key (say <Left arrow> for a running strip
By default, the cube is viewed from the outside of the cube. lLets for a change look the desktop cube from the inside.
1. Bring up the properties for Desktop Cube and click Behaviour tab.
2. Select the “Inside Cube” check box.
Now bring up the cube as earlier and see the difference
Desktop Cube in Sphere or Cyclinder
Again, the Desktop Cube is by default viewed in square edges where each side is a desktop workspace. Why not view it as a cyclinder or a Sphere. Possible??? Why not?
1. Enable the “Cube Reflection and Deformation” plugin under Effects in CCSM.
2. Click on it to bring the properties and click the “Deformation” tab
3. Select Cyclinder or Spehere from the Deformation listbox.
Now, bring up the cube and see the different… mind blowing!!!
This effect will also be seen when you unfold the Desktop Cube
All is great so far…Why not a 3D effect onto the cube??
Enable the “3D Windows” plugin under effects.
Bring up the Desktop Cube, you should see the active windows in your cube are shown seperately as a 3D window.
Enable the Reflection plugin under effects in CCSM and you should see the reflections on the window when the cube is evoled again. This is the reflection of the image selected. To change the image, click on “Reflection” plugin and choose the image of your choice.
NOTE: On unsupported display/video cards (say Intel 965GM), thus can crash your display.
Hope you had a great preview of your compiz/Desktop Effects. I couldn’t workout a way to capture these while in action than to use my cameras and hence no screenshots of Desktop Cube in action.
In my suse 11 (KDE 4), i’m not able to find the “Cube Reflection and Deformation” and “3D Windows” plugins under CCSM effects.How do i install it ?
I have the cube running and everything seems to be working as expected…
i can not get each desktop to have a different background
i have specified 4 different images under ccsm > wallpaper > backgrounds
but it is still using the image that was initially selected when (in gnome) right clicking on the desktop and selecting an image)
any help would be appreciated
One issue I got is that the cube does not seem to be integrated with the desktops. Whenever I click on a window and tell it to be moved to a certain desktop, it can only be accessed by clicking on that desktop. It is like each desktop represents a cube of its own…
Cool, but I would like to have all my desktops on a single cube and still be able to move a window fast from one desktop to another by a simple right-click…
I am using dell m1330 laptop.And opensuse 11 as my operating system.compiz and all are working with no error.But i didnt get any 3D effects.And not rotating the desktops!!
I added the special effects on OpenSuse11.0(Gnome default version) and I cannot get these extra effects: sphere or cylinder. I get the cube and I guess all the others but no special effects.
I think there is a need to install python-compizconfig and resolve dependecies again in order to be able to access CompizConfig Settings Manager
Can’t I enjoy any desktop effect on my machine with “Mesa DRI Intel(R) 965GME/GLE 20080716 x86/MMX/SSE2”?
Thanks for the great explanations your tutorial really helped me to understand the power of the cube
i have intel 965GM card how can i configure my opensuse with compiz fusion.