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#1 2010-08-07 03:31:18

hhh
Caught in the Vortex
Registered: 2010-08-04
Posts: 1,889

Xfce: Compiz, RGBA Transparency, UI Tweaks/

-edit Aug. 4, 2011- This tutorial is a year old and I have no idea if it still works. I'm not using transparency these days so I don't really feel like testing it and risk breaking my system, use at your own risk. If I do find a wallpaper that begs for RGBA transparency and try it again, I'll definitely post my results here. As is pointed out in the following thread, Xfce has nice transparency built in, configurable under Window Manager Tweaks.  - end edit-

I have a brand new installation of Statler Xfce I'm getting to know.  Let's copy this desktop theme I made...

screenzm.png

<edit>Conky and tint2 workarounds are posted later on, or post a message for help.</edit>

<Jan. 25, 2011 edit> A note about using RGBA transparency with xfce-panel that I had entirely forgotten about... the Notification Area applet will not function properly with Compiz enabled. Please remove it from the panel before enabling Compiz. The workaround is to install xfce4-xfapplet-plugin and gnome-applets and use the Gnome applet version of Notification Area via XfApplet (panel->Add New Item->XfApplet->Notification Area). The drawback is that gnome-applets pulls gnome-menu and gnome-panel with it, which won't get used but won't screw anything up either.</edit>

Up front I should say that I'm ignoring Conky as I don't use it and I haven't done any experimenting with getting Conky to work with Compiz or alpha transparency. To disable Conky until the Conky gurus can tell you how to make it work, just rename the hidden file (Ctrl+h to reveal it) .conkyrc in your home/USER_NAME folder to .conkyrc.bak

I've done a lot in a short time, we'll take this in steps...

The first thing we need is to enable Compiz. If you don't have a graphics card & driver capable of running Compiz, you can stop here. I have an integrated Nvidia card, instructions for enabling Nvidia drivers are here...
http://crunchbanglinux.org/forums/topic … r-squeeze/

Reboot, everything looking good? Install Compiz via a terminal...

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install compiz compizconfig-settings-manager compiz-fusion-plugins-main compiz-gnome compiz-gtk

If you want extra plugins like fire on the desktop (I didn't bother), do...

sudo apt-get install compiz-fusion-plugins-extra

There are additional instructions for editing xorg.conf that I didn't need...
http://wiki.debian.org/Compiz

Start Compiz by opening the run dialog (Alt+F2) and running...

compiz --replace

You should now have a basic Compiz session with almost no plugins enabled. Make sure Compiz starts at login by loggin out and checking the box in the logout window for "Save session for future logins". You'll probably lose tint2 when you log in. We'll fix this later but for now start it by opening the Run dialog and running

tint2

Let's set shadows so that they're ready for transparency. Open the CompizConfig Settings Manager (In your Xfce Menu under Settings). On the left pane, choose "Effects" and then "Window Decoration". Under "Shadow Windows", delete "any" and copy/paste the following...

normal | dock | tooltip | popupmenu | dropdownmenu | !notification

I'm using xfce4-panel (we'll get to it), but if you use tint2 or another dock or panel and you want to remove the shadow, remove...

normal | dock | 

(Logout/in or restart tint2 to see the change.)

This is the magic formula I created to have shadows render properly with transparency enabled. Guard it with your life and don't argue.

We need some blur to make text readable when we enable transparency, so go to "Back" and then to "Blur Windows" and set "Blur Filter" to "Gaussian" and "Gaussian Radius" to "5". Close the window.

We need to make sure Compiz is starting at login. Log out and make sure to check the box to "Save session for future logins". Reboot.

Everything good? Let's get these glassy windows going. We need to edit our sources.list file. Again, in a terminal...

gksu gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

Paste this in the bottom of the file that opens...

deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/erik-b-andersen/rgba-gtk/ubuntu lucid main

...and save it, then update your sources from the terminal...

sudo apt-get update

...ignore the warning and install the needed packages...

sudo apt-get install --reinstall gnome-color-chooser gtk2-engines-murrine gtk2-module-rgba

When it's done, remove the line from your sources.list and update again to remove the warning...

sudo apt-get update

Now open Gnome Color Chooser (under "Settings") and go to the tab on the far right (you may have to scroll) labeled "Engines". Check "Global" and set the engine to "Murrine" and under "Preferences" check both boxes to "Enable/Disable RGBA support". Then "OK", "Apply", wait for it and "Close". Log out and in and after a few seconds you should have transparency.

Here was my source  for that...
http://www.webupd8.org/2010/05/enable-r … u-910.html

Iceweasel/Firefox might not play Flash without a fix. If so, we need to alter the startup script...

gksu gedit /usr/bin/firefox

Below the line that reads

#!/bin/sh

...add...

export XLIB_SKIP_ARGB_VISUALS=1

We might also need to blacklist a few programs from transparency (video players especially). Open the hidden file .profile in your /home/USER_NAME folder and add this to the bottom....

export GTK_MODULES=rgba
export GTK_RGBA_APPS=allbut:firefox-bin:gnome-mplayer:totem:soffice:mplayer:gxine:inkscape

You can add more programs to the second line, of course.

OK, that's a good start, let me know if I screwed these instructions up somewhere. To be continued...

Last edited by hhh (2011-08-08 05:08:13)

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#2 2010-08-07 04:07:38

FiniteStateMachine
Part of the Machine
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: 2009-06-29
Posts: 1,489

Re: Xfce: Compiz, RGBA Transparency, UI Tweaks/

Sounds good to me, I'll test this out sometime soon smile


just call me...
~FSM~

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#3 2010-08-07 07:12:03

hhh
Caught in the Vortex
Registered: 2010-08-04
Posts: 1,889

Re: Xfce: Compiz, RGBA Transparency, UI Tweaks/

Go to Settings>Session and Startup>Application Autostart and add tint2 with the command tint2. That will get tint2 started when you log in.

If you started this walkthrough with a default #! layout, you can't see shadows yet because the wallpaper is black! Go to Settings>Desktop and set the colors to a medium solid color or gradient. If you keep it gray you'll already have a very unified theme...

screenshoteun.png

Last edited by hhh (2010-08-08 11:59:53)

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#4 2010-08-07 11:17:48

semko
#! Member
From: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Registered: 2008-12-04
Posts: 97

Re: Xfce: Compiz, RGBA Transparency, UI Tweaks/

First things first. Thanks for making this awesome tutorial. smile

Now I hope I can contribute a bit.
This is how I got it working. A bit more work than yours but maybe there somewhere is a solution for problems you've mentioned.

I did the same steps as you until setting shadows and adding the eric-b-andersen repo.
I already had added hadret's unstable repo. It has newer murrine engine.
I didn't add erik-b-andersen ppa but I downloaded the file "gtk2-module-rgba" directly from here.
I then installed emerald (since it wasn't in the repos used by Statler, downloaded from http://packages.ubuntu.com/lucid/emerald).
I had to enable "Move Window" and "Resize Window" in CompizConfig Settings Manager under Window Management.

I start the standard Statler Xfce desktop and only then I enable Compiz (true Compiz Fusion Icon).
I expirience tha same problem with tint2.

hhh wrote:

Up front I should say that I'm ignoring Conky as I don't use it and I haven't done any experimenting with getting Conky to work with Compiz or alpha transparency. To disable Conky until the Conky gurus can tell you how to make it work, just rename the hidden file (Ctrl+h to reveal it) .conkyrc in your home/USER_NAME folder to .conkyrc.bak

All I did, as far as I remember, was to add this line

own_window_argb_visual yes

below line

own_window_hints undecorated,below,sticky,skip_taskbar,skip_pager

and replaced

own_window_type desktop

with

own_window_type normal

in .conkyrc.

hhh wrote:

Iceweasel/Firefox won't play Flash without a fix. We need to alter the startup script...

I didn't experience any problems with Iceweasel and flash.

hhh wrote:

We should also blacklist a few programs from transparency (video players especially). Open the hidden file .profiles in your /home/USER_NAME folder and add this to the bottom....

I didn't have to do this since there was a file "gtkrgba.sh" in the "/etc/profile.d/" folder, that looks like this:

export GTK_MODULES=rgba
export GTK_RGBA_APPS=allbut:firefox:firefox-3.5:gksudo:ooffice:soffice:inksca\
pe:gksu:gtk-recordMyDesktop:kompozer-bin:gpaint:lernid:totem:truecrypt:thunde\
rbird-bin:thunderbird:checkgmail:gloobus-preview:exe:firefox-bin:swiftfox-bin\
:gnome-mplayer:gnome-screensaver:google-chrome:chromium-browser:prism-bin:gno\
me-mplayer:xsane:metacity:mutter:Banshee

Hope there something helpful.
Regards.

Last edited by semko (2010-08-07 17:18:54)


Truth is on the side of the oppressed.
registered linux user #470990 - Which OS Are You?

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#5 2010-08-07 17:36:16

thil77
#! CrunchBanger
Registered: 2009-01-12
Posts: 193

Re: Xfce: Compiz, RGBA Transparency, UI Tweaks/

@ hhh

what is the advantage of using compiz compared to xfce own composite manager ?

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#6 2010-08-07 19:57:51

hhh
Caught in the Vortex
Registered: 2010-08-04
Posts: 1,889

Re: Xfce: Compiz, RGBA Transparency, UI Tweaks/

thil77 wrote:

what is the advantage of using compiz compared to xfce own composite manager ?

The big one in this case is enabling Alpha transparency, the modules won't work without Compiz, AFAIK. Additionally, Compiz offers more control over windows, a ton of configuration options and a bunch of plugins...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4wB3GUemVw

@semko,  yw!

semko wrote:

(To make Conky work I added)

own_window_argb_visual yes

below line

own_window_hints undecorated,below,sticky,skip_taskbar,skip_pager

and replaced

own_window_type desktop

with

own_window_type normal

in .conkyrc.

Awesome. If you want Conky to be embedded in you desktop remove...

normal |

...from the "Shadow windows" field of the Window Decoration plugin in Compiz and don't argue!

Now we have Compiz effects and transparency. If you want to temporarily disable transparency, say to play a video game or watch a movie, kill Compiz by running...

xfwm4 --replace

...in the Run dialog, and...

compiz --replace

...when you're done.

Let's add a shadow under you notification popups... In /home/USER_NAME open the hidden file .notify-osd. From what I can tell, shadows are determined by bubble-corner-radius and are a none/slight/heavy option. Setting the radius at 33,33% gives a decently matched shadow. We'll come back to this file later.

Now we're getting into personal preferences, but let's continue to mimic the original screenshot...
Let's add a new GTK2 theme and new icons. In a terminal, run...

sudo apt-get install shiki-wise-theme

Now go to Settings>Appearence>Style and choose "Shiki-wise", then go to the Icons tab and choose "GNOME-Wise". Logout/in to load all the new icons. Ah, a little color to our desktop! If you want a wallpaper that matches perfectly, in terminal run...

sudo apt-get install arc-wise

...then go to Settings>Desktop>Background, click, the large "plus" button and navigate to either /images/wallpapers/shared/Arc-wise.png in your home/User_NAME directory or to /usr/share/backgrounds/Arc-wise.png in your file system.

With a new wallpaper that grey box in tint2 is out of place, so let's remove it. In your USER_NAME folder, navigate to (hidden) .configure/tint2/tint2rc, and under "# Taskbar" change the line "taskbar_active_background_id = 4" to "taskbar_active_background_id = 0" and logout/in to see the change.

Back after a short break...

Last edited by hhh (2010-08-08 12:08:49)

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#7 2010-08-07 21:23:24

hhh
Caught in the Vortex
Registered: 2010-08-04
Posts: 1,889

Re: Xfce: Compiz, RGBA Transparency, UI Tweaks/

Ok. Let's move our popup notifications to another part of the screen. If you're on a 32-bit computer, click the following link...
https://launchpad.net/~leolik/+archive/ … 3_i386.deb

For 64-bit...
https://launchpad.net/~leolik/+archive/ … _amd64.deb
Save the file, then navigate to it and double-click it for Gdebi to install it. Now, in a terminal run...

gconftool-2 -s /apps/notify-osd/gravity --type=int 3

... and see the change by running...

cb-fortune

You can change the number 3 as follows...

1 - top-right corner
2 - middle-right
3 - bottom-right corner
4 - bottom-left corner
5 - middle-left
6 - top-left corner

Our tooltips look ugly, let's match them to our GTK2 theme. Open a program that isn't built on GTK, like Iceweasel or Gparted, open Gnome Color Chooser again and navigate to the "Specific" tab. Check both boxes for "Tooltips" and set the Foreground color (click the color swatch) to Color name: #222222 . Click the Background swatch and the eyedropper tool and then click the main background of your other program (so in Iceweasel you'd click on the status bar or one of the toolbars or the tabstrip and the color name would be #D8D8D8). Click "Apply" and we have matching tooltips.

Now that we have this background color, we can match a couple more elements. Lets go back to the /home/USER_NAME/.notify-osd file and change bubble-background-color from 3C3C3C to D8D8D8, set the bubble-background-opacity to 60% and set both text-title-color and text-body-color to 222222 . To see the change, in a terminal run...

cb-fortune

If you're like me and prefer Xfce Terminal to Terminator, you'll want to make that match too. In the terminal go to Edit>Preferences>Appearance>Background, set it to Transparent and set the slider to .65. Then go to the "Colors" tab and set Text color and Cursor color to #222222 and Background to #D8D8D8 .

You should now have something like this...

screenlex.png

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#8 2010-08-07 22:03:03

omns
#! wanderer
From: ~/
Registered: 2008-11-25
Posts: 5,131

Re: Xfce: Compiz, RGBA Transparency, UI Tweaks/

thil77 wrote:

@ hhh

what is the advantage of using compiz compared to xfce own composite manager ?

Very little that I can see. Xfce's transparency is seemless and low on resources. imo compiz is a bit of an oxymoron in a lightweight desktop. That said this is a nice tutorial for making openbox do jazzy things cool Thank you for sharing smile

I guess a similar question to the above is what is the advantage of compiz over cairo-xcompmgr  or xcompmgr-dana that Alpha 2 uses with openbox?

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#9 2010-08-07 22:25:16

thil77
#! CrunchBanger
Registered: 2009-01-12
Posts: 193

Re: Xfce: Compiz, RGBA Transparency, UI Tweaks/

yes, compiz have more parameters.

but for the record, xfce composite have alpha transparency.
Also, it doesn't put shadow around panel (tint2 or another) and allow virtual desktop (witch is not supported by compiz the last time I try it).

ecran1.th.jpg

Last edited by thil77 (2010-08-07 22:35:23)

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#10 2010-08-07 23:36:51

hhh
Caught in the Vortex
Registered: 2010-08-04
Posts: 1,889

Re: Xfce: Compiz, RGBA Transparency, UI Tweaks/

@omns, yes, in spite of #! being set up as a low resource OS, this is all about eyecandy and resources be damned... but for Xfce, not Openbox, as the thread title states. You can't use both Openbox and Compiz, they're both window managers.

@thil77, Compiz has virtual desktops and Expo for managing them. Also, it's a different transparency effect, can't you see? Your active window is opaque and the other windows are uniformly transparent, mine are all partially transparent but the text is still readable (thanks to the Gaussian blur).

Anyway, I'll keep posting tweaks and we'll leave the comparison of window managers and compositing for another thread.

Last edited by hhh (2010-08-07 23:42:18)

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#11 2010-08-08 00:25:10

omns
#! wanderer
From: ~/
Registered: 2008-11-25
Posts: 5,131

Re: Xfce: Compiz, RGBA Transparency, UI Tweaks/

hhh wrote:

but for Xfce, not Openbox, as the thread title states.

lol lol I have openbox on the brain at the moment.

hhh wrote:

You can't use both Openbox and Compiz, they're both window managers.

Oh dear, clearly I need more sleep and to properly think about what I'm replying to... big_smile

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#12 2010-08-08 03:10:28

hhh
Caught in the Vortex
Registered: 2010-08-04
Posts: 1,889

Re: Xfce: Compiz, RGBA Transparency, UI Tweaks/

@omns, np.

hhh wrote:

@omns, yes, in spite of #! being set up as a low resource OS, this is all about eyecandy and resources be damned

I didn't phrase that right. This is about getting all the eyecandy that the Lucid Gnome environment can give you but using way less RAM and using Xfce programs which start faster than Gnome equivalents, resulting in a much snappier feeling OS. Conky is saying my RAM usage is 135MB at idle, what's a Lucid desktop like?

Let's keep going. Here is the wallpaper from the original screen shot in both regular and wide screen formats, set one as your wallpaper...
http://desktop.qkype.com/wallpapers/nat … _75136.jpg
http://widescreen.qkype.com/wallpapers/ … _19245.jpg

We need to install Emerald as our window decorator. Scroll to the bottom of this page and choose i386 for 32-bit or amd64 and choose a mirror, then save/install the package...
http://packages.ubuntu.com/lucid/libemeraldengine0
...and the same with this one...
http://packages.ubuntu.com/lucid/emerald
Click this link too...
http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/p … u1_all.deb
Start emerald from the Run dialog...

emerald --replace

We can change Emerald's appearance and themes from Settings>Emerald Theme Manager. Go to Themes Settings>Edit Themes>Theme>Name: Untitled Theme, switch the name to Beryl Red and save the default theme. Then you can mess around and still come back to the default via the Themes tab.

Make sure Emerald starts at login by adding it in Settings>Session and Startup>Application Autostart with the command

emerald --replace

If you want to switch back to the regular (GTK) decorations, disable Emerald from the startup applications and logout/login.

We need to install another Emerald theme. Click this link...
http://gnome-look.org/CONTENT/content-f … ue.emerald
Save the file, then go to Settings>Emerald Theme Manager>Themes Settings>Themes>Import and navigate to the .emerald package. Then choose it from the Themes tab in the manager . Go to Edit Themes>Frame Engines and set the engine to truglass; now our windows almost look like the original screenshot's. To remove the icon and window title from the Title Bar, go to Edit Themes>Titlebar>Title Bar>Title-bar Object Layout and change it to...

::NXC:Normal Layout

Here's how to get Thunar to recognize the desktop... Go to /home/USER_NAME and create a folder named Desktop. Now go to the hidden file .config/user-dirs.dirs and open it with gedit. Change the line...

XDG_DESKTOP_DIR="$HOME/"

...to...

XDG_DESKTOP_DIR="$HOME/Desktop"

Logout and back in. Now let's get icons on the desktop and drag and drop capability. Go to Settings>Desktop>Icons>Appearance>Icon Type and change it to File/launcher icons.

*Warning* This changes the menu structure when right-clicking the desktop (it adds commands for creating files, folders and launchers on the desktop). All the menus are still there but they are one level deeper. If you've been starting programs by right-clicking the desktop you will probably hate this, feel free to switch the setting back to None.

In the next post we'll get the panel rocking...

Last edited by hhh (2010-12-08 15:24:51)

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#13 2010-08-08 03:41:25

FiniteStateMachine
Part of the Machine
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: 2009-06-29
Posts: 1,489

Re: Xfce: Compiz, RGBA Transparency, UI Tweaks/

hhh wrote:

This is about getting all the eyecandy that the Lucid Gnome environment can give you but using way less RAM and using Xfce programs which start faster than Gnome equivalents, resulting in a much snappier feeling OS. Conky is saying my RAM usage is 135MB at idle, what's a Lucid desktop like?

Oh, i see what your getting at. For the record, i happen to be running a fresh lucid install now, with very little customization.
With firefox, tomboy notes, and transmission going, I am using 700MB of ram. Compared to 400MB on Statler (keep in mind this is 64bit, which is why there is a discrepancy, if it were 32bit statler, i would have much lower ram usage, same goes for Ubuntu).

I haven't noted any sluggishness with Ubuntu so far, but it still seems a bit slower than openbox's naturally snappiness.
I may try xfce in a little while, and see if it works for me (my graphics card gives me some weird rendering issues with Statler Openbox, didn't try the xfce version).


just call me...
~FSM~

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#14 2010-08-08 05:12:31

hhh
Caught in the Vortex
Registered: 2010-08-04
Posts: 1,889

Re: Xfce: Compiz, RGBA Transparency, UI Tweaks/

@FSM, with my limited machine (32-bit, 1G RAM, 1.8 MHz processor) I feel a big difference between Gnome and Xfce, yet I want my CrunchBang box to look as good as anyone's rig.

Ok, the panel: I love tint2, tint2 is great, let's lose tint2. You can edit CrunchBang's startup script (/home/USER_NAME/.config/xfce4/autostart.sh) to keep tint2 from starting, but I just disabled the autostart script in Settings>Session and Startup>Application Autostart (uncheck xfce4-autostart). Disable the Volume Icon too. Kill tint2 and start the panel from terminal...

killall tint2
xfce4-panel

...and it will open and autohide on the left edge of your screen. Right-click it and Choose "Customize Panel" and set Position>Fixed>Full Width and move it to the bottom of your screen, uncheck Autohide, uncheck "Make active panel opaque" under Appearance and set the slider at 0% Transparency. Close the dialog.

Right click on the different objects on the panel (if there are any) and choose "Remove" till you have an empty panel. Now choose "Add New Items..." and add one Seperator or Spacing and make it an "Expanding empty space".  Ah, the panel matches. You can add the applets you want now (you'll probably want a clock, the Xfce Menu and a Task List), except that the Notification Area and Weather applets won't work with transparency, I don't know why (workaround coming up ahead...) You can change the icon for the Xfce Menu button by right-clicking it and choosing Properties, then choose a new one under Icons>Button icon:.

Let's make sure the panel starts with our next session, so logout and check the box in the logout window to "Save session for future logins".

Ok, to get the Notification Area back up we need to install Gnome Applets. This is a largish download that's going to bring a bunch of dependencies in with it, but we'll be able to remove some of them afterwards. If you don't need a notification area and don't care about a weather applet, you should probably omit these next few steps...

Install the Xf Applet plugin and Gnome Applets from a terminal (if you're picky and want to make sure you've stripped out every Gnome program that's possible, copy the "To be installed" programs to a text file so you can apt-get purge them one by one later. If you log out before removing gnome-session you will log back into a handicapped Gnome session w/out an updated Nautilus, which means you will lose your wallpaper! Switch to an Xfce session in the login manager and set it to "Always use this session")...

sudo apt-get install xfce4-xfapplet-plugin gnome-applets

When it's done, run...

sudo apt-get purge gnome-power-manager gnome-screenshot gnome-search-tool gnome-session gnome-session-bin gnome-session-common gnome-system-monitor gnome-media-common gnome-system-log

Then...

sudo apt-get --purge autoremove && sudo apt-get autoclean

Logout/login to activate the Gnome applets. You'll then find Xf Applet in the Xfce panel applets list and the Gnome Applets list will appear when you add an Xf Applet.

Now we can add a new Gnome applet that I love, Talika. Talika is a window switcher/dock/launcher. It iconifies windows and let's you manage them with the mouse... left click to launch/maximise/minimize, middle click to close and right click for a context menu for moving the window to another workspace, pinning it as a launcher, etc... Here's the page at Gnome Look...
http://gnome-look.org/content/show.php?content=118267
There are instructions in the comments to build it from SVN for some added features. Here are those terminal commands...

sudo apt-get install subversion gnome-common libglib2.0-dev libpanel-applet2-dev libwnck-dev
svn co https://talika.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/talika talika
cd talika/trunk/
./autogen.sh --prefix=/usr
make
sudo make install

Last edited by hhh (2012-02-13 17:46:40)

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#15 2010-08-08 08:59:04

hhh
Caught in the Vortex
Registered: 2010-08-04
Posts: 1,889

Re: Xfce: Compiz, RGBA Transparency, UI Tweaks/

Just a few more quick theming tips... you probably know about setting up your fonts in Settings>Appearance>Fonts. I have anti-aliasing enabled and sub-pixel order RGB, a custom DPI of 96, and I switch hinting depending on the font I set. But to get my browser fonts to look right I had to edit /home/USER_NAME/.fonts.conf and change...

<edit mode="assign" name="hintstyle" >
   <const>hintfull</const>

...to...

<edit mode="assign" name="hintstyle" >
   <const>hintslight</const>

...and leave it there. (other available settings are hintmedium and hintnone )

You can install more matching Shiki/Gnome icons/GTK themes/wallpapers/GDM themes through Synaptic by installing arc-colors, gnome-colors and shiki-colors.

Of course, there are more themes and icons at...
http://gnome-look.org/

You can custom colorize certain icon sets using MagIcons...
http://gnome-look.org/content/show.php/ … ent=120508

Download the Humanities icon set and try it out...
http://gnome-look.org/content/show.php/ … ent=117230
Open MagIcons (it's under Graphics) and at the top (Select an iconset:) Choose "Install iconset"... from the dropdown list. Pick a color scheme or create/save one of your own, then "Apply this iconset" at the bottom. Close MagIcons, go to Settings>Appearance>Icons and choose MagIcons from the list.

You can get icons on your Documents/Downloads/Music/etc... folders by right clicking them, choosing "Properties" and assigning them emblems.

I can't think of anything else right now.

screenuf.png

Last edited by hhh (2010-08-10 18:09:55)

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#16 2010-08-08 09:44:34

thil77
#! CrunchBanger
Registered: 2009-01-12
Posts: 193

Re: Xfce: Compiz, RGBA Transparency, UI Tweaks/

@thil77, Compiz has virtual desktops

I'm interested to know if tint2, Ipager or another pager draw multi-desktop ?
try the option taskbar_mode = multi_desktop to see if you get one taskbar by desktop (like in my previous screen).

Compiz is known (some years ago) to made a confusion between 'Virtual desktop' and 'Viewport'.
The 'desktop number' in compiz added 'Viewport' and doesn't manage 'Virtual desktop'.

See https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+sour … bug/153322
or http://forum.compiz.org/viewtopic.php?f=86&t=11943
or  https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+sour … bug/150690

This bug is standing since the beginning of compiz.
But I would be very happy if it's fixed ... and Ipager/tint2 can show multi-desktop in compiz.

Last edited by thil77 (2010-08-08 13:19:29)

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#17 2010-08-08 21:53:53

omns
#! wanderer
From: ~/
Registered: 2008-11-25
Posts: 5,131

Re: Xfce: Compiz, RGBA Transparency, UI Tweaks/

hhh wrote:

This is about getting all the eyecandy that the Lucid Gnome environment can give you but using way less RAM and using Xfce programs which start faster than Gnome equivalents, resulting in a much snappier feeling OS. Conky is saying my RAM usage is 135MB at idle, what's a Lucid desktop like?.

It would be interesting to see a Ram comparison of this setup and a default Lucid. I have a few Lucid/Mint machines at work. I'll have a look big_smile

Out of curiosity which Xfce programs start faster than gnome ones in a xfce4/compiz session like this? I would think that Thunar would be one of these and the xfce4-terminal. How does using them in this setup compare to using them as defaults in a gnome session?

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#18 2010-08-09 01:39:24

hhh
Caught in the Vortex
Registered: 2010-08-04
Posts: 1,889

Re: Xfce: Compiz, RGBA Transparency, UI Tweaks/

@omns, I've been wanting to play with a Lucid install, Ill set aside a small partition. The agonizing thing will be the installation; 20-30 minutes, as I remember, vs. 5 for CrunchBang:^0

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#19 2010-08-09 02:42:15

FiniteStateMachine
Part of the Machine
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: 2009-06-29
Posts: 1,489

Re: Xfce: Compiz, RGBA Transparency, UI Tweaks/

I noticed that too hhh. I remember timing Crunchbang, and I got from putting the CD in to having a workable environment (so that includes downloading the fglrx drivers and manually installing them) was 7 minutes.
Granted I knew what i was doing.

Ubuntu was 22 minutes, probably 21:30 of which was spent watching a progress bar.


just call me...
~FSM~

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#20 2010-08-09 18:57:41

hhh
Caught in the Vortex
Registered: 2010-08-04
Posts: 1,889

Re: Xfce: Compiz, RGBA Transparency, UI Tweaks/

I can't say a bad thing about Lucid.

I skipped downloading the language packs during installation and that cut the time to 7 minutes. The thing boots fast, runs solid and looks damn good.  Once everything was set up right, I barely noticed a difference, meaning once I trimmed the fat from Gnome's startup services.

Neither OS ran printer, power management or screensaver services. Gnome also had Bluetooth, Evolution notifications, file updating, remote desktop blah blah blah all shut off so that it would be close to the Xfce setup.

Yes, Xfce was lighter on RAM... if I just booted up and let the desktop idle, Conky reported 206MB being used by Ubuntu and 152 by Crunchbang.  During use, they felt practically identical, except for Nautilus drags a little more the first time you open it than Thunar does.

Gnome...
ubugnome.png

Xfce...
crunchxfce.png

Anyway, CrunchBang can handle all the eyecandy and run a bit lighter doing it.

If anybody has success or failure with any of the steps outlined, let me know.

Last edited by hhh (2010-08-10 18:12:42)

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#21 2010-08-09 20:33:25

omns
#! wanderer
From: ~/
Registered: 2008-11-25
Posts: 5,131

Re: Xfce: Compiz, RGBA Transparency, UI Tweaks/

^ Very interesting. Thank you for taking the time to test and sharing the results smile


Edit: Both desktops look great btw  smile

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#22 2010-08-10 01:25:36

fuminori
Member
Registered: 2010-04-14
Posts: 19

Re: Xfce: Compiz, RGBA Transparency, UI Tweaks/

To remove the shadows around conky in compiz I had to add

& !(name=Conky)

to the Shadow windows dialogue.

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#23 2010-08-10 11:02:31

hhh
Caught in the Vortex
Registered: 2010-08-04
Posts: 1,889

Re: Xfce: Compiz, RGBA Transparency, UI Tweaks/

omns wrote:

Thank you for taking the time to test and sharing the results smile

You're welcome:^)

omns wrote:

Both desktops look great btw  smile

Thanks, I'm afraid I've become addicted to those translucent windows with their lovely soft glow. They are my crack and I must smoke them, join my crackden. Muah ha ha ha ha ha!!!</evil laugh>

@fuminori, you got this working on your box? SCREENSHOT!

fuminori wrote:

To remove the shadows around conky in compiz I had to add

& !(name=Conky)

to the Shadow windows dialogue.

Thanks for mentioning this. Your markup should work but it didn't for me. The way I disabled the conky shadow was to remove...

normal |

The shadow dialog goes haywire when you enable transparency. I played with it for a couple of hours one day... you enter markup that the Compiz Wiki says should work, then look at the screen and your jaw goes slack as you say out loud "What the . . . ?" For me, I couldn't get it to recognize "!" at all... instead of diasabling a shadow I could only carefully enable them one by one. Your mileage may vary, of course, but remember what I said... "Don't argue!" |;-O

Last edited by hhh (2010-08-10 12:23:59)

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#24 2010-08-10 19:46:32

hhh
Caught in the Vortex
Registered: 2010-08-04
Posts: 1,889

Re: Xfce: Compiz, RGBA Transparency, UI Tweaks/

thil77 wrote:

I'm interested to know if tint2, Ipager or another pager draw multi-desktop ?
try the option taskbar_mode = multi_desktop to see if you get one taskbar by desktop (like in my previous screen).

I see what you mean now, I think the answer is no. As soon as I turn Compiz off tint2 shows only 1 taskbar and Xfce's number of workspaces gets set to 1. You can then set workspaces in terms of "horizontal size" (and vertical size, if you want). Tint2 then shows all open apps no matter the workspace. If you enable the Desktop Cube and Rotate Cube plugins, clicking an app's icon in tint2 will "spin" you to that workspace (cube is the name only, you can have more than 4 desks). With Expo enabled you "zoom" out to a view of all workspaces where you can drag windows to other workspaces or zoom back in or to another space.

Speaking of Compiz, if you enable the Animations plugin you may discover a bug... Notify Osd flickers when fading out (maybe when fading in too) To fix it, go to the Open Animation and Close Animation tabs in that plugin's settings, there will be 3 entries in each tab. Double-click the bottom entry in both and delete...

Notification |

and save the changes.

Animations can add some cool effects but they can affect how your computer "feels". I love the Zoom effect but if the duration is over 100 I get distracted by it. My settings now are the defaults with these changes: all durations set to 80, the bottom effect in both tabs set to "Zoom", and the 1 entry in the Minimize tab set to "None" (there is a little lag when my box draws an unminimized window compared to minimizing it, and with an animation added it just looks bad).

I've added "UI Tweaks" to this thread's title... in the 6 months that I've been exclusively using Xfce I've found the documention/community around it to be pretty sparse, so any tips anyone can list here in terms of UI tweaks or usability wouldn't hurt any!

One thing that I had to ask help for was switching the display of toolbars between text and icons, which pvsage told me was under Appearance>Settings. That browser font tweak was courtesy of the Arch wiki, but it's not on that wiki's Xfce page but on their font configuration page.

Here's one I haven't found an answer for... Is there a way for Thunar to recognize an audio cd? I can play one and I can rip one but I can't "see" it in Thunar, and if I install PCManFM I can see an icon for it, but if I click it I get a "location is not mountable" error. I've checked out the Xfce versions of sidux, PCLinuxOS,  openSUSE and Xubuntu, and it's the same in all of them. Put an audio CD in a Gnome setup and it happily gives you an icon on the desktop that you can browse. I guess this is an issue in thunar-volman?
http://gezeiten.org/post/2010/01/Thunar … ion-of-HAL

Here's how to delay tint2 from starting up... add it to your Autostart Applications with this command...

bash -c "sleep 10; tint2"

... where 10 is seconds and can be changed, but this gave compiz time to kick in so that tint2 started without shadows drawn if set that way. Of course, any program can be delayed using the same syntax (eg: bash -c "sleep 5; conky").

Last edited by hhh (2010-08-10 20:00:19)

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Be excellent to each other!

#25 2010-08-16 14:20:52

hhh
Caught in the Vortex
Registered: 2010-08-04
Posts: 1,889

Re: Xfce: Compiz, RGBA Transparency, UI Tweaks/

This is an answer to a question in another thread, but I'm posting it here to keep my tweaks in one thread...

Q: How do I change the font for Notify OSD?

A: I'm not sure if this can be done for Openbox but it can for Xfce. Notify OSD takes it's font from Gnome settings, so you need to first install gconf-editor...

sudo apt-get install gconf-editor

Then open the run dialog (Alt+F2) and enter...

gconf-editor

Now navigate to desktop>gnome>interface>font_name, double-click on "Value" and enter a new font (eg: Liberation Sans 10). You don't need to add "Bold" or "Regular", Notify OSD sets the title font-weight to bold and the body font-weight to normal by default. Logout/login to see the change.

Last edited by hhh (2011-06-14 18:07:52)

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