Check if Compiz will run well on your Linux Box with Compiz Check

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Those people who frown at the Linux GUI (Graphical User Interface) haven’t actually experienced the 3D effects provided by Compiz. Compiz is a composite manager that adds visually pleasing 3D effects to your desktop – these include the cube effect and other window minimization effects that make things very appealing on your screen.

For instance, drag a window and the window wobbles. Compiz also has plugin support which means that you can add more such effects to decorate your desktop’s look.

Compiz Screenshot

Compiz works perfectly on most hardware that has good drivers – however, problems do exist and sometimes it may not work so well with your computer’s graphics card. Depending upon the kind of drivers and support, Compiz may not work at all, or it might throw up errors when activated.

Compiz desktop effects couldn't be enabled

Those of you who want to experience the ‘wow!’ that Compiz does on your desktop, but are not sure whether it’ll work well with your graphics card and other devices can make use of this little tool called Compiz Check.

Compiz Check checks your system’s hardware and gives you a brief report on the compatibility of your hardware. You can basically find out if Compiz will run on your computer.

Follow these steps to use Compiz Check:

  • (1) Download this file and put it in your home directory (ie, /home/username/).
  • (2) Go to the terminal and type: chmod +x compiz-check
  • (3) Now, type: ./compiz-check

Here’s how the Compiz Check report looks in the terminal:

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Compiz Check report

You’ll see some technical things listed in there, and the last line, as described in this page. The script checks

  • for the current’s driver compatibility with Compiz.
  • if it’s an nVidia card, it checks to see if there’s adequate memory on the card
  • ATI/Radeon drivers
  • if the current resolution is compatible with Compiz

Just in case something seems to be incompatible, you’ll get a clear report on what’s wrong. You’ll get descriptions which will help you to understand the real reason why Compiz wouldn’t run well on your computer. You could then analyse those details, and then ask for solutions from others in the Ubuntu community – things will be much easier then!

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