Compiz 0.9 landing in Rawhide

Adam Williamson awilliam at
Tue Jan 18 14:20:03 UTC 2011

Quick note for Rawhide users: I am in the process of landing Compiz 0.9
now. Adel and I have been testing the 0.9 migration in a side repo - - for a while
now, and we're happy it's working pretty well. Note that we're using the
upstream 'compiz-with-glib-mainloop' branch: this contains some changes
that are needed for Unity, and will be merged into upstream master quite
soon. We agreed with Sam Spilsbury, the upstream compiz maintainer, that
it'd work out well for everyone if we help to test the glib-mainloop
changes in Rawhide to make sure they can be merged upstream faster.

Quick summary of most important changes:

* gconf configuration storage backend is deprecated
* configuration from compiz 0.8 will not migrate to 0.9; you'll have to
re-do your configuration
* desktop-effects is deprecated and broken, do not use it: install
'compiz-gnome' and there'll be a 'Classic GNOME with Compiz' choice at
the login manager you can use to get a GNOME 2 + Compiz-style desktop
(with panel, not Shell)
* use ccsm to configure Compiz, configuration done in ccsm will actually
work and be saved now
* KDE integration not tested yet

Here's some more detailed notes on the changes:

* We're deprecating gconf as a backend for storing Compiz/plugin
configurations. It's caused all sorts of problems over the years and is
more or less deprecated upstream, and gconf itself is going out as well.
Compiz may grow a dconf/gsettings backend, but in practice, it's
probably better to just use the flat-file (ccp) configuration system
anyway, it seems to be a lot less problematic.

So all the gconf schemas are now in -gconf subpackages which you don't
have to install unless you really, really want to use the gconf
configuration storage system for some reason. If you do, you'll have to
make sure whatever method you use for launching compiz sets the 'gconf'
parameter instead of 'ccp'. The compiz-gtk script which most people
probably wind up using, one way or another, to launch compiz now
specifies 'ccp' not 'gconf'. I have tested the 'ccp' configuration
method quite carefully and can report that, contrary to how it's been in
Fedora for a while, Compiz configuration you set with ccsm actually
works now. :) I have not tested the gconf configuration storage backend,
and don't know if it works. I know ccsm 0.9 isn't actually capable of
storing configurations in gconf yet, so you'd have a tricky time using
it. It's deprecated. If it's not working, you get to keep both halves.
File a bug and we'll see what we can do. If you're wondering where the
flat-file configuration storage actually lives, it's in
~/.config/compiz-1 .

Configuration from 0.8 does not migrate to 0.9. You'll have to re-do
your configuration. This isn't a consequence of the gconf stuff
mentioned above, it's just an upstream change: for all config storage
backends, there was a clean break from 0.8 to 0.9 and configuration is
not carried over. Ubuntu has some patches which attempt to migrate 0.8
configs to 0.9, but they're not 100% reliable and add time to each
startup, so they are not likely to be merged upstream, so we won't be
carrying them in Fedora. I'm afraid you'll have to re-do your
configuration with the 0.9 switch, if you have a custom compiz
configuration; sorry about that.

desktop-effects is more or less deprecated now. It doesn't make a deal
of sense for Fedora 15+. It works on the basis of changing the
compositing and window managers for GNOME, and you can't really run
GNOME Shell with Compiz as the compositing manager; the paradigm just
isn't there. You can run 'classic GNOME' - with the gnome-panel instead
of GNOME Shell - with compiz and gtk-window-decorator, but that's a very
different experience from the Shell. The desktop team has said they
don't really think desktop-effects is appropriate any more, and they
won't be maintaining it. So what we've implemented instead is a desktop
session definition called 'Classic GNOME with Compiz'. That means that,
if you install the compiz-gnome package, then at the login manager -
gdm, kdm, whatever - you'll have the 'Classic GNOME with Compiz' session
listed as an option. This will start up a GNOME session with
gnome-panel, compiz and gtk-window-decorator, instead of the 'true'
GNOME 3, GNOME Shell-based experience. We felt this more appropriate to
the actual nature of the various choices in Fedora 15, and it's simpler
and more robust than what would have to be done to 'fix' desktop-effects
for GNOME 3. The current version of desktop-effects won't even launch
Compiz 0.9 properly, due to another bug; I could fix this (actually, I
already have, but it would need to go 'upstream') but it may not be
worth the trouble. Also, the 'cube' and 'wobbly windows' checkboxes in
desktop-effects won't work any more, as they used the gconf backend.
(Again, I have a patch for this - it just takes the checkboxes out - but
it may make more sense just to kill desktop-effects in F15).

I haven't tested the KDE integration stuff yet, but I intend to. Does
anyone actually use Compiz with KDE 4?

Please do report any bugs you come across, we'll be working with Sam to
try and make 0.9 as reliable as possible by F15 release time. Thanks!
Adam Williamson
Fedora QA Community Monkey
IRC: adamw | Fedora Talk: adamwill AT fedoraproject DOT org

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