Compiz in Ubuntu 7.10

One of the reasons that I wanted to upgrade to Ubuntu 7.10 before it was released was so that I could have a play with the new developments in compiz. It was therefore more than a little disappointing to discover that it did not work. When I tried to enable desktop effects, it would simply state that it could not, and would revert back to metacity.

At first, I was a little annoyed as I could not even see any error message as to why this had failed. Finally, for another reason, I started gnome-settings from the command line. When I then selected the appearance tool, and tried to turn on desktop effects, some useful information scrolled up the screen.

It would appear that by default, compiz checks that the graphics card has at least 64 MB or RAM before it will allow compiz to start. No doubt this is done for a good reason, but this does not help me with my 32 MB graphics card in my laptop.

A little bit of googling and I discover that compiz in Ubuntu has a wrapper script called /usr/bin/compiz A quick look in here and it is easy to see where the check for the RAM is done. I dropped the limit to 32 MB and tried again. Yay! Wobbly windows 🙂

Now all I need to do is find out how to configure compiz ….

Resist the urge to upgrade

I am currently running Ubuntu 7.04 on two computers at home. In the past, I have always found it hard to resist the urge to install the development version of the next release of the distribution I am running. This started when I was using Debian. With its slow release cycle, Debian stable did start to feel a bit tired as a desktop system.

I would find that the latest version of some software with the features that I was interested in was not available. Rather than muck about with back-ports etc., I just went and installed testing, and then unstable. These are only my own machines, and the need for stability was not critical. The only time this did bother me was when I wanted to print. I found that my printer needed to be re-configured at regular intervals. A couple of times this did bite me as I wanted to print something quick, and due to changes in CUPS or whatever, my printer was off-line.

I then moved to Ubuntu. With its shorter release cycle, I decided that I would have the best of both worlds. I could have the more recent versions of software, and not have unpredictable breakage. Two upgrades a year should be ample. Well I could not wait for the final release of version 7.04 so I installed that a few months early, to try out compiz IIRC.

Now I am trying hard to resist the urge to upgrade to 7.10 before it is released. I fully expect that it is already stable enough for my use, but it would be good to wait until it has been released to try it. Not long to go now!