How to install Compiz Fusion on Debian Lenny

The following tutorial covers the process of installing Compiz Fusion on Debian Lenny. Compiz is the original compositing window manager. It works by using 3D graphics acceleration via OpenGL to render. Providing intense immersing graphical effects on Gnome and KDE desktop environments. The Beryl window manager was a fork of Compiz and had shown great success. Currently, Compiz Fusion is the result of a merge between both the Beryl composite window manager and Compiz. Providing the best features of both products.

Installing Compiz Fusion on Debian Lenny

Compiz requires that you have 3D hardware video acceleration. If you have not yet installed the necessary drivers for your video card, you should do so before proceeding.

  1. Open a terminal and type sudo su
  2. Type gedit /etc/apt/sources.list
  3. Add the following line to the bottom of the sources list:
    deb http://download.tuxfamily.org/shames/debian-lenny/desktopfx/unstable/ ./
  4. Then save the file.
  5. Back at the terminal, type:
    wget http://download.tuxfamily.org/shames/A42A6CF5.gpg -O- | apt-key add -
  6. Type
    apt-get update && apt-get install compiz-fusion-gnome fusion-icon

If you’re using nVidia drivers

You can skip this section if your using ATI and or are not using nVidia drivers!
Follow this section to avoid the Checking for Composite extension: not present error code.

  1. From the terminal, type:
    nvidia-xconfig -add-argb-glx-visuals -d 24 -composite -allow-glx-with-composite
  2. Now press Ctrl+Alt+Backspace to restart x and login once prompted.
  3. Once your logged back in, open up a terminal and type compiz-manager

If all has gone well, you should be seeing the new window effects of Compiz-Fusion.

Making Compiz-Fusion run at startup

  1. From the Gnome Panel, navigate to System-> Preferences-> Sessions
  2. Then under the Startup Programs tab, Click New
  3. Name the program Compiz and add the Command fusion-icon as shown:
  4. Finally, click OK and Close to save changes. Then restart your PC and Enjoy!

Notes: To make adjustments, you can simply right click the fusion-icon that should now appear in your Gnome Panel.

It appears that the “Stable” Repositories have also been included into the official Debian Lenny Repositories. This article is left in place for those who also wish to try the Unstable Repositories.