Compiz on KDE4.8 – a few details

Just to follow up on my last post, apparently compiz on KDE 4.8 runs as long as you don’t use the KDE/QT Event Loop plugin, but do select the text plugin (CCSM, under image loading).

I don’t know the source of the instability, but if the KDE/QT plugin is selected, the following error is presented:

glibmm-ERROR **: 
unhandled exception (type std::exception) in signal handler:
what: call to empty boost::function

Trace/breakpoint trap (core dumped)

Also worth noting, I had trouble using the default window manager. But, if you place:

/usr/bin/kde4-window-decorator --replace

as the window manager (Compiz Settings Manager -> Window Decoration Plugin -> General Tab -> Command), it seems to work.

I’ll have to explore more, but it does seem to be working, for now.

Compiz works with KDE 4.8!

After waiting what felt like forever, compiz now works again for me with KDE 4.8. (That is to say, it works on Kubuntu 12.04 pangolin current build.)  At least, one of the major bugs (this is the one I filed, after complaining about it here) is fixed, which makes the compiz/KDE combination usable again.  I haven’t tested if some of the panels still do bizarre things like become permanent overlays on the screen, but I’ll get to those later.

In any case, I’m happy enough to be able to use KDE and compiz together again.  You know, I think I’m starting to like Pangolin… and it’s still on the first alpha!

Compiz running on Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric)

NOTE: October 18, 2011.  I see that this page is the top hit on my blog this week.  I think if you’re looking for more up to date information, you should see my current opinion on Compiz on Kubuntu here.

After months of waiting for things to be resolved with the nvidia drivers and such, I finally buckled down to see if I could get compiz running again smoothly on Ubuntu 11.10.  Happily, I can report that the answer is yes!

Using the latest packages, the trick was to follow some advice in this thread.

First, you need to blacklist the nouveau driver.  It hasn’t been working for me, and it has been preventing the nvidia driver from being loaded.

sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

add “blacklist nouveau” to the end of the file, then save and close it.

Next, you do need to update initramfs and  reinstall the nvidia-current driver:

sudo update-initramfs -u -v
sudo apt-get install --reinstall nvidia-current

From that point on, a simple reboot (and making sure that your xorg.conf actually uses the nvidia driver) should be enough to get you back into Xorg with the Nvidia binary blob… and by opening a terminal and typing:

compiz --replace

You should be good to go again. Things appear to be stable, but I’m sure this will need a lot more testing before I switch back to compiz/kde/nvidia as my default setup.

>Hardy Heron, Ubuntu 8.04 beta

>So I took the bait. I can’t refuse Beta operating systems. I’ve always enjoyed living on the bleeding edge when it comes to new and shiny OSes, so I upgraded my laptop just to see what would happen.

Well, no surprise, I broke a few things, though surprisingly, it’s a pretty small list. Going from Gutsy Gibbon to Hardy Heron on my Vostro 1000 was very smooth, and required very little effort to get it up and running again, for the most part.

Compiz (3d graphics): Well, no surprise, It was somewhat of a hack to get it going on my laptop, originally, but the only thing that broke during the upgrade was a weird error about gnome-settings-daemon not being able to start. The fix:

sudo apt-get remove xserver-xgl

Unfortunately, I’d tried someone else’s fix of blowing away all of the .gconf, .gconf2, etc settings in my home directory, which obviously didn’t help, but now has me reconfiguring all of my settings… oh well. Just use the line above, and save yourself some of the pain.

However, removing xserver-xgl will probably kill your ability to run Compiz, and you may need to turn composite on in your xorg.conf file (/etc/X11/xorg.conf). That can be done by finding the lines:

Section “Extensions”
    Option “Composite” “0”
EndSection

and changing the “0” to “1”. Tada, Compiz works again!

Wireless: This one was interesting: there’s a new driver for the wireless card, so it tries to install that over what you’ve already got going. The new driver is much better than the old, so its a good thing, but you still need the (not-open-source) firmware from broadcom. Installing it couldn’t be easier.

Follow the first 3 lines here to uninstall ndiswrapper, if you had it running before. (You don’t want the new driver running at the same time as the old: this may mean you might want to take the out any lines saying ndiswrapper or bwcml43, or similar from /etc/modules.)

Follow the instructions here, to install the b43 driver firmware, although my simplified version would be:

sudo apt-get install b43-fwcutter
wget http://downloads.openwrt.org/sources/broadcom-wl-4.80.53.0.tar.bz2
tar xjf broadcom-wl-4.80.53.0.tar.bz2
cd broadcom-wl-4.80.53.0/kmod
b43-fwcutter -w /lib/firmware wl_apsta.o

You’ll notice I’ve skipped a few steps compared to what’s on the linked page. “b43-fwcutter” can be installed through apt-get, so there’s no point in building it yourself, and /lib/firmware is the right place to put the firmware in Ubuntu, so you don’t need to be fancy about exporting it and then using a shell variable. And that did it for me.

You may also need to go to System->Administration->Hardware Drivers to tell Ubuntu to use the b43 driver. After that, my FN+F2 key works again, and I was able to connect to my wireless network.

All is good again with my laptop.