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.

11 thoughts on “Compiz running on Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric)

  1. Pingback: Upgrading directly from Ubuntu Maverick to Oneiric Alpha 3. |

  2. Hello from Spain!! What about Ati cards? I’ve an HP laptop with Ati HD Radeon dual GPU series 4250 and 5470 (I think) and Compiz s…s!! :-( I’ve decides to downgrade to Natty and wait…


    • In order for me to even begin to have a hope at helping, I’d first need to know what you mean by “screwed up”. I can’t fix something if you don’t tell me what’s broken.
      Also, you’ve not even told me what operating system you’re running. There’s very little I can say, otherwise.

  3. Trying to run compiz in Oneiric is giving me anxiety disorder.

    I’ve tried the repostitory version, ppa versions, compiled from git (0.9.5) and compiled from bzr (0.9.6).

    With the nvidia driver, compiz is performing so horribly that I cannot use the computer.

    Nothing will redraw (aka refresh) unless it is moved by the mouse or at least the title bar of a window is clicked. Some windows do not _initially_ draw when created, and as such are invisible. Menus are particularly painful, since the menu won’t draw until _after_ an item in the menu is clicked.

    I filed a bug report and asked for help in the forums but I’m getting no response.

    I’ve been waiting weeks for progress, but there’s no news.

    I am not the only person affected by this, but there seem to be many slight variations of this issue reported on launchpad. The most popular report insists that this is an fglrx only bug, but I do not think it is.

    • Are you trying to do this on 11.10? As far as I can tell (see the link at the top of the post), Canonical has completely thrashed compiz to make it into the Unity interface that the compiz version they provide no longer works in any other context. There was about a 3 month period when it did seem to work, but it was broken some time in late August or September, I believe, and has never worked since on any video card.

      Canonical does not seem to have any interest in bugs filed against compiz, however. As no action has been taken on any of the ones I’ve filed either.

  4. Yes, Ubuntu 11.10 has Unity Desktop, which I think is a big mistake. However Gnome3 is far better, it has nearly the same SmartPhone-look. As we can see, this is a strong tendency as I’ve read the plans of Metro-styled Windows 8 also. All systems are going to be uniformed. Anyway back to Compiz and Ubuntu 11.10, I found Xubuntu 11.10 the most usable distro, which works with Compiz well. Just to mention I didn’t have to blacklist nano at all, the only thing you should do is to install proprietary driver when driver window pops up, selecting the recommended (nvidia-current) driver. After installing this driver you can add the Ubuntu-X-Swat repository to make Ubuntu able to reach the latest Nvidia restricted drivers.

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates
    sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

    And of course you may use window decoration with Compiz.
    You can find the EMERALD engine here:
    download the preferred packages and install them in the following order:

    Then you can get some compiz themes from

    • I’ve already moved on to Kubuntu 12.04, where compiz now works properly. Personally, I haven’t used gnome in a couple of years, but I’ll trust you know what you’re talking about! Thanks for the comment.

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