Cheap VPS & Xen Server

Residential Proxy Network - Hourly & Monthly Packages

Enabling Compiz On A Fedora 16 GNOME Classic Desktop (NVIDIA GeForce 8100)

This tutorial shows how you can enable Compiz on a Fedora 16 GNOME classic desktop (the system must have a 3D-capable graphics card – I’m using an NVIDIA GeForce 8100 here). With Compiz you can use beautiful 3D effects like wobbly windows or a desktop cube on your desktop. I will use the free nouveau driver in this tutorial instead of the proprietary NVIDIA driver. nouveau is an accelerated Open Source driver for NVIDIA cards that comes with experimental 3D support on Fedora 16 – on my test system 3D support was working without any problems.

This document comes without warranty of any kind! I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!


1 Preliminary Note

I have tried this on a desktop system with an NVIDIA GeForce 8100 graphics card. It should work with any other NVIDIA graphics card as well.

Please note that Compiz will work only with the classic GNOME interface, not the default GNOME 3 interface. If you want to use the default GNOME 3 interface, this tutorial is not for you!


2 Installing The nouveau Graphic Card Driver

The nouveau driver is part of the official Fedora 16 repository.

Open a terminal window (under Activities > Applications > Terminal)…


… and type in


to become root.

Usually the nouveau drivers should already be installed, but to make sure, enter the following:

yum install mesa-dri-drivers xorg-x11-drv-nouveau

You will get a short notice if they already were installed; if not, you need to log out and back in for the changes to take effect afterwards.


3 Installing Compiz

To install Compiz, open a terminal again (Activities > Applications > Terminal) and become root:


Then install Compiz as follows:

yum install emerald-themes compiz-fusion-extras emerald compiz-plugins-main compiz-manager compiz-fusion-extras libcompizconfig compiz-plugins-main-gconf ccsm compiz-gnome compiz-gtk


4 Configuring Compiz

To configure Compiz, open the CompizConfig Settings Manager (Activities > Applications > CompizConfig Settings Manager):


In the CompizConfig Settings Manager you can define the behaviour of Compiz:


Afterwards you need to log out and log back in – but make sure that you select Classic GNOME with Compiz from the login screen because otherwise Compiz will not work.

5 Keyboard Shortcuts

Here’s a list of the most common Compiz keyboard shortcuts:

SUPER+SHIFT+C = clear fire
CTRL+ALT+LEFT ARROW = rotate cube
CTRL+ALT+DOWN ARROW = flat desktop
SHIFT+ALT+UP = initiate window picker
CTRL+ALT+DOWN = unfold cube
ALT+TAB = window switch
SUPER+TAB = flip switcher or ring switcher, depending on which is enabled.
ALT+F7 = initiate ‘move windows’
SHIFT+F9 = water effect
SHIFT+F10 = slow animations
CTRL+ALT+D = show desktop

For Grouping and Tabbing:
SUPER+S = select single window
SUPER+T = tab group
SUPER+Left = change left tab
SUPER+Right = change right tab
SUPER+G = group windows
SUPER+U = ungroup windows
SUPER+R = remove group window
SUPER+C = close group
SUPER+X = ignore group
Hold the SUPER button then select the windows you want to group and then hit SUPER+G.

The SUPER key is the Windows key on most keyboards.
6 Some Screenshots

Here are some screenshots of Compiz in action:




  • Compiz:
  • Fedora:
  • nouveau: