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Lightweight transparencies and drop shadows with Ubuntu Gnome without Compix Fusion

Compiz Fusion is cool but not all PCs can run it well, on counterpart Metacity WM still doesn't implement any effect (horrible minimize effect apart).
So what to do for a transparent, drop shadows enabled, usable Desktop?

Xfwm4 is the answer, it integrates itself well in GNOME and it offers a nice gui to configure the effects. Cairo-clock and awn dock run with transparencies because this window manager has the composite already built-in.

(Drop shadows + transparencies + awn on a S3virge!! )


Just 2 dependencies.
sudo apt-get install xfwm4 xfce4-mcs-manager

Try Xfwm4

killall metacity && xfwm4
To enable effects run xfce-setting-show and go in the Compositor tab
If it satisfy you, is possible to make it default

Replace Metacity

gconftool --set --type string /desktop/gnome/applications/window_manager/current  "/usr/bin/xfwm4"
gconftool --set --type string /desktop/gnome/applications/window_manager/default  "/usr/bin/xfwm4"
You can also set the wm path with gconf-editor


Xfwm4 doesn't use Gnome global shortcuts, You need to redefine them.
If Metacity still remains the WM, you need to delete it from the session.