Compiz 3D Desktop Binary Package for Solaris Express

Well I have finally got around to building binary packages and an install script to easily get the Compiz floss installed on OpenSolaris. I spent a day installing Compiz on various machines  and testing my scripts and making a few people happy in the process. One person is itching to show off his all singin' all dancin' SX installation on a Compaq Presario to his friends bragging about Beryl on OpenSuSE.

I have been looking at the Beryl crashes and several core dumps are showing similar stacks so I am getting closer to figuring the problem. A stable Beryl would be really nice, though Compiz is a little lighter and faster than Beryl.

Anyways here are the instructions on how to get Compiz on your Nvidia display card equipped box:

  • First off you \*need\* an Nvidia 3D accelerated card, either a GeForce or Quadro. If you do not have an Nvidia display card you are out of luck :-|
  • Secondly you need at least Solaris Express Build 60. It should also work on Builds 61 and 62.
  • Thirdly you must be using JDS. This Compiz build has only been tested with JDS.
  • Grab the latest Nvidia Solaris Driver and install it from here:
  • Grab the Compiz + Xorg additional stuff package tarball from here:
  • Extract the tarball and cd into the compiz-pkgs directory.
  • Run the installer script as root user: ./install
  • Logout and login again as the normal user. Nothing new happens.
  • Now add some basic Compiz configurations by executing: /usr/bin/add-compiz
  • Now start Compiz by executing the following in a terminal window:
    • gtk-window-decorator --replace & compiz --replace gconf &
  • Now if you like the Jazz you can make Compiz the default by adding the commands to the auto-start list:
    • Go to  Gnome Menu -> Preferences -> Sessions
    • Click on "Startup Programs"
    • Click on "Add" and add the command: gtk-window-decorator --replace
    • Click on "Add" again and add the command: compiz --replace gconf

Now you are all set to enjoy Compiz. Here are some basic usage tips:

  • Gnome Menu -> Preferences -> Compiz Settings Manager allows you to tweak the settings and enable/disable plugins. Keep in mind that the "Annotate" plugin can cause some heartburn.
  • Ctrl + Alt + Mouse Drag on Desktop rotates the Cube
  • Mouse wheel on Titlebar shades/unshades windows
  • Ctrl + Right Click zooms the display. Mouse wheel or Enter will un-zoom.
  • Alt + Mouse Wheel on a Window adjusts the Window Transparency
  • Jerking Mouse Pointer to Top Right desktop corner gets you the Expose effect
  • Ctrl + Alt + Up Arror also gets you the Expose effect
  • Ctrl + Alt + Down Arrow gives a panoramic view of all the desktops
  • You can drag a Window from one cube surface to another
  • Every Gnome desktop has it's own independent cube
  • Shift + F9 toggles a Raindrop effect on the screen
  • Shift+F10 toggles slow motion


Sweet! I'm out to buy an Nvidia card. Could we also have the enlightenment package?

Posted by Anil on April 18, 2007 at 12:33 PM PDT #

It's great!! I tried these pkgs on Nevada build 60 with GeForce Go 7400 on my notebook. The installation was very easy. It almost works, but I could not use any key command like Ctrl+Alt+arrow key to rotate desktop cube, also Ctrl+Alt+Button1 to grab the cube. I could move a window to another and I could see the cube, but I could not rotate the cube. Any hints?

Posted by Masaki on April 18, 2007 at 02:23 PM PDT #

What exactly is required in order for Compiz "just work out of the box" after `pkgadd`? Does Compiz work on top of JDS, or can/must it be its own option in the "Session" menu on the login screen? At any rate, can that be completely automated? Any chance of Compiz being integrated into Nevada?

Posted by UX-admin on April 18, 2007 at 09:48 PM PDT #

Is it possible to use XFCE? or KDE?

Posted by Manish on April 18, 2007 at 10:01 PM PDT #

In reply to Masaki's comments :: It appears that the Compiz settings are not properly updated for you. You can run the Compiz Settings utility and check/update the Keyboard bindings for the plugins. Go to Gnome Menu -> Preferences -> Compiz Settings Manager

In reply to UX-admin's comments :: Compiz runs on top of JDS/Gnome, KDE, Xfce. My build of Compiz currently only works with JDS. It is possible to completely automate a Compiz enabled JDS session option such that it just works out of the box - I have not yet found the time to work on that yet. As for Compiz in Nevada, I have no clue. It can possibly go into the SFW consolidation but that's for the desktop group to decide.

Posted by Moinak Ghosh on April 18, 2007 at 10:04 PM PDT #

Thank you Moinak. Yes, I understand I have to setup on setting manager. but it seems that the default values are set and these seem to be all correct for me. For example, I can see "<Control><Alt>Button1" is actually defined for "Initiate" on "Rotate" plugin but it doesn't work for me. Today I tried build 60 and build 62 on different machines and I got the same results.

Posted by Masaki on April 19, 2007 at 01:22 AM PDT #

Has anyone tried with a Toshiba Satellite A30 (Intel810 VGA card)?

Posted by Pierpa on April 19, 2007 at 04:31 AM PDT #

This won't work with anything other than Nvidia as it is tied into the GLX extensions provided by the Nvidia driver.

To get this to work with other cards we'd need 3D acceleration support for that card and Xgl working on Solaris. Since DRI already works on Solaris, 3D acceleration for some of the Intel cards like i915 are already present. We just need Xgl to work.

Posted by Moinak Ghosh on April 19, 2007 at 04:50 AM PDT #

Great work. Thanks to you and Erwann to get this going seamlessly.

Posted by Sivakumar S on April 19, 2007 at 04:57 PM PDT #

Hi, I am running B62 and compiz "just works" using a Geforce 6500 graphics PCI-E controller. I did a small change in the add-compiz script . I changed the "~" tilde character to $HOME in three places at the end of the script. At some point in the past cd ~/ did change back to the home directory but does not seem to work any more, or does it work only in specific shells ? Regards //Lars

Posted by Lars Tunkrans on April 22, 2007 at 05:14 AM PDT #

This looks like my mistake. Tilde substitution does not appear to be supported by /usr/bin/sh - nowhere mentioned in the man page. It is supported by /usr/xpg4/bin/sh and ksh, bash etc. I will fix the add-compiz script to use ksh.

Posted by Moinak Ghosh on April 22, 2007 at 07:24 PM PDT #

Hi Moinak, it seems that any key combination like <Control><Alt>Button1 does not work when I use Japanese keyboard. After I changed "eeprom keyboard-layout=US-English" from "Japanese", it started working. Is there any place that Compiz is assuming US-English keyboard? Any idea? Anyway, I'd like to log this problem as bug report. Any place for filing bug? on

Posted by Masaki on April 24, 2007 at 09:12 AM PDT #

Since this appears to be a Compiz bug you should file a bug against Compiz at

In addition you can change the Keybindings. With Japanese Keyboard enabled, go to "Compiz Settings Manager" -> Click on "Rorate" -> Click on "Action Bindings" -> Select the "Initiate" options. There you can click on "Grab Mouse" and press <Ctrl><Alt><Mouse Button 1> and see what is displayed there and whether it works.

Posted by Moinak Ghosh on April 24, 2007 at 03:17 PM PDT #

Thanks Moinak. Yes, I tried the option - grabbing the keybinding but it returns the same with English keyboard. As you know Compiz on other distributions e.g. Ubuntu and Fedora do not have this problem. I'm using Ubuntu and it's working fine with Japanese keyboards so I'm not sure but I'm thinking there is a problem only in Solaris.

Posted by Masaki on April 24, 2007 at 03:54 PM PDT #

Post a Comment:
Comments are closed for this entry.



« July 2016