How to install Compton compositor

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How to install Compton compositor Empty How to install Compton compositor

Post by BroDan on Sun Mar 13, 2016 6:34 am

Compton is a window compositor that has a few benefits above the stock compositor that comes with ChaletOS/Xfce. It not only provides shadows around windows, but it can also make windows fade in and out upon opening/closing, and it also helps with screen tearing issues.

If you would like to use Compton...

1. First, turn off the current compositor.

Open your Setting Manager, and click on Window Manager Tweaks. In the Window Manager Tweaks window, click the Compositor tab, and remove the check mark from Enable display compositing.

2. Install Compton

Open your Terminal and enter (or copy and paste) the following command...

sudo apt-get install compton

3. Make a Compton configuration file.

Open your file manager, click View, and click Show hidden files.
Open the .config folder.
In an empty space of the open folder, right-click, hover your pointer over Create Document, and click on Empty file.
Name the file compton.conf and click Create.
Right-click the newly created file and click Open with Mousepad. Copy and paste the entire contents of the following into your newly created compton.conf file...

backend = "glx";
paint-on-overlay = true;
glx-no-stencil = true;
glx-no-rebind-pixmap = true;
vsync = "opengl-swc";

# These are important. The first one enables the opengl backend. The last one is the vsync method. Depending on the driver you might need to use a different method.
# The other options are smaller performance tweaks that work well in most cases.
# You can find the rest of the options here:, and here:

# Shadow
shadow = true; # Enabled client-side shadows on windows.
no-dock-shadow = true; # Avoid drawing shadows on dock/panel windows.
no-dnd-shadow = true; # Don't draw shadows on DND windows.
clear-shadow = true; # Zero the part of the shadow's mask behind the window (experimental).
shadow-radius = 12; # The blur radius for shadows. (default 12)
shadow-offset-x = -15; # The left offset for shadows. (default -15)
shadow-offset-y = -15; # The top offset for shadows. (default -15)
shadow-exclude = [
 "! name~=''",
 "class_g ?= 'Notify-osd'",
 "class_g ?= 'Cairo-dock'",
 "class_g ?= 'Xfce4-notifyd'",
 "class_g ?= 'Xfce4-power-manager'"

# The shadow exclude options are helpful if you have shadows enabled. Due to the way compton draws its shadows, certain applications will have visual glitches
# (most applications are fine, only apps that do weird things with xshapes or argb are affected).
# This list includes all the affected apps I found in my testing. The "! name~=''" part excludes shadows on any "Unknown" windows, this prevents a visual glitch with the XFWM alt tab switcher.

# Fading
fading = true; # Fade windows during opacity changes.
fade-delta = 5; # The time between steps in a fade in milliseconds. (default 10).
fade-in-step = 0.03; # Opacity change between steps while fading in. (default 0.028).
fade-out-step = 0.03; # Opacity change between steps while fading out. (default 0.03).
#no-fading-openclose = true; # Fade windows in/out when opening/closing

detect-client-opacity = true; # This prevents opacity being ignored for some apps. For example without this enabled my xfce4-notifyd is 100% opacity no matter what.

# Window type settings
 ¬†tooltip = { fade = true; shadow = false; };

This is my configuration file. It's pretty basic, so you can adjust the shadows and fade if you want.

4. Now...before we make it permanent, let's test it to see how it responds with and affects your system...

Open your main menu. In the search bar, type Run program.
Click on Run program.
In the window that pops up, type compton, and click Launch.

You may notice your desktop blink. Now test compton out. Open your menu (it should fade in as it opens), open a couple of other apps like a web browser, a music player...anything. You should have shadows around windows, and the windows should fade in and out (somewhat quickly) upon opening and closing. As I said, you can adjust the shadows and the time of the fading. If everything looks good, and you want to make it permanent, proceed to step 5. If there are adverse effects, just log out of your computer and log back in. Everything should be back to normal, and you can turn your regular window compositor back on. Remove Compton and delete the configuration file from your system if you wish.

5. To make Compton permanent (enabled on computer start-up)...

Open your Settings Manager.
Click on Session and Startup.
Click the Application Autostart tab.
Click Add (located toward the lower left corner of the screen).
In the window that pops up, in the Name space, type Compton (with a capital C).
In the Command space, type compton (use all lower-case letters).
Click Ok

Now close any open windows, log out of your computer and log back in. Compton should now be active and will run automatically when your computer starts.

If you ever want to stop using Compton, just remove its check mark from Application Autostart. It will stop the next time you log out and log back in.

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