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Window Managers

X Configuration

WoW, Seinfeld HD, Beryl
WoW, Seinfeld HD, Beryl

Page curl effect
Page curl effect

Aquamarine WD for KDE
Aquamarine WD for KDE



Warning: This article is currently in existence for archive purposes only. Instructions in this article are likely to fail, as the files on various overlays no longer exist. Beryl has merged into Compiz to create Compiz Fusion. Please see that article for further details.

Previously known as Compiz-Quinnstorm, Beryl is a fork of Compiz with additional features and plugins. One of the distinctive features of Beryl is to remove dependencies on Gnome. While many previous dependencies have been removed from Compiz, most of the GUI features still require it, thus making Beryl a better choice for KDE or alternative DE users. It not only functions as Compiz does with a Gnome Theme (Metacity) component, but also adds its own decorator (Emerald), and a KDE version (Aquamarine). Beryl also provides a copy method of compositing, which does not require any special environment or drivers, allowing it to function with older drivers without texture-from-pixmap support.

Beryl provides MIT-like Compiz licensed code with GPL.

Portage 2.1.2-r4 as well as the xeffects overlay is required for the newly merged compiz and Beryl (compiz-fusion). Information on setting up the Xeffects overlay can be found in HOWTO Gentoo xeffects and should only be used if you want bleeding edge. Otherwise, feel free to use the stable Beryl release as outlined below.

Please note that this document serves as a set of generic instructions. There may be a few tweaks to syntax depending on existing window manager, desktop environment, method of compositing support, and more. These solutions will potentially be covered by other wiki articles, especially running with a choice of XGL, AIGLX, or nVidia Desktop Effects.


Installing Portage Version

First, unmask testing packages:

File: /etc/portage/package.keywords
#Beryl Core

#Window Decorators

Add the following to package.use:

File: /etc/portage/package.use
x11-libs/cairo glitz svg pdf

As well as one of:

File: /etc/portage/package.use
# Only experts should disable the emerald USE flag
# ------------------------------------------------
# KDE Users Only
x11-wm/beryl emerald kde

# Gnome Users Only
x11-wm/beryl emerald gnome

# Those with both environments installed
x11-wm/beryl emerald gnome kde

Next, install any dependencies:

# emerge -1va mesa-progs
# emerge -1va x11-libs/cairo

Then emerge Beryl:

# emerge -va beryl

Configuring XOrg

Configuration is highly dependent on which method of compositing is used. Please see the following wiki articles for information on setting up a specific method:

Non-TFP Rendering:

Running Beryl

Manually (beryl-manager)

When inside an existing desktop environment, you can call beryl's GUI front end:

# beryl-manager

Beryl can be called to replace your existing window manager by right-clicking the diamond in the system notification area, pressing 'Select Window Manager', then pressing 'Beryl'.

Manually (no manager)

The following can be used as a script to start Beryl without its manager component:

LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/lib/opengl/xorg-x11/lib/ \
beryl --replace dbus settings &
emerald &

Using KDE


KDE's window manager can be defined in an environment variable. Remember that beryl is the window manager and beryl-manager is beryl's GUI front end. Modify:

File: /etc/env.d/99kde-env OR /etc/env.d/*kdepaths*

Nevertheless, there are users that have better results using the beryl-manager (see discussion) and suggest:

File: /etc/env.d/99kde-env OR /etc/env.d/*kdepaths*

Then, update your environment:

# env-update

Alternative: Use Autostart

If after modifying the file above, beryl still doesn't automatically start, you can try the following alternative. First, remove your changes from the kdepaths file (i.e. remove all lines containing KDEWM).

Then, you will need to have beryl-manager autostart with KDE. You can do this by simply creating a link to beryl-manager in your KDE Autostart directory:

cd ~/.kde/Autostart
ln -s /usr/bin/beryl-manager beryl-manager


Aquamarine is a brand new window decorator for Beryl which is included with 0.2.0. It uses the same Control Center modules, themes, and plugins as KWin, and is therefore a drop-in replacement. To use it, simply use Beryl-Manager to select the Aquamarine window decorator. To start it without Beryl-Manager, a script will be required:

File: /usr/local/bin/berylaqua-start
beryl --replace dbus settings &
aquamarine --replace &

This script can either be called from inside a running KDE session or used in a KDEWM environment variable to start it.

KDE Settings

Several things must be disabled for Beryl to take its full effect:

Control Center > Appearance & Themes > Style > Effects:
Enable GUI Effects should be checked, but Combobox, Tooltip, Menu, Menu tear-off handles, and Menu Drop Shadow should be disabled. These options interfere with Beryl's built-in effects.

Control Center > Desktop > Panels > Appearance:
Disable both Enable icon mouseover effects and Show Tooltips. These counteract Beryl's Window Preview plugin.


We are going to add beryl-manager to the gnome session manager to automatically execute it.

Gnome Session Manager

In Gnome Panel under System/Prefs choose Sessions. Then go to Startup, use the plus sign for add and type in


Thats it.


# mkdir -p ~/.config/autostart
# nano -w ~/.config/autostart/beryl-manager.desktop

The contents for beryl-manager.desktop are:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=No name

Beryl will now start whenever you start Xgl, X.Org with AiGLX, or start X.Org with NVIDIA drivers.


Heliodor is to Gnome as Aquamarine is to KDE. It's a drop-in replacement window decorator for Beryl that uses Metacity themes and settings dialogs. Starting it is as easy as selecting the Heliodor decorator from within Beryl-Manager. A script must be used to start it otherwise:

File: /usr/local/bin/berylhelio-start
beryl --replace dbus settings &
heliodor --replace &

This script can either be called from inside a running Gnome session or used in a gnome session manager entry to start it.

XFCE 4 (startx)

Note: This area (XFCE 4) is a work in progress.


Note: XFCE 4.2 is deprecated and will be removed from the tree soon, XFCE 4.4 is stable on most archs.

We need to get Beryl-Manager to start after Xfce4. To do so we need to add the following to $HOME/.config/xfce4/xinitrc. The following code should work with either startx or xdm.

File: $HOME/.config/xfce4/xinitrc
 beryl-manager 2>&1 >$HOME/.beryl-log &
 emerald 2>&1 >$HOME/.emerald-log &
 exec sh /etc/xdg/xfce4/xinitrc

XFCE 4.4.0

It is much easier to have Beryl auto-start with XFCE 4.4. Open the Xfce4 Autostart Manager (right-click on the desktop->Settings->Autostarted Applications) then select "Add". For "Name" type "Beryl" for "Description" type "Beryl Window Effects" and for Command type "beryl-manager". Press ok and restart your X server.


 Section    "Device"
Option "HWcursor" "on"


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Last modified: Sun, 07 Sep 2008 06:45:00 +0000 Hits: 101,193