Here are some notes on enabling and using Compiz Fusion to add desktop effects in Linux, more specifically Fedora although most comments will apply to other Linux distros.
Why would you want too?
It goes without saying that desktop effects have a real wow factor. When you first start using them you may find yourself just playing, sorry experimenting, just for the fun of it. However if you need a further reason see this Lifehacker article on the efficiency gains you can achieve. You may even make up for the time you spend “experimenting”.
Some Useful Information
For some interesting details on installation and operation of Compiz Fusion on Fedora 8 including keyboard shortcuts to make the best use of your new features see here. The same page has links to HowTos for other distros including Ubuntu. However don’t install the packages listed there. They are from the Fedora repositories and have some problems and some features are missing. The Fedora forums have a link to updated packages which don’t have those problems.
Update: One of the problems referred to above seems quite common. That is the titlebar disappears after enabling effects. The updated packages solve this problem.
A search on Google for your distro and Compiz will probably turn up many more pages. However view quite a few to make sure you are getting the right information. Initially I was under the impression that my low end video card wouldn’t work. I have an ATI Radeon 9250 which was recognised by Fedora and uses the radeon driver. Following the above links I was able to get it working in KDE and Fedora 8. No doubt it would work on other distros and with Gnome.
Starting Fusion Icon on Reboot
Actually this will work for any application you want to start automatically when your system starts.
Fusion Icon starts Compiz as well as putting an icon in the System Tray that has options for changing the Window Manager, setting Emerald and Compiz options. Once you have it set up you will want it to start each time you log in. In Gnome this can be done in the Sessions Manager. Type fusion-icon as the application to start.
In KDE open Konqueror and select Go from the menu bar. Go to Autostart, this puts you in your Autostart folder. Anything in here will be run when KDE starts. Right click in any blank area and select “Create New” – “Link to Application”. Under the Application tab enter fusion-icon in the “command” field. When you leave that screen a new entry will appear. Restart to make sure everything is working.