Compiz-0.8.4 on Debian lenny

The compiz package in lenny has a serious problem: some sort of race condition making the gnome-terminal not redrawn correctly. Since I use gnome-terminal extensively (coding using vim), compiz in lenny is unusable.

Today, I decided to compile and install compiz from source. After some trial and error, I’ve done it. Below are the steps taken:

  1. Install required tools to compile compiz.
  2. # aptitude install build-essential libxcomposite-dev libpng12-dev libsm-dev libxrandr-dev libxdamage-dev libxinerama-dev libstartup-notification0-dev libgconf2-dev libgl1-mesa-dev libglu1-mesa-dev libmetacity-dev librsvg2-dev libdbus-1-dev libdbus-glib-1-dev libgnome-desktop-dev libgnome-window-settings-dev gitweb curl autoconf automake automake1.9 libtool intltool libxslt1-dev xsltproc libwnck-dev python-dev python-pyrex

  3. Download the official release tar balls from http://releases.compiz-fusion.org/.  Then, unzip and untar them.
  4. Compilation must follow the sequence given in the compiz installation guide.
  5. compiz, bcop, libcompizconfig, compizconfig-python, ccsm, compiz-fusion-plugins-main, others

  6. The first package to compile is compiz.  In my case, the directory is called “compiz-0.8.4”.  Open a terminal, change into that directory and run the following command:
  7. $ ./configure --prefix=$HOME/bin/compiz-0.8.4
    $ make install

    The default installation directory is “/usr/local”.  Because there is no uninstall option, I decided to install it into “$HOME/bin/compiz-0.8.4”.  Thus, I can just remove the whole directory if I don’t want it anymore.

  8. To compile all other packages (except ccsm and simple-ccsm), change into each of the directory and run the following command:
  9. $ export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=$HOME/bin/compiz-0.8.4/lib/pkgconfig
    $ export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=$HOME/bin/compiz-0.8.4/share/pkgconfig:$PKG_CONFIG_PATH
    $ ./configure --prefix=$HOME/bin/compiz-0.8.4
    $ make install

  10. For ccsm and simple-ccsm, run the following command:
  11. $ python setup.py install --prefix=$HOME/bin/compiz-0.8.4

  12. Now, it’s time to run it.
  13. $ export PATH=$HOME/bin/compiz-0.8.4/bin:$PATH
    $ export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$HOME/bin/compiz-0.8.4/lib:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH
    $ export PYTHONPATH=$HOME/bin/compiz-0.8.4/lib/python2.5/site-packages:$PYTHONPATH
    $ compiz --replace ccp & emerald --replace &

  14. For me, the last command always fail and leaving me with no window manager at all (no window border, cannot move windows).  Fear not, just run the last command a second time and compiz should be up and running.
  15. Just in case it failed again, you can recall the default metacity window manager with the following command:
  16. $ metacity --replace &

  17. Do take a look at the official installation guide here: http://wiki.compiz.org/Installation
  18. The end.

2 responses to “Compiz-0.8.4 on Debian lenny

  1. omy February 17, 2010 at 10:06 am

    Hi Wenlong,

    I was wondering if you could advise me on this compiz installation. Does your installation guide applies for RHEL?
    I have been having difficulties compiling the compiz, (i’m not even sure if there is a compiz distribution for rhel..!).

    Hope you can advise me .. Thanks a lot for your time!

    • wenlong February 22, 2010 at 8:08 am

      Hi omy,

      The guide should be usable under RHEL, but you may need to make some changes to the first step. I was using aptitude to install required packages, in RHEL, I believe, you may be using some other tools. The package name may be different under RHEL.

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