Friday, July 29, 2011

How to enable desktop effects in Ubuntu

In previous versions of Ubuntu, if you wanted wobbly windows and eye candy, you had to follow complicated HowTos full of a lot of copying and pasting of cryptic commands, with the very real possibility of you screwing up your graphics configuration to the point where it's unusable.

Now (as of 7.10) Ubuntu allows you an easy way to enable desktop effects. Keep in mind that you may have to enable proprietary video card drivers if you have an Nvidia or ATI video card. See an example of this (using Nvidia as an example) here.

Go to System > Preferences > Appearance

In Appearance Preferences select the Visual Effects tab.

Then, select Normal or Extra, depending on how fancy you want your desktop effects to be.

Ubuntu will try to enable desktop effects. If the trial works, you should see this dialogue, and you can decide to keep the newly enabled effects or revert back to having no desktop effects.

If the trial doesn't work, you'll be told Desktop effects could not be enabled, which may mean that you don't have the proper video drivers installed or that your video card cannot support desktop effects.

If you're having trouble setting up desktop effects, please search or post a support thread in Desktop Effects & Customization subforum of the Ubuntu Forums

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