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life with ubuntu on a thinkpad T40

Archive for the ‘Beryl’ Category

Beryl. Take 2.

Posted by ubuntufan on April 6, 2007

In case you haven’t read, I received my new T40 the other day. I decided to install Ubuntu Feisty on it instead of Edgy, mainly because I read that it had built in support for XGL and Beryl/Compiz goodies. Once installed, I started poking around. Navigating to system->preferences, I noticed a new option called Desktop Effects


This worked! Well it sort of worked. I was getting odd behavior where menu items weren’t showing up in some windows. NOTHING was showing up in a terminal, I mean not even typed text. But hey, the windows wobbled and the cube was there. I figured that I was on the right track. So for fun, I fed The Google “Feisty T40” to see what got regurgitated . The first hit I got was a link to a thread on the Ubuntu Forums telling the requester, who was having the same issue, to type the following 2 commands.

gconftool-2 --type int --set /apps/compiz/general/screen0/options/hsize 4

gconftool-2 --type int --set /apps/compiz/general/screen0/options/number_of_desktops 1

I figured it was worth a shot. BAM! It worked. I like these cool effects, I’m a eye candy weenie I suppose. For a couple of days I was happy…then I thought I’d give full blown Beryl a shot. I mean, I’m basically there right?

So this morning my Dad and I have a 9:00am tee time. As I sit here drinking my coffee, I opened up a terminal window and type.
sudo apt-get install beryl beryl-manager emerald-themes

After a few minutes I try to launch beryl-manager…….VIOLA!  It works. Now I don’t know what I was missing with my last T40, but I couldn’t get this to work for anything. The folks working on Feisty have done an outstanding job putting this together and I’m thankful.

On a side note, I hear that the shipit site was down with a message that they would be back shortly shipping shiny new Feisty CDs, but I can’t verify that as it appears to be back to normal now.

Here’s a screenshot.

The Cube



Posted in Beryl, General Linux, Thinkpad, ubuntu | 10 Comments »

A Beryl of Monkeys

Posted by ubuntufan on December 29, 2006

I have been tinkering and googling for ways to get beryl to run on my T40. I figured it should be at least somewhat capable of running it. I’ve seen posts where folks have it working, but alas, I just can’t get it to come up. It always shuts down the X server or just won’t launch the x server. So I punted. I have other boxes at home. One is a P4 2.4 or something like that with about a gig of ram or so. It has a matrox card in it. I installed Dapper and gave it a go. No luck there either. Crazy.  So I thought to myself “should I bite the bullet and put it on my beloved main desktop box?”. Granted the beloved box is a few years old and not as fast as some of today’s powerhouse systems. But it’s got plenty of ram and a cool Quadro 980 video card. What the hell. I downloaded the latest nvidia driver and got it installed. When I checked glxgears, I was getting something like 7000 fps. Wow, I thought, that should do it. I followed all the instructions for installing beryl and emerald-themes, rebooted, crossed fingers, opened terminal, typed beryl-manager, crossed fingers again, gently pressed enter and then…….beauty revealed itself. I love it. I mean it’s a lot of eye candy and some if ain’t all that necessary, but it is REALLY cool. The transparency that is actually transparent and not just a duplicate of the desktop background. The neat little wiggle when you move things around, the effects when  you minimize and maximize. Oh and the cube. I’ll admit that I thought the cube was stupid when I saw the screenshots. Once I used it, I started using multiple desktops more often. It really is nice. I’m learning some little trick about the interface all the time. If you stuff the mouse pointer in the upper right corner, you get thumbnails of all your open windows, similar to os x f9. Alt-Tab is pretty cool and a little 3d-ish. I can’t wait to get familiar enough with it to quit oogling at it and do some real work 🙂


Posted in Beryl, displays, General Linux, ubuntu | 1 Comment »