How to Install Compiz in Debian

Compiz is a compositing window manager that uses 3D graphics acceleration via OpenGL. It provides various new graphical effects and features on any desktop environment, including Gnome and KDE.

Compiz Features

Easily extendible through plugins.

A growing, friendly community of users.

Increases productivity and enjoyment.

Impress your family and friends.

Compiz is actively developed.


The bare minimum is 3D capable Graphic’s card and atleast 512 MB of ram.

Install Compiz in Debian

#apt-get install compiz

this will install compiz along with its dependencies.

Configuring Compiz

Now you need to manually edit the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file

#vi /etc/X11/xorg.conf

then added these two lines under the “Screen” section

Option “XAANoOffscreenPixmaps”
Option “AddARGBGLXVisuals” “true”

then added these lines under “Device”

Option “AllowGLXWithComposite” “true”
Option “RenderAccel” “true”

added one line under “Server Layout”

Option “AIGLX” “on”

Finally at the end of the file add these lines

Section “Extensions”
Option “Composite” “Enable”

After making the following chages you need to save and exit the file.

Add “compiz –replace” to “Desktop -> Preferences -> Sessions -> Startup Programs”.

Now restart the Xserver, Better is to restart the whole system.

After you login you will directly be in a compizified environment.

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11 thoughts on “How to Install Compiz in Debian

  1. also at the end its “compiz –replace” in other words “compizreplace” replace with a blank space and replace with “-”

    Also while copy pasting the entries do take care about the “” coz they sometimes becomes messy, so its beter to open the file in vi or any text editor after editing and have a look for any special characters.

    on debian is better to use VIM as per my opinion. coz vi doesn’t works that good.

  2. my previous comment got missrepresented
    the end line should be

    “comiz –replace” i.e.


    replace {space} with blank space
    and {minus} with “-”

    this command is used to replace the windows manager with compiz.

    if you find problems using compiz or if you are stuck,


    “metacity –replace” for GNOME

    “kwin –replace” for KDE

    and you will get your default windows manager back.

    in BERYL and now COMPIZ FUSION this can be done by taskbar icon.

  3. Hi,
    Imanaged to install compiz on Etch but I’m looking how to install gnome-compiz-manager. I googlized but no success. thnx

  4. Pls post your xorg.conf

    Add “compiz –replace” to “Desktop -> Preferences -> Sessions -> Startup Programs”.

    Which file will be changed by this ?

  5. You should put the extra commands of xorg.conf in bb code or something, because the quotes “…” are not the ones that xorg.conf recognizes…

  6. can you help me?
    i have done all from this page bat after restart my X have not started.
    now a have onle command line.
    OS Debian lenny.

    sorry for my english!

  7. hy all,
    just edit the file vi /etc/X11/xorg.conf
    and set on the edited commands #
    after taht you can start the x server again and edit it right



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