Thursday, June 30, 2011

How To Get The Cube Working In Ubuntu 11.04

Requirements for the cube to work

You will need to have the driver for your video card installed from additional drivers, if there is one there for your card, or from another source if needed. Some cards may have 3D capability by default.

CompizConfig Settings Manager

In this guide you will use comizconfig settings manager it is also known as (ccsm) to configure the cube,enable animations ,make the cube transparent and many more effects.

If you do not already have ccsm installed you will need to install it now. The package is called compizconfig-settings-manager. You can use the software center or synaptic package manager for installation.

Also install all extra plugins for compiz including Fusion plugin. Please refer to the picture below of synaptic with the compiz packages showing installed.

This guide can be used for ubuntu classic mode also but there are three things to do differently.

1. In classic mode you do not need to disable unity plugin because it is not enabled, and please do not enable unity plugin it will cause problems with ubuntu classic.

2. The new version of compiz that is installed with natty does not work very well in classic so here is a link that will tell you how to revert back to the older version of compiz before you install the cube and effects.

3.When you setup the cube for use in classic you will most likely need to recheck move windows and resize windows because they usually get unchecked in compiz when enabling the cube.

After you have installed ccsm open dash by using the super key also known as the windows key for people new to ubuntu you will see that the launcher opened and there is an a on the application icon, hold down the super key and press the (A) key and dash opens, type ccsm into the search box and it will bring up compizconfig settings manager, or you can Hit Alt + f2 and then type ccsm to open ccsm.

Configure Compiz and its plugins For Ubuntu 11.04

In ubuntu there are many animations, and many different setting's that can be adjusted to make the animations stay longer on the screen so you can experience the effect more fully, I will cover some of them after we get the cube working.

There are many plugins, so it can be difficult to find the plugin you are looking for so in the upper left corner of ccsm there is a filter where you can put in a few letter's of the plugin you are looking for and it will find it for you.

Before we setup the cube we need to uncheck Open GL and Composite because that will disable all the plugins that need to be disabled while the cube is being installed.

When you disable Open GL you will be asked if you want to disable some plugins click to disable every time it asks. When you disable Open GL it will mess up your windows and menu bar but do not worry, a restart will fix the problem but do not restart until I tell you too.

In the examples below, I will show you Open GL and Composite that you need to uncheck.

Ok so you have unchecked Open GL and Composite and when asked to disable the plugins you clicked to disable. Now enable Open GL and Composite. Now we can get the cube by enabling desktop cube. Also you want to put a check by rotate cube this is what makes the cube spin. 

I also enabled 3D windows and Cube gears, 3D windows allow the windows that you have open to lift up off the screen when you use the mouse wheel to spin the cube, and Cube gears you can see them turn when you spin the cube if you have transparency enabled. 

Then enable unity plugin, it will ask if you want to resolve conflicts click to resolve, the next few windows that come up will ask to disable certain plugins just click on the ones that I have my cursor on in the pictures below. 

Click your power button once on your computer and it will bring up the shutdown window, select restart.

Now open compiz again, click on general options at the top of the window click on desktop size and change Horizontal Virtual Size to 4, then click on the back button and you should have the cube working. The other two settings in this window should be one.

You can switch desktops by using Ctrl+Alt + Left/Right and spin the cube with Ctrl+Alt+Left Mouse button, hold the mouse button down then move the mouse around. 

If you notice choppy movement in your windows or Ubuntu has slowed down click on Open GL and uncheck Sync to Vblank.

If you want to have some transparency so you can see the gears click on desktop cube plugin and at the top of the window click on transparent cube then opacity during rotation set it to whatever amount you want, I use 75.0000. 

While you are in Desk Top Cube Plugin you can change the color of the cube caps, and set a picture to display on the caps if you want too. Click on Appearance at the top of the window, the first two options are to change the top and bottom color of the cube.

Click on Skydome in that window and you can set an image for skydome. 

Bind Plugins To The Corner Of The Screen

Enable Expo Plugin and choose the top right corner in the Bindings tab under Expo Edge.

Now you can display all virtual desktops when you move your cursor to the top right corner of the screen.
Scale Plugin
This plugin lets you display all active windows at the same time when you move your cursor to the top left corner of the screen.

Enable the scale Plugin then click on it, under bindings tab, click on the one that says Initiate Window Picker For All Windows and choose the top left corner.

Now you can display all active windows at once when you move your cursor to the top left corner of the screen

In the next portion of this guide I will show you how to setup effects like burn, airplane, and a few others.

Compiz Animations

We are going to setup some animations by clicking on Animations plugin. Now make sure the tab highlighted at the top of the window is Open Animations, then right under open effect double click on the first line in the small window. 

In the window that pops up where it says open effects click on it and select airplane set duration to 500 so it will stay open long enough to enjoy the effect then close the window.

On setting duration you may have to adjust accordingly for your computer, mine works great at 500 but on some systems that are slower you may find that you need to shorten the time or if your system is faster lengthen the time.

Next click Close Animations at the top of the screen, right under Close Effect in the small window double click on the first line when the window opens next to Close Effect select Burn and for duration select 500 then close the window.

Next at the top of the window select Minimize Animation and in the small window double click on the first line when the window opens next to Minimize Effect select Beam Up, duration 500, then close window.

Now click on Focus Animation and in the small window double click on the first line, Next to Focus Effect select dodge and set the duration to 400 then close the window.

Viewport Switcher Plugin

You can move the cube around by holding the scroll wheel down on the mouse if you enable viewport Switcher Plugin.

Wobbley Windows
Enable wobbley Windows, then click on the Wobbley Windows Plugin.

Now make sure that Snap Inverted is not checked and go down to Map Effect and set it to shiver.

There are many other effects and settings that you can experiment with, I recommend changing them one at a time that way if you have an undesirable outcome you will know what to change back. Also if you change something that messes up unity just logout and back in and that should fix your problem, assuming you did not deactivate the unity plugin. 

Warning do not deactivate the unity plugin after setting up the cube and effects.

How to Revert your changes in the event you end up breaking unity.

You can reset unity or compiz or both by doing the following.

Open a terminal by hitting ctrl+alt+t or alt+f2, if one of those key combination does not open the terminal try ctrl+alt+f1 thru f6. Then type this command in terminal to reset unity.
Unity --reset

Use these commands to reset all the settings in compiz.

gconftool-2 --recursive-unset /apps/compiz
gconftool-2 --recursive-unset /apps/compiz-1
gconftool-2 --recursive-unset /apps/compizconfig-1