Compiz (/kɒmpɪz/) is a compositing window manager for the X Window System, using 3D graphics hardware to create fast compositing desktop effects for window management. Effects, such as a minimization animation or a cube workspace, are implemented as loadable plugins. Because it conforms to the ICCCM conventions, Compiz can be used as a substitute for the default Mutter or Metacity, when using GNOME Panel, or KWin in KDE Plasma Workspaces. Internally Compiz uses the OpenGL library as the interface to the graphics hardware.

Compositing window manager for the X Window System


Screenshot showing the Cube plugin for Compiz on Fedora
Developer(s) David Reveman, Sam Spilsbury, Danny Baumann, Dennis Kasprzyk, Daniel van Vugt
Initial release 2006; 15 years ago (2006)
Stable release[1] / November 27, 2019; 2 years ago (2019-11-27)
Written in C, C++, Python
Operating system Unix-like with X11
Type X window manager
License GPL, core: MIT license

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Initially, Compiz only worked with 3D hardware supported by Xgl. Most NVIDIA and ATI graphics cards are known to work with Compiz on Xgl. Since May 22, 2006 Compiz works on the standard X.Org Server, by using AIGLX. Besides Intel GMA graphics cards, AIGLX also supports using AMD graphics cards (including R300 and newer cards) using the open-source

radeon driver which supports GLX_EXT_texture_from_pixmap since fall 2006.

NVIDIA’s binary drivers (since Version 1.0-9629[2]) support GLX_EXT_texture_from_pixmap on standard X.Org server; ATI/AMD‘s binary drivers do since version 8.42.[3]

By the early 2000’s, both ATI and Nvidia drivers became increasingly common on Linux. Advanced OpenGL development was no longer restricted to expensive UNIXworkstations. Around the same time, Xgl, Xegl and AIGLX gave Xorg the possibility of using OpenGL for transformation and effects on windows surfaces.

With foundations finally available, xcompmgr pioneered the features of a compositing window manager.

An effort called Luminocity began with some GNOME developers to make use of recent developments.[4] In March 2005, the Luminocity project already featured effects like “wobbly windows”, “physics models for window moving”, “live updating workspace wwitcher” and “alpha compositing”.[5]

Given Luminocity was mostly a prototype, its development soon was abandoned, but some of its effects and behaviors were later implemented by Compiz.

The first version of Compiz was released as free software by Novell (SUSE) in January 2006 in the wake of the (also new) Xgl. It was one of the earliest compositing window managers for X.

In March 2006 Compiz was ported to AIGLX by Red Hat.[6]

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