I’ve heard a lot of stories about 3D desktop features implemented and widely used in linux nowdays. Lots and lots of people had already install this cool feature and you can find a lots of videos on the net posted by users to show off their cool desktop.
Since I already had a Ubuntu Feisty Fawn 7.04 installed on my PC at home, I decided to tryout this feature and I chose Beryl for this time as it have more than just 3D desktop cube features available. There are more such as windows transparency, blur effect, scale effect and windows animation.
For a start, I launch Synaptic and make sure that the all repositories are available. I’m aware that my Graphic Card Driver (nVidia GeForce4 Ti 4200 AGP) will require proprietary driver so I enabled the ‘restricted’ repository in the Synaptic package management.
Then I search for ‘beryl’. From the list, I selected ‘beryl-ubuntu’ package and mark it for installation.
Synaptic will automatically advised me to install a handfull of other packages that will be required for beryl to work. I marked them all. I also selected ‘beryl-manager’ and ’emerald-themes’ package for installation.
Then I clicked ‘apply’ to proceed with the installation.
Synaptic will download and install those packages
Once finished, I exited Synaptic. To enable 3D acceleration for my video card, I have to install a proprietary driver provided by NVidia. So I launch Ubuntu ‘Restricted Driver Manager’ (System > Administration > Restricted Driver Manager)
Mark the ‘enabled’ checkbox to enable the driver. Confirm the installation when the system prompt for it. The system will automatically install the driver provided that I had already enabled ‘restricted’ repository in my synaptic/apt repository sources previously.
The installation will require the pc to be restarted. Don’t restart the pc just yet. We need to do some extra process.
Open up terminal and run the command below
sudo cp /usr/share/applications/beryl-manager.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/beryl-manager.desktop
This will make sure beryl will be launched automatically on each session.
Restart PC. Once the Ubuntu is restarted, a new diamond (emerald) icon will appear on the system tray
Right click the icon if you want to customize your beryl setting. For this time I just use the default setting.
So let’s play around. Open up a few windows.
For windows trasparency / blur effect:
Hold ALT key and scroll up/down your mouse
3D Cubic desktops
Hold ALT+CTRL and hit Left or Right key
Hold ALT+CTRL+Left button of your mouse key and move your mouse
Windows Scale Effect
Hit F8 or F9