Notes on Beryl

John Stowers john.stowers.lists at
Mon Oct 30 20:04:53 GMT 2006

Hey Thom

On 10/31/06, Thom May <thom at> wrote:
> Hi,
> due to an unfortunate accident with a kaasschaaf I changed window managers
> from Ion3 to Ubuntu's gnome set up. As people have been talking about Beryl
> I figured I'd give it a spin to balance out the OS X bling quotient in the
> office. (And given the beryl-by-default feisty spec)
> In this respect I succeeeded admirably. In the respect of having a working,
> well integrated desktop environment, it was a horrible failure. Here's why:
> 1) Gnome keybindings no longer work - deskbar is unusable, I can't quick
> launch terminal and so on without digging through a completely different
> config system.

I have heard that Fedora ships compiz with metacity compatible key
bindings. This seems like a sane first step.

> 2) I have a whopping great jewel in my notification area. Why? Also, the
> splash screen should be disappeared to ensure that we get a consistent
> desktop startup.
> 3) Sensible defaults - turning all the bling on by default is potentially
> sensible when developing, but for integration in the default desktop it
> needs to be turned down a lot - I suspect the expose-esque stuff and the
> workspace cube flipping are a "sane" start, but wobbly windows and
> whatever the shivery effect on window creation is have to go! IMO the effect
> at the moment is far too distracting to actually get a comfortable desktop.

This is why I would recommend compiz over beryl. Sensible defaults, a
more comfortable level of bling, and a sane preferences manager with <
3 trillion options.

There are edgy packages at (i use the
edgy not edgy-dev brach, but thats up to you)

> 4) Integration into the rest of the desktop - respect pre-existing settings
> of number of workspaces, ensure that the workspace manager continues to work
> correctly, get rid of a lot of the "this window manager goes to 11!" options
> in the Settings Manager and make that a System/Preferences applet, etc.
> Also, the themes need to be manageable from the Themes applet (and ideally
> be the same as metacity themes).

The Settings manager that gandalfn wrote is very sane, and does not
have as many options as the Beryl one.

Compiz uses metacity themes, which are manageable from the themes capplet.


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