Ubuntu desktop effects

Andrew Hodgson andrew at hodgsonfamily.org
Sat Mar 22 23:50:04 UTC 2008

David Vincent wrote:

>Andrew Hodgson wrote:
>> I have a Ubuntu 7.10 installation on an AMD dual-core machine with 1GB
>> of RAM and onboard video hardware.  I set the video hardware to give
>> 128MB of video ram in the BIOS, but I am unable to start desktop effects
>> – it gives me an error stating that desktop effects cannot be started,
>> and goes back to the off state.

>open a terminal and type "compiz" in there, it should spit out some
>meaningful error.  if you can paste the results here we might be able to

Thanks for the response.

It says that there is no XGL hardware found.  When I look in the xorg.conf file, it says I am using the Vesa driver, which explains it.

Basically what this is is a cheap machine which I got from a local store.  It is ESys branded, but is a standard case with motherboard, CD-rom, and SATA HDD, and nothing else.  The manual states that the motherboard is a Foxconn K8M890M2MA-RS2H motherboard.  I checked the specs, and it is a Via based graphics chip.  As the BIOS was completely outdated, I tried updating this and scanning for new hardware, but no luck.

This came preloaded with Ubuntu 6.06LTS, and I formatted to 7.10.  As the Compiz was not in that version, it probably didn't matter, and for only £150 with a dual-core processor with 1GB RAM, I couldn't expect a lot.

One of the reasons for me trying this new machine, was that on my current Dell, I had issues with the higher spec Nvidia card I have in here, so what would be a "cheap and works well with Ubuntu" card?

>> Is there a list of video cards that will work with this?  I don’t want
>> to spend much on a video card, I would just like to be able to use this
>> feature.

>what brand is your onboard video?  what driver are you using?  i've got
>it working easily with both ati and nvidia cards.  a sample of your
>/etc/X11/xorg.conf file would help here.

Whilst a bit off the subject of the thread, I checked in here, and found loads of sections for a graphics tablet, is this normal?  I don't have one attached to the system, only a PS/2 mouse and keyboard, although the keyboard that came with it has some keys at the top which are special shortcut keys, presumably designed with Windows in mind.

>> Also, as I use the magnifier in Orca, will this feature be compatable? 
>> I tried both with my Orca enabled system, and using the live CD, without
>> Orca enabled, in case this was the case.

>i don't know.  anyone else on the list have an idea?  i imagine it would
>work fine - compiz brings some extra accessibility features that i use
>every day - and i don't even wear glasses.

Well I am almost completely blind - registered as partially sighted, and this apparently is the first version of Ubuntu with some real usable accessability features, which is why I am trying it out.  I am only using speech access at the moment, but want to get the magnifier in - but wanted to try the Compiz features first.  If I am running in Vesa mode, however, it may be best to get a better card before using the magnifier.


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