Ubuntu desktop effects

David Vincent dvincent at sleepdeprived.ca
Sun Mar 23 23:40:39 UTC 2008

Hash: SHA1

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
>> help.
> 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  As the BIOS was completely outdated, I tried updating this and scanning for new hardware, but no luck.

Ugh.  Via based chip?  I doubt this will run Compiz.  Could be wrong

> 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?

On the low end I've got the basic effects working with a 32mb ATI Radeon
7000 card.  My recommendation would be to go with NVidia however if you
are going to purchase a card.  Do you have an AGP slot or PCIx for
graphics expansion?

Any NVidia card from the last few years should work just fine for you, I
wouldn't sink lots of $$ into a new cutting edge one.

Also, what monitor are you trying to drive and what resolution are you
aiming for?

> 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.

Totally normal.  Safe to ignore.

- -d

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