HOWTO: Compiz with NVIDIA Graphics Drivers (updated 9/23/2006)
As of the 1.0-9625 BETA release, the NVIDIA UNIX graphics drivers support the GLX_EXT_texture_from_pixmap extension required by the compiz OpenGL-based window/composite manager. I will provide some tips on getting it running with the NVIDIA drivers here.
You will also need a recent version of compiz. We have done most of our internal testing with bleeding-edge freedesktop.org versions of compiz. It is recommended you use a version from the git repository after 9/20/2006, or version 0.2 (once it is released) or newer.
Very recent builds of the compiz.net version should work as well, but have received less testing and have been found to be less reliable in general.
There are several tutorials and HOWTOs available on the web that cover building and installing compiz, so I will not cover that here. Please note however, that when following these guides, any steps regarding the installation of Mesa OpenGL libraries, the DRI, or Xgl should be skipped. The NVIDIA driver contains built-in support for GLX_EXT_texture_from_pixmap, so these extra layers are not necessary, and may in fact cause problems (see below).
You will need to ensure X is properly configured. The following bits should be in your X configuration file:
Before running compiz for the first time, you should configure it to your tastes. Again, there are several sites that cover configuring compiz and its various plugins, so I will not cover that here. Note: an exception is direct vs. indirect rendering: when using the NVIDIA graphics driver, you do not need to use the --indirect-rendering option; it limits the number of extensions exposed by the driver, disabling some plugins (e.g. water).
Now it's time to test compiz. If possible, you should initially start compiz from another machine so you can see any error messages it might print out. In this case, be sure to set your DISPLAY environment variable properly after logging in:
for example. However, if everything goes well, it should be fine to start it from a terminal window.
If you are using a version of compiz that supports the Composite Overlay Window:
At this point, the screen may flicker a bit, then all your windows should reappear. If everything looks good, you can set up compiz to start at X start time via your favorite method.
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