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New Users Guide


Welcome to Compiz Fusion! Compiz Fusion is an extension to the Compiz window manager, and by using it, your work, and play, on your computer are going to become much easier. This guide shows you some basics to use Compiz Fusion, including keybindings and changing various settings.

Installing Compiz Fusion

Before we begin, if you have ended up at this page, but have not yet installed Compiz Fusion, you will need to set up your hardware and X Server in order to run Compiz Fusion and install Compiz Fusion.

Starting Compiz Fusion

As of the Compiz Fusion 0.6 release, Compiz Manager a startup script is included with the with the main distribution of Compiz. It will automatically handle environment variables and command line options required to start Compiz Fusion successfully. It is not to be confused with Compiz Fusion Icon, which is an icon that sits in the system tray that will start Compiz Fusion and a host of other window managers.

Because the compiz executable itself is very delicate when it comes to environment variables and the like, launching compiz by itself will most likely not work. Because of this, you should use compiz-manager to start Compiz-Core. Compiz Manager will also take care of loading settings and window decorations.

Basic Usage

Once Compiz Fusion is launched, you can do a variety of basic things.

  • Moving a window will instantly show the wobbly window effect.

  • <Alt>-Scrolling on a window will change its opacity

  • Moving a window to the edge of the screen will flip it to the next desktop

However, Compiz Fusion is by no means limited to these three things. Lets have a look at some more advanced things that Compiz Fusion is capable of

Slightly More Advanced Usage


This shows what you are able to do with the default configuration

Window Management


Compiz Fusion features a much more advanced window switcher than other window managers. To invoke it, simply press <Alt-Tab>. This will make the application switcher window appear. From here, you will notice that instead of icons of each window, there is a live thumbnail and the selected window is automatically brought to the front and is brighter and more opaque than every other window. To switch to the next window, simply press <Tab> again. Once you are sure that the window highlighted is the one you want to use, release <Alt> and that window will be on the top of the stack.


Compiz Fusion also allows you to switch between windows of all desktops. To do this, press <Ctrl><Alt>-Tab and use it in the same fashion as the regular switcher.

You'll notice that Compiz Fusion has the ability to create miniature thumbnails of windows. These are known as 'live previews'. Thumbnails are not static, but live, which means that all activity in the window will continue appear in the thumbnails, such as progress bars and video.

Another great feature offered by Compiz Fusion is the ability to scale down all windows and see them all at once, and then proceed to select the once you want to work with. To invoke this, simply move your mouse up to the top right edge of your screen, or press <Shift><Alt>-Up.


Once in scaled mode, you can click on the window you want to use and scale mode will exit. Clicking on the desktop will toggle 'show desktop mode', which, by default, will minimize all windows.

Desktop Features

Desktop Cube


By default, Compiz has support for 4 horizontal workspaces all wrapped around a cube. Navigating around the cube could not be easier. Simply use <Ctrl><Alt>- Left / Right to move to different workspaces on the cube. If you want to move a window to another workspace while tabbing between workspaces, simply hold down <Shift><Ctrl><Alt> and move the cube using the Left / Right keys.


To drag a window to another desktop, simply move it to the screen edge until the cube flips to the next side.

If you want to rotate the cube in all 3 directions in real time, simply hold down <Ctrl><Alt> and press and hold the left mouse button. Moving the mouse allows you to rotate the cube. The cube rotate the the workspace closest the the center of the screen when mouse button is let go.


Finally, you can view your cube in 'film-reel' mode, by holding down <Ctrl><Alt> and pressing the Down key. Then flip between workspaces by pressing Left and Right. You can also move windows by holding down <Shift>.

Accessibility Features

Compiz Fusion also comes with support for various accessibility features. By default however, only the Zoom plugin is turned on.


To zoom into the screen, simply hold down <Super> A.K.A 'The Windows Key' and scroll with your mouse. By scrolling in and out, you can zoom in and out of your screen. Note that it is not yet possible interact with the screen while zoomed in, however it is possible with the Enhanced Zoom plugin which will be covered later.

Compiz also allows you to select a portion of your screen to zoom into. To do this, hold down the <Super> key and press and hold the right click on your mouse. Drag the box to the area you want to zoom into. To zoom out again, hold down <Super> and scroll down.

Configuring Compiz Fusion

New Users Guide (last edited 2009-08-27 23:57:28 by 24-138-98-109)