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This page deals with common issues related to video playback when using Compiz. The information here is intended for AIGLX users.

If you are experiencing a black screen while trying to watch videos, or fullscreen windows are becoming semi-transparent, then these settings may help.

Black screen while viewing videos

This section offers several configuration settings to help with video playback using the most common video players: GStreamer, VLC, Mplayer, Xine, and RealPlayer.


This is the default video player in Ubuntu player, used by Totem. To be able to view your video files correctly with Totem, proceed as follows:

  1. Run gstreamer-properties (you can do this in a terminal or via Alt + F2).

  2. Go to the Video tab.

  3. Under Default Output, for the Plugin, select X Window System (No Xv).

  4. Click on the Test button to verify that it works.

  5. Close the window.


  1. Launch VLC.
  2. Go to Settings –> Preferences....

  3. In the left-hand pane, expand the Video section, then select Output modules.

  4. In the bottom-right corner of the window, enable the Advanced options checkbox.

  5. New options will appear in the right-hand pane. For Video output module, select X11 video output from the drop-down menu.

  6. Click on Save in the bottom-left of the window, and exit the program.


  1. Launch Mplayer.
  2. Right-click on the video window and select Preferences.

  3. Go to the Video tab. In the list of Available drivers, select X11 ( XImage/Shm ).

  4. Click on OK to save your changes, then restart the application.


This is useful if you use Kaffeine or Totem with Xine. If you use Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy see Totem-xine below.

  1. Launch Xine.
  2. Go to File –> Configure –> Preferences.

  3. For experience_level, select Master Of The Known Universe so that all the setting become visible.

  4. Go to the Video tab.

  5. For the driver, select xshm.

  6. Restart Xine.

Totem-xine under Ubuntu Hardy 8.04

This is useful if you use Totem with Xine under Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron.

To get totem-xine to work you'll need to remove the totem-gstreamer package and install totem-xine, via the package manager (Synaptic or apt-get). After that, you also need to set totem-xine to use xshm, as follows:

  1. Run gedit ~/.config/totem/xine_config (you can do this in a terminal or via Alt + F2).

  2. Find the following line:

  3. Change it to the following:

  4. Save and close the xine_config file.


  1. Launch RealPlayer.

  2. Go to Settings –> Preferences.

  3. Go to the Hardware tab.

  4. Uncheck the UseXVideo checkbox.

  5. Restart RealPlayer.

Getting rid of transparent fullscreen windows

This is a problem that only occurs with Compiz Fusion from Treviño's repository (or other repositories using Treviño's patchset). To correct it, we will need to use the CompizConfig Settings Manager (CCSM), which is found in System –> Preferences in Gnome, or via the Compiz Fusion Icon (fusion-icon).

After you have opened CCSM, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the button for General Options.

  2. Go to the Opacity Settings tab.

  3. There is, most likely, a string value set under the Window opacities list. Select the existing string, click on Edit, and substitute it with this line:

((type=Unknown | Menu | PopupMenu | DropdownMenu | Tooltip | Notification | Combo | Dnd | name=sun-awt-X11-XWindowPeer) | (type=Normal & override_redirect=1)) & !(name=sun-awt-X11-XFramePeer | name=sun-awt-X11-XDialogPeer | state=fullscreen | name=^x11$ | name=^xv$ | name=^xine Video Window$)

Click on OK to save the changes.

VideoPlayback (last edited 2008-06-04 05:03:55 by S01060014d13cb32a)