Jump to content



Photo

Using gala compositing in xubuntu 12.10


  • Please log in to reply
21 replies to this topic

#1 ViperAFK

ViperAFK

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 2
  • Joined: 07-March 06
  • Location: Vermont

Posted 08 December 2012 - 05:09

I recently installed xubuntu and wanted some good compositing. I tried compiz but it seems a bit buggy with xfce, and too heavy for my needs anyway.

I recently found a great solution. Using elementary os's gala window manager. it works excellently with xfce! incredibly smooth, stable, and fast. You get very smooth effects, features like "aero snap", and light resource usage. I'm also using plank as the dock and it all integrates very well, feels like I'm using eOS luna, but with the very stable, mature xfce base and apps.

To install it on xubuntu just do the following:
Add the elementary daily ppa and install gala
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:elementary-os/daily
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gala dconf-tools
Set gala as xfce's default window manager
cp /etc/xdg/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-session.xml ~/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-session.xml
leafpad ~/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-session.xml
replace "xfwm4" with "gala"
Put min/max/close buttons on the right
open dconf-editor:
org pantheon desktop gala appearance
button-layout: :minimize,maximize,close
original source where I found the instructions: youtube.com/watch?v=12a8M5y7MNg
My current desktop, still got plenty of tweaking left to do:

Disclaimer: The elementary ppa is a daily development ppa and installing from it may not always work correctly since the packages are always in "flux".

Screenshot - 12072012 - 11:15:00 PM.png


#2 +Majesticmerc

Majesticmerc

    Resident Idealist

  • Tech Issues Solved: 8
  • Joined: 24-August 05
  • Location: United Kingdom
  • OS: Arch Linux / Win 7
  • Phone: HTC One X

Posted 22 December 2012 - 00:06

Nice! I'll have to give this a go. I tried to set up Compiz on my Arch install but Compiz + XFCE + ATI Catalyst drivers is bad news.

#3 B0mberman

B0mberman

    Silence is the key to Wisdom

  • Joined: 25-June 07
  • Location: CPT
  • OS: Windows 8.1
  • Phone: Galaxy S2 CM

Posted 22 December 2012 - 00:12

lol, Brandon I saw you're Reddit post a few weeks back, haha linux subreddit for the win (Y)

#4 Bruce McL

Bruce McL

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 17-December 09

Posted 13 March 2013 - 15:16

I found this post and the one on reddit to be very helpful. Here are a few tweaks I have discovered when using plank and slingshot with xfce.

Preload Slingshot for faster first launch at startup - add "slingshot-launcher -s" to the list in Settings: Session and Startup: Application Autostart tab.

Launching Slingshot from the top panel - add a launcher, select "run a program" and type in slingshot-launcher as the program.

Launching Slingshot from Plank - navigate to
~/.local/share/applications/
create a new file called Slingshot.desktop
put the following in the file:

[Desktop Entry]
Version=1.0
Type=Application
Name=Slingshot
Comment=
Exec=slingshot-launcher
Icon=plank
Path=
Terminal=false
StartupNotify=false

The next time you actually start Slingshot, a Plank icon will appear in the dock. You will likely have to terminate Slingshot for this to happen because Slingshot doesn't quit when you close it's window.

Changing what appears in the Slingshot menus - one way to do this is change a few entries in the standard xfce menu using Settings: Main Menu. After doing that, navigate to:
~/.config/menus/
Open up applications.menu in a text editor and you will see a record of the changes you made. Make a file called "pantheon-applications.menu" in the same directory. Use the applications.menu file as a starting point and template for pantheon-applications.menu

Just to be complete, Plank themes can be added in the following location:
~/.local/share/plank/themes/
choose one by changing the theme name in the following file
~/.config/plank/dock1/settings
You can also specify themes that are installed by the system. They are located in
/usr/share/plank/themes/

And the original Plank dock item, which doesn't seem to do anything, can be removed here:
~/.config/plank/dock1/launcher/

I hope I haven't wandered too far off topic. Thanks for your original post, and if that was you on reddit, thanks for that one as well.

#5 +Karl L.

Karl L.

    xorangekiller

  • Tech Issues Solved: 15
  • Joined: 24-January 09
  • Location: Virginia, USA
  • OS: Debian Testing

Posted 14 March 2013 - 03:24

Thanks for the guide! I just compiled the Gala packages from the Ubuntu PPA for Debian Wheezy and tried it with MATE 1.4.2 (stable) and MATE 1.5.6 (dev). It is a good replacement for the default window manager in both, but the development version of MATE definitely handles it better (probably due to its GTK3 integration). Gala seems to be fast and capable, I just wish it had a few more features. Its a young project. Hopefully it gets there.

#6 Bruce McL

Bruce McL

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 17-December 09

Posted 14 March 2013 - 12:44

Gala, Plank, Slingshot - I like a lot of what the elementary project is doing, but, as you say, they are just getting started and some things need more polish. Their music player is interesting as well and I even use Open Sans font from their repository as my system font.

I haven't learned how to compile yet, but the idea of being able to use things from elementaryOS in a Debian based distribution that doesn't use Ubuntu is appealing.

#7 +Karl L.

Karl L.

    xorangekiller

  • Tech Issues Solved: 15
  • Joined: 24-January 09
  • Location: Virginia, USA
  • OS: Debian Testing

Posted 14 March 2013 - 14:52

I haven't learned how to compile yet, but the idea of being able to use things from elementaryOS in a Debian based distribution that doesn't use Ubuntu is appealing.


Sometimes packages built for Ubuntu will just work in Debian, particularly when the base version is fairly similar. (Ubuntu 12.04 shares much of its core with Debian Wheezy, and Ubuntu 10.04 shares much of its core with Debian Squeeze.) Ubuntu is diverging further from Debian as time goes on, so it is generally best (and cleanest) to download the source code and port Ubuntu packages to Debian rather than installing the Ubuntu binary directly. In most cases the procedure is fairly trivial, but I don't recommend it if you're not a developer or have no interest in understanding Debian development and packaging.

My procedure for porting Gala to Debian was as follows:
  • I downloaded and extracted the gala source from the Elementary PPA.
  • I tried to compile it, noting the packages required to build it that I didn't have installed.
  • I installed as many of the build dependencies as possible from the Debian Wheezy repository.
  • I downloaded the source for the two dependencies that are not in the Wheezy repo (granite and plank) from the Elementary PPA.
  • I repeated steps 2 and 3 for both of those dependencies. Granite built but plank require valac-0.18 and Wheezy only has up to valac-0.16.
  • Fortunately Ubuntu 12.04 also lacks valac-0.18; so I downloaded it from the Elementary PPA and repeated steps 2 and 3.
  • I installed the new valac.
  • I compiled plank.
  • I installed granite and plank.
  • I tried compiling gala again, but it failed with a linker error.
  • After googling the linker error (which I had never seen before) I discovered that one of the build dependencies for the Elementary gala package is wrong. I needed a version of mutter newer than 3.4.1.
  • Fortunately Ubuntu 12.04 also has this problem, so I downloaded the source of the patched version from the Elementary PPA.
  • I repeated steps 2 and 3 to build mutter. It built with no problems.
  • I installed my patched version of mutter.
  • I tried compiling gala again. This time the build succeeded.
  • I installed gala.
If I wanted to distribute Gala for Debian Wheezy there would be additional steps required to properly port it, but the procedure I described works well for a personal build.

You can browse the Elementary PPA directly here. Find the dsc for the package you want to port, and port it somewhat like the following example.

sudo apt-get install build-essential devscripts

mkdir granite
pushd granite

dget http://ppa.launchpad.net/elementary-os/daily/ubuntu/pool/main/g/granite/granite_0.2.0~r534+535-0+pkg47~precise1.dsc
dpkg-source -x granite_0.2.0~r534+535-0+pkg47~precise1.dsc

pushd granite_0.2.0~r534+535
debchange -R
> granite (0.2.0~r534+535-0+pkg47~youridentifier0) testing; urgency=low
>
>   * Rebuilt for Debian Wheezy.
>
>  -- Your Name <youridentifier@somewhere.com>  Wed, 13 Mar 2013 22:09:55 -0400
popd
dpkg-source -b granite_0.2.0~r534+535

pushd granite_0.2.0~r534+535
dpkg-buildpackage -us -uc
popd
rm -rf granite_0.2.0~r534+535

sudo dpkg -i $(ls -1 | grep '.deb' | grep -Ev '\-dbg_|-demo_')
sudo install -f

popd

There is a lot more complexity than what I have detailed. If you are really interested in more information I recommend that you read the Debian Developer's Reference manual. Porting can become an intensive activity if there are numerous packages to port, many differences between the systems, or the existing packages are poor quality. I offer no further assistance in this regard.

#8 Bruce McL

Bruce McL

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 17-December 09

Posted 15 March 2013 - 18:53

Thank you for your insights into porting. Yesterday for the first time I successfully compiled an app and used it. I'm not sure how far I will go with this. It is definitely, as you say, an intensive activity! I'm glad I got my feet wet yesterday, and reading your post gives me a better understanding of what is involved.

#9 vetsanctified

sanctified

    Your order is meaningless. My chaos is significant.

  • Joined: 29-November 01
  • Location: ø
  • OS: OS X 10.9 and Xubuntu 14.04
  • Phone: iPhone 5 (very cheap second hand)

Posted 15 March 2013 - 18:57

The elementary OS team is the best distro team at the moment.

Great hope for these guys.

#10 HawkMan

HawkMan

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 4
  • Joined: 31-August 04
  • Location: Norway
  • Phone: Noka Lumia 1020

Posted 16 March 2013 - 16:59

I recently installed xubuntu and wanted some good compositing. I tried compiz but it seems a bit buggy with xfce, and too heavy for my needs anyway.

I recently found a great solution. Using elementary os's gala window manager. it works excellently with xfce! incredibly smooth, stable, and fast. You get very smooth effects, features like "aero snap", and light resource usage. I'm also using plank as the dock and it all integrates very well, feels like I'm using eOS luna, but with the very stable, mature xfce base and apps.

To install it on xubuntu just do the following:
Add the elementary daily ppa and install gala
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:elementary-os/daily
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gala dconf-tools
Set gala as xfce's default window manager
cp /etc/xdg/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-session.xml ~/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-session.xml
leafpad ~/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-session.xml
replace "xfwm4" with "gala"
Put min/max/close buttons on the right
open dconf-editor:
org pantheon desktop gala appearance
button-layout: :minimize,maximize,close
original source where I found the instructions: youtube.com/watch?v=12a8M5y7MNg
My current desktop, still got plenty of tweaking left to do:

Screenshot - 12072012 - 11:15:00 PM.png

I

was going to try this. but then... linux....
step 4 adding the actual ala dconf tools...
gala: Depends on libplank0 but it's not going to be installed

sigh

#11 +Brando212

Brando212

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 11
  • Joined: 15-April 10
  • Location: Omaha, NE
  • OS: OS X Mavricks, Windows 7/8.1 Pro
  • Phone: Sony Xperia ZL, Nokia Lumia 925

Posted 16 March 2013 - 17:07

was trying to do this on an Arch Linux VM to test it out but a couple of the dependencies for gala are being stupid and not wanting to install. maybe i'll try the manual method instead of using yaourt :/

#12 OP ViperAFK

ViperAFK

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 2
  • Joined: 07-March 06
  • Location: Vermont

Posted 16 March 2013 - 17:34

I

was going to try this. but then... linux....
step 4 adding the actual ala dconf tools...
gala: Depends on libplank0 but it's not going to be installed

sigh


No need to blame "linux" in general :) Must be an issue with the ppa, its a daily development ppa so it doesn't always "work" because new packages are being uploaded all the time, I'd guess it will work eventually when things finish uploading to the PPA. I had a similar issue trying to install gala on xubuntu 13.04 (gala wanted a different version of cogl that wasn't in the ppa yet, but after a few days it sorted itself out and let me install it). I've added a disclaimer to the OP about the ppa :)

was trying to do this on an Arch Linux VM to test it out but a couple of the dependencies for gala are being stupid and not wanting to install. maybe i'll try the manual method instead of using yaourt :/


I had the same problem when I was trying to install it from the aur, a lot of the packages didn't like the version of automake in the arch repos so some of its dependencies wouldn't compile. If you install "automake 1.12" from the aur and try again I think it will work.

#13 Bruce McL

Bruce McL

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 17-December 09

Posted 17 March 2013 - 01:49

...
step 4 adding the actual ala dconf tools...
gala: Depends on libplank0 but it's not going to be installed
...


Synaptic Package Manager is a good way to check your work. Install that, click on the origin button on the left, then click on the elementary-os-daily repository above that. You should be able to search for gala and for libplank0 in the listing on the right. I see both of them on my machine.

sudo apt-get install synaptic

should get you synaptic package manager

#14 Nothing Here

Nothing Here

    Neowinian Senior

  • Joined: 23-February 08
  • Location: California, U.S.A.
  • OS: Windows 8 Pro / Kororaa 17

Posted 19 March 2013 - 16:42

I decided to give this a try. But, my results look nothing like what is in the OP. Maybe it's my theme? It looks like a normal xfce desktop.


Here's my xfce session:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<channel name="xfce4-session" version="1.0">
  <property name="general" type="empty">
    <property name="FailsafeSessionName" type="string" value="Failsafe"/>
  </property>
  <property name="sessions" type="empty">
    <property name="Failsafe" type="empty">
	  <property name="IsFailsafe" type="bool" value="true"/>
	  <property name="Count" type="int" value="5"/>
	  <property name="Client0_Command" type="array">
	    <value type="string" value="gala"/>
	  </property>
	  <property name="Client0_PerScreen" type="bool" value="false"/>
	  <property name="Client1_Command" type="array">
	    <value type="string" value="xfce4-panel"/>
	  </property>
	  <property name="Client1_PerScreen" type="bool" value="false"/>
	  <property name="Client2_Command" type="array">
	    <value type="string" value="Thunar"/>
	    <value type="string" value="--daemon"/>
	  </property>
	  <property name="Client2_PerScreen" type="bool" value="false"/>
	  <property name="Client3_Command" type="array">
	    <value type="string" value="xfdesktop"/>
	  </property>
	  <property name="Client3_PerScreen" type="bool" value="false"/>
	  <property name="Client4_Command" type="array">
	    <value type="string" value="xfce4-settings-helper"/>
	  </property>
	  <property name="Client4_PerScreen" type="bool" value="false"/>
    </property>
  </property>
  <property name="splash" type="empty">
    <property name="Engine" type="string" value=""/>
  </property>
</channel>


See below:

Attached Images

  • Screenshot2.jpg


#15 OP ViperAFK

ViperAFK

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 2
  • Joined: 07-March 06
  • Location: Vermont

Posted 19 March 2013 - 18:28

I decided to give this a try. But, my results look nothing like what is in the OP. Maybe it's my theme? It looks like a normal xfce desktop.


Here's my xfce session:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<channel name="xfce4-session" version="1.0">
  <property name="general" type="empty">
	<property name="FailsafeSessionName" type="string" value="Failsafe"/>
  </property>
  <property name="sessions" type="empty">
	<property name="Failsafe" type="empty">
	  <property name="IsFailsafe" type="bool" value="true"/>
	  <property name="Count" type="int" value="5"/>
	  <property name="Client0_Command" type="array">
		<value type="string" value="gala"/>
	  </property>
	  <property name="Client0_PerScreen" type="bool" value="false"/>
	  <property name="Client1_Command" type="array">
		<value type="string" value="xfce4-panel"/>
	  </property>
	  <property name="Client1_PerScreen" type="bool" value="false"/>
	  <property name="Client2_Command" type="array">
		<value type="string" value="Thunar"/>
		<value type="string" value="--daemon"/>
	  </property>
	  <property name="Client2_PerScreen" type="bool" value="false"/>
	  <property name="Client3_Command" type="array">
		<value type="string" value="xfdesktop"/>
	  </property>
	  <property name="Client3_PerScreen" type="bool" value="false"/>
	  <property name="Client4_Command" type="array">
		<value type="string" value="xfce4-settings-helper"/>
	  </property>
	  <property name="Client4_PerScreen" type="bool" value="false"/>
	</property>
  </property>
  <property name="splash" type="empty">
	<property name="Engine" type="string" value=""/>
  </property>
</channel>


See below:


I noticed that if you put it in the session before manually running "gala --replace" once, it won't work. try hitting alt + f2, typing "gala --replace", then double checking the session file to make sure its still set to use gala, and then re-log and it should load gala as expected.



Click here to login or here to register to remove this ad, it's free!