Make Your Ubuntu Desktop Rotate As a Cylinder/Sphere

For Linux users those who like to impress their friends with the the awesome Compiz eye candy and desktop effects, here is another new trick that you can show: make your desktop rotate as a cylinder or sphere.

With the release of latest version of Compiz Fusion 0.7.6, many new plugins and eye candys have been added. Rather than the usual desktop cube rotation, you can now rotate your desktop as cylinder or sphere.

compiz-cylinder


compiz-cylinder-with-3d window

compiz-sphere

compiz sphere with 3D window

To upgrade to the latest version of Compiz, add the repository to your sources.list

In terminal, type,

gksu gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

Add the following line to the end

deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/compiz/ubuntu hardy main

Save and close the file.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

If you did not install the Compiz setting manager before, then install it now.

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

Open up the Compiz Setting Manager via System->Preferences->CompizConfig Settings Manager.

Restart your X (By pressing ‘Ctrl + Alt + backspace‘)

(Updated: Thanks to Ulysses comment, you can skip the restart ‘X’ part if you have fusion-icon installed)

After you have re-login, go to General Options and select Desktop Size tab. Set the Horizontal virtual size to 4. Click Back.

Next, scroll down the setting manager and activate Desktop Cube and Rotate Cube. If you are using Desktop Wall, you will have to deactivate it first.

Scroll down to Cube Reflection and Deformation. Activate it. Click on it to go to its configuration page. Under the Deformation tab, select Cylinder or Sphere under the Deformation dropdown box. This will set the desktop rotation to cylinder or sphere mode. Click Back. Click Close.

Back to your desktop, press Ctrl + Alt + mouse left button to activate the desktop rotation mode. You should now see the rotation in action.

Some other new plugins for you to play with:

Static Switcher: See the preview of the full windows instead of the thumbnail when you press ‘Alt + Tab’

Enhanced zoom: Select the zoom region with the mouse.

Wallpaper: Sets unique wallpapers per viewport. Replaces the background images functionality in Desktop Cube. (I have not been able to get this plugin to work in my PC)

19 comments

  1. Another nice trick for Ubuntu. I love wowing the windows geeks with Ubuntu!

    Had some issues with this at first I couldn’t get the cube deformation option to stick and compiz seemed to hang my cpu at 100%. I did “apt-get remove compizconfig-settings-manager”, removed the source I added to sources.list, and reinstalled the settings manager.

    Now the settings manager is back under “Advanced Desktop Effect Settings” and the tickbox is staying ticked and I have the sphere.

    Keep the tricks coming Damien! cya on Twitter.

  2. Go into your settings manager. Its under the “rotate cube” plugin on the bottom of the “general” tab. “Zoom”

  3. Hi,

    Thanks for informing us about the new features in compiz fusion! That’s great.

    I would like to make a suggestion: there is no need to restart X to use the new compiz-fusion features.

    Just make sure to have fusion-icon, compizconfig-settings-manager and these following components installed:

    That way, you can use fusion-icon to restart the compiz fusion window manager right after doing the apt-get upgrade. I just like saving time ;-)

    ulysses@ulysses-desktop:~$ sudo aptitude search fusion
    sudo: unable to resolve host ulysses-desktop
    p compiz-fusion-bcop – Compiz Fusion option code generator
    i compiz-fusion-plugins-extra – Collection of extra plugins from OpenCompositing for Compiz
    i compiz-fusion-plugins-main – Collection of plugins from OpenCompositing for Compiz
    i fusion-icon – tray icon to launch and manage Compiz Fusion
    p libfusionsound-1.0-0 – audio sub system for multiple applications – shared libraries
    p libfusionsound-dev – audio sub system for multiple applications – development files
    p libfusionsound-doc – audio sub system for multiple applications – documentation
    ulysses@ulysses-desktop:~$ sudo aptitude search compiz
    sudo: unable to resolve host ulysses-desktop
    i compiz – OpenGL window and compositing manager
    p compiz-bcop – Compiz option code generator
    i A compiz-core – OpenGL window and compositing manager
    p compiz-dev – OpenGL window and compositing manager – development files
    p compiz-fusion-bcop – Compiz Fusion option code generator
    i compiz-fusion-plugins-extra – Collection of extra plugins from OpenCompositing for Compiz
    i compiz-fusion-plugins-main – Collection of plugins from OpenCompositing for Compiz
    i A compiz-gnome – OpenGL window and compositing manager – GNOME window decorator
    i compiz-kde – OpenGL window and compositing manager – KDE window decorator
    i A compiz-plugins – OpenGL window and compositing manager – plugins
    i A compizconfig-backend-gconf – Settings library for plugins – OpenCompositing Project
    i A compizconfig-backend-kconfig – KConfig Settings library for plugins – OpenCompositing Project
    i compizconfig-settings-manager – Compiz configuration settings manager
    v gcompizthemer –
    p kicker-compiz – modified pager applet for Kicker made to work with Compiz
    p kicker-taskbar-compiz – modified Kicker taskbar applet made to work with compiz
    i A libcompizconfig0 – Settings library for plugins – OpenCompositing Project
    p libcompizconfig0-dev – Development file for plugin settings – OpenCompositing Project
    i A python-compizconfig – Compiz configuration system bindings
    ulysses@ulysses-desktop:~$

    Ciao,

    Ulysses

  4. Thanks for posting this! It works perfectly for me! But like you, the wallpaper-plugin doesn’t work. There is a workaround but it will make me loose my desktop. :(

  5. @maphilli14: Yes, but that is at the expense of forgoing your desktop icon and the context menu (right mouse click). Unless there is a better way to do this, I will still stick to my current configuration

  6. @Damien

    Yes, that is true, it also seems to suck more ram having 4x highres desktop wallpaper! I peeled mine back to a single for some additional resources towards programs!

  7. Thanks for this. I originally had the same problem as Brian though, where the cube deformation reflection box wouldn’t stick. So I did as he said and reverted to the older settings version, which fixed the reflection, caps, and the checkbox, but the sphere still wouldn’t work until I enabled the compiz wallpaper plugin. I hadn’t been using compiz or nautilus for desktop wallpaper, but animated (video) wallpaper and screenlet desktop icons instead, and cube worked fine like this. Hope this helps if anyone else has that issue.

  8. I get the Compiz Setting Manager installed and get the switcher bar with Alt+Tab, but never get the cube.

    What is the debug on this install?

    OMR

  9. i follow all the step and it’s work! However, mine is in side out from the sphere… and tranparent, no wallpaper.
    Can anyone help me? make it to look from out side.

  10. what do you mean by saying

    Open up the Compiz Setting Manager via System->Preferences->CompizConfig Settings Manager.(until here ok i get it right)

    Restart your X (By pressing ‘Ctrl + Alt + backspace‘)<— what's this ?

    (i only yesterday installed ubuntu and i m newbie)

Comments are closed.

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