Xgl on a live CD

If you want to try Xgl to see what all the fuss is about, then you should download the Kororaa live CD. I downloaded the 441MB iso, burned it on CD and rebooted into Xgl.

Wow. All the eye candy looks great, the cube revolved when I switched desktops or dragged the background with CTRL pressed. Dragging windows from one side of the cube to another desktop was really cool, but not as much fun as watching a sticky window bend and deform as I dragged it!

As someone pointed out on digg, it’s not just eye candy. The openGL powered desktop uses my video card to move pixels around and feels responsive. I’m very tempted to upgrade to Ubuntu Dapper so I can install the Xgl binaries! (via)
Later… I updated my Ubuntu install to the latest Dapper release using apt-get dist-upgrade and after some minor fighting with a customized xorg.conf and following the instructions I have an Xgl powered desktop! Nice.
Slightly Later… I found a showstopper bug. It doesn’t do full screen image viewing. At least as far as gthumb or f-spot is concerned anyway. Gthumb just dies and F-spot displays a thumbnail in the corner of a grey screen.

Some people had the same problem playing movies and the solution was to use openGL as the full screen driver but I don’t think the same can be done with an image viewer, can it?
It’s alpha software so hopefully this will be worked around sooner or later!

Author: Donncha

Donncha Ó Caoimh is a software developer at Automattic and WordPress plugin developer. He posts photos at In Photos and can also be found on Google+ and Twitter.

2 thoughts on “Xgl on a live CD”

  1. There are some nice effects to be played with WRT to compiz. Try changing the spring tension and friction settings of the ‘wobbly’ plugin in compiz via gconf-edit. Friction can go down to .1, in which case try getting hold of the window again. CTRL-ALT move window is sweet – push one window against the other (or the top or bottom of the screen) and you get a nice sticking effect. I can see how this will be modified in the future to group windows together until you want to break the bond: logical groups achieved by ‘sticking’ windows to each other. And of course zoom with alt-scroll is cool for someone who’s as shortsighted as me!
    It’s eye candy all right, but it gives Linux new possibilities, and that must be a good thing.

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