Compton: a better compositor for xfce?

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zerozero
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Compton: a better compositor for xfce?

Postby zerozero » 29 Nov 2013 16:04

do you need to replace xfwm4 with compton? probably not :lol:

xfce's WM has a nice and versatile compositor (also light on resources); compton doesn't offer much more for most user-cases; but ... there's one thing compton does definitely better: tear free compositing.

(and probably some of you experienced already tearing moving windows, watching movies, tasks where xfwm4's compositing falls short - depending also on the graphics cards/drivers used)

preparation
  • you need to disable the existing compositing (if you are using it) in Window Manager Tweaks
  • install compton (it's a small download with just one additional dependency)

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    apt install compton
making sure compton works
at this point we are ready to test if compton will work in the system; open a terminal and

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compton -c
this should make some visual difference :P
the command

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ps -A | grep compton
will help us understand if compton is running or not.

===
now we have several options
===


option one
if the test above was successful and you are content with the end result you can add that same command to Session and Startup
(as noted here we need to remove the & from the above samples if we want to add any of them to startup app)
Screnshoot9.png
logout/login and compton should kickin automatically

option two
[to be continued]

===
===
resources used
http://duncanlock.net/blog/2013/06/07/h ... g-in-xfce/
http://blog.desdelinux.net/compton-un-c ... es-probar/
https://github.com/son-link/gcompton
http://blog.desdelinux.net/como-configu ... ecortados/
https://sites.google.com/site/debianins ... e/set-up#3
===
===
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zerozero
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Compton: a better compositor for xfce?

Postby zerozero » 29 Nov 2013 16:05

option two
once we have the basic features working (as seen in option one) it's time to tweak (if we want) it further:

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man compton
gives us an exhaustive list of options (they are not easy to understand though :lol: )
the following syntax doesn't work for me in VB but works in my laptop and provides an conservative look&feel
(Paul reported here that this syntax messes thunar networking; the code bellow this one was reported to work properly)

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compton -r 12.0 -o 0.75 -l -15.0 -t -15.0 -I 0.028 -O 0.03 -D 3 -c -f -C -F -G &
this one (also conservative) works in both

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compton -o 0.75 -I 0.028 -O 0.03 -D 3 -c -f -C -F -G &
Screenshot10.png
this one (very radical) is a real overkill but shows what can be done with compton :mrgreen:

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compton -m 0.19 -i 0.19 -e 0.18 -c -f -C -F -G &
Screenshot11.png
===
there's a small graphical tool here but it doesn't do exactly what it is supposed to 8-)
we just have to extract the zip and run the gcompton.py (after making it executable)
we can play with the settings and the only option that does add some value is "add to init session" where we get the syntax to manually copy our settings (we should however first try the code in the terminal to see if it's going to work in our system/graphics card/drivers)
Screenshot12.png
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zerozero
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Re: Compton: a better compositor for xfce?

Postby zerozero » 29 Nov 2013 16:43

option three

as seen here there's another option to configure compton
(and with this one we can take advantage of the glx rendering engine for better tear-free experience as explained here)

[this 3rd method shouldn't be used at the same time as any of the previous]

basically we just:
  • create a compton.conf file in ~/.config/ (the "sample" given above is a good start)
  • and add compton to startup applications (like this)
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fleabus
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Re: Compton: a better compositor for xfce?

Postby fleabus » 29 Nov 2013 17:01

I am the world's worst TV and movie addict
(although I haven't had a lot of time for that particular obsession lately :lol: )...

I'm forever hunting for solutions to the tearing issue, so this is definitely worth a try if it can ameliorate that.
If it works, then option three seems best for me...

Tearing in KDE (for me) is no longer an issue with the new version.

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ane champenois
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Re: Compton: a better compositor for xfce?

Postby ane champenois » 29 Nov 2013 19:11

Thanks for that interesting tip ZZ, as always :ugeek:
I discover the term 'tearing', even I ever saw it on the family's system (solydX powered 8-) ) when my son is watching some cartoons on it :mrgreen:
And perhaps compton will become useless...with Xfce 4.12 (see here http://www.webupd8.org/2013/10/xfwm4-41 ... blank.html): nice news, isn't it?
They did not know it was impossible so they did it.

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Re: Compton: a better compositor for xfce?

Postby zerozero » 29 Nov 2013 21:13

fleabus wrote:Tearing in KDE (for me) is no longer an issue with the new version.
i'm preparing an howto to use kwin with xfce :P (that one should be also fun!
ane champenois wrote:with Xfce 4.12
yep :( until then we can still use compton
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Re: Compton: a better compositor for xfce?

Postby fleabus » 29 Nov 2013 21:53

zerozero wrote: i'm preparing an howto to use kwin with xfce :P (that one should be also fun!
You know, I thought I saw Spatry mention something about that. Maybe in one of his Manjaro-Mania things. He's a riot. I didn't pay too much attention, in point of fact I kind of turned it off about halfway thru.. :oops:

I says to myself "Sheesh, If you're gonna pull in 75% of KDE, Why not use KDE?"
I shouldn't be so narrow minded.

IMO He's right about KDE having "the best stuff" from the POV of function, if you can get around the bling, and I do understand why he does it from the system resource POV. Lighter DE but with better features.
ane champenois wrote:with Xfce 4.12
zz wrote: yep :( until then we can still use compton
Ain't nuttin wrong wid dat... :lol:

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zerozero
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Re: Compton: a better compositor for xfce?

Postby zerozero » 29 Nov 2013 22:02

:lol: was Spatry vid that finally made me do it :mrgreen:
i tried long time ago but couldn't get an unified behaviour so i though "nahh, leave it alone!" but now with Spatry's visual help is easier
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fleabus
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Re: Compton: a better compositor for xfce?

Postby fleabus » 29 Nov 2013 22:03

zerozero wrote::lol: was Spatry vid that finally made me do it :mrgreen:
:lol: That's great zz! :lol:

Guess I oughta go back and watch, and not turn it off this time! :mrgreen:

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Re: Compton: a better compositor for xfce?

Postby toothandnail » 01 Dec 2013 16:43

Interesting tip, thanks.

I tried it using this setting:

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compton -r 12.0 -o 0.75 -l -15.0 -t -15.0 -I 0.028 -O 0.03 -D 3 -c -f -C -F -G &
Works well generally. One really odd thing - it seems to have killed Thunar's network access. Attempting to open the network from Thunar produces an error - "cant open ' / ' . Maybe set off by something else, haven't had time to check yet.

Be nice to get it working properly, even conservatively. I do watch DVDs on my laptop sometimes and find the tearing annoying.

Paul.

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Re: Compton: a better compositor for xfce?

Postby zerozero » 01 Dec 2013 16:58

Paul
i can't find hits about the connection between compton and the issues with thunar.
as a quick test if you disable compton and revert to xfwm4 can you still replicate that?
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Re: Compton: a better compositor for xfce?

Postby toothandnail » 02 Dec 2013 16:29

zerozero wrote:Paul
i can't find hits about the connection between compton and the issues with thunar.
as a quick test if you disable compton and revert to xfwm4 can you still replicate that?
Sorry for the slow reply - couldn't test very thoroughly where I was. Anyhow....

Disabled compton and the network button in Thunar started working again. Very strange.

Even stranger, I tried your second conservative option:

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compton -o 0.75 -I 0.028 -O 0.03 -D 3 -c -f -C -F -G &
which works fine, and doesn't upset the netwrok. I don't understand that one. Something else I don't understand. I tried the option above from a terminal initially, then put it into autostart once it seemed to be working without problems. If I restart with the autostart option enabled, compton doesn't execute. I can copy from the autostart option and paste the same sequence in a terminal, and it works. Don't understand that at all. I will try putting it into a script with a bit of a delay in execution and see if that makes any difference....

I like the results of the options above (still struggling to read the man page - there are a lot of options..) - it seems to fix any tearing problems, looks good and has pretty low impact on the system. Nice one...

Edit: Right, just produced a short script with 5 second delay before executing compton - that works on startup....

Paul.

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Re: Compton: a better compositor for xfce?

Postby zerozero » 02 Dec 2013 17:00

i've tested the info you gave me above in my VB install
- you need to remove the & at the end of the command if you want to put it in startup app; it works that way; with & fails to start, but works from terminal.

the implications in networking (and even more strange why one syntax messes it up and the other doesn't) are really bizarre :o
!# is using compton (with openbox), manjaro is also using it (at least optionally in the OB ed i think) and these kind of issues should be known by now. an issue with thunar? but what? :?:

Thanks for the feedback, good stuff to add to the OP.
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wisemagic
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Re: Compton: a better compositor for xfce?

Postby wisemagic » 07 Jan 2014 15:58

Hi guys & gals,

Just a little tidbit on Compton. I've used it on and off and for the most part, no problems. I'm not one for a lot of fancy fancy, pretty pretty effects. I like snappy response, but like to show off a little for my friends & family from time to time with Kwin & Compton both.

I have several relatives & friends that ask for help from time to time and sometimes it is just easier to for me and them to use RecordMyDesktop so they can view, what I am saying.... so to speak.
I record a series of instructions, & put the recorded file on my server so they can download and view it, pause, and replay. It seems to work out pretty well.

Compton, gives me a bit of a problem, and has to disabled before I can use RecordMyDesktop. Otherwise all I get is a black screen when I run it. I don't have that problem with the native xfce compositor.

So, if anyone does run into a situation like this, just temporarily disable Compton. It usually works out just fine. :D
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Re: Compton: a better compositor for xfce?

Postby ukbrian » 07 Jan 2014 17:05

I have several relatives & friends that ask for help from time to time and sometimes it is just easier to for me and them to use RecordMyDesktop so they can view, what I am saying.... so to speak.
Give Vokoscreen a try, I highly recommend it.
Features:
-> Multilinqual
-> GUI available in en, de, fr, it, sp, sv, nl, da, pt_BR (depending on your system's setting)
-> Start, Stop, Pause, Play
-> recording of a full screen, window or a defined region
-> detects webcams
-> controlable by hotkeys
-> magnifier to zoom an area
-> region to record may be defined freely
-> avi and mkv video containers
http://www.kohaupt-online.de/hp/

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Re: Compton: a better compositor for xfce?

Postby wisemagic » 07 Jan 2014 19:19

Thanks ukbrian

I certainly will give it a try :D
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zerozero
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Re: Compton: a better compositor for xfce?

Postby zerozero » 07 Jan 2014 23:34

wisemagic wrote:Compton, gives me a bit of a problem, and has to disabled before I can use RecordMyDesktop. Otherwise all I get is a black screen when I run it. I don't have that problem with the native xfce compositor.
thanks for the heads-up on this incompatibility :)
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wisemagic
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Re: Compton: a better compositor for xfce?

Postby wisemagic » 07 Jan 2014 23:46

Hey ZZ

No big deal. Not that often that I have to use RecordMyDesktop any more, or very much any more, for what I do.
Most of the recordings I do, to help others, I reuse....lol.... kind of get the same questions from different people... :D

Just wanted to put it out there in case someone does try it, and ends up with a blank screen. Some may think they have caused a more serious problem and start trying to fix things that are not broken.... :)
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Re: Compton: a better compositor for xfce?

Postby civfreak » 26 Feb 2014 20:43

Thanks zerzero for posting this....I read compton is based on xcompmgr which I'm familiar with.

I got absolutely the best results after much experimenting simply duplicating:
http://duncanlock.net/blog/2013/06/07/h ... g-in-xfce/

Edit: I can't figure out why I can't bury a URL link under my own words in this forum? I mean I run another linux forum...different software than this, so maybe I'm mental blocked on doing it a certain way...? :)
Dell M6700 Laptop (where do I dump the spent fuel rods?)/Windows 8.1/SolydX x64

Image

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zerozero
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Re: Compton: a better compositor for xfce?

Postby zerozero » 26 Feb 2014 20:59

Hi 8-)
from my readings compton is a fork of xcompmgr with some code cleaning and bug fixes (interestingly Valve is going to use xcompmgr in SteamOS; because xcompmgr is a better known project? no idea.)

Duncan's page is indeed a good resource (i used it here for option 3) and has there a lot of neat references.
civfreak wrote:Edit: I can't figure out why I can't bury a URL link under my own words in this forum? I mean I run another linux forum...different software than this, so maybe I'm mental blocked on doing it a certain way...?
do you mean this

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[url=http://forums.solydxk.com/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=2161]this[/url]
if you quote my post you'll see how it goes (if the code above doesn't help)
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