Configuring XGL when using the KDE Desktop with SLED 10


By Hicham Mourad

With SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 Novell has put significant efforts into adding graphics capabilities to the desktop. Novell’s contribution to the graphics subsystem (Xgl, and Compiz) provides for a great user experience and increased productivity. These are referred to as “Desktop Effects”.

Are you a KDE fan?

Do you really like the new graphics capabilities and want to use them with KDE?

This is the article for you!

Here you will find the “easiest” instructions to turn on “Desktop Effects” if you are using the KDE desktop.

  1. Make sure that when you installed SLED 10, you installed both GNOME and KDE. (even if you don’t use GNOME install it as the integration of Xgl/Compiz and GNOME is very tight – remember I said “easiest instructions”)
  2. Install the graphics drivers for the graphics card that you have in your machine. Your card needs to support 3D acceleration.
  3. Login to GNOME
  1. Go to the GNOME “Control Center”.
  2. Select the “Desktop Effects”” icon, and then select “Enable 3D Desktop”
  3. Please go through the reboot after this.

  • Login to GNOME again and verify that the new graphics capabilities are there. Do this by doing something like “Ctrl-Alt-Left Arrow” to rotate the cube to the left.
  • Open a terminal (or use your favorite editor) to do the following:
    1. Make sure you are logged in as the user you normally login as or the user you want to enable these graphics capabilities for in KDE.
    2. Change to the /home/<user>/.kde/Autostart directory
    3. Create a shell script file called in that directory with the following: content:
      compiz --replace gconf decoration wobbly fade minimize cube rotate zoom scale move
      resize place switcher water &
      gnome-window-decorator &
    4. Make sure the shell script is flagged appropriately. Use the following command as the user:

      chmod 750

      Note: What you just did in 5.3 and 5.4 is setup a shell script that will automatically run when the user logs in to KDE. This script will launch compiz and the window decorator that are necessary for the enhanced graphics to function. (In GNOME this is done automatically).

  • Logout from the GNOME desktop, and login to KDE. You should now be good to go, enjoy…
  • Most common keyboard shortcuts
    • Switch windows = Alt + Tab
    • Arrange and View All Windows = Moving the pointer to the top right screen corner turns on or off; clicking a window will zoom it to the front (you can change this in the GNOME Control Center – Desktop Effects tool as with many other options)
    • Switch desktops on cube = Ctrl + Alt + Left/Right Arrow
    • Switch desktops on cube – with active window following = Ctrl + Shift + Alt + Left/Right Arrow
    • Rotate cube manually = Ctrl + Alt + left-click AND grab an empty desktop space.
    • Move window = Alt + left-click

    There are several more for you to discover.

    Best of luck.

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