Instructions for enabling 3D Desktop Effects with KDE.

This document (7002408) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 with KDE installed and selected for the desktop.

Supported graphics card and driver installed (see instructions below for verifying hardware and driver).



To find out whether your hardware supports desktop effects and to prepare for the configuration, proceed as follows:
  1. Install the following packages with YaST: compiz-kde, xgl, xgl-hardware-list, and compiz.

  2. Check whether your hardware supports desktop effects at all by reviewing the /etc/X11/xgl-hardware-list file.

  3. Download and install missing drivers if needed by following the vendor's instructions.  Proprietary drivers for ATI and nVidia may be installed through the update service.  The Intel graphics driver is included with SLED 10 but it is a good idea to have the latest updates installed through the update service.

To enable 3D desktop effects on your desktop, proceed as follows:

  1. Start YaST from the main menu or by pressing Alt+F2 and entering yast.

  2. In YaST, select System> /etc/sysconfig Editor.

  3. In the list on the left, expand the Desktop> Display manager entries.

  4. Select the DISPLAYMANAGER_XSERVER entry and set its value to Xgl.

  5. Click Finish to apply the changes.

  6. Reboot your machine.

    Desktop effects should now be available to you.

Additional Information

These are the most prominent features available to you when using desktop effects and their default keyboard shortcuts:

  • Wrap your virtual desktops around a cube and rotate the cube to get to another virtual desktop. Rotate the cube with Ctrl+Alt+ or Ctrl+Alt+ key combinations.

  • Fly through the range of virtual desktops without having to use the pager and select the one you want to use. To change to this panel-like view, use the Ctrl+Alt+ key combination. To scroll to a desktop left or right to the current one, keep holding Ctrl+Alt and use the and keys.

  • Zoom into certain parts of the desktop. Select the area to enlarge and right-click while holding the Windows key.

  • Fit all windows opened on one virtual desktop to be displayed in full so you can easily switch focus between them. Arrange the windows by using the Ctrl+Alt+ key combination. While holding down the Ctrl+Alt keys, use the arrow keys to determine the focus.

  • Create virtual raindrops on your desktop and use a virtual windscreen wiper to get rid of them. Toggle the raindrops with Shift+F9 and toggle the windscreen wiper with Shift+F8.

HINT: Configuring Desktop Effects

Use the gnome-xgl-settings utility to select the type of desktop effects to run, configure keyboard shortcuts, and perform other fine-tuning related to the desktop effects. Run thegnome-xgl-settings command in a terminal window or theRun Command prompt.

To disable desktop effects in a running session, proceed as follows:

  1. Open the KDE control center and select KDE Components> Session Manager.

  2. In the Advanced group, set Preferred Window Manager to kwin.

  3. Apply your settings and leave the module.

To disable desktop effects permanently, proceed as follows:

  1. Start YaST.

  2. Select System> /etc/sysconfig Editor.

  3. In the list on the left, unfold the Desktop> Display manager entries.

  4. Select the DISPLAYMANAGER_XSERVER entry and set its value to Xorg.

  5. Click Finish to apply the changes.

  6. Reboot your machine.


This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:7002408
  • Creation Date: 20-Jan-2009
  • Modified Date:03-Mar-2020
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop

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