Task Switching in Compiz-Fusion

Being a sucker for all kinds of eye-candy, I’ve been running the latest builds of Compiz-Fusion. I’ve got to say that it is fantastic and makes the desktop experience a much more pleasurable one.

One of the things that has caused an issue is that the Application Switcher plugin (ALT+TAB) keeps on switching to every second window. Very annoying if you have only an even number of windows on the desktop.

Today, after breaking Compiz with an update, I managed to get it behaving itself by essentially reinstalling it – but the fix for the application switcher is even easier!

To fix the switcher

  • Open up the CompizConfig Settings Manager
  • Under Window Management, click on Application Switcher
  • Click on the Actions tab
  • If you have multiple entries for the application switcher (like in this screenshot), you need to make sure that YOU ONLY HAVE SHORTCUTS SET FOR 1 GROUP.
    CompizConfig Application Switcher
  • Once you have cleared the settings so that only one ‘Next Window’ and ‘Prev Window’ shortcut is used, test it out.

And that is it! I think that the only reason that it became an issue was that some settings were inherited from Beryl.

Some windows lose opacity in Beryl

There’s a small incompatibility in Beryl which causes certain program windows to appear translucent or transparent.

A simple fix for this is to

  • Open up the Beryl Settings manager
  • Click Windows Management
  • Enable and select the WIndow Specific Settings option
  • Under the Rules tab, expand Disable ARGB Visual, and click Add (the + button).
  • Select Class Name in the list, click Grab and click on the window that is causing problems.
  • Click ‘OK’

You should see something appear in the Disable ARGB Visual list like


In this case, I was having trouble with the terminal server client programs running in more than 256 colours.

You may need to reload Beryl for this to apply properly.

Beryl Cube doesn’t work with the Workspace Switcher

Sometimes I get a little carried away with messing around with the settings in Beryl. I think that through various upgrading to 0.2, downgrading and then upgrading through the SVC repository and playing with options, I’ve probably wasted 5-6 hours of my life.

Anyway, one thing I have noticed is that the desktop switcher sometimes doesn’t rotate the cube, but instead opens a new workspace with a different cube. Not really much use, but I think I’ve found something that resolves this:

  • Open up Beryl Settings Manager, and click Desktop
  • Make sure that you have Desktop Cube and Rotate Cube selected
  • Click on General Options, and then General Options (on the left)
  • Scroll down to the option Horizontal Virtual Size. Make sure it is set to 4 (you can change this after the cube rotate is working again).
  • Set the Vertical Virtual Size to 1
  • Set the Number of Desktops to 1

Now click quit, and try the virtual desktop switcher. If all has gone to plan, then it will work, and you’ll be in a switching dream.

If it doesn’t still work, don’t worry:

  • Reopen Beryl Settings Manager
  • Under General Options, scroll down to Vertical Virtual Size, and change the value to 2. You should see the active windows change size in the workplace switcher.
  • Change the value back to 1, and try to switch the desktop again

If all has gone to plan, you can now use the workplace switcher to rotate the cube again.

For those concerned, I am running Ubuntu Edgy with Beryl 0.2 – your mileage may vary.