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Installing Compiz on with nVidia GForce 8600M GS April 25, 2008

Posted by maxmil in : Debian,VGN-FZ31Z , trackback

Just successfully installed and configured compiz on my Sony VIAO FZ31Z.

Previously i had installed the nVidia drivers and configured X to use them.

The installation of compiz was pretty easy

sudo aptitude update
sudo aptitude install xorg compiz libgl1-mesa-dri

Then edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf.
Add to the Device section
Option "XAANoOffscreenPixmaps" "true"
Add a new section
Section "Extensions"
Option "Composite" "enable"

Contrary to various references to nVidia users having to add extra configuration options i have not had to.

I then restarted X and gave the command compiz –replace. The result was not great the initialization of compiz hung in the line “Starting gtk-window-decorator”, all my windows lost their borders and there were no visible effects.

However after a bit of searching i found that the solution was to add a window decorator to the command.
compiz --replace & gtk-window-decorator --replace &

With this i entered into the world of wobbly windows, desktop cubes and the rest. I still haven’t explored much but the first impression in pretty impressive.

NOTE: Having installed xorg i found that on some of my apps (skype and VirtualBox) i had broken fonts. I checked and it seemed that compiz did not need this package. Purging it has brounght back my clean fonts.


1. Martin - October 29, 2008

Hi there, nice work.
I’m Martin, and I have a vgn-fz31z too. Just wanna know how is it working on debian, i can see that you could make the graphics and the headphones work properly, but if you can answer about a few more things… i’d appreciate that…. How’s the keymap, the function butons as “s1″ “av mode” “Fn” the bluetooth… do you know if its going well on ubuntu or gOS?
I hope it’s not too much for answer… anyway i will be visiting your blog each day to see some news :p
(Sorry of my bad english… i’m gonna improve it…. soon , i hope)

2. maxmil - October 31, 2008

I am very happy with how debian is running on my vaio. I initially installed the i386 build but am now thinking of trying the AMD64 build to see how it goes.

With the n-vidia driver i got dual screens going well but not using the n-vidia settings manager gui tool not the function keys.

I haven’t tried blue tooth but have seen no errors related to this. The adapter is detected fine and if i add the bluetooth applet to my gnome desktop it seems to load fine.

The key map works perfectly.

I haven’t tried the “av mode” button.

The volume buttons nearly work. Thats to say they bring up the volume control on my gnome desktop and increase and decrease the volume in the control but that doesn’t actually change the volume.

I haven’t installed ubuntu or g0S.

Feel free to ask or share any other questions or comments that you have about your VAIO.

3. Martin - January 13, 2009

Hello once again Maxmil, it’s been a while since I visited this blog the last time. I just wanna tell that i’m already running Debian Lenny, about a month and a half, and by the moment it goes well. Just sad about the motion eye webcam… i just can’t make it work… I’ve known about the r5u87x driver, from a ubuntu user’s blog with a FZ38M Vaio that uses the same driver, but i still got problems with it… even when i think it’s well installed, can’t make it work on amsn… because of the V4L2 that uses… Guess i’ll have to wait for an update or something…
I hope we could share knowledge like this some other time, nice blog.