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Beryl

Posted 02-22-2007 at 08:36 AM by wolfger

One of the cool things about Mepis 6.5 beta 5 is that it's Beryl-ready (almost) out of the box. For myself, with an Nvidia graphics card, I had to make one small modification (change Mepis default "nv" driver in xorg.conf to "nvidia" driver) to get Beryl to run without crashing. I'm still learning the ropes of Beryl, and I can't say that it's terribly intuitive or user friendly to set up, but the eye candy is phenomenal. And it's not just eye candy, either... having a mini screen of the app you're about to switch to when you alt-tab can save you a lot of hassle if you have multiple windows of the same application open. I also love the cube display for multiple desktops.

If you want to set up a demo box to show off Linux to non-Linux people, I think Beryl is a necessity to give them that WOW factor. Watch windows burn to a crisp when you close them. Or shatter. Or get sucked down like a genie being put back in the lamp. It's all configurable, and I'm sure more effects will come with time. These effects can be applied to "open", "close", "minimize", and "restore". You can even select "random" for the effect, and see something different every time. You can keep eye-popping demos on different desktops and stun the crowd as you change desktops via a 3d cube.

Problems? Sure. For one, I haven't figured out why Beryl doesn't let me have Title Bars... especially since I can configure the behavior of a title bar double click. I also can't move or resize a window in Beryl yet (which I assume is related to the lack of a title bar). But for a window manager that hasn't even hit version .3 yet, I think it's fantastic. It's even smart enough to dump you back to another window manager of your choice if Beryl crashes. That's classy.
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