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Old 01-09-2010, 07:48 PM   #1
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Can Compiz or Similar Run Over NX on Ubuntu Hardy? (How?)

My home office server is running headless using Ubuntu 8.04 LTS Desktop. I use it for file serving, developement web and database servers, vm hosting... but also to access remotely using NoMachine NX for light office work and web browsing. It's all worked nicely for well over a year.

The one thing that's bothered me is the lack of Compiz or something similar. I cannot make Compiz work... likewise I cannot go to System: Preferences: Appearance: Visual Effects and select "Normal" or "Extra" as I get an error dialog saying, "The Composite extension is not available."

I'd like to use Avant Window Navigator (AWN) as an app dock similar to the one on OS X, but without the advanced graphics functionality AWN will not run.

The server is running Nvidia graphics, though not sure if that's relevant given that I'm accessing the desktop remotely via NX. I tried the restricted driver manager but it will not offer any drivers. I tried using EnvyNG, which seemed to load appropriate Nvidia drivers, but that didn't seem to make a difference. Tried running nvidia-settings and nvidia-xconfig, but they didn't help either. Tried checkng "composite_manager" under metacity section in gconf-editor, but that didn't help either.

Compiz-check reports the following, after all the above have been tried...

Gathering information about your system...

 Distribution:          Ubuntu 8.04
 Desktop environment:   GNOME
 Graphics chip:         nVidia Corporation GeForce 7025 (rev a2)
 Driver in use:         nvidia
 Rendering method:      None

Checking if it's possible to run Compiz on your system...  [SKIP]

 Checking for hardware/setup problems...           [SKIP]

At least one check had to be skipped:
 Error: No rendering method in use (AIGLX, Xgl or Nvidia)
Can somebody help me? I'm not after gaming performance or anything, just want to be able to use things like AWN with my desktop session over NX. Is that even possible on 8.04, and if so, how do I get there?
Old 01-10-2010, 12:54 PM   #2
Registered: Jun 2008
Location: St.-Petersburg, Russia
Distribution: (B)LFS, Ubuntu, SliTaz
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To run AWN you can try using some other compositing window manager, e.g. xfwm4. It will not use any HW acceleration for compositing, but this fact may make it not fail like compiz does.
After install, make sure you enable compositor in its settings (xfce settings)

Not sure though if compositing is enough for AWN.

Last edited by 10110111; 01-10-2010 at 12:59 PM.
Old 01-10-2010, 01:10 PM   #3
Registered: Oct 2009
Location: England
Distribution: *buntu, Vector
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I'm pretty sure you can't run Compiz, or any other stuff using 3d acceleration, over NX. Because the hardware acceleration is on the server's graphics card, but that's not being used. Meanwhile, I don't think NX, or any other remote desktop protocol, supports making use of 3d acceleration on the client.

10110111's suggestion may work. Alternatively, you may find your only option is to use a different dock.


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