How to get 3D Desktop in Ubuntu

You may have seen screenshots of a cool 3D desktop cube effect for Ubuntu and wondered How exactly does it work and How to get it ? You have come to the right place, we`ll walk you through it, step-by-step.

Ubuntu and other Linux distros give us multiple Virtual desktops by default. To add to it, there are apps available that leverage it adds some fancy graphics to it. The best such utility is Compiz/Fusion.

Here’s a Preview of what you would get:

But the possibilities are endless, You can play around once you are done. Okay, let’s go over it step by Step for Ubuntu 9.1 and others.

Pre-requisites: Make sure you have your Display/Graphics drivers installed: Nvidia, ATI or Intel. If you are clueless, contact me on Twitter, I`ll help you out.

Step 1. Enable Full Graphics:

Go to System → Preferences → Appearance, click the “Visual Effects” tab, and select “Extra” and “Close.” Then drag any window somewhere on the desktop. If the window edges are “squiggly” then graphics acceleration is working.
Step 2. Installation:

Next thing is to get the Compiz Fusion installed on your Ubuntu.  To do this, open Synaptic Package Manager (System → Administrative menu → Snaptics) . Using the “Quick search” field, enter “compizconfig”

You should see “compizconfig-settings-manager.” If it’s listed under the “Installed Version” column as already installed, you’re good to go and can skip down to the next step.

However, if you need to add it, check the box and click “Apply” in the toolbar and install it with on-screen instructions.

Alternatively you can type this on console:

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

Step 3. Configuring and Enabling 3D Cube

Start CompizConfig by selecting System → Preferences → CompizConfig Settings Manager.

The first step will be enabling four virtual desktops (in order to have a cube). In the left-hand menu, click on “General” and then click “General Settings” on the right. Click the “Desktop Size” tab and adjust the “Horizontal Virtual Size” slider to four. And then click “Back.”

In the left-hand menu, click “Desktop.” Then select “Desktop Cube” (this will de-select “Desktop Wall”- that’s fine) and “Rotate Cube.”

To start the 3D cube, press Ctrl + Alt + left-mouse and drag the desktop to left or right. You can also use arrow keys to toggle between desktops.

To enable wobbly windows, mark the corresponding check box under “Effects”. To make the menus wobbly as well, click on the “Wobbly Windows” button, select the “General” tab, and change “Map Effect” to “Shiver”.

Note: There’s lot more you can do in Compiz Fusion, just play around in the settings to get dazzling effects.

Need Assistance ? Contact me on Twitter Or put a comment below:

Windows 7 vs Ubuntu 9.10

Transform Ubuntu to Windows 7

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  • aitorpazos

    I would suggest to install simple-ccsm at the beginning of the process. This way a new option (custom) will be displayed on the “Visual Effects” tab. The point is that if you select the “Extra” option, the changes you make in “Compiz Settings Manager” are not saved if sometime in the future you change to “None” or “Normal” and then select “Extra” again.

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    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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  • aitorpazos

    I would suggest to install simple-ccsm at the beginning of the process. This way a new option (custom) will be displayed on the “Visual Effects” tab. The point is that if you select the “Extra” option, the changes you make in “Compiz Settings Manager” are not saved if sometime in the future you change to “None” or “Normal” and then select “Extra” again.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
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  • http://davenjudy.org/davesBlog DaveAtFraud

    I have been using the 2D desktop switcher since the days I when I had a SUN sparc workstation (i.e., before Linux even existed). I usually set up something like three rows and three columns for nine desktops. When I saw the 3D cube switcher I though, “Cool I'll just set up the same sort of thing but using the 3D cube.”

    After fooling around with the 3D cube for a while, I'm stumped. There doesn't seem to be a way to flip vertically or I'm missing something. Any suggestions? I've set the “vertical virtual size” to 2 or 3 and the desktop switcher shows the additional desktops but the 3D cube doesn't let me flip vertically to get to them.

    Thanks,
    Dave

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    • http://www.go2linux.org/ Guillermo Garron

      I think you are right, The cube is nice, but it is not fully functional, I mean if having the job done is your goal.

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