Configuring the appearance of the Compiz Cube
A while ago I covered "Enabling the Cube in Compiz" where I illustrated how simple it was to get the Cube working in the Compiz 3D desktop. That article did not go on to explain just how to configure the Cube once it is up and running.
Normally such topics as configuring the appearance of the desktop is too simple for a tutorial. For the Compiz Cube, however, it helps to know what you are configuring before you try to configuring. Knowing what the "Skydome" is or the "Cube caps" are will go a long way to help you avoid frustration.
In this article I am going to show you how to configure:
- Skydome: The background image shown when your cube zooms out.
- Cube caps: The images on the top and bottom of your cube.
- Deformation and Reflection: Is your cube a sphere or a cylinder? Do you have a reflection of your cube or not?
When you have these options configured, you will have a seriously cool desktop.
Skydome and Cube caps
To begin your configuration you need to open up the CompizConfig Settings Manager. If you are using GNOME you will see this in the Preferences sub menu of the System menu. Once this opens click on the Desktop Cube entry. In this configuration you want to click on the Appearance tab (see Figure 1).
The first thing you need to do is make sure the Enable Desktop Cube is checked. With that out of the way take a look at the Appearance tab. You will see both Cube Caps and Skydome here. Oddly enough, you will only configure the Skydome here.
To configure your Skydome first click the check box to enable the Skydome. Now click on the folder icon to the right of the Skydome text area. This is where you will locate the image for your Skydome. You can use either .jpg or .png files for this.
Once you have this complete click the Back button at the bottom left.
Now if you want to better see your Skydome click on the Rotate Cube configuration and then adjust the Zoom option. The Zoom option zooms out of the Cube so as you rotate the Cube it is smaller. I keep mine at .6525. Click the Back button when you are done.
Now to configure the Cube Caps. To do this click on the "Cube Reflection and Deformation" option. In this section expand the Appearance section of the Cube Caps section (see Figure 2). Here you will do the same thing you did with Skydome. Make sure you configure both the top and bottom Cube Caps.
Within this same section click on the Deformation tab. In this section click the Deformation drop down and select which type of Deformation you want. NOTE: The Sphere deformation does take a bit more resources than the Cylinder. If you have the power go for the Sphere, otherwise either None or the Cynlinder.
You can also enable Reflection which will reflect your cube either on the bottom or the top. To enable this click on the Reflection tab and then check the Enable box. After you have enabled it you can then customize it how ever you like.
Figure 3 shows the results of these configurations. Obviously your results will vary depending upon what and how you configure these options.
I am a big fan of Compiz. Although it doesn't directly help you to be a better, more efficient worker, it will allow you to create an impressive working environment on your PC. Show off how powerful the Linux desktop can be by configuring the Compiz Cube.
UPDATE: Below are the images used in this tutorial:
Thanks a million for this article! Was a BIG help in getting is all set up. Got min going on my laptop 100% now with your help and great information!
Great article, thanks !
Could you please provide links to the theme, wallpaper and the skydome image you’ve shown in the screenshots ?
yeah, please post a link for the skydome image! very nice!!!!!!!!!!!
I am loving the cylinder, thanks for a great article.
UPDATE: I just added images you can use for the skydome and the wallpaper. just click on them to reveal the full size.
I have been playing with this since I saw the article today, I bloody love it plus I’ve downloaded the images provided. Thanks Jack, I think this is just awesome in the truest meaning of the word.
Thanx a lot!!!
This is really amazing.
Please don’t say things like “Normally such topics as configuring the appearance of the desktop
is too simple for a tutorial”.
I have a master’s degree in eletrical engineering and I have been trying to get the Compiz cube working for 4 hours now without success and I’m still trying. The only thing want to do is the basic thing, not anything fancy….