Quick Fix: Natty, Ubuntu Classic and Compiz

If you’re reading this, you must be a Unity reject: the ones who upgraded to Natty and are now left in the cold after being told their hardware’s just too yesterday. If you’re beginning to miss your wobbly windows and other frills on Ubuntu Classic, give this quick hack a try.

Get rid of unity-window-decorator

sudo killall unity-window-decorator

If you get a message saying unity-window-decorator: no process found, it means the decorator isn’t running, move on.

Get back gtk-window-decorator

  • Start CompizConfig Settings Manager: ccsm
  • Open up the Window Decoration settings
  • Change Command to: gtk-window-decorator --replace
  • Close CompizConfig Settings Manager

You can configure your old frills and see them in action now. All that’s left is making sure everything remains frilly after the next reboot:

Set up fusion-icon:

  • Install: sudo apt-get install fusion-icon
  • Start: fusion-icon

You’ll see a cool icon in your notification area; right click on it and ensure the Select Window Manager setting is Compiz and the Select Window Decorator setting is GTK Window Decorator.

Set fusion-icon as a startup application:

System –> Preferences –> Startup Applications –> Add; then enter the values:

  • Name: fusion
  • Command: fusion-icon --sleep 5
  • Comment: Start fusion-icon with a delay of 5 seconds after startup

Test the setup on the next reboot: you’ll notice a slight flash in the first few seconds; this is fusion-icon starting the Compiz window manager, pretend you didn’t notice. I guess this quick fix should hold up until we get some real ones from the Compiz/Unity guys.