Beryl back from the ashes
by cyberorg, Friday, May 15th @ 6:39 am


Wake up all at Compiz as Beryl is alive and kicking !

You might be interested that over a weekend a mate and myself introduced Beryl back in to the fold. This is a direct result of our frustration of how bloated Compiz has become and is becoming more of a fashion thing rather than functional for having multiple desktops.
OK so I have been using Ubuntu 7.04 on and off for a couple of years now and Beryl comes as default. After Ubuntu 7.04 Compiz Fusion (now Compiz) came as default. To begin with this was not a problem but as Compiz became more complex with spheres, globes and other useless features, performance was becoming impaired.
Late one night I started looking at introducing Beryl to Ubuntu 9.04 (Alpha 6). As expected there were numerous depedendency issues.
Piratesmack looked in to the same possibilty and together we pooled our resources and after running many scripts and testing by myself Piratesmack compiled some dependency free deb. packages.

Piratesmacks Beryl 0.2.1 deb. packages for Ubuntu 9.04

Save to home directory

extract tar.bz2

cd beryl-fixed-9.04

sudo ./install.sh

Piratesmacks Beryl 0.2.1 deb. packages for Ubuntu/Mint

Save to home directory

extract tar.bz2

cd beryl-packages-0.2.1

sudo dpkg -i *.deb

Beryl 0.2.1 on Ubuntu 9.04

Beryl 0.2.1 on Mint 6

One thing you cannot do is knock the simplicity of Beryl and how much more useful it is than modern day Compiz.

So for those who wish to mock I say Beryl is far from dead and people want it as they are downloading it for the very reasons I have outlined above.


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  1. : shapeshifter, May 15 @ 11:54 am

    lol rubbish.
    As if “spheres, globes and other useless features” would have any impact on performance. If you don’t use these plugins, they consume no ressources. Beryl is a buggy pile of ideas, compiz is a refined product. There’s no sane reason to use beryl…

  2. : Pirlo, May 15 @ 12:35 pm

    I am one of those who used Beryl with much enjoinment,but now:
    why don’t you work all toghether with the others people for a new, refined and fast Compiz?

  3. : clicks, May 15 @ 1:21 pm

    Oh no, not again. What is the problem with the Compiz/Fusion/Beryl Developers? Why do you start new forks/projects over and over again instead of concentrating on one common goal? The current move towards c++ and a cleaner codebase seems to be reasonable, why revive this old piece of motly code patches. Perhaps the spirit was better during the beryl-time and you where “the leader”, but no it is gone and we should focus on the current development.

  4. : James, May 15 @ 2:26 pm

    I for one welcome his, after all, isn’t the spirit of open source is choice. And here we have choice. I have tried Ubuntu and found compiz slowed it down, I now use sidux cos it is fast and light. I also use openbox with xcompmgr which is nice and lightweight. If beryl can work well than why not? If beryl was made to work on debian (64bit lenny, squeeze and sid) straight as well as for other distros, I for one would use it and feedback with info and help.
    Dont be put off by the others, Ubuntu and compiz are not the holy grail of software!

  5. : b0le, May 15 @ 4:42 pm

    Out of interest, is there anyone working on it, or is it just packages for the old code?

  6. : b0le, May 15 @ 4:44 pm

    Out of interest, is there anyone working on this, or is it just packages for the old code?

  7. : 6205, May 15 @ 5:24 pm

    I am sick of entire compositing community. Somebody should kick your ases badly damn loosers.

    Seriously whats your problem? When will you finaly work together and bring us Compiz 1.0?

    There was already enough derivates and only thing what you MUST DO is BUGFIXING and OPTIMIZATIONS..

    NOBODY NEED’s 10+ variations. NOBODY NEEDS ANY NEW PLUGINS. Only basic, simple and nice effects are optimal..Vista Aero is on market almost 3 years and your ‘amazing’ eye candy shit is still not enough stable, compatible or bug free in comparision even to Vista Beta 2..

    Shame on you. Go to hell with entire linux crap..

  8. : eVoQ, May 15 @ 8:01 pm

    #7 “Seriously whats your problem? When will you finaly work together and bring us Compiz 1.0?”

    Way to thank the community of the developers that bring you a nice and useful piece of code. Those are not manners, mate.

    Hold on!… “Shame on you. Go to hell with entire linux crap.” Yeah! That totally gave you up.

  9. : 6205, May 15 @ 8:13 pm


    I have already chilled out, but you must agree that this is not a right way. I mean every frakin year we are hearing of ‘The Year Of The Desktop Linux’ but we are far from that…But why???

    One could only imagine how great would things be if for example XFCE would cooperate with GNOME on one desktop enviroment. GNOME Baker devs. would work with Brasero team. Rhythmbox with Banshee, Xine folks with Mplayer people and yes - Compiz/Beryl/Compiz Fusion/Compiz++/Compiz WHATEVERversion developers would work also TOGETHER…

    My frustration si currently endless…

  10. : Linux_Ubuntu_geek, May 15 @ 9:10 pm

    Well this seems to be receiving a somewhat predictable backlash.

    Beryl when it was abandoned abruptly and somewhat rudely in was quite adequate for what most people needed.

    The advantage that Beryl has is its simplicity and functionality and indeed is more suitable for older machines. For example run Compiz on a 1.8ghz P4 with 512mb RAM and performance is noticeably sluggish. Run Beryl on the same machine and performance is snappy even if you wish to enable 3D windows, Animations etc.

    Some of you guys can say what you like but the fact is people are downloading it so there is clearly interest.


  11. : tomm, May 16 @ 11:56 am

    wasnt the reason beryl was dropped as it was slow and buggy. (at the time) , I remember compiling a very early version compiz fusion on feisty and it was so much faster than beryl but sadly its seems compiz is all slow and bloated now.

  12. : Photon, May 16 @ 1:06 pm

    Any chance for a x64 version?

    I haven’t used Beryl since it was abandonned and can’t compare the speed any more. Also I don’t think that things like the Cube Deformation Plugin are unneccesary. But the good old Beryl Manager was much better than CCSM! There was a blog post recently about working on CCSM since it was described as unintuitive by many users and I think returning to what the Beryl Manager used to be would be quite cool.

  13. : Maxim, May 16 @ 2:07 pm

    What compiz?

    Beryl was the real ‘beryl’ of the Linux, great community, fast develpment rate, no backup from some large company.
    Merger killed it.

    What we have now?
    A compiz++ which wasn’t updated for a month, and yet many plugins are missing

    Few developers, many bugs in stable version which probably won’t be fixed, …

    Like I said all enthusiasm gone somewhere.

    R.I.P compiz and the hope for great linux desktop

  14. : el barto, May 16 @ 5:43 pm

    of course, you can use kwin4 with kde4 :P

  15. : Maxim, May 16 @ 7:22 pm

    What a revolving turn of events….

    I always used KDE, but became sick of KDE 4, its bugs, and political approach
    (like the dolphin, look style, kwin4, and dumbed down and unusable plasma)

    Now I use and enjoy gnome, but is appears that KDE and its kwin4 is the only hope for decent 3d effects

    (compiz is nice, but is has lots of bugs, and I can use it knowing that I can fix it, but now the ‘old’ compiz is officially dead, and new compiz++ isn’t born, and chances are slim it will)

  16. : Maxim, May 16 @ 7:26 pm

    But to add to my previous comment:

    I have learn something:

    I always opposed to several splits that exist in linux world like kde/gnome.

    Not anymore :-)

    Only competition can drive linux forward.

    If there were no merger between compiz and beryl we weren’t in this situation now.

  17. : Links 16/05/2009: GlusterFS 2.0 Out, OpenOffice.org 3.1 Benchmarks? | Boycott Novell, May 17 @ 5:15 pm

    [...] Beryl back from the ashes You might be interested that over a weekend a mate and myself introduced Beryl back in to the fold. This is a direct result of our frustration of how bloated Compiz has become and is becoming more of a fashion thing rather than functional for having multiple desktops. [...]

  18. : Links 16/05/2009: GlusterFS 2.0 Out, OpenOffice.org 3.1 Benchmarks? | All about MICROSOFT, May 18 @ 12:44 am

    [...] Beryl back from the ashes You might be interested that over a weekend a mate and myself introduced Beryl back in to the fold. This is a direct result of our frustration of how bloated Compiz has become and is becoming more of a fashion thing rather than functional for having multiple desktops. [...]

  19. : Nox, May 18 @ 9:15 am

    Where are these bugs you people keep mentioning?
    Are they in the “Cube” and similar worthless plugins?

    Have you tried simple-ccsm, or using the search in the “advanced” ccsm?

  20. : Photon, May 18 @ 1:21 pm

    @Nox: Of course I have. I personally have no problems with CCSM since I’m already using it for quite a long time. But every first time user is complaining about not finding the right settings in the CCSM - and I can understand it.

  21. : SmSpillaz, May 19 @ 5:16 pm


    For all of you who don’t realize, this was a reposting of a comment that happened on cyberorg’s blog a while ago, most likely as a joke to repackage beryl. =)

    Yes it’s true compiz hasn’t seen any development in a while, but you have to be patient and understand that all the developers are ridiculously busy with real life.

    Don’t worry - I see a compiz rennaisance in the pipeline somewhere in the future.

  22. : Linux_Ubuntu_geek, May 20 @ 12:09 am

    @ SmSpillaz




  23. : Linux_Ubuntu_geek, May 20 @ 12:15 am

    @ SmSpillaz

    Beryl is back as a direct result of Compiz becoming too bloated and people are downloading it to install on the modern Ubuntu/Mint releases so it has clearly generated some interested.

    The wonder of Beryl is its simplicity which is something Compiz lost after the release of 0.7.6


  24. : SmSpillaz, May 20 @ 4:37 am


    a) Lacks half the functionality of compiz
    b) Is ridiculously slow
    c) Is unstable
    d) Has no maintainable code base
    e) Is full of cheap hacks in core that break with distro updates and / or X.org updates.
    f) Did I also say that it has no developers?

    The problem as I see it is not that we don’t have competition as the result of the merger - we have plenty of that, just look at KWin and Mutter. The problem is that we _are_ rebasing on new code which does take a lot of time quite naturally (Think, about 100~ plugins to adapt and all the big plugins need to be rewritten). Then the other problem is just out of fortune - we have lost our big commercial contributors (Novell) and all of our volunteer contributors (and I stress, volunteer) have all had their real lives catch up with them. b0le, klange, iXce and I have university entrance / semester examinations with big assignments due. KristianL and maniac have larger work commitments. onestone is writing his uni thesis.

    Like I said, at some point you should see a rennaisance at some point where activity picks up as normal again. This is part of a cycle that affects most volunteer projects because time is donated to them out of time that can be spared.

    So no, to make a long answer short, trying to repackage Beryl is not going to solve any problems and make the entire composite window manager community look even more unprofessional.

  25. : Jadd, May 20 @ 12:45 pm

    Who needs choice, when none of the choices are any good?
    What ever happened to Compiz Fusion?

  26. : Linux_Ubuntu_geek, May 20 @ 1:03 pm

    @ SmSpillaz

    a) I assume when you say lacks the funtionality you are referring to useless spheres, cylinders etc. that offer no usefulness to the user and are merely a fashion statement.

    b) On the contrary Beryl is much faster than Compiz and is particularly suited for older machines. I have Compiz 0.8.2 and Beryl 0.2.1 coexisting on my installation of Ubuntu 9.04 therefore I am able to make a direct comparison.

    c) In two and a half years I have never experienced any instability using Beryl.

    d) The code base is non maintainable as a direct result of the Beryl Project being rudely abandoned therefore denying the Linux user choice which is the very foundation of the Linux community.

    e) Once again I have never had any issues running Beryl in two and a half years.

    f) Once again Bery has no developers for the simple reason it was rudely abandoned back.

    You should consider than many people do not like or need what Compiz has become. All they ask for is simplicity and userbility which Beryl offers.

    As a member of the Linux community you should welcome the fact that people have the choice as that is what its all about is it not .

    Whether you welcome it or not Beryl still works and a growing number of people are showing interest. So lets allow Compiz and Beryl to coexist and give the people what they want ‘CHOICE’.


  27. : maniac, May 20 @ 1:38 pm


    I always like when people are talking about me (and the other former Beryl developers) _without_ knowing what they are talking about. Those people (you obviously are one of them) make assertions about code quality without looking at and/or understanding it, and they make assertions about developer motivations without knowing those developers, let alone talking to them.

    Facts are:
    - Beryl _was_ unmaintainable code, emerald still is. One of the largest reasons for the merge-back was the unmaintainability of Beryl’s code.
    - Beryl doesn’t have any of the fixes compiz got since around 0.4, and there are quite a number of those (particularly there are quite a lot of EWMH and ICCCM compliance fixes)
    - A few effects were faster in Beryl (3D windows, transparent cube, blur), but those effects were also the most buggy ones (especially blur). When porting them to compiz, the implementation was changed to something that was a bit slower, but worked correctly.
    - Compiz currently has no active developers due to the facts SmSpillaz outlined. The same constraints (perhaps plus an additional “lost interest”) would have also applied to them if they still were working on Beryl. I, for one, don’t believe I would have a smaller amount time dedicated to work if I happened to hack on Beryl instead of Compiz in my free time.

    Of course you’re free to package Beryl and let people use it (I truly hope NOT many people are using it due to its buggyness), but please stop making BS assertions about Beryl and/or Compiz code and developers without looking at the code and talking to the developers before.

  28. : Linux_Ubuntu_geek, May 20 @ 5:25 pm

    @ maniac

    This is nothing personal so please do not take it as so.

    On Beryl 3D windows, Transparent Cube are NOT buggy at least I have never had problems. Motion Blur is utterly useless to man or beast whether it be on Beryl or Compiz.

    The fact is the developers past or present have become obsessed with adding useless features to Compiz they have foresaken any form of stability in the process.

    Beryl once again has a place on users Desktops should they choose it. This is an open community is it not at least that is what I have always been led to believe.

    I am somewhat mystified as to why some Compiz folks are getting so defensive. Perhaps they should look in to the Beryl Philosophy and keeping things simple.


  29. : s5h.net » Blog Archive » Linux Graphics Projects Are Reborn, May 20 @ 8:29 pm

    [...] http://dev.compiz-fusion.org/~cyberorg/2009/05/15/beryl-back-from-the-ashes/ [...]

  30. : Photon, May 21 @ 9:14 am

    That’s really strange: First Beryl was created to have some experimental features and now it’s the other way around: Compiz has all the experimental features and Beryl does not…

  31. : SmSpillaz, May 21 @ 3:53 pm


    I’d really suggest that you check the facts before spreading misinformation - your ‘project’ to revive an abandoned project is not constructive at all, you have been spamming blog posts with the same copy and pasted comment in some kind of effort to get hits to try and prove your point. What point are you trying to prove again by the way?

    All this is doing is confusing users and giving the compiz project as a whole more bad PR (And I’ll take fault to a number of obnoxious comments I made earlier in the year by the same respect).

    Beryl is open source and under the spirit of the GPL licence you are free to fork it or repackage it as you see fit. But please understand that unless you actually do some coding and try to prove that you are taking Beryl in another direction, you are just being counter-constructive to what is already a brittle project.

    To unsuspecting users:
    You are free to try this out, but be aware that what you are trying isn’t actually going to go anywhere and while at present there are problems with compiz’ lack of development effort, my own free time will drastically increase over the next few weeks and I will be able to put a few things that I had on hold into work. Then you should see some moderate amount of progress.

    I am firmly of the beleif that the 0.9.x branch will be 80% feature complete with 0.8 within the next few months at the turtle rate that we are going - right now we are at about 40% but a lot of the big work is almost in place.

    Then things will start changing.


  32. : Linux_Ubuntu_geek, May 21 @ 6:29 pm


    Thats interesting its the first time I have been accused of spamming. The truth is that folks have read the original post, found it could be of interest to others and included it in their blogs so I would appreciate it if you were to retract that remark.

    Furthermore the article featured on PlanetSUSE which was certainly nothing of my doing. I googled it and the post has popped up in blogs from around the world so people are interested.

    This is no tinpot crusade as you would make it sound. We are just offering want people want and what may have wanted since the Beryl project was abandoned.

    As far as confusing users is concerned that was never my intention and surely the two can coexist quite happily so to offer users the choice.

    The confusing of users part is well and truly in your court with all the merging, splitting, stopping and starting that takes place. Why cannot a version of Compiz be developed and then concentrate on making it stable instead of adding useless features such as spheres, cylinders etc.
    whilst making the whole package less stable. From where I stand the last decent release was Compiz Fusion 0.7.4 after which things began to go downhill.


  33. : b0le, May 22 @ 1:59 am

    People adding extra plugins doesn’t stop anyone from making core (or other plugins) more stable. More developers working on plugins means that more developers will eventually touching core, meaning more developers will be making things more stable.

    Also, if people are adding features which use in different ways different parts of core, problems that have gone unnoticed in the past may be found.

    Regarding spam, SmSpillaz was possibly refering to this:

  34. : Linux_Ubuntu_geek, May 22 @ 2:49 am


    OK I may have messed up there a little but I would hardly consider it spamming. The fact is it has appeared in many other places which is not of my doing. The fact that it has the question should be asked WHY ? Perhaps it could be that some people actually want to run Beryl in preference to Compiz.

    I am saddened by the embedded politics and in fighting in the open source community. The likes of KDE vs GNOME, Distro. vs Distro. and it seems now Compiz vs Beryl. I find it most distasteful some of the underlying hostility that exists here.

    Many people have welcomed the return of Beryl on various blogs and may I say Compiz needs to get its act sorted out and put a stop to all this merging, splitting and remerging. Until this does happen I cannot see things will improve.

    As I have said before this is no tinpot crusade but only offering the user the choice to use Beryl if they so wish.


  35. : b0le, May 22 @ 8:46 am

    Well, the merging, splitting, renaming, etc. was stopped ;)

    It was just compiz (it really still is, until someone starts actively coding on beryl - I guess).

    I have no problem with beryl packages, and I have no problem with people working on beryl (though, I don’t see the point - it would be much more useful to work together on one project) - but you seem to be contradicting yourself, saying stop this renaming, splitting, etc - but then going on and doing it again.

  36. : Linux_Ubuntu_geek, May 22 @ 3:14 pm


    Compiz splits and mergers when looked at here shows just how crazy things are and have been

    Whether it will be changed again who knows but I would have my money on it will.

    As far as contradicting myself I am not. Beryl is not in development but at least it is now an option rather than Compiz domination which I see in no way confuses users.


  37. : Linux_Ubuntu_geek, May 22 @ 5:10 pm


    I don’t see why, but you are reading a bit too far into my posts, the intention of the one you are referring to was obviously to point out that we’ve come through the community thick and thin.

    You do realize that you can totally bypass your deb packages and still download the last revision of Beryl from * . Yes - the code base may have moved to compiz as was the plan, but it’s not like we have deleted the source code or anything. In fact, http://www.beryl-project.org is still a registered domain for anyone interested.

    As I’ve told you before, any attempt to try and sway users over to your side of things is totally counterproductive to what is already a project on feeble grounds and also to your little project to prove your point. If you want to make compiz better, you don’t do it by bringing back old code and shoving it in everyone’s faces, instead actually contribute to the project - as I’ve said before we are short of developers as it stands and would love to have people to write some code for us.

    Or in the standard open source guidelines for good project management, Forks == Bad.


  38. : cyberorg, May 22 @ 5:32 pm

    My intention of posting this was not to start a flame war and certainly didn’t want Sam to troll here :P

    I am sure LUG and his band were having fun the open source way and in a community spirit wanted to share what they have done, all this flaming have just taken the fun out.

    @Sam, Maniac and everyone of the compositing community, please encourage new developers, don’t shoot them in face when they have an opinion or something to share.

    Hope this ends the endless discussions here, please take it to forums where they belong.



  39. : SmSpillaz, May 23 @ 4:23 am

    Yes, exactly as cyberorg and I have previous said - you’d be quite welcome as a new developer if you have something to contribute, we are quite in need of them.

    Also, don’t know why I accidentally put ‘Linux_Ubuntu_geek’ as my posting name instead of my own on #37. Apologies to all those confused.

  40. : lachs0r, May 27 @ 12:59 am

    Nice to hear that Beryl hasn’t vanished into oblivion.

    I’ve been using Beryl for a very long time now, because Compiz was WAY too unstable on me. Yes, Beryl seems to run rock-solid while Compiz keeps crashing on my system every few minutes.
    Also, it has some functionality that Compiz doesn’t. The Scale plugin, for example, allows for keyboard input to the focussed window, and I use this feature very often.

    Beryl runs a lot faster than Compiz, and doesn’t have that much problems with window decoration (Compiz’ window decorators are all extremely unstable compared to Beryl’s - also, why are reflections drawn on Emerald’s shadows?).

    I really don’t need more than what Beryl provides, but I don’t want to miss anything of it.