What Compiz is

Compiz is a compositing window manager. It has a flexible plugin interface which allows developers to use it for many different tasks.

More specifically, Compiz is a software project with its home at freedesktop.org. It contains a limited set of core plugins, some of which provide basic window manager functionality, other internal functionality that plugins may rely on, and some basic, yet signature effects (Cube and Wobbly to name a few). You can use Compiz on its own, as many choose to do, but you can also extend it. Compiz is what we consider the core of what Compiz Fusion is based on.

What Compiz is not

  • Compiz is not Xgl or AIGLX. Rather, Compiz uses these technologies.
  • Compiz is not obsolete; it is still in active development.
  • Compiz is not the same as Compiz Fusion.
  • Compiz does not require any particular desktop environment. It can run independently.

What Compiz Fusion is

Compiz Fusion is a project that aims to add more functionality to Compiz by extending it with more plugins, tools and libraries.

Compiz Fusion is the result of a merge between the Beryl Project and Compiz Extras. It should be noted that what core changes were made to Beryl are not part of Compiz Fusion; they have either been merged or rewritten for Compiz, or remade as Compiz plugins. Changes that were difficult to maintain or potentially unstable were scrapped.

Compiz Fusion uses Compiz as a base. Among the additions it makes are tools like the CompizConfig Settings Manager, libcompizconfig, and a number of plugins.

What Compiz Fusion is not

  • Compiz Fusion is not a replacement for Compiz.
  • Compiz Fusion is not Beryl with a new name.