If you want to try out compiz and you are using something like lubuntu then the easiest thing is to use lucid's version. Change your sources temporarily to lucid and install compiz, emerald and compiz config setting manager (ccsm) etc. For ccsm you'll need the attached deb file. It is exactly the same as that used in lucid except built against the latest python (I probably should of bumped the package version number, but it was just going to be for my personal use). To get compiz run:
If you've compiled a later version of compiz then you may need:
compiz --replace ccp
Compiz is pretty stable using the cairo window decorator. It is only when you change to a metacity (or marco) or emerald theme that it goes wrong (and what the patch in post 1 fixes). To select the metacity theme you want you may have to change a gconf setting (under apps > gwd) .
LIBGL_ALWAYS_INDIRECT=1 compiz --replace ccp