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Thread: Custom Pantheon DEs (Compiz and Openbox)

  1. #1
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    Custom Pantheon DEs (Compiz and Openbox)

    The basic Pantheon DE (slingshot-launcher, wingpanel, gala, plank) can be installed independently of elementary. In fact, gala and plank are optional as well if you don't need a dock or want to use another window manager.

    Pantheon 3D:


    Replaces gala with compiz for a 3D, light and fast alternative to Unity.
    This requires ccsm to create a compiz profile with Unity disabled.

    /usr/share/xsessions/pantheon-compiz.desktop
    Code:
    [Desktop Entry]
    Name=Pantheon 3D
    Comment=This session provides elementary-3d experience
    Exec=gnome-session --session=pantheon-compiz
    TryExec=wingpanel
    Icon=
    Type=Application
    /usr/share/gnome-session/sessions/pantheon-compiz.session
    Code:
    [GNOME Session]
    Name=Pantheon Compiz
    RequiredComponents=gnome-settings-daemon;
    RequiredProviders=windowmanager;
    DefaultProvider-windowmanager=compiz
    FallbackSession=ubuntu
    DesktopName=Pantheon
    Pantheon/Openbox:


    Replaces gala with openbox for a very light 2D alternative to Pantheon.

    /usr/share/xsessions/openbox-pantheon.desktop
    Code:
    [Desktop Entry]
    Encoding=UTF-8
    Name=Pantheon/Openbox
    Comment=Use the Openbox window manager inside of the Pantheon desktop environment
    Exec=/usr/bin/openbox-pantheon-session
    TryExec=gnome-session
    Icon=openbox.png
    Type=XSession
    /usr/bin/openbox-pantheon-session
    Code:
    #!/bin/sh
    
    if test -n "$1"; then
        echo "Syntax: openbox-gnome-session"
        echo
        echo "See the openbox-gnome-session(1) manpage for help."
      exit
    fi
    
    # Clean up after GDM
    xprop -root -remove _NET_NUMBER_OF_DESKTOPS \
          -remove _NET_DESKTOP_NAMES \
          -remove _NET_CURRENT_DESKTOP 2> /dev/null
    
    # Set up the environment
    A="/etc/xdg/openbox/environment"
    test -r $A && . $A
    A="${XDG_CONFIG_HOME:-"$HOME/.config"}/openbox/environment"
    test -r $A && . $A
    
    # Run Openbox, and have it run the autostart stuff
    exec wingpanel &
    exec plank & # optional dock
    exec /usr/bin/openbox --startup "/usr/lib/openbox/openbox-autostart OPENBOX" "$@"
    I also use Openbox with just lxpanel when I need to maximize available resources. To make sure my configuration for Openbox doesn't conflict with Pantheon Openbox and to give both a 2.5D feel, I added to the autostart script:
    /etc/xdg/openbox/autostart
    Code:
    xcompmgr & # optional composting manager
    if [ -z "`pgrep wingpanel`" ]; then lxpanel; fi & # optional panel
    UPDATE: Scroll down to "Pantheon Lite" for a much better implementation.
    Last edited by quequotion; April 3rd, 2013 at 07:53 PM. Reason: "Pantheon Compiz" renamed "Pantheon 3D", suggest "Pantheon Lite"

  2. #2
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    Re: Custom Pantheon DEs (Compiz and Openbox)

    Later, I decided to keep Openbox as light as possible, but Plank in Pantheon/Openbox is ugly without transparency, so I changed one line of /etc/xdg/openbox/autostart:
    Code:
    if [ -n "`pgrep plank`" ]; then xcompmgr; fi & # optional composting manager
    UPDATE: This became irrelevant after implementing "Pantheon Lite" with openbox and compton as a gnome-session.
    Last edited by quequotion; April 3rd, 2013 at 07:54 PM. Reason: Unnecessary for "Pantheon Lite"

  3. #3
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    Re: Custom Pantheon DEs (Compiz and Openbox)

    Interesting! I'm definitively going to bookmark this thread!

  4. #4
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    Re: Custom Pantheon DEs (Compiz and Openbox)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dry Lips View Post
    Interesting! I'm definitively going to bookmark this thread!
    Thanks!

    I've got some updates already.

    Synaptic, and possibly other programs, would not open from Slingshot in Pantheon/Openbox because no GUI for pkexec was running. To use gnome's, add:
    /etc/xdg/openbox/autostart
    Code:
    #Policy kit GUI
    /usr/lib/policykit-1-gnome/polkit-gnome-authentication-agent-1 &GUI for pkexec
    UPDATE: This also became irrelevant after implementing "Pantheon Lite" as a gnome-session

    compton is a much improved fork of the proof-of-concept xcompmgr.
    Code:
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:richardgv/compton
    sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install compton
    Switch out xcompmgr for compton:
    /etc/xdg/openbox/autostart
    Code:
    if [ -n "`pgrep plank`" ]; then compton; fi & # optional composting manager
    UPDATE: As did this.

    I'm really happy with Pantheon/Openbox.
    Last edited by quequotion; April 3rd, 2013 at 07:57 PM. Reason: No need to modify openbox config for "Pantheon Lite"

  5. #5
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    Re: Custom Pantheon DEs (Compiz and Openbox)

    Pantheon Lite


    An updated version of Pantheon-Openbox, now running as a gnome-session.

    New xsession:
    /usr/share/xsessions/pantheon-openbox
    Code:
    [Desktop Entry]
    Name=Pantheon Lite
    Comment=This session provides elementary-lite experience
    Exec=gnome-session --session=pantheon-openbox
    TryExec=wingpanel
    Icon=
    Type=Application
    New gnome-session:
    /usr/share/gnome-session/sessions/pantheon-openbox.session
    Code:
    [GNOME Session]
    Name=Pantheon Lite
    RequiredComponents=gnome-settings-daemon;
    RequiredProviders=windowmanager;compositor;
    DefaultProvider-windowmanager=openbox-wm
    DefaultProvider-compositor=compton
    FallbackSession=ubuntu
    DesktopName=Pantheon
    Compton does not come with a .desktop file, so I made one: FIXED
    /usr/share/applications/compton.desktop
    Code:
    [Desktop Entry]
    Type=Application
    Encoding=UTF-8
    Name=Compton
    Exec=compton
    NoDisplay=true
    Openbox 3.5.0 lacks a session-manager compatible .desktop file, so I added one: **
    /usr/share/applications/openbox-wm.desktop
    Code:
    [Desktop Entry]
    Encoding=UTF-8
    Name=Openbox (Window Manager)
    Comment=Start openbox as a modular WM
    Exec=openbox
    TryExec=/usr/bin/openbox-session
    Icon=openbox.png
    Type=Application
    NoDisplay=true
    # name of loadable control center module
    X-GNOME-WMSettingsModule=openbox
    # autostart phase
    X-GNOME-Autostart-Phase=WindowManager
    X-GNOME-Provides=windowmanager
    # name we put on the WM spec check window
    X-GNOME-WMName=openbox
    # back compat only 
    X-GnomeWMSettingsLibrary=openbox
    X-Ubuntu-Gettext-Domain=openbox
    Neither the script at /usr/bin/openbox-pantheon-session nor the modifications to /etc/xdg/openbox/autostart, from the previous version, are necessary.

    Pantheon Lite could be run without compton to save even more resources, but only a bit. I also tried a desktop replacing compton with cairo-compmgr, which is certainly more cool, but not nearly as efficient and requires more dependencies.

    **UPDATE: FIXED in 3.5.1; available in Ubuntu 13.10 Proposed (3.5.2) or Dana Jansens' git**
    **UPDATE: The openbox package for Saucy is fake! This is actually 3.5.0-1. **
    Last edited by quequotion; September 3rd, 2013 at 02:46 PM. Reason: update: openbox 3.5.1 got a better .desktop file years ago; it has never been packaged for ubuntu

  6. #6
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    Re: Custom Pantheon DEs (Compiz and Openbox)

    Elementary Themes

    Optionally, to make these desktops look like elementary, install the elementary-theme package.
    Enabling the theme can be tricky, and requires dconf-editor to fix a certain setting for Pantheon (gala).
    Some modifications are needed to work with compiz (gtk-window-decorator). Apply with Ubuntu-Tweak.
    There is also an eGTK theme for openbox, to install and apply with obconf.

  7. #7
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    Re: Custom Pantheon DEs (Compiz and Openbox)

    I gathered some statistics on each desktop's resource consumption.
    The process statistics come from top running in gnome-terminal while no other windows are open.
    The VRAM statisic comes from nvidia-settings GUI, while no other windows are open.
    CPU usage was not enough to make note, although compiz consumes more than gala, openbox, or compton.

    Pantheon Lite
    Code:
    CMD       VIRT      RES  SHR
    openbox   151m      10m  6336
    compton   94812     20m  11m
    VRAM: 49m
    Pantheon
    Code:
    CMD       VIRT      RES  SHR
    gala      613m      48m  31m
    VRAM: 82m
    Pantheon 3D
    Code:
    CMD       VIRT     RES  SHR
    compiz    681m      186m 39m
    VRAM: 201m
    Ayatana (Unity)
    Code:
    CMD       VIRT      RES  SHR
    compiz    1491m     301m 51m
    VRAM: 291m
    To enable vsync and improve performance (on my GT220 with the nvidia binary driver), I added some options to compton in Pantheon Lite. The increased resource consumption is still lower than the standard Pantheon desktop:
    ~/.config/compton.conf
    Code:
    # Other
    backend = "glx";
    vsync = "opengl-swc";
    paint-on-overlay = true;
    unredir-if-possible = true;
    Pantheon Lite (with configuration)
    Code:
    CMD       VIRT      RES  SHR
    openbox   151m      10m  6356
    compton   112m      28m  17m
    VRAM: 73m

  8. #8
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    Re: Custom Pantheon DEs (Compiz and Openbox)

    reopened
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







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