View Full Version : [ubuntu] 11.04 desktop freeze - compiz vs metacity

May 10th, 2011, 10:59 PM
Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal
Dell Inspiron 1525 3 gig

Long story short with this system:
metacity window manager works.
compiz window manager doesn't work.

login "classic with no effects" uses metacity; unity & classic with effects uses compiz.

I upgraded from 10.10 to 11.04.

The Unity desktop would occasionally freeze, particularly after the lid was closed (turn off screen) and reopened. Not always.

Switched to Classic with effects, same freeze action.

In gnome with effects, tabs on the running programs panel would "sometimes" not allow themselves to be rearranged.

In unity, the funny pictures on the left side, same thing.

in Firefox, same thing (didn't try in Thunderbird). Both desktops.

I hunted the internet for clues. Came across metacity vs. compiz. Found out that 11.04 had already installed metacity (as well as compiz).

Learned to type "metacity --replace" in a terminal. The screen blipped and all worked. I tried to figure out how to replace compiz with metacity, and it finally occurred to me that gnome-without-effects might do it.
Checked loaded processes with gnome system monitor. without-effects loaded metacity instead of compiz. Ha!

And everything's working now.

September 11th, 2011, 03:12 PM
It might very well be that the freezing you observe upon closing the lid has nothing to do with the window manager. did you look around the forums for similar issues ? probably some hardware problem (usb ports...)

September 11th, 2011, 04:27 PM
Compiz is a huge drain on graphics resources. I had some games installed on my laptop with Intel integrated graphics in 10.10, and was getting horrible framerates and started looking for better drivers, thinking that was the problem.

At one point, I decided to try turning off Compiz (which is enabled by default in 10.10 as well as 11.04). I only had it set for "Minimal Effects" and thought turning it off would make little noticeable difference. But I could not believe the difference in gameplay afterward.

With Compiz on, I got choppy gameplay even at 800 x 600 resolution in 16 bit color and the details turned down all the way. With Compiz turned off, I can now play my games (Quake 3 and UT '99) smoothly in 1600 x 900 in 32 bit color.

Compiz, considering what little it contributes to the desktop user experience, for me is simply not worth running. I can barely notice a difference using regular Metacity instead of Compiz.

I won't call Compiz bloatware, but I plan to turn it off on all my systems, because for me it's just not worth all the trouble, bugs, and graphics resources drain it causes.