Mini Howto Beryl on LFS

Alan Lord lord_alan at
Wed Dec 6 09:56:40 PST 2006


Beryl is a fork of the compiz OpenGL window manager which offers some
amazing eye candy to those who have never seen it before and does offer
a few really useful features too!

If you want to see what all the fuss is about, visit this subsection of
Beryl's forum where users show off their desktops in all their glory:

Beryl's website: http://, wiki and forums are
good sources of information if you get stuck...

Beryl is still very new and is currently just coming up to it's third
developer release 0.13. This is not tame, mature, stable software; it is
a highly mobile target (svn trunk changes almost hourly) and it
stretches your graphics hardware (especially if you start using blur and
waterFX). Please don't install this on something important until you are
happy you know how to back-out... Having said that, I'm no guru and
haven't really had much grief apart from a buggy beta driver from Nvidia.
***End Disclaimer***


Beryl needs a very recent Xorg (7.1 or later) I am using 7.2RC2, a
desktop environment such as KDE, Gnome or XFCE (I use the minimum XFCE
modules as per the information on their website and I am running the
4.4RC1 version), and a small army of dependencies, most of which will
likely be installed anyway: Here's the deps I found I needed:

startup-notification, glib2, cairo, pango, atk, libjpeg, libtiff, gtk+,
libart_lgpl, popt, libcrocco, XML::Parser (Perl Module), libgsf,
librsvg, intltool, libwnck, desktop-file-utils, shared-mime-info,
hicolor-icon-theme, gnome-icon-theme, dbus, which, libIDL, Orbit2, Gconf.

The PC I'm running Beryl on has an Nvidia FX5200 Card. If you have an
Nvidia card similar or newer than this, then use Nvidia's Binary Driver
(Must be 1.0-9629 or a recent beta). This completely removes the need
for XGL or AIGLX and makes the setup much simpler. If you have an ATI or
other card, please visit the beryl forums
[] for hints about how to get up and
running. They are very "distro centric" however and almost no-one seems
to build stuff from scratch, so be prepared to have to go through loads
of cruft about "apt-get" or "emerge"ing things!

Anyway, moving on you should now have your LFS/BLFS box running happily
with Xorg, a desktop and the other deps listed above; don't proceed
until you have.

Next get the beryl code from their svn repo: svn co
svn:// [local-dir-name]

In the top level directory there's a script called makeall. This will
build everything necessary to get going but, the script will only run to
completion as root as the make install part will fail if you are normal
user (it does the whole CMMI with a default of --prefix=/usr).

If you want to use this script AND if you aren't using Gnome or KDE,
edit it and remove the lines from the var $ITEMS called aquamarine and
heliodor. Heliodor is a window decorator for KDE and aquamarine is for
gnome. They will not build if you don't have relevant desktop installed.

If you don't want to use the makeall script, take a look at the order of
the $ITEMS list in it and then enter each sub dir manually and do a
./, ./configure --prefix=[you know], make and make install.

As well as the core packages built using the makeall script, you might 
also want to build beryl-dbus.

That is pretty much it.

startx and in an xterm type "beryl-manager".

You should get a wobbly splash screen followed by a little red gemstone
icon in your toolbar.

Try dragging a window over and beyond the right or left hand edge of the 
screen!!! Or try holding down ctl & alt, click on the desktop and move 
the mouse about.

Click on the beryl icon, find beryl-settings and start to play with the

If all is well, you can add "beryl-manager &" in your .xinitrc. Here's mine:

# Begin ~/.xinitrc file
#Start the D-BUS session daemon
kill `pidof dbus-daemon` >/dev/null 2>&1
eval `dbus-launch --sh-syntax`

# Load ~/.Xresources
xrdb -load ~/.Xresources
xbindkeys &

#Start XFCE
xfwm4 --compositor=on --daemon
xfdesktop &

#Start Beryl
beryl-manager &

#Load the Rox-filer
#rox -up=mypinboard &

#Load the Panel
exec xfce4-panel

# End ~/.xinitrc

That's about it. It works, is great fun and not too hard to install.

Show it to anyone who thinks Vista is cool and watch them weep.
Especially if your card can handle the water and blur effects.



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