Playing around with KWin 4

So, being bored as I usually am, I decided to fix my installation of KDE 4 and try out KWin 4 with Composite bling. Unfortunately, after beta 2, it appeared that openGL based desktop Compositing broke for most people but I managed to get XRender output working. XRender is interesting because…

XRender is one of the planned features for a future version of Compiz, opening up hardware support to a whole lot new areas. Of course, XRender is nowhere near as powerful as openGL, but can get simple ‘composite’ jobs done like basic window transformation (scaling / translation) and transparency done. Here are some screenshots:


The first one is of the PresentWindows effect and the second one is of the DesktopGrid effect

XRender tends to draw the stuff quite fast, although it is a little slow with more intense things such as PresentWindows and DesktopGrid. It seems to handle opacity control and fading quite well.

It dies on things like zoom on create, close and minimize which is a bit of a shame, but I guess you can’t have everything 😛

Anyways, this gives us a good idea of what XRender output will handle like if it appears in Compiz.


7 thoughts on “Playing around with KWin 4

  1. Is this SUSE 10.3? I’m confused about Beryl-Compiz and now XRender?? I disabled Beryl altogether because I seem to be unable to resolve some of the issues there, preferring KDE which is stable and fast. What are the benefits of upgrading to this XRender and would I have to get a total new SUSE version?

  2. Beryl is no longer being developed, HQ19:7. It’s Compiz (Fusion) now.

    It’ll be interesting to see how the KDE folks position KWin 4. Is it a competitor to Compiz, or a “lighter” (simpler) alternative aimed at supporting more hardware?

  3. @Rob
    KWin isn’t built to compete with Compiz in a sense of having “a horde of usel.. erm, different plugins”, but instead to provide working and stable solution for KDE users. ATM the developers of KWin are concentrated to provide a nice set of basic plugins to be used with KDE 4.0. It means that KWin will surely miss (at least for KDE 4.0) a lot of bling available for Compiz Fusion, but it should integrate much better to KDE and provide working window manager for all kind of KDE installations instead of requiring some stuff Compiz Fusion does from the driver.

    AFAIK XRender can also work when there’s no 3D acceleration available from the driver-side, so it’ll make it possible to do some easy transformations (like shadows and so) on a lower-end hardware too.

  4. Yikes.. You mean all my hard work on Beryl is wasted. No way to easily upgrade from where I am at? I heard that compiz was a new branch of Beryl, but I know little of the implications of that ito my installation.

  5. Beryl was a fork of compiz. The two decided to merge back into compiz-fusion, based upon the compiz core but with a lot of the beryl features ported back as plugins. I know know about upgrading, but functionally the two are pretty similar.

  6. So, does this mean that Compiz is hardware accelerated only, and Kwin can be hardware accelerated OR software based? Sounds basically like Kwin is being targeted to work on most any video hardware, where Compiz is limited to Intel/Nvidia/AMD. Personally, I want the power of OpenGL using my video hardware to the fullest.

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