A bright new future for Compiz

So, I was expecting this to be announced at Mark’s keynote this morning, but it looks like good ol’ Jono Bacon beat me to it 🙂 Nevertheless, I won’t let him steal my thunder.

So what you see up there is Ubuntu‘s Unity desktop shell. Currently it uses a clutter-based window manager called mutter, however after some consultation with the compiz developers it was decided that Unity will now use compiz as a base instead of mutter. Most notably this was done for performance reasons, but also because a number of the new interfaces provided in compiz 0.9x allow for some great new stuff to happen with Unity.

So what exactly does this mean for compiz?

Well, it now means compiz is no longer a ‘project without a cause’. Many were worried about the future of compiz with regards to GNOME-Shell and KWin on KDE making no place for compiz in the modern desktop world. In fact, I personally had thought that compiz was likely to fade into obscurity, becoming a niche experimental window manager for those who like the bleeding edge.

With Unity’s transition to compiz, we now have the full backing and support (and developer base) given to us as an upstream from the Unity developers. This means that compiz development will not be as slow paced as it has been over the past year or so, and it means that we will be making much more rapid releases. Much attention will be paid to stability of core and prototyping of great new features and frameworks. With Unity behind us, we now also get a number of key technologies which will be appearing in the Ubuntu desktop stack over the next few months. I will be working hard to ensure that these changes benefit not only Ubuntu users, but the entire desktop ecosystem as a whole. During this time, I was also hired by Canonical Ltd. to make this bright new future for compiz a reality.

It is with my great pleasure, that I say today that compiz is now back and kicking and will be taking the desktop experience of the entire linux ecosystem – nay – the world, to the next level.


91 thoughts on “A bright new future for Compiz

  1. this is the best thing that could happen to the Ubuntu desktop (and netbook!). I’ve been dreaming about it since I tried Unity the very first time! 😀 Congrats!!!

  2. Congratulations!!!!!

    I’m fighting with many OMG! Ubuntu! commenters that don’t read well and jump into conclusions. It seems no one knows about this awesome news I’m trying to spread it across the internet!

  3. That’s great. I was a WindowMaker user and it’s virtual death made me look for something else and I found compiz which is much better in many ways. Glad to read you will be able to carry on. Thanks so much.


    I’d give you a virtual hug and jump and down… but uh… let’s pass on that one =P

  5. Compiz and all who sail in her richly deserve a fate far more noble than nostalgia, this is fantastic news as it doesn’t merely keep compiz; it promotes, develops and loves it!!! Big Time!!! Just want to say Well Done to all of you at compiz central. Carry on rocking people, the world needs your Goodness.

  6. This is pretty amazing news Sam, the Compiz team deserves this. Glad that your finally being paid for your contribution to global software 🙂 With this news, I’m very much looking forward to Ubuntu 11.04 Make sure you guys hit stability and optimizations hard!

  7. This is really really great news!!!! Canonical made an excellent move hiring you and of course, using compiz for the next version is a AMAZING movement!!!

    I’m happy to read this 😀

  8. I hope it works out for y’all.

    Have to say that I’d have preferred E17 as a backend for Unity, but I think that this will open a door to have some long standing bugs that plague compositing window managers fixed (like the performance hit on games). We will all see how this fares in a few months time.

  9. Congratulations. I was expecting Compiz to continue on the Desktops because of the work you have done in the 0.9.x version. It would have been such a waste had it been replaced by something else. I am happy for you and all the people who have contributed to Compiz.

  10. I’m now a KWin user, but this is great. I hope to see improved KDE compatibility for Compiz, to mix Compiz with KDE gracefully.

    Also, I want a minor feature from Beryl back (in Beryl, when I triggered the cube, I had the option to trigger the cube and leave the panels fixed on the screen, Compiz lost that option during the Compiz Fusion phase).

    Thanks for everything!

  11. Well that sure as hell makes more sense than writing Unity in both the EFL and Mutter. Am looking forward to future developments.

  12. Gongrats to the whole Compiz team and community. This is a testament to your enduring commitment to building a modular performant WM. Rock on everyone!

    And to smspillaz – welcome to the DX team dude! 😀 Very much looking forward to work with you.

  13. Finally things start making sense to me again 🙂 I’m so glad about this move to compiz for unity. Ever since compiz came about, it was my wm of choice.

    Getting compiz-expertise – in the form of smspillaz – into Canonical’s DX-team is a great thing to happen… both for compiz and unity. Congratulations Sam, welcome aboard!

    To a bright future!

    Best regards…


  14. Congrats and welcome 🙂

    Looking forward working with you! Compiz 0.9 is already package, now I already need to update to 0.9.2!
    Compiz is looking fantastic for a bright unity future 🙂

    1. Do you mind if you can hold off until ? It will be next week.

      0.9.2 has some signficiant bugs.

      (Also, thx for the packaging)

  15. Sure, I don’t mind at all. This week with UDS is just crazy and I don’t mind sleeping a little during the flight on the way back rather than updating compiz to be honest. 🙂

  16. Great…..i’m very happy….i found Gnome Shell very sad and i can’t live without Compiz. I’m happy to hear that Compiz has found a new way to saty alive and grow with Canonical and Ubuntu, cause Ubuntu is the number one in Linux desktops as Compiz if for eye candies! Thank you again and keep up the good work!

  17. I do not know how much joy it brings.

    In truth, more love to Ubuntu and Compiz. Thanks to Canonical for your contract and now the 2 work together without envy or need (not envy hehe) desktops like GNOME and KDE, which tend to be altruistic and total development away with Kwin and Compiz Mutter (by God) .

    Really, this is the best version, Unity 11.04 + Compiz … The best!

    I liked your expression is the best news I’ve received. Thanks for showing this to the world.

  18. Compiz makes the Ubuntu rock and many of us to leave Microsoft and MAC environment. Stunning performance and creativ product by Compiz.

    1. indeed !

      and best of all: everything will be very very smooth, productive and intuitive

      perfect multi-tasking without any slow-downs even during (very) high loads and I/O transfers (hardlocks a thing of the past) – almost immediate reponsiveness (with 2.6.37/2.6.38+/) and useful organization of windows in general and grouping of related windows

      Congrats on your job at Canonical Ltd. 🙂

  19. Congratulations, this is definitely a good decision and good future. Compiz devs, your perseverance is recognized, keep the good vision and innovation.

  20. What I can say???

    It’s just a sigh of relief for me. I don’t like GNOME-shell at all (no offence), not just for the sake of not loving it but due to some practical reasons like a simple extra effort to start a program, now it takes 3 clicks and is rather less intuitive.

    I also don’t like mutter at it’s present capabilities. It’s just not yet ready to replace the magic of compiz where as compiz is compiz and it brings all things to present.

    I love you for ur outstanding work which has helped bringing so many people into the world of Linux and Ubuntu.

    i wish you All the Best of Luck for the next release and looking forward to use compiz again in Unity 11.04.


  21. Dear Sam,
    since I experience Compiz as a great comfort in daily work,
    I’m very happy for you and congratulate.
    Thanks for your efforts in the past and enjoy the future.

  22. I’m very glad this happened. As much as I love and use compiz I did wish it had a direction rather than more animations for the attention-deficit. The plugins like opacity really did it for me.

    Unity is kicking the UI up a notch and Compiz is going to be an excellent addition to the pile.

  23. Fix Vsync with Compiz and it will actually be usable. Tearing everywhere, my god! There doesn’t seem to be a fix for this, at least no 100% fix. I actually was happy, when they said they were moving away from Compiz. I like the idea but it’s too unstable and teary for me. Fix all that and I’ll love it.

  24. congratulations !

    I Love compiz, and use it every day 🙂

    compiz brings me to the Linux (ubuntu) world, and I’m very pround to say it, I’m not a geek, just the “average Joe” user as you say in English” 🙂

    so keep it up and “cheers” for the bright future of compiz




  25. Yo dude I know I’m late but what has attracted me to linux, is also the fact that compiz rock, no crashes, no lags and its animations and effects never really interfear with my laptops peformance. Its working alot better then ever and now since i know compiz will get better with the help of unity dude i am down for unity and cant wait to get my hands on the compiz updates. My laptop is over 3 yrs old and its never run so stable on effects etc etc… until i meant the power of compiz and of course unbuntu. I hope to see it expand like google.

  26. Pingback: ABATOS
  27. Canonical should follow a new strategy for the launch of Unity.
    Below is a link to view the model of the idea.
    Community participation and a greater period of development is important.

  28. that’s really sad to hear I’ve been using ubuntu for a while, this new unity to replace Gnome will be a big failure, firstly the design looks nothing like the old and such users will like me feel upset with this new layout which doesn’t make sense at all, why would you have 2 menus on screen ? secondly the new design is commercially based you can see Canonical adding amazon etc all the flavors of commercialization into some applications. there is so much to complain about this ubuntu 10.04 RC etc its really ugly I’ve installed it on my laptop and within 10 mints I’ve removed it because its really stupidly designed and makes no sense to use at all, that side bar on the left looks disgusting the theming is already sick in nature.

    the whole thing stinks of commercialization, for those of you wishing to have the old ubuntu layout and design just pay a visit to Linux Mint 9.

    to the developers of unity for ubuntu, this is disgusting project your under taking I as a user do not support it.


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