Experimental PPA with performance improvements

Hey All,

There won’t be many merges going on in lp:compiz over the holiday break, so I’ve put together a PPA with various performance and other improvements for compiz so that we can get some wider testing before merging.

You can find it here:



Notable changes include:

  • Support for the recently released support for GLX_EXT_buffer_age (currently only supported on nvidia, but my understanding is that it will be supported in most of the Mesa drivers by 3.8)
  • A fix for one of the last window-stacking bugs, regarding our handling of windows destroyed on the server side but we haven’t yet received a DestroyNotify for
  • Support for GL_EXT_blit_framebuffer to enable fast framebuffer copies when rendering with postprocessing
  • Fixes to prevent us from flooding the server with ConfigureWindow requests when moving windows around. This fixes a significant performance bottleneck on nvidia, especially when doing the same while an OpenGL window is running at the same time. Enable “lazy positioning” to ensure that ConfigureWindow requests are only sent when the window is actually ungrabbed.

There should be an across-the-board framerate increase when using this PPA. Please throw it at the wall and report bugs for any functionality that doesn’t work or works a little weird (especially to do with window move and resize). Tag them with compiz-experimental-ppa.

Support for GLX_EXT_buffer_age means that on platforms which support it, we are able to have tear-free rendering with the same performance as doing incremental updates to the backbuffer. For simple cases, with framerate throttling turned off (which is not a good metric), this resulted in a 200FPS increase.

note: unity is mostly working now, however there is an interaction problem that’s making it less optimal than it could be. I’m working on a way to eliminate that problem.

edit: ppa’s don’t work the way I think they do. You will also need to add ppa:unity-team/staging


23 thoughts on “Experimental PPA with performance improvements

  1. Nevermind, I answered my own question — works fine here (12.04 xfce) with a few small issues:

    Blur, resize transparency do not work. All else seems to work great, thanks for the hard work.

    1. Could you be a bit more specific about it, if possible? Since the developers might not have the hardware (which you didn’t mention at all, actually) to figure out what is going wrong. Before/after examples, screenshots of the problem would be great.

      1. wow, this is the most expected response I think for a lot of Compiz users – unlike other decorative plugins Blur / Roll Up are useful

        finally a question from the crowd – sooner or later Wayland will be ‘de facto’ adopted by most distributions as the main graphic server – is there a future of Compiz in the form of today ?

      2. for compiz -experimental branch ..I just discovered this :
        compiz (decor) – Warn: No default decoration found, placement will not be correct

        there/s not major issues with this but randomly – the upper decoration of some app. window become transparent for mouse click – you click on the minimize / maximize / close buttons but nothing happen …instead, at right click near minimize / maximize / close buttons, the contextual menu used for desktop right click come up.

  2. Added this PPA to the 13.04 cycle and after applying it, the only Updates I got were:

    No other packages appeared broken, told me to delete something or any bad problems appeared. Have not yet tested on 12.10 but on 13.04 is working great.

    1. Just to clarify, I only applied the packages from sudo aptitude upgrade. Which by default do not include removing unity. There was no problem after logout or reboot. The package DO ask to remove ubuntu-desktop and a couple of others. This is because the current one is based on 6.x and not on 7.x as in this ppa.

      1. I’m not a huge fan of debian packaging.
        At the moment I’ve disabled builds for Quantal until I get time to figure that out. So its only for Raring at the moment.

  3. First of all, thank you for your great work!
    I cannot use this version of compiz: I cannot acces items on the launcher an the panel (with the mouse cursor), not even buttons in windows. The only thing I can do, is closing windows and moving them. Shortcuts work, and I can click windows in the spread.
    If I access Dash by shortcut, the Blur gets darker and darker all few seconds.
    A pitty I cannot give more feedback, because I cannot test anything.

      1. I’m also on Quantal and I have those problems.

        I can’t interact with interface using mouse and opening Dash (with keyboard shortcut) results most often in partial render of it’s content.

    1. The “dead zones” are a known issue in staging and I have a fix in the pipeline.

      As for the blur thing – I’ve seen that too and trying to figure out a way to get around that. I have some ideas but they might make things a bit slower on platforms that don’t have buffer_age support.

      I’m trying to find parts of the code that weren’t really designed to handle some of the assumptions that this work breaks, thanks for the feedback 🙂

  4. I’m trying to install this ppa in Ubuntu 12.10 but i’m getting this error when trying to install compiz:

    compiz-core (>= 1:0.9.9-1-experimental1+bzr3531-201212191810~quantal1) but 1:0.9.9-1-experimental1+bzr3531-201212191018~quantal1 is installed

    Thank you

  5. Now the ppa is working, thank you!
    I noticed something concerning bug/1027211: If I open the game OpenArena, there is an animation at the beginning. With Nvidia 310 and 313 drivers, moving the window around while the animation is playing is nearly impossible, as described in the bug report. However, if I use 304 drivers moving the window is very smooth.

  6. Hi,

    Thank you for the great work. Installed the ppa in Ubuntu 12.10 with no issue. But still can’t install on 12.04 since it wants to remove Unity and Ubuntu desktop. Please look into it.


  7. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation however I in finding this matter to be really one thing that I feel I would
    never understand. It kind of feels too complicated and extremely extensive for me.
    I’m having a look forward to your next submit, I’ll
    try to get the dangle of it!

    1. what a douche you are, the site uses the nofollow tag so your keyword in username is of no use whatsoever.. Why don’t you spammers get a clue?? That crap stopped working about 3 years ago.

  8. I got this site from my friend who told me about this site and
    at the moment this time I am browsing this
    web page and reading very informative content at this place.

  9. Very good work! However, there is still a big memory leak in xorg with this compiz version. Do you plan to fix this?

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