One of the cooler, lesser-known plugins for Compiz, xglsnow, was sadly left in the dust with the inclusion of Compiz Fusion into Ubuntu 7.10. That doesn’t mean, however, you can’t still get it working in time for the holiday season! Check out the video below to see the plugin in action.
Here is a screenshot of what it looks like on my machine:
Note: This tutorial assumes that you have Compiz or Compiz fusion setup already. If you don’t, however, try searching the forums– there is a huge number of guides floating around on getting Compiz running for different graphics cards.
Ready? Here goes…
First, you need to install the necessary packages to build the plugin. Open up a console (alt+F2 -> “gnome-terminal”),
Create a directory in your home folder to install the plugin to:
Download xglsnow and extract it to the directory you just created:
tar -xf "/tmp/snow.tar.gz" -C ~/compiz/
Finally, navigate to the directory, compile and install:
Now you just need to install some textures, configure xgl, and you’re done! :)
The above tarball doesn’t include any snow textures, so by default all you would see are some floating white blocks… not very pretty… The package from the xglsnow homepage, however, includes a texture which looks pretty nice. To set it up, go to the xglsnow project homepage and download xglsnow-0.2.0.tar.gz. Extract the files, and copy the file “snowflake2.png” to any location you would like, e.g. ~/.compiz/images or /usr/share/images:
mv snowflake2.png ~/.compiz/images
If you haven’t already, restart Compiz to load the new plugin (alt+F2 -> “compiz –replace”) and run the Compiz settings manager: alt+F2 -> “ccsm”. Find the “Snow” plugin and check the box to the left of it to enable it.
Now click on the plugin’s name to modify its settings. Next go to “Textures” -> “add” -> “browse” (click the folder icon). Navigate to the location where you saved the texture from above and hit “okay.”
Press “Super + F3″ to start xgl snow. If you don’t see anything, check to make sure the the PNG plugin for compiz is enabled, and that the hotkey for xglsnow is in fact “super + F3.”
If you want to install some different snow textures, try the Snowflakes pack on Gnome-look.
Finally, if you want to find some wintry wallpapers to go along with your new snow-covered desktop, take a look at Blue Christmas
from digital blasphemy (that is the one in the screenshot above). Gnome-art has a nice picture of a winter landscape in Alsace, France You can also find some winter wallpapers at Gnome-look and Kde-look.
Try searching for “winter” or “snow.”
Feel free to write any suggestions, or a link to a screenshot of your own holiday desktop :)