Compiz,  Open Source,  Ubuntu

Freewins Hardy Package for Compiz!

SmSpillaz and warlock_mza wrote a pretty cool plugin for Compiz that lets you rotate your windows around in 3d space called freewins. Basically, you can spin your windows around in any direction you want, so its pretty cool. I’ve been on a packaging binge as of late, so decided to package this plugin for stock Ubuntu Compizes. If I did it right, the package manager will complain if you’re trying to install this plugin with the wrong version of compiz. Please note, this is still an experimental plugin. Don’t cry if it does bad things.

Here’s a short vid of the work SmSpillaz has been doing (as an appetizer to get the package)

If you want to get the package, follow these instructions

  1. Add my Launchpad PPA to your /etc/apt/sources.list file
  2. deb hardy main
    deb-src hardy main
  3. Install
  4.  sudo apt-get update
     sudo apt-get install cf-freewins
  5. Activate
    Run ‘ccsm’. Go to the Effects section. Check the tick box for “Freely Transformable Windows”. Use Shift+Ctrl+MouseButton1 to move your windows around freely! Press Shift+Control+R to reset them to their original 2D state.

One stipulation here though, many users expect to be able to click on the windows and have the buttons and GUI fields all work as expected. Unfortunately this is not the case as the mainstream X Server is not yet smart enough to redirect input. Put simply, the X Server input is still ‘thinking’ in 2D although you’re seeing a 3D interaction environment. Although there are very complicated ways of patching your X Server to do this already (largely thanks to David Reveman), these patches have not hit primetime yet, so you’ll have to just be happy with being able to spin your windows around in circles for the time being 😀


  • Ketil

    Enabling freewins with Compiz Fusion 0.7.6 from official CF PPA makes windows borderless. No effects work.
    Tried restarting CF and both Emerald and GTK WD to no avail.

  • Sam Spilsbury

    Actually, that video was made before I started working on the plugin, but thanks for the compliment =)

    I have yet to make a full video of what can be done with the plugin, but that is because I am working on it currently.

    – SmSpillaz

  • avdh

    It’s fun looking but very…very buggy. Windows sometimes disappear at 90 degrees rotation and/or windows are sometimes transformed.

    Even when windows are stable, they are completely unusable.

    So keep up the good work and build an improved edition 😉

  • anil

    only Shift+Ctrl+MouseButton1 doesn’t work the rotation works if i use manual transforms free transforms don’t work … but its really cool keep up the work

  • Marck Tyler

    como agrego el launchpad a el directorio????
    comienzo a usar linux y quiero aprender jeje
    espero me puedan ayudar..

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