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Monday, August 4, 2008

Compiz vs. Compiz Fusion

It is important to note that Compiz and Compiz Fusion are not the same thing (see: Compiz Fusion Vs Compiz). There is close co-operation between the developers of Compiz and the developers of Compiz Fusion, though ; in fact, many Compiz Fusion developers are also Compiz developers.

  • Compiz is a compositing window manager. It has a flexible plugin interface which allows developers to use it for many different tasks.
    More specifically, Compiz is a software project with its home at It contains a limited set of core plugins, some of which provide basic window manager functionality, other internal functionality that plugins may rely on, and some basic, yet signature effects (Cube and Wobbly to name a few). You can use Compiz on its own, as many choose to do, but you can also extend it. Compiz is what we consider the core of what Compiz Fusion is based on.
  • Compiz Fusion is the result of a merge between the well-known Beryl composite window manager and Compiz Extras, a community set of improvements to the Compiz composite window manager. Compiz Fusion aims to provide an easy and fun-to-use windowed environment, allowing use of the graphics hardware to render each individual window and the entire screen, to provide some impressive effects, speed and usefulness. The first Compiz Fusion developer release was Compiz Fusion 0.5.2 on August 13th 2007, shortly after Compiz 0.5.2 was released. First stable release of Compiz Fusion is 0.6.0 released on October 20 2007.
    Compiz Fusion is an open-source software project, meaning anyone can use it freely and contribute.

What Compiz is not:

  • Compiz is not Xgl or AIGLX. Rather, Compiz uses these technologies.
  • Compiz is not obsolete; it is still in active development.
  • Compiz is not the same as Compiz Fusion.
  • Compiz does not require any particular desktop environment. It can run independently.

Compiz Fusion is the result of a merge between the Beryl Project and Compiz Extras. It should be noted that what core changes were made to Beryl are not part of Compiz Fusion; they have either been merged or rewritten for Compiz, or remade as Compiz plugins. Changes that were difficult to maintain or potentially unstable were scrapped.
Compiz Fusion uses Compiz as a base. Among the additions it makes are tools like the CompizConfig Settings Manager, libcompizconfig, and a number of plugins

  • Compiz Fusion is not a replacement for Compiz.
  • Compiz Fusion is not Beryl with a new name.

Two new (july 2007) Compiz Fusion plugins:
Screensaver and Atlantis Cube.

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