Cyberborean Chronicles


I’m feeling diggy a bit, because my desktop is shaking and spinning now. I’m trying Beryl – a 3D desktop and window manager for Linux.


A lot of people know about Beryl due to its show-stopper feature – a 3D-dimensional “Desktop cube” where each edge of it is a separate desktop. You can place the windows on separate edges and rotate the cube to change the current desktop. For those who are not on Linux, I should say that multiple desktops is a common practice in Linux desktop environments, and Beryl’s cube is just a metaphor for to visualise that old concept.

What’s good

  • Switching between windows using their scaled live previews (like in OS X) is great.

  • It is an eye-candy. True transparency and realistic shadows effects make the windows looking awesome.

  • It is very customizable. You can spend hours to explore all options and adjust Beryl settings by your taste.
  • A rich set of customizable window decoration themes.
  • Zooming the screen is amusing and pays for accessibility.

What’s bad

  • Beryl didn’t work out of the box with ATI Radeon graphic card. This howto helped to fix the problem.
  • Java applications do not display correctly. See the solution.
  • I could not find an option to display taskbar icons only for a current desktop, as I used to do in default KDE mode.
  • There is a sort of conflict of Beryl and default KDE desktop switcher (“Pager”). It is better to turn it off when using Beryl.

[Upd: Unfortunately, the bad things list is growing]

Resume: Install it if you care about the desktop aesthetics or want to amaze your Windows friends.

Leave a Reply