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Compton Compositing Window Manager Slows Down

Free Software

Published on 27 January 2013 10:23 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software
11 Comments

The development pace of Compton, a lightweight compositing window manager for X11, has slowed down.

News was shared via the Lubuntu Blog this morning that the LXDE derivative of Ubuntu has setup their own Compton PPA package repository for this alternative compositing window manager. While the Personal Package Archive was just established, which sparked me to check out to see how the window manager project is doing today, there unfortunately isn't much new code going into Compton.

As shown via the Compton Commit History, there hasn't been a single commit to the compositing window manager since mid-December. Up to that point and going back months, Compton was receiving commits every few days.

For those not familiar with Compton, it's a standalone lightweight compositor for X11 that relies upon 2D graphics acceleration. Compton began as a fork of xcompmgr-dana and pairs well with lightweight desktops like LXDE or Xfce. Work on Compton dates back to 2011. The Compton README describes the project as, "I was frustrated by the low amount of standalone lightweight compositors. Compton was forked from Dana Jansens' fork of xcompmgr and refactored. I fixed whatever bug I found, and added features I wanted. Things seem stable, but don't quote me on it. I will most likely be actively working on this until I get the features I want. This is also a learning experience for me. That is, I'm partially doing this out of a desire to learn Xlib."

Compton changes include inactive window transparency, title-bar/frame transparency, menu transparency, shadows for ARGB windows, removes server-side shadows, colored shadows, a new fade system, v-sync, and various bug-fixes over the original xcompmgr.

Aside from the Ubuntu PPA for trying out Compton, Arch Linux users have it available via AUR and more information for those users can be found from the Arch Wiki.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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