Beryl with Feisty & Nvidia

1 minute read

I’d like to start by pointing out that there’s no logical reason to use Beryl as your default window manager - except for fun and eye candy! As Ubuntu Feisty makes the task of installing Beryl very easy, I’d wanted to give it a try. So, what do we need to do?

The following is intended for Nvidia based graphic boards with GeForce XXXX chip. If you have a different graphic chip you need to install the specific drivers for your video device. It is important that those drivers support 3D acceleration.

My video card is a Gainward BLISS with GeForce 7600GT chip, so I can use the latest Nvidia driver that comes with Feisty. You may choose between Nvidia driver version 1.0-9755, 1.0-9631 and 1.0-7184. Please see this Nvidia page to check which driver version supports your video card. You’ll need at least one of the 1.0-9xxx driver versions for use with Beryl.

Check which driver supports your video card and then install the driver with

$ sudo apt-get install  nvidia-glx-new

(for the 1.0-9755 driver)


$ sudo apt-get install nvidia-glx

(for the 1.0-9631 driver)

Next open a terminal an type

$ sudo nvidia-xconfig

Now we need to edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf to make the Nvidia driver work with Beryl:

$ sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Then search for something like this

Section "Device"
Identifier     "NVIDIA Corporation NVxx [GeForce xxxx]"
Driver         "nvidia"

and edit this section to look like this:

Section "Device"
Identifier     "NVIDIA Corporation NVxx [GeForce xxxx]"
Driver         "nvidia"
Option         "RenderAccel" "true"
Option         "AllowGLXWithComposite" "true"
Option         "backingstore" "true"
Option         "TripleBuffer" "true"
Option         "AddARGBGLXVisuals" "true"

Now: save file & reboot.

The next time X starts you should see the Nvidia logo. After logging in, Feisty tells you that proprietary drivers are installed and may need to be activated. Just ignore this, the Nvidia driver is already working.

Now we’ll install Beryl:

$ sudo apt-get install beryl beryl-manager beryl-settings emerald emerald-themes

Having that done, open a terminal and type

$ beryl-manager

That should be it! Now there’s a little diamond icon in the upper right corner and right clicking it brings up the configuration utilities. If you like to start Beryl at login, go to “System -> Settings -> Sessions”, click “New” and add a new entry named “Beryl” with the command beryl-manager. Save it and you’re set!