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 [[attachment:visual_effects_preferences.png]]  {{attachment:visual_effects_preferences.png|Visual Effects Options|align="middle"}}

Visual Effects

Ubuntu provides options to control visual effects on the desktop using the System>Preferences>Appearance tool (1). Some examples of these effects are:

  • Drop shadows
  • Window animations (e.g. minimising)
  • Transparency

    Visual Effects Options (1)

There are three levels of effects that can be chosen depending on your preference and the type and level of support for your computer. Ubuntu attempts to make these effects work for all computers but performance may vary


If you are experiencing problems when visual effects are enabled please try the following:

  1. Disable visual effects. Visual effects are not required; choosing None will make your desktop look simpler but still be able to run all applications.

  2. Use Normal settings. The Normal setting provides the simplest and most tested options. If you are using custom settings in the CompizConfig tool then changing to one of the default settings will.

  3. Update to the latest version. Updating to the latest version of Ubuntu and keeping up to date using Update Manager will ensure you have the software with the most fixes. Older versions will not contain fixes for non-security issues.

  4. File a bug. File a bug with Ubuntu describing the problem. The correct way to do this is to following the crash report tool instructions (2) after the problem occurs or manually report the problem using ubuntu-bug (3) from a terminal (Applications>Accessories>Terminal).

    <image of crash report tool> <image of terminal running ubuntu-bug compiz> (2) How to report after a crash (3) How to report a problem with visual effects not related to a crash

Common Problems:


Probable cause


Display locks up
Return to login screen
System crash

Problem in video drivers.

Disable effects, re-enable when new updates are available. Report bug using crash report tool.

Drawing errors

Problem in video drivers.

Disable/reduce effects. Report bug using ubuntu-bug. Wait for driver update.

Incorrect behaviour

Problem in compiz

Report bug using ubuntu-bug describing the problem in detail and what you expected.

Slow animations

Hardware too slow, drivers do not support hardware features

Disable/reduce effects. Wait for driver update. Upgrade hardware.

More information

You can view the current reported visual effects problems in the compiz package in Launchpad. Bugs reported when visual effects are in the metacity package

VisualEffects (last edited 2009-06-04 06:57:23 by robert-ancell)