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 Forum index » House Training » HOWTO ( Solutions )
HowTo use Shadows
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Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 13647
Location: Karlsruhe, Germany

PostPosted: Thu 29 Dec 2005, 00:56    Post subject:  HowTo use Shadows  

Shadows for Windows look great, but you often can read about problems with them:

- slow
- corrupted Titlebars
- background problems
- crashes

This article helps you, to solve these problems.

I have very fast shadows on an old Pentium 700 with an old ATI Radeon 7000 at 1280x1024 pixel resolution with 24 bit colordepth.

See a fullscreen-picture here: (300 kb):

You will need the X.org -Xserver, thats to say Puppy 1.0.7 or my X.org Dotpup for older Puppys.

Step 1: The xserver

Skip this step, if you have no ATI-Graficscard.

The xorg-wizard installed an "ati"-driver.
I found a better solution, the driver called "radeon"
Exit X (hit CTRL-ALT-Backspace).

To edit the config, type:
mp /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Search the line
   Driver      "ati"

replace it with
   Driver      "radeon"

Save your changes (CTRL-a).

To test if it works, start X:

Step 2: DRI

DRI enables 2D-Hardware-accelleration.

Step 3: Optimizing X

Again, edit xorg.conf like in step 1.
This time, activate some of the options by uncommenting them (remove the leading "#").
You should have these lines:
        Option     "AGPMode"               # <i>
        Option     "AGPFastWrite"          # [<bool>]
        Option     "EnableDepthMoves"      # [<bool>]
        Option     "EnablePageFlip"        # [<bool>]
        Option     "NoBackBuffer"          # [<bool>]
        Option     "DDCMode"               # [<bool>]
        Option     "RenderAccel"           # [<bool>]

I don't know if every option is needed, but for me they work ok.

I also commented this line:
#      Option    "omit xfree86-dga"   # don't initialise the DGA extension

Step 4: Activating shadows

Install this Dotpup (54 kb):

I slightly modified the program, to avoid crashes.

Again, edit xorg.conf.
In the end, add these lines:

Section "Extensions"
 Option "Composite" "Enable"
 Option "RENDER" "Enable"

In a console, type "xcompmgr -c"
Now your windows should have shadows.

If you have bad luck, your background looks totally corrupted, and your window-decoration looks not perfect, either. The next steps fix that.

Step 5: The Windowmanager

I use Fluxbox with the "Aqua-Theme.
With shadows enabled, the corners are not transparent.
So edit /root/.fluxbox/init
Search these values, and alter them as shown here.

session.screen0.showwindowposition:   false
session.screen0.opaqueMove:   true
session.opaqueMove:   true
session.forcePseudoTransparency:   true

Step 6: Setting the background

If you have a corrupted background, we need to trick out the xcompmgr.
Install this Dotpup (130 kb):

Then open ROX-Filer, and drag the file /usr/local/bin/shadow-background to your Desktop.
Now you can enable shadows and a backgroundpicture of your choice by dragging a picture on this new icon.
Sometimes this must be twice or 3 times, that is a timing-bug in xcompmgr.
To stop shadows, type "killall xcompmgr" in a console.

The only problem, that still might remain:
When you resize a window, the background might not be drawn correct.
In this case, drag /usr/local/bin/xrefresh to your desktop, and click it to clean up the desktop.
Maybe this problem can be solved with some more tweaking.
It also depends on the Windowmanager you use.

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