Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Easily Install Compiz + Emerald on LMDE 2013

Note: This post is out of date, see my latest post for an updated method of installing compiz on LMDE:
Click HERE

This tutorial will walk you through the preparation and installation of compiz-fusion and the emerald theme manager on LMDE.

I executed this on a fresh install of Linux Mint Debian Edition, MATE desktop, 64bit system. I've accomplished this both in VirtualBox, and on actual hardware.

First, update your system via the Update Manager or by issuing these 2 commands in a terminal:

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get upgrade

To Install Compiz:

As you may have discovered, compiz is not in the repositories that come with this system. In order to install compiz we need to temporarily add a repository from Debian's Sid branch.

Open up a terminal to modify your software sources, using this command:

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

Copy these 2 lines to the bottom of the list:

## SID: to get compiz
deb sid main non-free contrib

Save and exit the file: (Ctrl+x, Y, Enter)

Now configure APT with these 2 commands, as root:

sudo su (enter root password)

echo 'APT::Default-Release "testing";' >> /etc/apt/apt.conf

apt-get update

WARNING: Do not attempt to run an apt-get upgrade or update via the Update Manager during this process, as it will really mess up your system. We are only using this repository for the installation of compiz.

Now, open the Synaptic Package Manager, reload the directory, and run a search for "compiz".

I marked the following for a full compiz install:


I also marked this package for upgrade: libdecoration0

Package dependencies will be downloaded and installed as well.

Apply changes in Synaptic.

VERY IMPORTANT: We must now comment out or remove the Sid repository we entered earlier from our /etc/apt/sources.list:

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

And comment out like so:

## SID: to get compiz
## deb sid main non-free contrib

Or simply delete the lines.

And finally, we must remove the line:  APT::Default-Release "testing";
From the file:  /etc/apt/apt.conf

sudo nano /etc/apt/apt.conf
Ctrl+k to remove the line (should be the only entry), then save and exit: (Ctrl+x, Y, Enter)

Done! You now have compiz installed! 

You can now update and upgrade your system as you normally would.

To Install Emerald:

I have tried to compile emerald on LMDE numerous times with no success. And up until now, the only .deb packages I have found were for 32bit systems.

I finally came up with these packages. They are not for the most current release of emerald, but have worked for me just the same, with no noticeable difference. Use the gdebi installer to install these.

For 64bit systems:

First, install this dependency:
And emerald itself:

And here are some emerald themes to get you started:
Done! You now have emerald installed!

Have Fun!



  1. Thanks alot for the .deb files to emerald!
    Saved my day!
    I'm using them on Snowlinux 4 and it works very well!
    Thanks! :)

  2. But, why not make .deb files with a newer version of emerald?

    1. Glad this was helpful...I havent figured out how to make .deb files yet. I gathered these from the Crunchbang forums. I added the link under my (Sources), 3rd link above, post #12.

  3. this needs to be updated or removed. i dont believe sid still hosts compiz.

  4. any 32bit debs ? why only post amd64 debs ?

    1. I have just posted 32bit debs for Emerald. Thanks for the input!

  5. Fix ccm icons.
    # sudo sed -i 's|ret = super (PrettyButton, self).do_expose_event (self, event)|ret = gtk.Button.do_expose_event (self, event)|g' /usr/lib/pymodules/python2.7/ccm/

    this should help anyone having trouble editing the file on their own.