Ubuntu Experiences Database

Installing Beryl and Xgl

Posted by maximillan on December 5, 2006

Installing Xgl and Beryl in (X)ubuntu Edgy Eft is simple. just follow the steps:

This article covers graphical installation, also consider this :

How-to Installing Beryl and Xgl on Ati Graphic Cards (cline)

The Xgl X server requires 3D video acceleration. Most graphics cards should automatically support 3D acceleration in Edgy Eft; some graphics cards might need some tweaking though.

You can check whether direct rendering is enabled by invoking

$ glxinfo | grep direct

if something like:

direct rendering: Yes

For ATI Graphics-Card you can check with:

$ fglrxinfo

then you’re ready to install Xgl and Beryl. If it doesn’t, you might need to install the appropriate driver for your graphics card

Ubuntu Edgy (ATI) Installation Guide
Ubuntu Edgy (Nvidia) Installation Guide

The first thing we should do is to add the needed repositories to your
Ubuntu installation, this is done by starting
System -> Administration -> Software Sources from the menu

Now click on the Third Party tab and click
the Add button.

Copy the following info and click Add Sources.

deb http://ubuntu.beryl-project.org/ edgy main

Now we need to download and install the key used to verify the packages we are going to install are genuine, right click on this link and select Save Link As…
to save the key file needed.

if this is not work try this in terminal:

$ wget http://ubuntu.beryl-project.org/root@lupine.me.uk.gpg -O- | sudo apt-key add –
$ wget http://download.tuxfamily.org/3v1deb/DD800CD9.gpg -O- | sudo apt-key add –

Save the file on your computer, but remember where, I save it on my Desktop.

Then select the Authentication tab from the Software Sources program and click the Import Key File button to import the file.

Browse to the root@lupine.me.uk file, select it and
press OK to import.

Click Close to exit.

Now a dialog should ask you to reload your repositories, click Reload.

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If you see this notification when the reload is completed you should update your system before continuing…

Next we need to install Beryl and Xgl.
For this we will use Synaptic which is a graphical front-end to our package management system.
Start Synaptic from the menu
System -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager.

Now we need to find and install 3 key packages xserver-xgl, emerald-themes and beryl. the easiest way to do this is by searching and selecting as show on the pictures.

Then click Apply to install the selected packages, and a Summary screen should appear where you have to click Apply once again, do this to continue the installation.

Next we need to create 2 new files in order to be able to run Xgl, for this we will again use gedit.

1. File – press Alt+F2 and run

gksudo gedit /usr/bin/startxgl

Copy this contents into the file, save the document and exit the text editor.

For ATI Cards:

Xgl :1 -fullscreen -ac -accel xv:pbuffer -accel glx:pbuffer &
exec dbus-launch –exit-with-session gnome-session

(for Xfce(Xubuntu) …..session startxfce4)

For Nvidia Cards:

Xgl :1 -fullscreen -ac -accel xv:pbuffer -accel glx:pbuffer &
exec dbus-launch –exit-with-session gnome-session

Now press Alt+F2 again and type and click Run

gksudo nautilus /usr/bin

for Xubuntu

gksudo Thunar /usr/bin

Find the file startxgl which we just created, this can be done by just writing startxgl.
Now right click on the file and select Properties and select the Permissions tab, and in the bottom there, check the box “Allow executing file as a program” and
then click Close.

2. File – again press Alt+F2 and run

gksudo gedit /usr/share/xsessions/xgl.desktop

And copy the following contents into this file.

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Start an Xgl Session

Save the document and exit the text editor.

The last changes we need is to get beryl to start up when logging in, this is done from the menu System -> Preferences -> Sessions under the tab Startup Programs we need to add the following entry


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When you come to the login screen you will have to go down in the left corner and click sessions and select Xgl from the list and click Change Session.

Now you can login and try out Xgl and Beryl.

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By now you should see a fancy wobbely splash for Beryl, when it starts, and all the Beryl effects should be avaiable for you to use..


7 Responses to “Installing Beryl and Xgl”

  1. Pete said

    I went through all these settings twice and I get a mesh image on my screen and some errors pop up. Any idea what’s up?

    Thanks for putting this together.

    The errors say something like:

    /etc/gdm/presession/default: Registering your session with wtmp and utmp

    No Match visual for __ GLcontextmode with visual class = 4 (32770), nplanes = 24

    Could not init font path element

  2. Pete said

    Sorry, forgot to mention, after the errors pop up, it asks me to log back in with a different session.

  3. Bent Over said

    I have installed Beryl the way it is told here and installed ATI drivers the way explained in the guide referred to on this page. Even though when I change session to XGL and log in it shows a message that I have not been logged in for more than 10 seconds, yada yada…
    I have Ubuntu Edgy, ATI X300… Any idea what is wrong?

  4. maximillan said

    offical ati drivers bit buggy in ubuntu, you can try opensource driver with aiglx


  5. maximillan said

    and.. beryl, xgl BETA software, you know many computers/configurations out there and this software DON’T WORK, I GET IT things don’t work here, I can install this method to my computer, well worked. so, if won’t work please consider other installation options, google it :)

  6. jose said

    quisiera la clave de instalacion pinnacle 800e

  7. Ubuntu Server resources said

    It’s really a great and helpful piece of information. I am satisfied that you shared this uzeful info with us.
    Please keep uus upp to date like this. Thanks for

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