How to install Beryl/Emerald on Debian

Beryl provides neat 3D desktop features, and Emerald is a beautiful window decorator.

Acknowledgement: this information came from I am reproducing it here for two reasons. Firstly, it’s nice to have my ultimate personal Debian setup guide all in one place. Secondly, the page i got it from has so-called “smart-quotes” which would confuse the xorg.conf file.

Important: Beryl and Emerald only work for me after i configure the Nvidia drivers for the graphics card. That must be done first.

Add the repositories to /etc/apt/sources.list:

deb etch main
deb-src etch main

Download the gpg key to stop apt-get from whining:

wget -O - | sudo apt-key add -

Update, then install Beryl and Emerald.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install beryl-manager emerald-themes

Configuring Beryl needs a few manual tweaks in the xorg.conf file. As always, my advice is to make a backup first!

cd /etc/X11
sudo cp -p xorg.conf xorg.conf.backup

Now edit xorg.conf.

The “Device” section needs the following:

  Option  "AllowGLXWithComposite" "true"
  Option  "RenderAccel" "true"

The “Screen” section needs the following:

  Option  "XAANoOffscreenPixmaps"
  Option  "AddARGBGLXVisuals" "true"

The “Server Layout” section needs the following:

  Option  "AIGLX" "on"

There needs a section called “Extensions” which you might not have. Add it if necessary:

Section "Extensions"
  Option  "Composite" "Enable"

And that’s it! Save xorg.conf, reboot and enjoy! :)


12 comments on “How to install Beryl/Emerald on Debian

  1. WTF!!!!

    There is no beryl for nearly two years. Install compiz. It’s in the debian official repos. And in lenny you don’t even have to modify xorg.conf.

  2. Now I think compiz has taken over from Beryl, I never used Beryl but used compiz only few times because I own an intel card which with the new Xorg 1.6.0 is not even capable of providing 3D experience. I use Linux Mint and my experience with Debian has always been good in the past apart from the fact that my xorg got broken because I was using the unstable branch. Anyway, recent experience and trying their testing version tempted me because they're still with Xorg 1.4.2 but that ended too with problems in their weekly build CD. Now I am back with LM again but can't enable compiz.

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