Ubuntu is an open source operating system and contains open source softwares maintained by Canonical. If you want to enable the Compiz for advance desktop effects then you also need to install third party graphics card drivers. nVIDIA GPU binary drivers are not maintained by Ubuntu team but provided by the nVIDIA and you can install it on your own. To enjoy the cool desktop effects like 3D desktop, rain drops, fire, etc - all you need to do is install the driver and Compiz.

Ok, let's see how we are going to do that in a few steps. And before you try to implement these steps, ensure that your system is connected to the internet.

Step #1 How to install nVIDIA driver on Ubuntu 10.10

>> From the toolbar go to System-> Administration-> Additional Drivers (click on it). The system will start searching for additional drivers and if you have advanced graphics card (like nVIDIA GeForce or other GPUs) embedded in your system, then a new window will show various nVIDIA driver options that are available for that GPU.

nvidia on ubuntu

>> Now to be on the safer side select the [recommended version] and click on "Activate". Once you do that, the system will start downloading the driver from the internet automatically. After driver download completes in a few minutes, restart your system to complete the driver installation process.

nvidia driver on ubuntu
nvidia driver for ubuntu
nvidia driver for ubuntu restart your system

Step #2 How to install Compiz on Ubuntu 10.10

>> From the toolbar go to Administration-> Synaptic Package Manager (click on it). The Synaptic Package Manager opens up, now search for "simple-ccsm", this package contains simple compizconfig setting manager application. Click on it and "Mark for installation".

Compiz on ubuntu
synaptic manger for simple-ccsm

>> Now click on "Apply" icon on the top. It will initiate Compiz package download. It will download the required and dependent python packages, followed by the Compizconfig installation. Now your Compiz is ready.

download and install compiz on ubuntu

Step #3 How to enable Compiz desktop effects

>> From the toolbar go to Preferences-> Appearance (click on it), an Appearance setting window opens up. Under the "Visual Effects" tab, select Custom. That's it.

Enable Compiz in Ubuntu
Enable custom desktop effects in Ubuntu

>> From the toolbar go to Preferences-> CompizConfig Settings Manger (Click on it), the Compiz setting manager opens up. There are many desktop effects, select, enable them accordingly and enjoy.

Manage compiz effect on ubuntu

>> Desktop Screenshots and keyboard shortcuts

#Compiz in action: Screenshots

3D Desktop Effect

Compiz 3d desktop effect on Ubuntu

Window Wobble Effect

Ubuntu desktop effect wobble

Rain Drops Effect

Compiz rain effect  on ubuntu

Flat Desktop Effect

Compiz flat desktop effect on Ubuntu

#Here are some default keyboard shortcuts


SUPER+SHIFT+C = Clear fire




SHIFT+ALT+UP = Initiate window picker

CTRL+ALT+DOWN = Unfold cube

ALT+TAB = Window switch

SUPER+TAB = Flip switcher or ring switcher, depending on which is enabled.

ALT+F7 = Initiate 'move windows'

SHIFT+F9 = Rain drops effect

SHIFT+F10 = Slow animations

CTRL+ALT+D = Show desktop

NOTE: SUPER key is a key with 'Windows logo' on the keyboards.

Disclaimer: nVIDIA driver support is not provided or maintained by Ubuntu, so that simply means that you are solely responsible if anything happens to your hardware and bOtskOOl will not be responsible for any error that occurs during driver installation process as described above.