I’ve just switched for a few days to GNOME and I remembered a discussion about activating metacity compositing manager. I haven’t found the information I was looking for on the Internet, but Olivier told me his “Jus de cuisson” mentioned a discussion thread back in January.
I eventually found the discussion thread, but what was stated was wrong (well, it was probably true when the message was sent, but not anymore) : the compositing manager is not enabled by default.
The compositing manager doesn’t give you as much effects and eye-candies as compiz, but it’s enough for a daily and professional usage. Here’s the list of things enabled with the compositing manager of metacity (quote from Frederic Crozat):
-Composited managed desktop (some applications might use it, like transparent applications such as gnome-terminal and probably others)
-brand new alt-TAB with screenshot of applications and highlight of to-be-focused app
-nice shadow around windows (now, you can have an idea on the initial design of Ia Ora window theme
-NO openGL required !!
So, here’s how you can enable it (should work with any distro using a recent enough metacity) :
gconftool-2 --type bool --set /apps/metacity/general/compositing_manager true
To disable compositor :
gconftool-2 --type bool --set /apps/metacity/general/compositing_manager false