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Compiz vs. KWin: Which Window Manager Is Better?

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If you have never messed around with a Linux system, but have seen a YouTube video about it, there’s a high chance that you’ve seen someone show off their fancy desktop effects, most notably the “wobbly windows” effect. These effects are possible due to the window manager software that controls the windows that contain the various programs that you run. However, like most other Linux applications, there’s more than one that does the job, and the top two that offer the complete package are Compiz and KWin. While both of these solutions have their specific areas, we can still compare the objectively to see which one is more customizeable and functional.


Compiz is the more popular window manager thanks to the popularity of Gnome 2 and Unity. Compiz was commonly used by Gnome 2 users to add desktop effects, while Unity is built on top of Compiz. In other words, Compiz is commonly found on desktops that are based on the GTK graphical framework.

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