I came across this while reading the Gnome 2.22 release notes. Apparently Gnome has some compositing effects included all on its own, with no need for Compiz-Fusion!

Now the effects are not as flashy or pretty as those you can get with Compiz-Fusion or Beryl, but it adds some pizazz to your desktop nonetheless.

If you have older hardware (or ATI graphics on your laptop for that matter) and you cannot run Compiz or Beryl you can try this little hack to get some effects like drop-shadows, basic transparency and window previews when you alt-tab.

And in keeping with doing this the easy way I will show you how to do this without touching the command-line:

Click on Applications>System Tools>Configuration Editor>Apps>Metacity>General. There is an option for “Compositing Manager”. Tick the box next to it and some nice effects are all yours!

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