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An OpenGL accelerated window manager that provided a unique desktop experience to the open source community

editor's review




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Beryl was an open source project that provides users with a composite window manager for Linux-based operating systems. It could be used on top of a running desktop environment. The project has been discontinued in 2007 and merged with the Compiz software, which is now known as Compiz Fusion.

It was based on the Open Graphics Library (OpenGL) and designed to be highly flexible, portable, extensible and portable, while keeping in mind that users want for their desktops better than the developers do.

Features at a glance

Highlights of Beryl include Mac OS X expose like effect, live window previews, drag and drop support, improved visual identification, better selection control, shade windows, negative windows, transparency, saturation and brightness settings, zoomed Interaction, and GNOME Terminal true transparency.

With Beryl, users could see only what they wanted, visualize their workspace in a unique, 3D way, see through the clutter, see what’s going on in their desktop environment, and use amazing desktop effects, and much more.

Introducing the Emerald window decorator

Also part of the Beryl project, the Emerald window decorator was provided as a replacement for the Metacity window manager and decorator of the GNOME desktop environment. In addition, the Heliodor and Aquamarine projects provided themes for the KWin and Metacity WMs.

Users were also able to drag and drop documents from folder to folder, browse through windows and virtual workspaces like never before, as well as to use scale effects to find and switch between windows easily.

Beryl also provided a wide range of effects that were never seen before on a Linux distribution or any other operating system for that matter. Among included effects, we can mention transparency of windows, animations for window minimize, maximize, open and close, as well as the well known 3D desktop cube.

Bottom line

As mentioned, Beryl is now deprecated. It will be quite impossible to use it in a modern Linux-based operating system. However, you can try to use the Compiz Fusion project instead, which provides the same functionality.

Beryl was reviewed by Marius Nestor
Last updated on November 29th, 2014
Beryl - screenshot #1Beryl - screenshot #2Beryl - screenshot #3

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