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I have an HP Pavilion DM3 (graphics is nVidia GeForce G105M), running Debian Squeeze with GNOME 2.30.

My preference for DE is Gnome + Metacity + Nautilus. I'd like to use Docky, but it requires compositing. So I'm looking for a relatively "light" compositing manager. I realise that "light" is ambiguous, but I basically want something that won't chew through my notebook's batteries because of CPU or GPU usage.

I know that Metacity is capable of compositing, but as far as I'm aware it's still testing. Some people report that it's smooth and lightweight, others claim that it eats up processor time. I've also seen references to a problem with nVidia, but no actual details.

I'm not averse to Compiz, but I haven't used it before and I don't know what to expect in terms of "weight." And maybe there's something else I haven't heard of.

So can anyone recommend anything? Or dispel my idea that Metacity is not the right tool for the job?

(Originally posted on GNOME forums.)

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I use compiz on my box that can handle it because it's pretty. I use metacity on a box that can't because it works. Why don't you try metacity for yourself and see? It's not that big of a commitment ;) Oh and thanks for the docky link, installing now. – msw Jun 15 '10 at 3:53
I use metacity, but I don't want to have any surprises while away from a power point, hence my reluctance to try out its compositing without more info. – detly Jun 15 '10 at 4:05
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Other than metacity, both KWin and Xfwm 4.2 support compositing and are ICCCM- and EMWH-compliant.

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Sorry, I haven't had a chance to try any of them out yet, but I'll accept it for the good leads. Thanks :) – detly Jun 27 '10 at 7:14

I really like xcompmgr. It supports drop shadows, fading, transparency. It is in the package repositories of most distributions and it is lightweight.

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