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I would like to display a fully opaque image (e.g. PNG RGB8) on the desktop in an image viewer - but such that I can set the window (showing the image) to be, say, 50% transparent (so I could see through and compare with other windows below). It would be even better if the viewer just shows a "panel" instead of a "window" (i.e. I'd prefer just the image shown, possibly with a border - instead of a full blown window with menubar, titlebar etc).

I'm aware that in Compiz, it should be possible to run a plugin, and have any window you want transparent - but I was hoping for a solution (viewer) that would not be Compiz-specific (and even more preferred, if it is neither Gnome nor KDE specific - but I'm not sure that is possible). ...

Any suggestions for an image viewer like this?

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Considering that most programs want to be "well-integrated" there isn't going to be a DE/WM-agnostic solution that doesn't look as ugly as Squidward's head. –  digitxp Aug 18 '11 at 2:43
Thanks for the comment @digitxp - I was suspecting that was the case, but good to have it confirmed... –  sdaau Aug 22 '11 at 9:06

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To my knowledge, window transparency is the job of the window manager. I'm pretty sure--but someone please correct me if I'm wrong--that the only way to accomplish this is by using a window manager, such as Compiz, that supports transparency.

How come you don't want to use Compiz? If you're just trying to avoid Gnome and KDE, you can use Compiz independently of your desktop environment.

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Thanks for that @strangeronyourtrain - I was suspecting that is the case, but good to have it confirmed... I actually like the Compiz method, worked quite nice for me - but a lot of times, I'd have to boot into a USB-key based OS, which may not necessarily have Compiz.. In such cases, it would be nice to have a WM agnostic solution. Thanks again - cheers! –  sdaau Aug 22 '11 at 9:09

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