Switching over to “Ubuntu Classic” at the Ubuntu 11.04 Natty login screen does not end the Natty misery immediately. Two issues still plagued me. I created one issue myself, the other came courtesy of Ubuntu.
First, I could not get AWN’s Shiny Switcher to work right. Whenever I switched desktops, I lost the status of running programs on other desktops. Worse, when right-clicking on a window’s title bar and selecting it to move to another workspace, the app disappeared entirely. The only recovery option required using System Monitor to end the process. Not convenient, and this had been the case since I upgraded to Natty.
The answer lay in the changes I made to Compiz’ desktop setup to enable the cube. I had set it in Compiz Configuration Settings Manager (ccsm) to 4 horizontal, 1 vertical, and 4 desktops. That was OK for the cube, but didn’t work with any desktop switcher that I tried. Setting it 4 horizontal, 1 vertical and 1 desktop was the right answer:
Problem solved. AWN’s Shiny Switcher now works perfectly and I can send windows to any desktop without losing them in the ether. The cube works great as well.
My other issue proved just as easy to fix. Every time that I restarted or logged into the Ubuntu Classic setup, compositing didn’t start up. This made the AWN dock look terrible and of course none of the Compiz effects worked. I could use Compiz Fusion Icon to fix it by reloading the desktop manager, but that got old in a hurry. Additionally, it took a long time for the desktop to load on startup – many times longer than Maverick or even Unity.
The problem lay in Gnome’s setup. When I drilled into Gnome’s Configuration Editor -> desktop -> gnome -> session -> required_components, I found that “gnome-cm” was set as the window manager. I never changed that, so Ubuntu must have set it. I right-clicked on the value, chose Edit, and changed “gnome-cm” to “compiz” (without the quotes):
I logged out and back in, and voila! Problem solved. BTW, if you want the standard Gnome panels instead of AWN, just change the panel setting to “gnome-panel” without the quotes.
Now everything looks and works in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty’s Ubuntu Classic setup the way I had it set in Maverick. Well, almost. I added the Indicator Applet to the dock, then elected not to show the stuff that I don’t use in it. Now I have everything that I want and nothing that I don’t.
This is my “classic” desktop now:
This provides the maximum real estate for work. Since AWN is set to dodge windows, I have the entire screen at my disposal. All of Compiz’ offerings work as advertised, including the lovely cube. Sweet.