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I read online, to check if your compiz is running correctly, you should type compiz --replace. I typed the command, and after it started, my screen flashed then disappeared then came back, and here is what the terminal is saying.

 
alexander@Alexander:~$ compiz --replace
Checking if settings need to be migrated ...no  
Checking if internal files need to be migrated ...no  
Backend     : gconf  
Integration : true  
Profile     : unity  
Adding plugins  
Initializing core options...done  
Initializing composite options...done  
Initializing opengl options...done  
Initializing decor options...done  
Initializing vpswitch options...done  
Initializing snap options...done  
Initializing mousepoll options...done  
Initializing resize options...done  
Initializing place options...done  
Initializing move options...done  
Initializing wall options...done  
Initializing grid options...done  
Initializing session options...done  
Initializing gnomecompat options...done  
Initializing animation options...done  
Initializing fade options...done  
Initializing unitymtgrabhandles options...done  
Initializing workarounds options...done  
Initializing scale options...done  
compiz (expo) - Warn: failed to bind image to texture  
Initializing expo options...done  
Initializing ezoom options...done  

(compiz:10806): GConf-CRITICAL **: gconf_client_add_dir: assertion `gconf_valid_key (dirname, NULL)' failed
Initializing unityshell options...done
WARN  2012-07-26 18:16:07 unity.libindicator :0 Desktop file '/usr/share/applications/libreoffice-writer.desktop' is using a deprecated format for its actions that will be dropped soon.
WARN  2012-07-26 18:16:07 unity.libindicator :0 Desktop file '/usr/share/applications/libreoffice-calc.desktop' is using a deprecated format for its actions that will be dropped soon.
WARN  2012-07-26 18:16:07 unity.libindicator :0 Desktop file '/usr/share/applications/libreoffice-impress.desktop' is using a deprecated format for its actions that will be dropped soon.
ERROR 2012-07-26 18:16:08 unity.glib-gobject :0 g_object_unref: assertion `G_IS_OBJECT (object)' failed
Setting Update "run_command_terminal_key"
Setting Update "fullscreen_visual_bell"
Setting Update "num_launchers"
Setting Update "launcher_capture_mouse"  

It will not continue past that, and I have let it keep running for about 10 minutes.

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2 Answers 2

compiz --replace kills and replaces the current running compiz with a new process, that's why the screen flashes. It doesn't gives the command prompt back because it runs in foreground. If you have problems with compiz, run compiz --replace & so it goes background and you get the prompt back.

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That process is not supposed to end, because:

compiz --replace commands replaces the current process of compiz running in background, (compiz is the program which provide you the window decorations, effects and much more) and creates another process, which is running from your terminal. The process will continue to run, unless you deliberately stop or kill it or you exit the terminal. But, whenever you exit the terminal, the child process (currently running compiz) will exit, and guess what will happen. You may loss window manager or compiz may restart automatically itself.

If you want to replace current compiz process, the safe way to do so is,:

  1. Pressing Alt+F2 to bring dash command prompt.

  2. Type compiz --replace there and hit Enter.

For your information, You can stop a running process in terminal by using Ctrl+C keyboard shortcut, But I am not recommending it.

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