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In the terminal preferences there is an option to make it transparent.

Now, in GNOME Classic with no effects (I think there is no Compiz), this option still exists. However, it is not true transparency: it just shows transparent terminal with wallpaper in the background but if we have any other windows open they will not appear behind the transparent terminal.

My question is this: without switching to Compiz, is it possible to get true transparency in GNOME Terminal?

(Enabling Compiz slows down my system a little bit which is why I don't want to use it.)

Thanks !

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Transparency requires compositing

True transparency requires compositing -

Wikipedia says...

Compositing is the combining of visual elements from separate sources into single images, often to create the illusion that all those elements are parts of the same scene.

Since Gnome (No Effects) is literally just that - no effects.


However, you can persuade metacity which is the default window-manager to provide some compositing effects.


Use gconf-editor and tick the key as shown.


You could also use a lightweight compositor such as xcompmgr to achieve the same - i.e. run xcompmgr & in your startup applications.

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you helped me once .I still remember that one… – Raja Mar 11 '13 at 12:55
I tried xcompmgr and it works perfectly ! :) Thanks a lot ! – knowledge_seeker Mar 11 '13 at 12:57

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