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On 10.04 (and other versions, but I am asking about 10.04), going to
System ➜ Preferences ➜ Appearance and selecting the Visual Effects tab shows possible values of None, Normal, and Extra. How can I query from the command line what the current setting is?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Yes, you can. If you are using GNOME, then there is excellent gconftool command.


gconftool --get /desktop/gnome/session/required_components/windowmanager

It'll return metacity when setting is "None" and compiz for "Normal". At least in my Ubuntu 10.10 only difference between "Normal" and "Extra" was "wobbly" in plugins list.


gconftool --get /apps/compiz/general/allscreens/options/active_plugins

to get list of plugins. Output should be something like


for "Extra" visual effects.

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Thanks! Does one of those items in the "Extra" list correspond specifically to translucency/transparency? – ctd Mar 2 '11 at 19:37
It would be "obs" in that list. In compizconfig it's called Opacity, Brightness, and Saturation. – idbrii May 3 '11 at 16:02
For Ubuntu 10.04.3, it's still 'metacity' for None, but 'gnome-wm' for Normal and Extra. – ctd Feb 13 '12 at 18:23

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