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Sometimes ago I had used KDE 3.5 I think, and really liked the transparency option for windows, which gave all my text editor a really killer look and feel, really nice/ethereal environment for coding.

I haven't managed to find such a possibility with GNOME.

Any idea if it is possible and how?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Assuming that your system is able handle the Opacify compiz plugin then you just have to install Advanced Desktop Effects Settings Install compizconfig-settings-manager and play with the Opacify settings till you get your desired effect.

To start the CompizConfig Settings Manager you go to System -> Preferences -> CompizConfig Settings Manager.

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I managed to install it, but didn't manage to find what to configure so has transparency takes effect ;-) There's an increase and decrease parameter which is certainly about opacity but dont know what sort of control it is. I'll look at it... – Stephane Rolland Mar 5 '11 at 23:24
I have tried configuring the opacity with "class=Gedit" and window opacity value at 50... but my Gedit windows remain still plain opaque... maybe I should restart, but I have 20 windows openned,so I'll restart later... we'll see – Stephane Rolland Mar 6 '11 at 9:32

Yes, it is possible, and was actually planned as a feature in ubuntu (possibly may come in Natty+1 or +2 if the bugs are fixed). It is not supported however, and you may find some applications crash, misbehave, and throw tantrums and chairs.

Here is a link to the instructions:

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