When I open my system monitor and check the "processes" tab, I've noticed that regardless of what other apps I have running, "compiz" is always taking roughly 10% of my CPU. It might be a broad question, but what is compiz? I understand it's a window manager, but is it possible to use ubuntu without it? Is it a default application?

1 Answer 1


"Compiz is a compositing manager, which means that it enhances the overall user interaction by adding fancy effects to your windows, from drop shadows to awesome desktop effects like the Desktop Cube or the Expo view.
Compiz can also be a window manager, which means that it is the software between you and your desktop apps. It enables you to move or resize windows, to switch workspaces, to switch windows easily (using alt-tab or so), and so on." (source)

To run Ubuntu without, choose "Ubuntu 2D" on the login screen:

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • 3
    That's what I guessed, but I wanted to be sure. Perfect answer. Thanks!
    – Jiskya
    May 5, 2012 at 22:07
  • 9
    I don't see this option in 14.10. Is this no longer relevant or is there another way of running in "2D mode"? Dec 18, 2014 at 13:39
  • 10
    @DarrenLewis, Ubuntu 2D was retired. Newer versions don't offer this fallback - unfortunately! Nov 4, 2015 at 21:45

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.