I've been playing a couple of Wine-games today and decided to switch to metacity to see what the performance difference was like. If you've never done it before, you just run metacity --replace but don't do that if you use Unity!

Anyway, surprise surprise it was like playing on a dedicated Windows gaming machine. Playing under metacity today was bliss. Much higher framerates and just a fluidity that you'd expect from a native game. I'm not sure I can go back.

Switching to metacity is no hardship but I wonder if there's anything else in the WM landscape that I should try out. I'm essentially looking for suggestions for the best way to play games. Mix up WMs, dedicated X sessions, whatever... As long as it makes Wine games run faster.

Small print

  • One process per answer (eg: New X session + OpenBox)

  • We should probably land on a benchmark so we can show percentage improvement over a stock Compiz desktop. I'm open to suggestions in the comments.

  • If people could test it and submit their how much it improves things for them in the comments, that would give others a good idea of if it's worth the pain.

  • I was going to write an answer with my solution to switching smoothly between Unity and Metacity, but oh well :P (You said one process per answer :P)
    – RolandiXor
    Sep 8, 2012 at 15:09

1 Answer 1


I saw an answer to this on another site but I cant find the link to it, basically you setup the short cuts that start the game , to run the metacity --replace command before it executes the game, then when you exit the game it then runs a command to reload compiz.

This needs to be sorted out before Steam lands as performance really suffers right now with Compiz - why unity is just a plugin for Compiz I dont't know :(

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