How can I use Unity 2d with another window manager besides Metacity? (like openbox forexample)

  • By the way, has anyone filed bugs on metacity and compiz issues, regarding crashing and X unpredictably freezing? I know there are various flickering issues reported, one of at least is cronic.
    – user80546
    Aug 1, 2012 at 0:10

2 Answers 2


You can add compiz --replace to your startup applications. Restart your session (Log out, and then back in again) and you'll now be using Compiz.

A similar action will be used for openbox. I think it's openbox --replace


To make changes permamnent, You'll have to edit unity session file. Here's short guide for Unity2d and openbox: http://spacecat3000.blogspot.com/2011/11/replace-metacity-with-openbox-in.html

Install openbox:

  1. sudo apt-get install openbox
  2. Optionally install additional packages (in my case these were installed as dependencies): sudo apt-get install obconf openbox-themes
  3. Edit /usr/share/gnome-session/sessions/2d-ubuntu.session file and replace:

    DefaultProvider-windowmanager=metacity with
  4. Logout, login (with Unity 2d session).
  5. Run obconf, choose some nice theme (my was found on box-look.org and changed a little) and configure buttons position.

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