Back in the previous releases, I used the compiz plugins "window decoration" and "window rules" to have a transparent, sticky, unmovable gnome-terminal acting as a wallpaper. The trick was to create a profile with a permanent title (transparent) and then use the filter title=transparent and !title=transparent in the different plugin rules.

The result looked like this:

enter image description here

After the upgrade, I've noticed that the window decoration rule no longer applies. Aparently, window decorations are now managed by the unity plugin and not the gtk-window-decorator, which I suppose was necessary to create the locally integrated menus. Now the terminal looks like this:

enter image description here

If I try to force the "window decoration" plugin, it asks me to disable the unity plugin, and then all the desktop crashes. So my question is if there's a workaround to force compiz not to use decorations on this specific window. Maybe with some sort of parameter when launching the terminal.


1 Answer 1


An oldie but goody that still works to deal with window decorations is devilspie

enter image description here

how to

Install devilspie:

sudo apt-get install devilspie

Then create a new folder in your home folder:

mkdir ~/.devilspie

Create a new file in this folder called terminal.ds and paste the following:

    (is (application_name) "Terminal")
       (geometry "1024x300+4+450")
    ) )

The key part here is (undecorate) to remove the window decoration for the terminal application.

(geometry) is used to control the location and size of the application, in this case 1024 in length, 300 pixels high and placed in the position 4 x 450

When testing, edit the file, then run devilspie to see the changes enacted.

When you are happy, just put nohup devilspie & as a startup application to run on login.

Obviously you'll lose the titlebar if you intend to use locally integrated menus. If you stick with global menus then this works very well.

More information about devilspie can be found here.


Dont forget that you are still able to move the terminal window around the screen - just use the shortcut key Alt+F7 to enable the window move capability and drag the mouse point around to position the terminal.

Just in-case you are not already aware of the option - to set the transparency of the terminal, use edit - profile preferences and select the Transparent Background option

enter image description here

  • Simply superb :-) Apr 20, 2014 at 18:34
  • Great! I found about devilspie but didn't have any idea how to use it, thanks! Apr 20, 2014 at 22:19
  • In case somebody was using this the same way I do, I've modified a little your config, so it only applies to a terminal specific profile and not all terminals. The result is like this: (if (is (window_name) "transparent") (begin (undecorate) ) ) Apr 21, 2014 at 16:29
  • do you think this could help to differentiate windows owned by root? askubuntu.com/questions/486476/… Feb 22, 2015 at 21:25
  • I think there's a plugin in compiz to include the "root" word in the window title when an application runs with privileges, you could try that and combine it with devilspie. Aug 21, 2015 at 15:51

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