How can I see the default set of Compiz plugins and add or remove plugins from the set using the command line interface?

Is there a config file I can edit for system-wide configuration?

2 Answers 2


At least in 11.04 & 11.10 this will give you a list of the enabled plugins inside of brackets. []

 gconftool-2 --get  /apps/compiz-1/general/screen0/options/active_plugins

you can take that list, add to or subtract and then set with this, using " around the brackets "[]"

gconftool-2 --set --type=list --list-type=string /apps/compiz-1/general/screen0/options/active_plugins "[list,goes,in,here]"

enter image description here

  • Remember that gconf does no conflict resolution so keep that in mind when adding plugins where a possibility exists
    – doug
    Nov 1, 2011 at 8:18
  • Before I add, I need to know the available plugins. How to find those? (I know the name that shows in CCSM, but I doubt it will help in the command line) And does it set system-wide?
    – Oxwivi
    Nov 1, 2011 at 8:21
  • $ gconftool-2 --get /apps/compiz-1/general/screen0/options/active_plugins No value set for '/apps/compiz-1/general/screen0/options/active_plugins'
    – Oxwivi
    Nov 1, 2011 at 8:22
  • It possibly could be in another 'location', what are you running? If you open gconf-editor you can take a look to see where. (Atm I only have 11.10 & 12.04 install which use the above posted 'location'
    – doug
    Nov 1, 2011 at 8:29
  • Running Oneiric. Maybe there's a typo in what you posted?
    – Oxwivi
    Nov 1, 2011 at 8:35

From 14.04

List active compiz plugins

Run dconf dump /org/compiz/profiles/unity/ | grep active-plugins in a Terminal. This will give you someting like

active-plugins=['core', 'composite', 'opengl', 'wall', 'resize', 'vpswitch', 'compiztoolbox', 'move', 'snap', 'grid', 'imgpng', 'commands', 'unitymtgrabhandles', 'mousepoll', 'place', 'copytex', 'regex', 'session', 'animation', 'fade', 'expo', 'workarounds', 'ezoom', 'scale', 'unityshell']

Configure settings per user

See answer https://askubuntu.com/a/320677/10475

System-wide configuration

Normally you could make system-wide settings with vendor overrides in gsettings. As it is not possible to write a schema override file that includes a DConf path (see also #1281580) you have to set the settings in dconf directly:

Step 1: Create a file user in /etc/dconf/profile/ with this content:


Step 2: Create a folder compiz.d in /etc/dconf/db/

Step 3:
Create the file 00_default_plugins in /etc/dconf/db/compiz.d/ and put _your list of plugins_ inside (run dconf dump /org/compiz/profiles/unity/ | grep active-plugins to get a list of your actually activated plugins).


active-plugins=['core', 'composite', 'opengl', 'move', 'vpswitch', 'copytex', 'grid', 'commands', 'snap', 'compiztoolbox', 'mousepoll', 'place', 'resize', 'imgpng', 'session', 'wall', 'regex',  'unitymtgrabhandles', 'animation', 'winrules', 'fade', 'workarounds', 'expo', 'scale', 'ezoom', 'unityshell']

Step 4:
Make this setting mandatory. Create a folder locks in /etc/dconf/db/compiz.d/ and put a file named 00_compiz_active_plugins with this content inside:


Step 5: Run sudo dconf update in a terminal to compile.

Now you can open a guest session and check if the setting is applied.

NB: You can name system-db the way you like but keep in mind that the folder compiz.d in my example has to be named the same as your system-db with a .d appended.


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