I've been trying to make xcompmgrto autostart in Lubuntu 11.10 but it just doesn't, I have to start it manually.

I have added the next lines to the autostart script in ~/.config/openbox/

#Run a composite manager
xcompmgr &

But whenever I log in it doesn't do anything, I don't really need any special parameters for it I just want it to start at log in.

How can I make it run automatically at login?

  • Other instructions in that autostart script get executed?
    – enzotib
    Nov 13, 2011 at 22:45
  • That's the only thing there. Nov 14, 2011 at 3:42
  • I would add some other line, like for example sleep 100000 &, and see if it appear in ps output, just to be sure the whole script get executed.
    – enzotib
    Nov 14, 2011 at 6:49
  • no, just syntax error of the .desktop files. However, openbox sometimes crashes and tells me to include ~/.config/autostart in the bug report.
    – melvincv
    Jul 6, 2012 at 13:04

3 Answers 3


First create the autostart folder if it doesnt already exist:

mkdir -p ~/.config/autostart

Then create a xcompmgr desktop file

lxshortcut -o ~/.config/autostart/xcompmgr.desktop

enter image description here

logout and login.

N.B. this picture shows what the xcompmgr.desktop file contains as well how to confirm xcompmgr is running.

enter image description here

  • This would work for any other software i want to autostart right? Nov 18, 2011 at 6:24
  • 1
    correct - its a generic method to autostart any application on login.
    – fossfreedom
    Nov 18, 2011 at 10:26

Yes "xcompmgr" alone does nothing. You need to tell it what kind of effects you want, which is what all gibberish at the end of the command is for.

Also you must add the "&" in the end of the command to start xcompmgr in the background. Without that your startup script starts xcompmgr and then waits until it finishes (which it will never do) before continuing with your startup script.

Mine is: xcompmgr -cfF -t-9 -l-11 -r9 -o.95 -D6 &

edit: Here's an explanation for the options I'm using:

"-cfF" "c" is for soft shadows and transparency support, "f" for fade in & fade out when creating and closing windows, and "F" for fade when changing a window's transparency.

"-t-9 -l-11" shadows are offset 9 pixels from top of the window and 11 pixels from the left edge

"-r9" shadow radius is 9 pixels

"-o.95" shadow opacity is set to 0,95

"-D6" the time between each step when fading windows is set to 6 milliseconds.

"&" isn't actually xcompmgr's option, it's a built-in function in the shell itself, sending the command to run in the background.


Have you tried http://www.lubuntutips.com/2011/12/lubuntu-composite-manage-xcompmgr.html#.UbXHE8Clcy4 ?

Just in case the dropbox link is not available:

add a file xcompmgr.desktop to the ~/.config/autostart with the following settings:

[Desktop Entry]

Save, restart your system and you should be compositing.

There'a also a lighter compositor: http://lubuntublog.blogspot.com.es/p/compton.html

Cheers, Iberê

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