How to remove the title bar with compiz without losing 3 hours of your life.

On the Dell Mini and other netbooks running Ubuntu – screen real-estate is limited. Make the most of it by hiding the title bar at the top of the screen with this nice and easy Compiz hack.

compiz titlebar hide

Step 1. Install CompizConfig Settings Manager (ccsm) if you don’t have it already. Open a terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

compiz blur brokeSee this Blur Window setting? Don’t click this. Don’t check it. Don’t look at the options for it. Matter of fact don’t touch anything else in CompizConfig Settings yet.

:mad: You clicked it didn’t you. Now the desktop on your Dell Mini looks like a big black splotch with a color border. You have a pointer and your machine appears to be responding, but you can’t see anything to change the setting back. Nice huh? Compiz settings won’t let you see your desktop, even after a restart. Here’s how to fix it.

I know you can’t see what your typing, so take it slow…
* Carefully hit Alt + F2 then type killall compiz and hit enter.
* One more time Alt + F2 then type killall compiz.real and hit enter.
* Go back into the settings and UN-CHECK Blur Windows – or better yet, revert all the Compiz settings back to default.

Okay – back to work!

Compiz window decoration
Step 2. Open the CompizConfig Settings Manager. It should be under System – Preferences. On the left, click on Effects and find Window Decoration.

Step 3. Look for the setting that says Decoration Window – Any. Change it to !state=maxvert This code means that any window that is NOT maximized will get a decoration window, or title. The effect is immediate, no logout or restart will be needed.

Final thoughts.
Compiz itself is a bit of a hack. It works great with the default settings 90% of the time, but when you peek behind the curtain with this config manager and start playing with the 3D cube window manager, etc, your settings can crash your unsupported video card quick. This is the price Ubuntu pays for having the cool wiggly windows features with Compiz. Cool when you can get it to work, and sad when you lock yourself out experimenting with a blur feature. Enjoy 50 more pixels of screen space!

About The Author


Hardware hacker, technology integrator, and maker. He enjoys staring blankly at code, voiding the warranty, and touching things in the back. When not doing that he is building and racing a rally car.

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07 2009

0 Comments Add Yours ↓

The upper is the most recent comment

  1. 1

    Dude! Awesome. I’ve not liked the orange title bar up there for the longest time, but didn’t even think that Ubuntu was so user-friendly that you could blur, I mean, ditch it. Fortunately, I already had Compiz installed, so it was a 30 second change. Very cool.

    Oh yeah, and I love my rotating cubes.

  2. 2

    It’s been 8 years since this blog post was published and Compiz is no longer actively developed. It is still a great alternative to other compositors and works very well with MATE, for example. This little ‘hack’ remains useful, thank you!

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