Customize Compositor

How to customize your compositor (visual effects) #

Pay special attention to this section if you are experiencing odd visual glitches or slow graphics performance.

A compositor is a UI component that applies visual effects to windows before they are rendered on-screen. Many desktop environments integrate a compositor directly into the window manager, making it difficult to switch out or disable. In Regolith, the compositor is defined as a pluggable “extension point” in the packaging system. This means that compositors can be switched out simply by installing the packages that contain them. The underlying packaging system will ensure there are no conflicts and that all the dependencies of a given compositor are also installed.

WARNING: In Regolith 2.x, the default compositor is “no compositor”. In Regolith 1.x, the default was Picom.

Finding available compositors #

The following command will list all compositors configured to work with Regolith:

apt search regolith-compositor-

You should find at least the following:

  • regolith-compositor-none [default]: No compositor. Best performance, no visual effects.
  • regolith-compositor-picom-glx: Uses picom. Recommended for most users to resolve screen tearing and add visual effects. Modern and well-maintained fork of compton. Was the default compositor in Regolith 1.6.
  • regolith-compositor-compton-glx: An ancestor of picom which is no longer maintained.
  • regolith-compositor-xcompmgr: An early compositor that may offer more consistent performance if more complex compositors are problematic.

Installing a compositor #

Due to the way that the compositor is managed by i3-wm, you must log out and back in for compositor changes to take effect. Restarting i3 is not sufficient.

Run the following package install command to swap out the compositor. In this case we’ll install picom:

apt install regolith-compositor-picom

Log out and then log back in and the new compositor should be loaded. You can verify by checking the process list for picom:

ps aux | grep picom

Overriding Regolith default compositor configuration #

Compton/Picom #

To provide your own Compton/Picom compositor config, copy the default or create your own and save it as ~/.config/regolith3/picom/config. Upon next session it will be loaded instead of the default config /etc/regolith/picom/config.