Using Compton for a tear-free experience in Xfce

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People who are experiencing screen tearing in Xfce can try out the following method.

Installing compton

Compton is an X compositor which supports xrender and glx (opengl) backends.

To install it from the command line:

sudo pacman -S compton

Configuring compton

Compton can be configured by editing ~/.config/compton.conf

The following are some commonly used options:

backend = "glx";
paint-on-overlay = true;
glx-no-stencil = true;
vsync = "opengl-swc";
unredir-if-possible = true;

# Shadow
shadow = true; # Enabled client-side shadows on windows.
no-dock-shadow = true; # Avoid drawing shadows on dock/panel windows.
no-dnd-shadow = true; # Don't draw shadows on DND windows.
clear-shadow = true; # Zero the part of the shadow's mask behind the window (experimental).
shadow-radius = 7; # The blur radius for shadows. (default 12)
shadow-offset-x = -7; # The left offset for shadows. (default -15)
shadow-offset-y = -7; # The top offset for shadows. (default -15)
shadow-exclude = [
 "n:e:Notification",
 "n:e:Docky",
 "g:e:Synapse",
 "g:e:Conky",
 "n:w:*Firefox*",
 "n:w:*Chromium*",
 "n:w:*dockbarx*",
 "class_g ?= 'Cairo-dock'",
 "class_g ?= 'Xfce4-notifyd'",
 "class_g ?= 'Xfce4-power-manager'",
 "class_g ?= 'Notify-osd'",
 "_GTK_FRAME_EXTENTS@:c"
];

# Opacity
detect-client-opacity = true;

# Window type settings
wintypes:
{
 tooltip = { shadow = false; };
};

Disabling xfwm4 compositor and enabling compton

The following command can be used to turn off xfwm4's compositing feature:

xfconf-query -c xfwm4 -p /general/use_compositing -s false

The following content can be pasted in ~/.config/autostart/compton.desktop

[Desktop Entry]
Encoding=UTF-8
Version=0.9.4
Type=Application
Name=Compton
Comment=X11 compositor
Exec=compton -b
OnlyShowIn=XFCE;
StartupNotify=false
Terminal=false
Hidden=false

Now one could logout and login again to see if compton has been activated.

To check if compton is working following command can be used:

pgrep -l compton

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