Compositors

Configure visual effects in Regolith.

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

As mentioned previously, 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.

Finding Available Compositors

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

apt search regolith-compositor-

At least the following three compositors should be available:

Package Name Backend Description
regolith-compositor-compton-glx Compton The default compositor for Regolith. This compositor is modern, maintained, and handles screen tearing.
regolith-compositor-xcompmgr xcompmgr An early compositor that may offer more consistent performance if compton-glx is promblematic
regolith-compositor-none A no-op package that does not run a Compositor. Best for absolute UI performance, at the cost of visual effects.

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 run xcompmgr:

$ apt install regolith-compositor-xcompmgr

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

$ ps aux | grep xcompmgr

Overriding a Compositor Configuration

Compton/Picom

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