Beryl on Gentoo Linux
I guess it would be pointless to talk about what Beryl is as it’s already very popular. I would though like to mention, even if it has already been mentioned thousands of times, that Beryl offers the same effects Vista does plus much more and it doesn’t have the huge memory footprint that Vista has for the effects and doesn’t need a very expensive video accelerator or CPU. In fact it runs acceptable on my GeForce4 MX 440 AGP 8X video card with 64MB or DRAM. Of course I’ve tweaked it but it was only to get better visual performance because Beryl by default is set to limit the maximum resource usage, which is mainly CPU. If you have a very powerful video accelerator then you don’t have to worry about CPU usage, everything would be done by the GPU. In my case, with my second generation GeForce card, CPU usage really springs up a bit (ranging from 8% to move a window to 80-90% for more intensive effects) but since I don’t really care because I mostly use my computer for developing and browsing the Internet, I went for the maximum visual performance and it performs very well on my PC (512MB RAM, Pentium4 Prescott 2.4 GHz, Gentoo Linux). I doubt Vista would do as good, in fact it might not, as my card does not support DirectX 10.
After using it for some time I don’t think I could ever depart from it for long. Although it seems eye-candy which everybody knows is useless in terms of functionality and speed, in time I found out how useful were to me the features the Beryl Window Manager offers me. For example, I often change the transparency of a window in the foreground to see the contents of one in the background, like a chat session. Sometimes I have so many windows on just one virtual desktop that it’s hard to manage and see all of them, so I use the window overview feature by moving the mouse pointer in the upper right corner of the screen. Besides these there are many other things that make Beryl an application that will improve your productivity. For some it is a bad way to loose computer resources, for others… it is a very good way to do that 😉