Fix for Video Playback Problem in Compiz-Fusion

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While running Compiz-Fusion, You wouldn't be able to see any video play while either moving the window, viewing desktops in expo, 3d cube, or any other cool effect for that matter; instead you would see a blue screen, including when viewing in full screen.

Note:- Some of Our Users complain about the performance after using this solution.

* GStreamer Users (The default video player in Ubuntu, totem-gstreamer, and any video player that is based on the gstreamer backend)

o Open a terminal and type "gstreamer-properties". Press Enter.

o Click the Video tab.

o Under Default Video Plugin select "X Window System (No Xv)".

o Click Test to verify that video playback is working (you should be able to see the standard TV testing colour stripes).

o Click Close

* VLC Users (VLC is not installed by default)

o Start VLC and click on Settings, then Preferences.

o Expand Video and then expand Output modules. You will notice several options for output device.

o Select the item Output modules, and notice the checkbox at the bottom right that says Advanced options. Check the box, and now you have the option to select a different output device.

o Pick X11 video output

o Click on Save and you are set!

* MPlayer Users (Mplayer is not installed by default)

o Start Mplayer

o Right-click on the screen and select Preferences

o Select the Video tab and under Available Drivers select "X11 (XImage/Shm)"

o Click Save and restart the program for the setting to take effect.

+ Some times MPlayer may not be able to show videos in full screen.

* Xine users

o Start xine

o Click File, then Configure and then Preferences

o In experience_level select "Master Of The Known Universe" so that all available settings are visible.

o Select the tab for video.

o Under Driver select "xshm".

o Restart xine.

+ The same process enables Totem that has the totem-xine backend configured.

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23 Responses

  1. ari says:

    Your recommendation is flawed, hopefully not many people have followed it.

    Xv is the driver that your want your graphics/video apps to use, and there is a reason for that. It uses the graphics’ card hardware for image scaling and colourspace conversion (aka 2-d acceleration). Xshm does the same in the main cpu of your computer which is *a lot* slower and makes your system much less responsive.

    So following your advice, people will end up with poor performance in their computers. Fix a little issue and introduce a bigger one, not a good deal IMHO.

  2. Brett says:

    Agreed this is not all that great… However if you’re not doing much in the way of 3d stuff using the open source ati driver can be a good fix. It gets things to working better but the performance for stuff like google earth and what not goes to hell.

    Or you can simply run “metacity –replace” in an Alt+F2 box then watch your video then run “compiz” in an Alt+F2 box when you’re done and want the visualizations back. That way you get to run fglrx (or the nvidia equivalent) I think its just called “nvidia” in the xorg.conf file… Anyway small potatoes… Nothing is really perfect yet but at least ATI has been working toward it. The Intel chipsets are about as close to perfect as one can achieve.


  3. gord allott says:

    nvidia driver users (nvidia-new at least…) should already have perfect compiz video, fully wobbly windowed, fully transformable accelerated video.

    I also second the recomendation that switching to x11 is a bad idea, *especially* if you run at a high resolution (anything over 1024 really);
    if you do that not only will your cpu have to resize in software the video image (can be quite costly) it also has to upload a much larger image to your graphics card to be displayed which depending on your motherboard can be hugely costly.

    I would recomend either switching to when you want to view a video or making sure that unredirect fullscreen videos is checked in the compiz settings.

  4. Srikar says:

    Video quality is gettin pixelated with the settings u hav suggested.

  5. richard says:

    You could also use the compiz switch icon which gives you a quick right click menu to switch your windows manager. This is what I do when playing games that conflict with compiz.

  6. Dimass says:

    Thanks man!
    I just start nix. Your article hallp me too much.

  7. Wong Bater says:

    you are my hero!

  8. Mada says:

    Really thanks good information worked with me 🙂

  9. thesaint says:

    Thanks man, it works with me, also for RealPlayer i do the below
    open realplayer -> tools -> Preferences -> Hardware (tab) -> Uncheck “Use XVideo”
    this works also with me

  10. Larios says:

    Exelent information Thanks a lot

  11. Kristofer says:

    I have to agree with the people saying these are bad suggestions.
    For a high-end machine, these settings will be fine, but for slightly older specs these will just slow the system far too much down. And there are better solutions for it. Like the patched mplayer in example. (Google it)

  12. Daniel says:

    It may not be optimal, but it works. easier than switching to metacity every time I want to watch a video. I have plenty of CPU to handle video scaling. by the way, for those of us preferring the cli mplayer, it’s mplayer -vo x11 file.avi


  13. Quoc Duy says:

    Thanks! That’s great I’m fixed this problem

  14. Jordi says:

    THANKS!! that’s all that wass missing from my ibex :)… now it has graduated 😀

  15. icedfusion says:

    Agreed that the X11 is a bad idea. I have the ATI chipset and did this, the quality of the output was as another user posted, quite pixelated. I have opted to switch off compiz so that I at least can use xv video and wait for ATI to issue a fix.
    I have also looked at getting an nvidia graphics card for £50, then I wouldnt have to worry about all this.

  16. Keith says:

    Thanks, worked a treat for both VLC and gstreamer.

  17. Niranjan says:

    Man you rock. i am a new convert from windows. have KUBUNTU installed on my laptop and was not able to get VLC or MPlayer to play flv video files. The files would begin and then the application would just crash. By changing the video output setting to X11 in VLC i was able to fix this problem.
    Thanks again.

  18. Paul Bradley says:

    I believe that I read that the RadeonHD series does not have hardware 2D acceleration. What I used on mplayer was openGL acceleration.

  19. Pavel says:

    FINALLY!! thank you so much!

  20. Arnold says:

    Thanks a lot!
    It works like a charm on both VLC and Totem.
    I have an Nvidia 9500gs and I’m running Intrepid Ibex.

  21. JuanPi says:

    Thanks it work for me like a charm!!

  22. jena says:

    After do this tutorial, the video playback work perfect in my archlinux…. Thanks a lot! =)

  23. yossef(a) says:

    thank you thank you thank you thank you!!! this saved me completely 🙂 i love you!

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