Howto: Completely Transparent Shell on your Ubuntu desktop with Compiz Fusion

I will show how to create a conky'esque transparent shell using only gnome-terminal and Compiz-fusion. Check out the attached screenshots.

First create a new profile in gnome-terminal (Edit->Profiles->New), name it "trans". Set the following characteristics:

Cursor blinks: off
Show menubar: off
Initial title: trans
Dynamically-set title: Isn't displayed
Color scheme: Black on white
Transparent Background: on
Set the transparency down to "None"

The important part here is that now the gnome-terminal is gonna have the title trans. We can now target the gnome-terminal windows that are using trans profile from inside CompizConfig by using "title=trans".

Open CompizConfig (System->Preferences->CompizConfig). Make sure you have the regEx plugin enabled.

Go to the Window Decoration plugin and add "!title=trans" to the Decoration windows field. This will skip adding window borders to our trans terminals.
Go to the Window Rules plugin. Add "title=trans" to the following fields (This will turn the terminals into a widget-like windows):

  • Skip taskbar, Skip pager, Below, Sticky, Non resizable windows, Non minimizable windows, Non maximizable windows, Non closable windows
In the Fixed Size Windows section click add. Use "title=trans" for the the Sized Window field and put the height and width you want for your shells.

Go to the Place Windows plugin, go to the Windows with fixed positions tab, in Windows with fixed positions click add. Put "title=trans" in Positioned Windows field and put x and y coordinates of the default position you want for your shell (top-left corner is 0,0). After they have loaded you can move them by Alt-Dragging them.

To run the transparent gnome-terminal use:

gnome-terminal --window-with-profile=trans
dock: avant-window-navigator
widgets: conky
conky theme:

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