Xfwm Effects is a hack of the Xfce compositing window manager that adds depth and color harmony to the appearance of the desktop, without adding distraction. It does so by creating an image of the desktop when necessary, then uses the Imlib2 library to blur the desktop image, then uses Xlib compositing commands to composite the blurred background image onto desktop windows, panels, menus, and popovers. The effect is reminiscent of Apple's 'vibrancy' effect. Using this method sidesteps the computationally expensive need to continually generate gaussian blur, which can slow the responsiveness of the desktop environment.
Also included is an app (xfwm-effects) that allows the user to turn the effect on and off, to adjust the amount of blur, and to adjust the amount of white composited (for light themes). Note that to see the effects, 'Compositor > Enable Display Compositing' must be selected (i.e., active) in the Window Manager Tweaks app (the compositor is used to draw the effect). Adjusting the sliders on the Compositor tab of the Window Manager Tweaks app toward 'Transparent' will make the effect more pronounced.
Xfwm4 version 4.13.1 (64 bit only). Xfwm4 is the Xfce4 desktop environment's window manager.
The installer script is written for Xubuntu 18.10 ; other distros will need some massaging to get xfwm-effects to work. Also seems to work with the Xubuntu 19.04 beta.
Imlib2 (the libimlib2 package) for image processing
Click the button to download a compressed folder containing 1) the installation script and files (for Xubuntu 18.10), and 2) the source code.
md5sum: 968e2691c1daa044ed3157ad12edc9cc xfwm-effects-install-1.0.tar.gz
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