I recently installed Kubuntu on my MacBook Pro, to triple-boot alongside Mac OSX and Windows 7. Kubuntu is the operating system I use the most, and one that arguably looks the prettiest. Unfortunately, enabling such beauty isn’t as straight forward as ticking some boxes. This may deter some, but hopefully this guide will help you along the way. The 3D Desktop Cube is an awesome way to navigate around your multiple desktops. I use four, but you can enable six to use all sides of the cube.

OPENGL graphics drivers

The 3D Desktop Cube works via OPENGL graphics. When you install vanilla Kubuntu, the default drivers do not have the necessary libraries to fully enable the graphics capability of your card. The first port of call is to get the latest drivers, such as the NVIDIA website or the ATI/AMD website depending on what you have. In my case, my MacBook Pro has the NVIDIA 8600M GT. To install the drivers, you need to be outside of X Server/KDE daemon; the easiest way is to boot into recovery mode to get the terminal only. Full instructions on how to install are outlined by NVIDIA.


Next you need to install a package called Compiz. This will allow you to enable settings for the Desktop Cube amongst other things. You should be able to find it if you do a search in KPackageKit. You will need compiz and compiz-fusion.

You can also do an apt-get to grab the packages you need as outlined here, with the following commands:

sudo apt-get install compiz compizconfig-settings-manager compiz-kde compiz-fusion-plugins-main compiz-fusion-plugins-extra emerald librsvg2-common

Now go into System Settings > Desktop Effects > All Effects. This will bring up a plethora of options for you to enable including the Desktop Cube. And that is pretty much it! If you get stuck, refer to the links I posted above which will guide you through some of the steps in more detail.

I made a quick video below to show you what the cube will look like. Also, if you want to know more about how I did the triple-boot on my MacBook Pro, head on over to my personal blog to find out!

About Motoko

First embraced the inner geek at the age of 10 with a Commodore 64 and programming in BASIC. Avid PC gamer, Gundam Gunpla builder, manga editor and anime enthusiast. Loves Mountain Dew and Ghost in the Shell. Twitter: @Motoko_K

This entry was posted on Monday, March 28th, 2011 at 11:00 am and is filed under Gadgets, Technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.