transparency in kde windows

Posted on 2004-10-31
Last Modified: 2008-01-09

in almost every other screenshot i see that the windows, terminal, and all the programs are transparent.

how do i make them transparent?

suse 9.1 personal kde 3.2

Question by:rksprst
    LVL 4

    Accepted Solution

    As far as I know, you'll need to patch KDE (kwin component) and recompile. Also you must have xcompmgr extension for X working (which I think requires's X server instead of XFree86 which is shipped with SuSE 9.1) and you should preferably have working hardware accelerated rendering... In short, it's not easy to do on SuSE 9.1, although there are propably distro's out there that include this by default. (btw. the newly released SuSE 9.2 uses's server and KDE 3.3, so it should be somewhat easier to do on that one)

    That said, here are a few links for you to take a look at:

    You'll propably have to research some more, but these are good starting points.

    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    so in suse 9.2 all i would have to do is install transset
    and then do transset .3 and click on a window?

    or would i need to install anyother software?
    LVL 4

    Assisted Solution

    That depends on wether you're using XFree or Xorg.

    If you're using XFree you will need to switch to - which is a major operation and not advised unless you konw what you're doing.

    Here's a gentoo HOWTO for that (steps 2-4 are gentoo specific - use the Suse pckacge manager to install/uninstall )

    once you have - all you need is transset AND xcompmgr
    Note that xcompmgr must be running for transset to work.

    Make sure that Suse rpms for these programs are available before you remove Xfree.

    LVL 5

    Assisted Solution

    In KDE on my Slackware, the Konsole has a setting for the schema that includes some transparent options.
    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    i looked for the transparent option in the konsole but i couldnt find it.
    i did make my menus transparent (kde supports this) but none of the programs are.
    im relatively a newbie to linux, so i dont want to try to install x, ill for sure mess everything up and i wont have any window manager working in linux.
    i saw that gentoo site, ive spent around 4 hours googling this transparency thing on google before posting..ive prbbly seen every link u guys can find.

    so besides installing there is no way to make the windows transparent?
    theres not a program that would work without

    thanks guys
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    1. Suse made the switch to some time ago - are you suer you have Xfree?

    2. Some terminals and consoles (aterm, konsole & others) offer transparency.
    But the xorg way adds transprancy to programs that don't.

    Aterm is similar to xterm, but not quite as good IMHO.  It's not on any distro CD I know of but
    available at and as an extra in all the "usual" repositories

    My setting is like this, but you dont need to set the font and such...
    aterm -sh 40 -bg black -fg white -tr -ls -sb -sr -st -sl 1500 -fn 6x13 -trsb

    I've forgotten what  some of the options are, but this is my guess...
    what matters:
    -tr:       tranparent
    -sh 40:  shading, 0-100
    -bg/fg    back/foreground colours
    what doesn't matter:
    -sl 1500  no. saved lines
    -fn 6x13  font name      
    -sb -sr:   (not sure) a scrollbar on the right side
    can't remember (it's all in the man page):
    -trsb,  -ls -st

    You might also need to map the delete-char to "^?" in aterm.
    bindkey "\e^?" delete-char        # Delete
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    Sorry about not replying sooner.

    If you're not comfortable with 'getting down and dirty' on the OS, I'd say that with SuSE 9.1, you're out of luck (to many things can go wrong for a newbie).

    However, if you go with SuSE 9.2 you _should_ be to get transparency with minimal fuss (have xcompmgr running, and use transset). I can't be 100% certain though, because I don't know what flags and patches SuSE used when compiling KDE... worth a shot tho ;)

    FYI, the 'old' transparency in KDE (menubar, taskbar, konsole et. al.) isn't "real" transparency, i.e. it doesn't calculate the merged image on the fly, instead they fake transparency by taking a screenshot of the desktop background and clipping it to fit as their background. You can see this by moving a "transparent" windows around, or by moving another window below the "transparent" one.

    Hope this helps somewhat.


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