Introduction to Metacity

The Metacity package contains a window manager. This is useful for organizing and displaying windows.

Package Information

Metacity Dependencies


GTK+-2.8.20 and XML::Parser-2.34


startup-notification-0.8 (recommended if you are installing GNOME-2), GConf-2.14.0 (recommended if you are installing GNOME-2), intltool-0.34.2, and libXcomposite*

* libXcomposite can optionally be used, but here's what the Metacity package maintainer has to say about it in the configure script if the package is found: “Not building compositing manager by default now, must enable explicitly to get it. And it doesn't work, so don't bother unless you want to hack on it...

User Notes:

Installation of Metacity

Metacity will look for an X Render pkg-config file. If you use XFree86 as your X Window system, ensure this file exists (/usr/X11R6/lib/pkgconfig/xrender.pc).

Install Metacity by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr \
            --libexecdir=/usr/lib/metacity \
            --sysconfdir=/etc &&

This package does not come with a test suite.

Now, as the root user:

make install &&
install -v -m755 -d /usr/share/doc/metacity-2.14.5 &&
install -v -m644 README rationales.txt doc/*.txt \

Command Explanations

--with-gconf-schema-file-dir=/etc/gnome/2.14.3/gconf/schemas: Use this option if you are installing Metacity for a GNOME-2 installation.

Configuring Metacity

Configuration Information

To automatically start the Metacity window manager when you issue the startx command, append to (or create) .xinitrc using the command below (not required if you are installing Metacity for a GNOME-2 installation). Ensure you backup your current ~/.xinitrc before proceeding:

cat >> ~/.xinitrc << "EOF"
xterm &
exec metacity


Installed Programs: metacity, metacity-message, metacity-theme-viewer and metacity-window-demo
Installed Library: libmetacity-private.{so,a}
Installed Directories: /usr/include/metacity-1, /usr/lib/metacity, /usr/share/doc/metacity-2.14.5, /usr/share/gnome/wm-properties, /usr/share/metacity and /usr/share/themes/{AgingGorilla,Atlanta,Bright,Crux,Esco,Metabox,Simple}

Short Descriptions


is a window manager used mainly by GNOME.


allows you to preview any installed Metacity theme. When designing a new Metacity theme, you can use metacity-theme-viewer to measure the performance of a window frame option, and to preview the option.


demonstrates various kinds of windows that window managers and window manager themes should handle.

Last updated on 2006-06-20 18:11:54 -0500