Beryl Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions:

What does Beryl mean?
Beryl is a family of precious gems. Beryl has choses bixbite, red beryl, as its primary icon, and the window decorators are named after other colors of beryl. Heliodor is a yellow beryl and Aquamarine is a shade of blue.
Who makes Beryl and why is it free?
Beryl is made by the developers at the Beryl Project logically enough. Beryl is free because the developers believe strongly in free software and GPL software in particular. As such Beryl is provided to you, the user, free of charge.
Does Beryl work with dual monitors?
Where can I see a preview of Beryl?
A feature spotlight of Beryl is available on the main site.
What are the system requirements for Beryl?
Beryl runs acceptably well on a GeForce 3/i855/Radeon 7500, 256MB of RAM, and a 1.2GHz processor. It also works best with Xorg 7.1 and requires a recent version of Mesa.
Beryl [Dev Release] or Beryl svn is buggy?
Yeah these things happen. Svn is quite often buggy and unpolished, if you want a stable working Beryl wait for a tarball release. These will be announced on the blog and linked from the main site. That said, reporting bugs from svn is extremely useful, so if you wish to beta test, please use svn to do so.
Beryl is crashing, what should I do?
First check the bug tracker for similar reports, if you don’t find one, submit a report. To stop the crashing often reverting your settings will clear up the issues. Also make sure you havn’t installed any 3rd party plugins that might be causing issues. If you have taken care of all of this, seek out help on IRC.
I found a bug, how do I report it?
Browse on over to our Bug Tracker, register a name, and submit a report. Easy as pie. Don’t worry too much about settings the stats of the bug, the developers who look at them will do that, but please don’t set your bugs to critical/blocker just because it happens to you.

Using Beryl:

How do I use [feature]?
The first stop in your hunt should be to the New Users Guide to see if it answers your questions. The most commonly asked usage questions regarding Beryl are answered in the guide. If not, read on dear user.
How do I configure command hotkeys?
It’s not that hard. First thing you need to do is open beryl-settings, from a terminal or from the gem in your notification area, does not matter. With that open navigate over General Options -> Commands, and put the command you want to run in the first empty box. Remember the number associated with the box. Now navigate over to General Options -> Keyboard and scroll down until you find “Run command #” replacing # with whatever number your command was. Set the keybinding you want to trigger the command and you are all done. Lather, rince, and repeat for more commands.
How do I change my animations?
Open beryl-settings again and go to Animations -> Choices. In here you will see drop down boxes for all sorts of events. One note, create and close 2 control tooltips, create and close 1 control regular windows.
I really want transparent menus!
You are going to learn how to use the state plugin really quick then. Let’s open up beryl-settings again, and navigate to Set Window Attribs -> String Lists. In here you will see lists (probably all blank) where you can inpute values. We need to add values to the Window Opacity list. Click the add button, and a new entry will appear, click on the entry to edit. Change it to read w:DropdownMenu:90. The “w” means we are going to define the window type in the next feild, the “DropdownMenu” is the window type, and the “90″ is the level of opacity. You need to also add w:Menu:90 and w:PopupMenu:90 to complete the look.
Where can I configure hotcorners for scale?
You can configure them in beryl-settings by navigating to Scale -> Screen Edges & Corners. It is important to make sure you selections do not conflict.
I need more desktops, how do I get them?
You can increase the number of desktops by navigating to General Options -> Numerical Values in beryl-settings and changing the Horizontal Virtual Size to the desired size. Number of Desktops is NOT the right option, confusing, we know.
I want to use Metacity/KWin themes, how do I do that?
You need to enable either Heliodor (Metacity) or Aquamarine (KWin) to use these themes. To do this click on the red gem in your notification area, and go down to Select Window Decorator, and click on the decorator you wish to use. It will only list those installed, so if its not listed, you dont have it installed. You can also do this from the command line like “nohup heliodor –replace &” or “nohup aquamarine –replace &”.
My settings are all messed up and I can’t start the settings manager, how can I fix this?
mv ~/.beryl ~/.berylbroke; you may wish to ask a dev online if they wish to see your settings file.

Plugin Specific Questions:

How do I zoom a window to 1:1 while scaled?
Right click on it, you can also middle click on it to close it.
I want a Transparent cube, how?
Open up beryl-settings, go to Desktop Cube -> Choices, and check the Transparent Cube checkbox. You can set the level of transparency in the Numerical Values. This requires a SVN version of Beryl at this time.
Why are there two mouse pointers when I zoom in with Input Zoom?
There is a bug with disabling the normal cursor. Input zoom actually draws it own, and hopefully this will go away sooner rather than later. At this time though it is the least painful of the choices available.
Please make it stop wobbling.
Open up beryl-settings and uncheck Wobbly Windows on the left.
The water/blur plugin is not working, why?
Chances are your card does not not have the pixel shaders required for this effect. They will simply fail gracefully.
What the heck is the grouper plugin and how do I use it?
Good question… Seriously though, you select groups of windows by focusing the window you want and pressing Super+s. It will darken, then do this to the next window, and the next, and the next till all the windows you wish to group have been darkened. Then press Super+g to group them. Now when you move them they will move together.
How do I use the clone output plugin?
This one is for you dual head users, hold Shift+Super then click and drag your mouse from one monitor to the other.
What is this grag and drop with scale?
You can use scale to drag and drop files from one folder to another. Just open up to folders, now click and drag your icon to the scale hotcorner (dont release) and your windows will scale. Now drag the icon to the other window and hover over it for a second or so. That’s it.
Why is the cube fuzzy when rotated at extreme angles?
Mipmapping does that…
Can I make scale show minimized windows?
Sure, open beryl-settings, navigate to Scale -> Choices, and check “show minimized windows”.
Why doesn’t my skydome work?
Your skydome needs to have an image size that is a power of two. E.g. – 512×512 or 512×1024 are both ok.

Development Questions:

What do I need to know to work on Beryl?
Beryl is almost entirely written in C, frontends can be written in C or python. To work on plugins you will need a healthy knowledge of OpenGL and a very firm grasp of C. You can find more information on the new developers page.
Is there an example plugin?
Of course, you can find it right here.
How can I check out the current source?
svn co svn:// beryl/

Miscellaneous Questions:

Can I talk to you on IRC?
You bet, stop by #beryl on and ask away. You will find users and developers in there.
Is DBO really a gorilla?
We don’t know, but he wrote the FAQ, and he put the question in, and hes talking about himself in the third person, so you figure it out.
Can I donate to the project?
Sure, vist the Fundraiser page.
My question wasn’t answered, what now?
Head off to the or onto IRC and look for help. If you feel your question should have been answered here send an email to and it will be considered for addition. Try not to send him something that is already on here, he ate the last person who did that.