Introduction to Metacity

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

Package Information

Metacity Dependencies


GTK+-2.10.13 and XML::Parser-2.34


startup-notification-0.9 (recommended if you are installing GNOME-2), GConf- (recommended if you are installing GNOME-2), intltool-0.35.5, and libcm

User Notes:

Installation of Metacity

Install Metacity by running the following commands:

./configure \
    --prefix=/usr \
    --libexecdir=/usr/lib/metacity \
    --sysconfdir=/etc \
    --with-gconf-schema-file-dir=/etc/gnome/2.18.3/gconf/schemas &&

This package does not come with a test suite.

Now, as the root user:

make install &&
install -v -m755 -d /usr/share/doc/metacity-2.18.5 &&
install -v -m644 README rationales.txt doc/*.txt \

Command Explanations

--with-gconf-schema-file-dir=/etc/gnome/2.18.3/gconf/schemas: Omit this parameter if you are not installing Metacity for a GNOME-2 installation.

--enable-compositor: You must use this parameter (and have libcm installed) to build the Metacity composite manager.

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-2.18.5, /usr/share/gnome/wm-properties, /usr/share/metacity and the following subdirectories of /usr/share/themes/: AgingGorilla Atlanta Bright Crux/metacity-1 Esco Metabox Simple/metacity-1}

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 2008-05-09 07:42:27 -0500