Put a transparent terminal on your desktop using aterm and Compiz-fusion

7 11 2007

I came across this link describing how to put a transparent terminal on your desktop using gnome-terminal. What happens if you don’t have gnome installed? Well you can get around this by using aterm. The process is basically the same except for a few points that I’ve listed below.


Part 1.

Since aterm doesn’t have profiles like gnome-terminal, the settings have to go into ~/.Xdefaults. If you don’t have it, create it.

! Setup aterm for use with compiz-fusion
aterm*transparent: true
aterm*font: 9×15
! I wanted the name to be more unique.
aterm*title: transaterm
aterm*scrollBar: false
aterm*internalBorder: 0
aterm*borderWidth: 0
aterm*borderLess: true
aterm*geometry: 80×36

Part 2.

This section is much the same as the tutorial, with only personal preferences to worry about.

I left out ‘Window rules -> sticky’ as I have different backgrounds on my workspaces and using .Xdefaults we can only have one profile. Unfortunately what happens is the background on the first workspace will be carried over to the others.

In “Place windows” goto “Fixed window placement”. This is where you can appoint the position of your terminal. I always have a terminal opened in the bottom left corner of my screen so this is where I’ve placed it.

Windows with fixed positions

title=^transaterm$ 10 600

Windows with fixed viewpoint

title=^transaterm$ 0 0

Now you should be right to restart X.

Update. I recently had trouble with the transparency, whereas I would only get a black background. The workaround for this was to scrape aterm and start using tilda. :p It does true transparency and is a pinch to setup. Right click -> properties and just set it up the way you want. Easy.