How To Install Emerald Windows Decorator for Linux

Emerald is extremely customizable and easy to use and produced a lot of marvelous themes including one I made myself. I’ve been though a couple different Linux distributions, and I’ve still never found any windows decorator that could give a desktop linux machine such a nice vibe.


My Starace Tron Inspired Emerald Theme

So recently after I got a new computer, I decided that I was going to get emerald back. My first task was to pick a Linux distribution that could use Emerald. I decided to used Linux Mint Mate Edition. Emerald isn’t for every Linux desktop. It requires a program called Compiz to run. Compiz comes by default on Ubuntu systems and can be installed on many Mint, Debian, Arch, and other Linux distros, but not all, specifically Linux Mint Cinamon Edition can’t use Emerald. I also have a tutorial on setting up Compiz.

I looked online for a apt-get repository for emerald. Unfortunately the ones I tried were broken.So I decided that I was going to compile it from source. I first downloaded the most recent source source for emerald.

I also installed the dependancies

sudo apt-get install intltool build-essential libxrender-dev libgtk2.0-dev libwnck-dev libdecoration0-dev libwnck1.0-cil-dev autoconf libtool gawk

I then extracted emerald and I tried to configure and make it. Unfortunately I came across this error.

/usr/bin/ld: main.o: undefined reference to symbol 'exp@@GLIBC_2.2.5'
/usr/bin/ld: note: 'exp@@GLIBC_2.2.5' is defined in DSO /lib/ so try adding it to the linker command line

Thanks to this post that I found, there was an extra step. I needed to export something called a load flag. So I was able to install emerald by doing the following.

tar -xvf emerald-0.9.5.tar.gz
cd emerald-0.9.5
export LDFLAGS='-lm -ldl'
make install

If everthing worked right you should have installed emerald. You can start the emerald theme manager by typing “emerald-theme-manager” into the terminal. You can then turn emerald on by typing “emerald –replace.” That will turn Emerald on. To have Emerald start as your default windows manager go to the compiz config manger “ccsm.” From there click

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2 Responses to How To Install Emerald Windows Decorator for Linux

  1. Rodolfo says:

    I’m glad you managed to install Emerald on a Linux Mint-based system in 2016. Hopefully that is also the case in 2017 for Linux Mint 18.1 Serena.
    I do have Compiz. The only reason I cannot use it is because my system is really old (an intel Core 2 Duo based Acer laptop with the ancient Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100). Linux Mint has given this very very old laptop some new life and it performs like a champ for office-related tasks and even some games such as Counter strike and Don’t Starve Shipwrecked. Anyway, for some reason Compiz won’t play nice on this machine, I guess it’s because Intel and Compiz don’t like each other. So it goes without saying that Compiz performance is a big disappointment.
    So my question is this, do I need to run Compiz in order to use Emerald or is it enough just having it installed on my laptop? (Currently using Marco + Compositing as my window manager).

  2. Don says:

    nope, another one that doesn’t work. crap, I really want Emerald back. seems to miss some dependencies as “not found” and *make* results in “*** No targets specified and no makefile found. Stop”. running Mint :

    Release Linux Mint 19.2 Tina 64-bit
    Kernel Linux 4.15.0-65-generic x86_64
    MATE 1.22.0

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