Transparency in BSPWM


Is there a way to get transparent terminal in bspwm? I’m using the default xfce terminal. From bspwmrc I uncommented the line:

picom -CGb &

but after that bspwm doesn’t start at all. Went to tty to comment it back. :slight_smile:


Put the following line in your

picom --config $HOME/.config/bspwm/picom.conf &

Point it to wherever your picom.conf is and in your picom.conf you can set transparency.

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remove “-CGb” try plain ( picom & )

different hardware work better on different setting.

man picom from terminal ( try out what work for you )

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When I try to manually enable compositing with:

$ picom &

It’s just logs out to the login screen.

You approach it wrongly. If picom was never active, don’t use it in bspwmrc file, until you find the proper options. Run it from terminal and watch for errors.

The most common issue is the backend

–backend BACKEND
Specify the backend to use: xrender, glx, or xr_glx_hybrid. xrender is the default one

Read picom man page. It is not a sin if you read it.
Check current enabled configuration in $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/picom.conf and take your time to find what they do.
You are going to configure picom only once.

Edit: I feel the need to express my own confusion, or my memory deterioration. :older_man:
Even if I see OOTB picom config files (EnOS?), users proposals and my own active picom command in bspwmrc to include these flags (-CGb), picom manual has no info/mention of those. I have done my modifications in picom.conf (IIRC…) and not in the command that is used.
If anyone has an actual/short explanation for this, I would appreciate the info. :face_with_head_bandage:


Yes, I can see that now, thanks. Manpages do not mention what these flags (-CGb), but they are explained in the Archwiki. I’ll start to study backend.

I got it to work by running this:
$ picom --backend xrender

The default in picom.conf is glx

And by adding that line into the bspwmrc transparency is working.

Thanks for your help!

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You might prefer applying these parameters in your picom.conf and let a simple command in bspwmrc.
IIRC, the only parameter/setting that is not included in the .conf file is experimental-backends, if you ever need it.

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