How to Install Emerald in Ubuntu 13.10 & Linux Mint 16

October 21, 2013 — 4 Comments

emerald ubuntu 13.10

Emerald is a custom window decorator which was shipped with Compiz. It decorates windows borders and title bars by installing and editing themes.

Emerald has been discontinued, but the latest v0.9.5 works great in all current Canonical supported Ubuntu releases. Webupd8 team has created a PPA for Ubuntu 13.04, Ubuntu 12.10, Ubuntu 12.04. Here’s how to install and use Emerald in Ubuntu 13.10.

emerald ubuntu 13.10

Tutorial Objectives:

  • Install Emerald Window Decorator in Ubuntu 13.10
  • Enjoy!

To get started, press Ctrl+ALt+T on your keyboard to open terminal. When it opens, run command to install the required packages:

sudo apt-get install git autoconf libtool libwnck1.0-cil-dev libwnck-dev intltool libdecoration0-dev gawk compizconfig-settings-manager

Download the source tarball:


Uncompress and go into result folder:

tar -zxvf emerald-0.9.5.tar.gz && cd emerald-0.9.5/

Run commands below one by one to compile it:

make clean
make distclean
./configure --prefix=/usr --libdir=/usr/lib${LIBDIRSUFFIX} LIBS='-ldl -lm'
sudo make install

To enable Emerald:

emerald --replace &

To make Emerald permanently, install CompizConfig Settings Manager from Ubuntu Software Center. Open CCSM and navigate to Effects -> Window Decoration. In command area replace the default with emerald --replace &

enable emerald in Ubuntu

After all, open Emerald Window Manager from Unity Dash. Download and install themes from

I'm a freelance blogger who started using Ubuntu 5+ years ago and wishes to share my experiences and some useful tips with Ubuntu beginners and lovers. Please notify me if you find any typo/grammar/language mistakes. English is not my native language. Contact me on Google Plus or email to

4 responses to How to Install Emerald in Ubuntu 13.10 & Linux Mint 16

  1. Been a long fan of Emerald and missed its deprecation from Linux distro’s. About to install Mint 16 Cinnamon because with the new effects reminiscent of the old Compiz days. If I install emerald as above, how will the new effects in Cinnamon be affected, or will downloading CCSM also pull in compiz-core compliz-plugins etc. which will then knock out Cinnamon effects when you type “emerald –replace”?

  2. How will this affect the new Expo effects in Mint 16 Cinnamon?

  3. please help me. i put commands in terminal since ./autogen, but later commands, as make, it says that not order found. please excuse me for my english.
    example: make clean.
    juan@juan-SATELLITE-L855 ~/emerald-0.9.5 $ make cleanmake: *** No hay ninguna regla para construir el objetivo «clean».

  4. I don’t think this works with Cinnamon.

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