You may have read some convoluted (and outdated—Compton was abandoned in 2017) tutorials on the matter like MakeTechEasier's, or perused the excellent Arch Wiki's page on it to some despair, but if you are just a layperson who installed the MATE desktop for e.g. Ubuntu 20.04 (Fossa) and wants a slightly faster (i.e. GPU-accelerated) environment, there is a workaround that doesn't take too long to set up:

  1. Open System Tools, Terminal, and run the following commands:
    • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yurivkhan/picom #iff on Ubuntu
    • sudo apt install picom #or appropriate command
    • grep -q picom `which mate-tweak` || (printf '%s\n' '#!/bin/bash' '# Workaround:' '# https://github.com/ubuntu-mate/mate-tweak/issues/84' 'for arg do' ' shift' ' [ "$arg" = "opengl-swc" ] && continue' ' [ "$arg" = "--paint-on-overlay" ] && continue' ' set -- "$@" "$arg"' 'done' 'exec -a compton picom "$@"' | sudo tee /usr/local/bin/compton && sudo chmod -v +x /usr/local/bin/compton)
  2. Open Preferences, MATE Tweak, Windows; go down to Window Manager and select “Marco (Picom)” or, if you don't see that, “Marco (Compton)”

That's it! Your MATE desktop should run slightly better from here on out.

When mate-tweak version 22.04.1 makes it into your repos, even this won't be necessary. But, for now, Ubuntu LTS is running 2 major versions behind on the software anyway, so this blogpost will probably remain relevant for a while

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