How-To Geek

Get the Beryl/Ubuntu "Desktop Cube" Effect for Windows

Note: This article is part of our archive and is likely out of date.
(Links may not work, downloads have not been recently tested for safety)

If you are jealous of your geeky linux friends that have Beryl running under linux, you should check out Yod’m 3D, a small application for Windows XP / Vista that will give you a decent substitute for the “Desktop Cube” effect.

Without further ado, here’s a nice screenshot of it in action.

In the screenshot, you’ll notice the stars in the background. If you want to customize the background picture, you can replace the jpg image in the program folder:

If you want each desktop to have it’s own wallpaper, you can change the wallpaper for that desktop by switching to the desktop and then set the wallpaper the normal windows way.


I found that the transitions are just a little bit slow (especially on older hardware), but tolerable. I probably wouldn’t use this on a regular basis, but it’s a nice piece of eye candy to show off. Note that this is the same guy that made the Visual Tooltip software I wrote about before.

Update: This software is no longer free. I’ve updated the link to the new site

Download Yod’m 3D (trialware)

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 03/29/07

Comments (58)

  1. Kenny

    I love your site and all the tips that you give out, but I have to say that yod’m3d hardly comes close to a “decent substitute” for beryl’s cube effect.

  2. The Geek


    It’s definitely not a substitute for Beryl… nothing is. =)

  3. Inspired12

    hey man thanks for this find. Im using it right now and its pretty sweet. i like how its easy to tweak. great blog.

  4. Dr Pants

    I just stumbled here and now you are bookmarked. This is a great site!

  5. Beau

    how do i get a windows vista taskbar on XP?

  6. ubunto+beryl

    nice but not even close… the cube seems flat.



  8. The Name

    It’s GREAT !!
    Now, if you could look UP and DOWN when in zoom mode, it would be a killer !
    NICE !

  9. rianvanu

    Excelente Blog, gracias por la recomendación.


  10. nebomax

    the cube has a garbled screenshoot when it rotates! what’s up with that? I am running XP

  11. richard

    can you give me a link to that pier picture you have for the screenshot?? it looks amazing and thanks for all of your help

  12. Confabulous

    This is only like beryl in the since that it is the cube!
    You can not move windows between cubes!
    Also with beryl u get a 360 degree view of all workstations!
    With this u cant!

  13. Gustav

    My Yod’m is in French and i can’t change it, it’s so annoying.

  14. Jeremy

    Very cool and nice eye candy. Works like a champ on Vista Business on my HP Pavilion DV5000 laptop with a 128mb video card. Smooth and even … very pleased!

    Gustav – It starts in French, but start up the app and you can change the language to various others (i.e. English)

    Unfortunately it looks like another company has purchased the source code & is going to sell it now. Good for the developer, bad for the community (if it costs $, of course!). Good thing I got a copy prior!

  15. Icepick

    Found a site that still has the ‘DESKTOP CUBE, and yes you can change the language.

  16. The Geek

    Thanks, Icepick… hopefully that’ll help others.

  17. Spam Banjo

    Fantastic!!! Still not quite a subtitute for Beryl or Compiz under Linux (Ubuntu especially!) but nice all the same. It’s definately one of the better features of Beryl… But I really want some wibbly-wobbly Beryl-windows in my Vista… now THAT would be too cool!!!

  18. Edwin

    this is a very cool idea

  19. Ben Shittu

    There’s an even better one here –

  20. RizelOliver


    This is only like beryl in the since that it is the cube!
    You can not move windows between cubes!
    Also with beryl u get a 360 degree view of all workstations!
    With this u cant!”””
    yes you can move windows between cubes…click the title bar of that window then hold, then at the same time press your activation keys (default shft+ctrl)..then drag ur window to the next cube face…it works….i tried it and am loving it…=)
    theres a minor bug though..whenever i copy paste a folder for the first time after reboot, it would show on my desktop…i had to go to the folder that contains the “desktop” folder within windws explorer…but other than that its great…
    true..beryl is way better…but then again…im not running linux just for that…for now at least…=)

  21. ph15h

    The link to the thing isn’t working anymore. It says:

    410 Gone
    Vhost ‘’ Not Found.

    Anybody know where to find this?

  22. The Geek


    This software unfortunately is no longer free, it was sold to somebody else. I updated the article with the new link.

  23. Rizel Oliver

    ei…for those looking for this….try this…the free version:

  24. Corey Pillow

    All right people u should try “Shock4Wat 3D” it is betterthan beryl a lot more features with animated backgrounds and all its insanely easy to use customize it to how u like , CUBE, INSIDE, FLIP, GRAPH, and WAVY CUBE

  25. eddy

    he he he ubuntu better with compiz fusion but you need a good graphics card and video card to give it bests viewing of the cube so i prefere the yodm 3d for sysyem 32 and 64 and linux a good card i have linux its great but not like windows accept you need buy all the software like cubedesktop etc but im aiming to the hardy heron this march to download so everthing is good

  26. Joe Shmoe

    The Geek,

    yes it is its called Vista :)

  27. Casey

    Hey, Corey, a google search of “Shock4Wat 3D” comes up with one result linking to this site

  28. Michael

    Hey, let’s take an idea from free software, build an inferior product, and then charge people money for it.

    Does no one else find this funny?

  29. Peter Baos

    I’ve been using CubeDesktop and works like a charm!
    I think that How-To-Geek should make a review of this software!

  30. Alex

    its cool really cool

  31. Jacob

    Same as Casey…Whats up Corey? I’m curious now…

  32. ItsMe

    The site below is what Corey is referring to.

  33. qro

    Here is a link to a copy which I grabbed before it became non-free. Just unzip and run.

  34. Rick

    Would like to know if this piece of software works along VISTA-OSX

  35. Mowcius

    Shock desktop is much better than the other windows alternatives. it’s better than yodm3d but i haven’t done a speed test to compare them yet. You can also download shock aero if you don’t have vista so you can get the flip 3d effect. I have been running shock desktop 3d on a 2.2ghx compaq evo n800w laptop (with 768mb ram) and it runs slowly on highest resolution (1400 by 1050). On 1024 by 768 it runs quickly and it works very well. This was when i had no programs running hardly and i only had 2 programs on the pc so it was pretty much as fast as it will ever be. All beryl effects for windows seem to be very power hungry so why not stick to linux and use beryl!

  36. Mowcius

    Shock desktop also works on vista but it is even slower than on xp cos i tried it on my friend’s laptop (also 2.2ghz but with 1gb of ram)

  37. adam

    One minor problem if you could please help me…When I try to change just one of the desktop backgrounds, it changes all of them. Is there a way for me to fix this?

  38. Carlos

    To the linux enthusiasts: the above mentioned software are indeed decent substitutes for *beryl’s desktop cube effect*. Myself i run ubuntu 8.10 @ home but im sick of the open-source/free software/linux enthusiasts who assume that anything from linux is necessarily better than windows.

    Anyway, yod’m doesn’t work well with multiple monitors, and I even managed to make it crash here in 5 minutes of use :S

    good luck…

  39. Spacegold

    Thank goodness MS had the good judgment not to include this “feature” in Vista.

  40. TheRoo


    You’re right, “Thank goodness MS had the good judgment not to include this ‘feature’ in Vista.”

    I’m also glad that MS had the good judgement not to develope a stable system back in the 90’s or since for that matter. Otherwise they’d probably be out of business by now since people wouldn’t have to continuously pay the windows tax.


    I’m glad to see that you appreciate the FACT that Linux users “assume that anything from linux is necessarily better than windows.”

    You are dead on there… no need to assume… WinBlow$ is just plain terrible. The only thing M$ is really good at is advertising. When it comes to developing an OS worth using, they haven’t got a clue. I mean come on already, there is a free version that is OpenSource. COPY, PASTE, MARKET… DUH!!! Why do they keep selling worthless software.

  41. Nocash350

    This absolutely rocks, i can have more than one desktop at any time and i just love the way the cube spins around it’s really smooth!

  42. Tony

    Beryl is so much cooler. But A for Effort!

  43. magixmason

    i find this quite satisfying to the windows user, it gives the user a full 6 desktop cube to work from with extremely basic option’s. unlike other’s like beryl,emerald and compiz-fuzion ( beryl + compiz) definetly being the best to linux user’s.

    for the windows user with a shitty i comp i would use this but for anyone who want’s somthing alike this to run under windows go download and install “andlinux” which can virtualize this software inside a windows OS using either KDE ( requires 4.5gb space) or Xcfe ( requires about 2.5gb).

    besides the fact that original yod’m 3d only had 4 sides to the cube and did not allow top and bottom option’s the since update to deskspace ver 1.5.5 (now priced) has made the six sided cube fully functional but still it lack’s many thing’s and can lag, it uses a lot more ram than beryl or any alike which sucks, but to the windows user who does not like linux this is cool and simple easy to use e.t.c
    work’s a charm on windows xp or vista, with minimal requirement’s ( especially as vista eat’s itself ! it’s ideal to have 250mb of ram free to run this (( yes it’s a lot compared to linux distro desktop manager’s)) best thing to do if your on vista is downgrade ( upgrade****) to windows XP and start from there, it will give you do much more ram and free ability around the OS because vista seemed more like a shitty beta version on release although after ton’s of updates e.t.c it’s finally stable in some respect’s although most people prefer to revert back to windows xp for optimization of the system in general and it’s function’s and from the fact nearly everything vista can do XP can do still and even do it better. and any comp built for vista will run xp super fast to be honest :D.

    vista user’s = revert back to XP and get nice desktop manager like this.
    Xp user’s= try out linux distro OS’ and their surround graphics application’s if you think this is cool.
    linux user’s = lololol to whole thing :p

  44. de0


  45. Suffix

    ive found that this application also works perfectly on windows 7 RC, the alternative “Desktop Cube” – Shock 4 way 3D also works pretty well, altough my personal preference is with Deskspace, mainly for the looks !

  46. ubuntunerd

    this Ok there is also you can get the basic version and its pretty good but nothing beats the real deal THE NEW COMIPZ FUSION which replace beryl check it in my blog:

  47. Ben Dover

    25 bucks for a beryl knock-off??????? How do they sleep at night?

  48. Elliot Taylor

    How do you bring down the top???
    I have CubeDesktop but… it doesent let me change it.

  49. Ashutosh sinha

    reallt this is very nice software. its amazing…

  50. mowcius

    If anyone’s still reading this then the best alternative now is beryl3D.

    It can also be downloaded as portable app and uses hardly any processing power – can be installed on anything.


  51. Azteroth

    It’s working great for me, and there are many different methods of navigation, not just a cube. There’s a carosel and flip through mode. Very nice. And if you use panoramic images on the background it will rotate when you rotate the cube, giving the appearance it’s floating in the middle of a virtual room for example. I just have one complaint. I tried to change one of my wallpapers and it resized the others. So I changed it back. Now they are all the same, but one side of the cube is white when I go into cube mode. Then when I select that side, it remains white. I’m at wits end and have found no forum solutions for the past two days. Can anyone help me?


  52. srdjan

    hao tu meyc windovs 7 erc direc x 9

  53. ZeroRadius

    Great software. I put the trial on my Win7 box and it runs great. No lag, takes very little resources on MY computer. I plan on buying it when i get payed.

  54. payam

    hey guys

    just like this give me another link for the fire thingy in beryl
    that when u open a widow the fire works display brings it on
    any way thanks for the cub

  55. sean


  56. Jesse

    This sucks. The cube is workspace images and not live workspaces. Say you are rotating one workspace with a movie…it simply takes a screenshot of the movie. When I use Ubuntu + Compiz cube the movie keeps playing. On top of that the image quality sucks!

  57. rj

    nothing can compete linux beryl effects

  58. dave

    no longer free?!?! that’s why i use linux instead of microsuck. greeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeedy!!! my compiz cube on ubuntu works awesome and it was FREEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! i repeat, FREEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

More Articles You Might Like

Enter Your Email Here to Get Access for Free:

Go check your email!