For those of you who don't like excessive the nonsense of flashing bells whistles, eye candy
and slow menu's but who like the idea of using AWN....

here's a way of not having to put up with compiz that I worked out for myself and later
discovered on the wiki (typical!)

I'm assuming Ubuntu but any other Linux should have similar gui tools to add
session applications...

make sure you have installed awn and also a package called xcompmgr which is
a simpler composite manager without all the drama.

using ubuntu's wrapping of the proprietary graphics drivers you are good to go straight away.
I'm not sure about the ati drivers you may need extra steps to get glx working??

run xcompmgr in one terminal just to verify it works and avant-window-navigator
in another assuming everything runs ok just kill both terminals and you should be back
where you started but knowing that you are good to go...

If the command line can't find either of these binaries - maybe they are installed somewhere
not specified on the PATH variable for example, try
whereis xcompmgr
and specify the full path and binary name

in system preferences select sessions and you should have a session preferences window
now you used to be able to give applications priorities, and if you can in your flavour of Linux,
I'd recommend putting xcompmgr so it runs first (however things seem to work without priorities.)

clicking add should get you an edit startup program dialog

use
xcompmgr -c
for the command and some sensible name!

you can find a list of parameters for xcompmgr by running
xcompmgr --help

However I would not recommend -f or -F (fade effects) as this will slow the system
menu's down

finally add a new session startup program
avant-window-navigator

Log out and back in and you should have everything working without firework displays every
time you have the temerity to use a menu or move a window...