I start compiz using either Menu-->System--> compiz fusion icon
Or by compiz-fusion.sh at the command line.
I installed via Gslapt installing only compiz-fusion version 20080108-i586-2vl59
I'm using VL5.9 Gold by the way.
As you know I installed this on two machines, the same way. One worked fine(the laptop), the other had no icons, either in the menu or in the system tray.(The desktop)
I had to add a path to the icon names in the .desktop files of the desktop even though they read exactly the same in the laptop and worked fine without the path.
Example in laptop....Icon=fusion-icom (Is the line from the Desktop Entry)
But to work in the desktop I had to change to...
Also the problem machine would not start correctly, but would run fine after window manager was reloaded. It behaved as if it was starting without a window manager/decorator at all. At start up I can type xfwm in a terminal or compiz-fusion.sh and then the appropriate one will run. Usually xfwm will refuse to run if a window manager is already running.
So any ideas. Maybe it will help to think along the lines of 'what could stretchedthin have screwedup' rather than any problem with VL