Firefox moves to current desktop when opening a link from an external app

Bug #204927 reported by Manuel McLure on 2008-03-22
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Fix Released
Mozilla Firefox
firefox-3.0 (Ubuntu)
metacity (Ubuntu)
Ubuntu Desktop Bugs

Bug Description

Binary package hint: firefox-3.0

Kubuntu Hardy Heron Beta (upgraded from Gutsy Gibbon)

I have a 3x3 desktop set up, with Firefox 3 maximized on desktop 4 (second row, first column) and Kontact maximized on desktop 2 (first row, second column.) When I click on a link in Kontact, Firefox 3 opens a new tab for it, but it also moves from desktop 4 to desktop 2, covering my Kontact window. In Gutsy Firefox 2 would remain on desktop 4 which is where I want it to stay.

Manuel McLure (manuel-mclure) wrote :

I tested with Firefox-2 on Hardy and it works as it did in Gutsy. This seems to be a Firefox 3 bug.

Manuel McLure (manuel-mclure) wrote :

Further information - if I start Firefox 3, but tell Kontact to use firefox-2 as its browser, links will be opened in new tabs in the Firefox 3 window and the Firefox 3 window will NOT move to the current desktop.

I still have this same issue on a fresh install of hardy beta.

one user reported solving this issue by doing:

rm -rf .mozilla/

this did not work for me. firefox 3b4 still moves to the current desktop when opening a link from any external application.

Changed in firefox-3.0:
status: New → Confirmed

I've also tried downloading and manually installing Firefox 3b4 from mozilla (/opt/firefox with symlink to /usr/local/bin/firefox). I have the same issue with a manual installed copy and having removed .mozilla/ for any previous settings..

breaking news.. this bug does *not* happen if compiz is active (default settings). I had turned this off because it is a bit much for my EeePC, but toggling it on & off seems to reproduce/solve the issue consistently.

Joe Smith (yasumoto7) wrote :

This has been an issue in the Firefox3 nightlies for a while (at least 7.10), take a look at the discussion upstream.

Mogens Isager (misager) wrote :

Maybe it is a problem in the window manager. For Metacity it seems to be the case. Via

I found

Try to toggle browser.tabs.loadDivertedInBackground in about:config?

devilspie ftw. It stops a lot of these shenanigans.

Changed in firefox:
status: Unknown → Confirmed
x (xk2c-deactivatedaccount) wrote :

For the record:
happens with kde (hardy) also

James Westby (james-w) wrote :

Hi all,


  browser.tabs.loadDivertedInBackground = true

in about:config is reported to work.

Also the upstream bug confirms what Christer found,
that this is a metacity issue, see

I'm adding a metacity task so that this can be tracked
appropriately in launchpad.



Changed in metacity:
assignee: nobody → desktop-bugs
status: New → Triaged
Lars Ljung (larslj) wrote :

Isn't this a duplicate of bug #197761?

Manuel McLure (manuel-mclure) wrote :

Note that if this is a bug in metacity, it is also a bug in kwin. I use KDE and was the bug reporter.

Manuel McLure (manuel-mclure) wrote :

browser.tabs.loadDivertedInBackground does NOT fix this under kwin. The only difference in the behavior is that FF doesn't change desktops until you make the desktop that has FF on it current:

- Place FF on desktop 2, Kontact on desktop 1.
- Click on a link in Kontact. FF will not move to desktop 1.
- Make desktop 2 current - now FF will jump to desktop 1.

This behavior is *WORSE* than it is without browser.tabs.loadDivertedInBackground set.

Honestly, this makes FF3 unusable on KDE.

Changed in metacity:
status: Unknown → Confirmed
Changed in metacity:
status: Confirmed → In Progress
Bruno Beaufils (beaufils) wrote :

Note that if this is a bug in metacity, it is also a bug in Openbox.

Changed in metacity:
status: In Progress → Fix Released
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