Unfocused windows stay in front of focused window

Bug #1585120 reported by Eric Barnhill on 2016-05-24
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone

Bug Description

since Ubuntu 15 I have a nasty problem using Mate on Thinkpad. Unfortunately I can't figure out what I do to set it off. However the window manager gets scrambled, and the focused window doesn't come to the front. The focused window is in the back of the window stack, so I can use it but can't see much of it -- meanwhile I can't click on the windows in front of it which are "dead". If I minimise the currently focused window, I can begin to click on the other windows, but only in the opposite of the visible order.

It is possible this issue is ThinkPad specific, but again, I regrettably have yet to figure out what starts it.

Chris Ng (facboy) wrote :

I've seen this as well, on Ubuntu MATE 16.04.

Roger Lancefield (sidecutter) wrote :

Yep, I'm experiencing the behaviour described in the OP. I'm using Ubuntu Mate 16.04 on an AMD-FX system, fully updated at the time of writing. This issue has been ongoing for me since I first (clean-)installed Mate back in late October.

My setup:

Window Manager: Marco (Software Compositor)
Graphics adapter: Nvidia GeForce GT 640
Graphics driver: Nvidia proprietary* driver (v.367.57)

*I ended up installing the proprietary driver after initially experiencing these issues while using the Nouveau driver. However, the problem has continued unabated with the prop. driver.

My monitors are probably irrelevant, but for the record, the outputs on my card are all used:
1 x HDMI display (1920x1200)
1 x DisplayPort display (1920x1200)
1 x DVI display (1920x1080 [sic])

I've been using the above display setup for several years now with various flavours of Ubuntu and derivatives, and this is the first time I've encountered these issues.

I haven't been able to discern any trigger or particular system condition that is associated with this behaviour. That said, it does seem to occur most frequently when I've been working in one workspace for a while, and then switch to another containing windows I opened earlier in the session. The windows in the workspace to which I've just switched then sometimes exhibit the behaviour described above.

I encounter this perhaps once or twice in a working day. It doesn't always happen, the behaviour appears to occur at random. It can be 'cured' by a few alt-tabs and some unsystematic clicking around open windows with the mouse pointer. Generally, after about 5-10 seconds of doing this the window focus starts behaving as expected.

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