something steals focus of fullscreen 3d apps

Bug #163865 reported by warjowuch on 2007-11-19
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
gnome-power-manager (Ubuntu)
gnome-screensaver (Ubuntu)
compiz packagers
trigger (Ubuntu)
xorg (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

When I play fullscreen games in dosbox or games like trigger or dosbox, every about... 5 minutes, something steals its focus, it becomes windowed. Mousecursor is still inside the screen and locked.
After 10 seconds of annoying time, it pops back to fullscreen.

This is really weird. It does not happen in screensaver nor in planet-penguin-racer.

warjowuch (lulkoek) wrote :

See this thread as a reference of what is going on and what is tried to make the problem dissappear.

warjowuch (lulkoek) wrote :

See this thread as a reference of what is going on and what is tried to make the problem disappear.

warjowuch (lulkoek) wrote :

It seems to have something to do with gnome-screensaver. When I put the activation time to a very long time, the problem does not appear.
Does gnome-screensaver measure activity on movies and mouse only, no keyboard??

StefanPotyra (sistpoty) wrote :


thanks for reporting this bug. I highly doubt, that this is a bug in trigger, but I guess it's rather somewhere in compiz. Hence I'm reassigning this bug to compiz.


It depends in some way to idle time.
If you put "never" on computer standby time and screen standby time in Power
preferences you have a workaround of this problem.

2007/12/2, StefanPotyra <email address hidden>:
> Hi,
> thanks for reporting this bug. I highly doubt, that this is a bug in
> trigger, but I guess it's rather somewhere in compiz. Hence I'm
> reassigning this bug to compiz.
> Cheers,
> Stefan.
> ** Changed in: compiz (Ubuntu)
> Sourcepackagename: trigger => compiz
> --
> something steals focus of fullscreen 3d apps
> You received this bug notification because you are a bug contact for
> compiz in ubuntu.

Changed in compiz:
status: New → Confirmed
Changed in gnome-power-manager:
status: New → Confirmed

I'd like to add to the last comment that regardless of the power preferences the screensaver needs to be disabled as well. Only disabling power options is not enough.

I sell desktop PCs for a living and have already had to tell a customer that he'd need to disable the screensaver to keep this from happening. Hopefully this will be given a reasonably high priority since it is something that many users will find extremely annoying and be unable to easily diagnose.

I'm not a programmer but will try to help speed a bugfix along in whatever way I can. Normally mouse movement and keystrokes prevent the machine from being considered idle. The problem here is that when certain applications are in focus mouse and/or keyboard events are not picked up by whatever process determines the machine's idle state. I ran some tests and found the following:

1) No Compiz, no problem.
2) No screensaver, no problem.
3) Compiz, screensaver, application is windowed, mouse movement, no problem.
4) Compiz, screensaver, application is windowed, keyboard movement, problem.
5) Compiz, screensaver, application is full screen, mouse movement, problem.
5) Compiz, screensaver, application is full screen, keyboard movement, problem.

In these tests I was using a fully updated Gutsy with NVIDIA's latest binary driver. I was using LTris, and made sure the mouse cursor didn't leave the app and that the app was in focus.

From the results you can see that the problem persists even if the app is not in full screen mode, except in the case of mouse movement. The problem is just more transparent because the app doesn't lose focus like it does when in full screen mode. I'm guessing the bug lies in whatever process determines the system's idle state (probably the window manager) and the way some apps grab mouse and keyboard input. Maybe Compiz's method of mouse/keyboard polling should be taken to a lower level so it is immune from what any apps may do. Surely there's some reliable way to see if someone's flailing at the mouse and keyboard.


Travis Watkins (amaranth) wrote :

The window manager is not the one that determines idle state, the screensaver is.

Till Ulen (tillulen) wrote :

What's the difference between this bug and <>? There's a suggestion <> that this bug happens even when compiz is not running and #155263 occurs only with compiz, but now after reading the comments here I'm not sure.

Has anyone experienced this problem while not running a 3D-enabled window manager (like compiz or beryl)? If no, bug #155263 should be merged with this one.

I agree that they should be merged. I see no difference between the two bugs.

Just found this one too:

[Gutsy] [Regression] gnome-screensaver activates while playing SDL games

Looks like the same problem.

Legu (legutus) wrote :

I'm having the same problem, I guess.

When I open an application (xmoto for example) to fullscreen it almost immediately jumps to windowed. If I move mouse or press keys it doesn't. When I stop moving mouse or pressing keys it goes to the windowed mode.

Does anyone have the solution? (I tried disabling screensaver and power manager but I have no idea if I did it correctly or not. It didn't help though.)

Some info if it helps someone: Ubuntu 8.04, nvidia-glx-new, compiz

Vadim Peretokin (vperetokin) wrote :

ATI video card + compiz results in this.

Google for "Compiz Switch", it's a handy program that you can have in
your top panel bar. When you click on it, it'll toggle compiz. So
before using full-screen apps, disable compiz with it, play, and then
click on it again after you're done.

This is a drivers issue afaik that compiz can't solve, but I know that
ati is working on better drivers.

warjowuch (lulkoek) wrote :

I have assigned this bug to both compiz packagers and screensaver-group. It is time this bug gets solved and thus assigned to someone :-)
Greets and regards

Changed in gnome-screensaver:
assignee: nobody → compiz
Changed in gnome-power-manager:
assignee: nobody → q-admin-screensaver-clock-net-ru
StefanPotyra (sistpoty) wrote :

marking the trigger task as invalid, as it's not a bug in trigger (and appropriate other tasks seem to be set already).

Changed in trigger:
status: New → Invalid
TAC one (tacone) wrote :

Had that problem with Teewars/Teeworlds on gutsy and hardy.
Disabling compiz didn't solve. Disabling screensaver did.
I think this is not about compiz.

I noticed on an Acer laptop (Ubuntu 8.04 Desktop x86, all normal updates, Compiz enabled, Intel video chipset) when "Dim screen when idle" is enabled that the screen will dim when playing these games. A few of the games affected (because not all are) include LTris, The Mana World, LBreakout2, and Frozen Bubble 2.

Batman (tw03d) wrote :

I am having this same problem. I noticed that it was the same timing as my screen saver, then I lengthened the time and the interval of the problem lengthened as well. Did anyone try that compiz switch to see if the problem persisted with compiz off?

Ok, i have this bug too. But I'm using a point-and-click game (mostly using mouse) in dosbox and it still happens. It's not about the mouse. It just steals focus from almost everything that's fullscreen.

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