Ubuntu 11.04 Natty after gnome screensaver, can't click or focus

Bug #762058 reported by Yfrwlf
This bug affects 6 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
gnome-screensaver (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: gnome-screensaver

Surprised if no one else has reported this, but it is an intermittent thing. I've been using 11.04 throughout alpha and beta for a while now, and have even done a fresh install...

Now and then, after gnome-screensaver is enabled either by locking the screen or automatically after the inactivity time runs out, after unlocking the screen and coming out of gnome-screensaver, window focus will act like it is stolen by an invisible program. Clicking on windows will move them to the foreground, but not make them the active window via window title highlighting. If I continue to alt-tab and click around, especially after clicking on menus, the problem will get worse to the point that I can't click anywhere or do anything on the desktop at all, even with most keyboard shortcuts. Alt-tab no longer works. Menus aren't displayed. Windows aren't movable via alt-left-click-dragging. However, I can do alt-F2 to pull up a run box, and I can ctrl-alt-F# out to another tty.

While in gnome-terminal, I noticed that the cursor would only be selected for 5 seconds or so at a time before being inactive for 5 seconds, rinse, repeat, making it difficult to type things. Killing gnome-screensaver puts a stop to this, but does NOT fix any other problem with the desktop being unresponsive to most keyboard or mouse shortcuts. To me, that would seem to indicate a problem with gnome-screensaver, and perhaps why killing the process doesn't completely fix it is due to some lingering X issue that gnome-screensaver caused. Add to that the fact this only happens after a gnome-screensaver unlock, and it's pretty convincing that it is the problem, though perhaps Compiz or whatever compositing manager could be compounding the issue?

I find it hard that I'm the only one who has noticed this intermittent issue. It's almost like there is a stuck key suddenly, and my keyboard is going bad, but I doubt it because nothing I hit or do will fix this problem, yet after a restart everything is fine, while a stuck key would immediately make the problem occur again.

Anyone else find this bug?

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Yfrwlf (yfrwlf) wrote :

I just had this happen again. The only similarity may be having Thunderbird open, not sure if I have had it open during each of these occurrences. Perhaps the new email notification window in Thunderbird messed up the window focus.

The only other commonality seems to be that you need to wait for a long while. It doesn't seem to happen after quick locks/unlocks. Perhaps that means the bug is in power saving mode if this is only happening after it puts the monitor to sleep.

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Yfrwlf (yfrwlf) wrote :

Well it's not Thunderbird notifications causing it as it happened when it wasn't running...

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Yfrwlf (yfrwlf) wrote :

In a fresh install of Ubuntu 11.04, this same issue is still happening. I'll come back to find that nothing is clickable on my desktop after my computer has been locked for a while, and have to use keyboard navigation and a terminal to reboot it or restart GDM or something.

There has to be another user out there experiencing the same problem?? This is a new problem with this new Xorg server in Natty.

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Niklas Hofer (niklas+launchpad) wrote :
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Dustin Kirkland  (kirkland) wrote :

I can confirm this, as I see it from time to time on my 11.04 system.

Changed in gnome-screensaver (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
importance: Undecided → High
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Jonas Danielsson (jonas-threetimestwo) wrote :

I see the same problem. From time to time my gnome gets into this state. Can't click anything and can't focus anything. I saw this on my old laptop and also on my new Thinkpad X1, I'm on 11.04. I use a dual-monitor setup both on this and on the old laptop, that might be relevant.

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Yfrwlf (yfrwlf) wrote :

This is also happening in Linux Mint 11, since it's based on Ubuntu 11.04. Some notes:

Seems to only happen after the power saver is engaged (screensaver was disabled).

Temporarily fixed by switching to a different TTY.

Temporarily fixed by reloading the window manager, or by switching window managers (with Compiz Fusion icon), but issue exists in both Compiz and Metacity.

Sometimes right clicking on panel, using the keyboard, clicking on menus, etc, will make certain other things work, or all things, but shortly after it "gums up" again i.e. stops responding.

I even bought a new mouse since first experiencing this (not because of the bug, but because I wanted a different one), and the problem remains.

Can't someone give any help as to something to test? I know there is a command-line program to listen for input device commands for instance, and was wondering if there were any programs to find out how many windows there are on the screen, or what window is being clicked on, or what X is doing when there is a click, etc? Some sort of debugging tool.

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Yfrwlf (yfrwlf) wrote :

Some more about this bug:

It seems it's a problem with window focus. If the gnome panel has focus, you can click and manipulate things in the panel, but not anywhere else. If Firefox has focus, you can click and do stuff there, including moving the window, but you can't click on or manipulate or scroll or anything in any other window, *even* if you alt-tab to other windows. Those other windows will highlight and be selected after alt-tabbing, but the *mouse* still can't manipulate them in any way. So it's like the mouse is basically "trapped" and focused on certain windows independently from everything else.

If you alt-F4 to close the focused window, your mouse will be able to operate in the newly-focused window.

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Yfrwlf (yfrwlf) wrote :

I've managed to reproduce a way to temporarily get out of the problem:

Right-click inside the window which has mouse focus, so that the right-click menu appears.

You can then click on other windows for a while.

After clicking again in the window which had focus though, your focus is once again stolen and you'll be trapped again and only able to click in that window.

It's like somehow the gnome right-click menu lets you break out of being trapped, at least temporarily...

Can anyone else verify all this?


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Yfrwlf (yfrwlf) wrote :

I believe I have greatly narrowed down the problem...

Upon switching from my Saitek Eclipse II keyboard to another one, the issue has gone away. That apparently means that this has to be either a driver problem then, or a Xorg (perhaps Xinput?) problem, or all of the above? No clue yet.

Next step I guess is to find out what driver it was using.

Could any user experiencing this bug report what keyboard driver they are using?

I'm sure there is a much better method than this, but doing an lsmod and comparing the output when you're using different keyboards would be one way, but that's not acceptable for laptops when you can't swap the keyboards on them. Would need to find out the commands to use to find out the keyboard driver and info specifically.

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Yfrwlf (yfrwlf) wrote :

Not having an issue now right after a screen lock, however windows are still unclickable at times which is probably the same bug:



Or I'll try to minimize a window and it won't minimize, but will. The window will stay there, but when I click it will click through to the desktop. I can make the highlight box with my mouse to highlight folders and other icons on the desktop. However, I CAN alt-click, and then it suddenly WILL click on the window. It makes no sense...what freaky bugs...

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Charles Pergiel (c-pergiel-c) wrote :

On wakeup from screen saver, mouse cursor is dead until key is pressed or mouse button is clicked.
Ubuntu Version 11, current updates, nvidia driver. Zotac ZBOX, IOgear wireless keyboard.

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