Alt+Tab and other WM shortcuts not working while pointer is grabbed

Frederik Nnaji frederik.nnaji at
Sun May 9 16:53:49 PDT 2010

thank you for finally speaking this out loud

On Sun, May 9, 2010 at 21:58, Lasse Kärkkäinen <ljkarkk2 at> wrote:

> Once XGrabPointer() is called, the WM loses control not only of the mouse
> but also of the keyboard. Although there are situations where applications
> may require extended keyboard control as well (e.g. virtual machines and
> remote desktops), XGrabPointer is extensively used by games and other
> applications that simply require extended mouse control.

think of a flash movie playing in full screen.. ANY keypress event would
break the full screen experience here..

> One option to consider is adopting the Super key as a general WM
> accelerator key as an alternative to Alt. Since it is generally not used by
> any application software, keeping it to the WM would work rather well.


> Another thing to consider is that most WM shortcuts should indeed be
> disabled for games. For example, Alt+drag is commonly used in RTS games for
> giving orders but currently that doesn't work without grabbing because the
> WM thinks that one is trying to move the window.

yes, this is extremely disturbing with creative applications such as

> So, can this problem finally be fixed, so that maybe 2011 would be the year
> of the Linux Desktop :-)

hope, pray, contribute ;)
already 2010 could be the year of FLOSS
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