[openbox] Focus between X displays

Simon Perry openbox at sanxion.net
Mon Sep 6 01:47:36 EDT 2010

Hi everyone,

I've recently moved to Openbox from plain old Metacity, and I'm loving
it so far.

After a lot of doc reading and Googling, I have been unable to determine
a way to change certain behaviour which I was used to in Metacity.

Consider this setup:

- 2 separate X displays (NVidia card but not using TwinView)
- Display 0 runs normal desktop stuff
- Display 1 runs a fullscreen RDP session to a Windows VM
- Sloppy mouse focus or focus-follows-mouse is not enabled

In Metacity, whenever I moved the mouse between displays, focus was
given to that display. Even if there wasn't a window on the display
that you moved to, it would always cause the other display to lose

Very nice behaviour. I did not need any "sloppy focus" or follow-mouse
setting enabled for this to work (I hate sloppy focus except for this
one case) -- I always knew which "screen" had focus based on where the
mouse was.

Anyway, in Openbox, display 1 is "unmanaged" (i.e. no Openbox running on
display :0.1). When I move the mouse from 0 to 1, the fullscreen app on
display 1 gets focus - no drama there.

When I move back to display 0, display 1 keeps focus and I have to click
somewhere on display 0 for display 1 to lose focus.

It appears the only way to consistently change focus when moving between
displays is to enable follow mouse for everything, and I can't see any
way of emulating Metacity's behaviour.

If anyone could let me know how to achieve Metacity-style behaviour for
this, if it's in fact possible, that'd be appreciated as I can't stand
sloppy mouse for everything. :)


Simon Perry (aka Pezz)

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