[openbox] Openbox focus on dualhead system

Kacper Wysocki kacperw at online.no
Sat Sep 25 21:25:35 EDT 2004

[snip multi-display focus issues]

On 09/25/04 16:35:40, David Anderson wrote:
> Perhaps the final post to this thread... I have tried other WMs, and  
> the glitch is present in all. Furthermore, I notice that the glitch  
> only occurs when leaving the screen managed by the ATI RageII+DVD  
> card. When moving to it from the screen managed by the geforce card,  
> the focus follows correctly. Looks like a glitch in either the ATI or  
> nvidia driver.


It's been some time since I attempted to do what you're doing - running  
two screens instead of xinerama - but I saw problems similar to yours  
when I tried this with openbox3, and I reported my troubles to this  
list. I do not think you're seeing an issue related to X drivers.

I'd provide links to the mailing list archive, but alas there is no  
search facility (perhaps one could be set up?).

Ben looked into the matter, but finally said that he had never planned  
ob3 to manage more than one screen - therefore when you mouse off the  
side of one screen and onto another, the first ob3 instance looses  
track of focus, and tries to re-aquire it. Meanwhile, the second ob3  
instance detects a mouseover and steals focus from the first instance.

According to Ben, adding this functionality would require such a  
massive rewrite that it was just plain not worth it. Use xinerama or  
switch window managers. OB3 is simply unaware of multiple instances of  
itself, and would sometimes cause race conditions.

Since non-xinerama dualhead isn't all that popular, I suppose quite a  
few window managers suffer from the same problem.

openbox 2 and blackbox, along with fluxbox all automagically manage all  
available screens. I've had luck running openbox3 next to waimea. I'm  
sure there are several other window managers that can do this properly 
(fvwm2, windowmaker, icewm, metacity), but to be honest I haven't tried  
in a while, and ob3 is fairest of them all.

I must add that Xinerama support in openbox is near excellent, and even  
though I used to prefer non-Xinerama, I have now grown accustomed to  
it. Of course, if you rely on DRI then this is not an option (unless  
newer versions of x.org or xfree4.4 support dri+xinerama).

You could also disable focus-follows-mouse, but for me that was never  
an option. I just use a clone mode layout when I need DRI.

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