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  1. #1

    freshly-launched applications show on top of already-running ones

    Hello people,

    I am not sure, but I can imagine this has to do with the window-manager, therefore I post here.

    You have probably noticed it, whenever you launch a new application (say, firefox), it will (for most apps) show up on top of every other application that's already running.
    Example: I'm typing a text in a text editor, wants to search something on the internet, execute firefox by whatever means, go on typing my text. But some seconds later, firefox has finished its initialisation, and comes on top of my text editor, just to bother me . The few last words I've typed are lost.

    Well, this is not that big a deal, but is there anywhere a simple option that deals with that behavior, is it tied to applications themselves, due to something else?

    Thanks in advance for your answers!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    arch linux
    Welcome to the forums, Nico!

    Yes, this behavior is window manager configuration related.

    Tell us what window manager you are using so that someone can help you.

  3. #3
    Hello Ozar! Thanks for the welcoming .

    I use gnome, probably the latest version (I can precise this later on if necessary, I'm not on my pc here).

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Linux Guru reed9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Boston, MA
    The GNOME window manager is called metacity. I don't use GNOME much myself, but it does not seem to be particularly easy to configure to do what you want. I would guess, if metacity is able to do it, you can configure it with gconf. Easiest way to do that is with the gconf editor.

    Otherwise take a look at using Devil's Pie.

    Or switch to a window manager like (my favorite) openbox which makes that sort of thing easy.

  6. #5
    Thanks reed9 for your quick answer.
    I'm going to try these, and maybe take a look at alternative wms .

    Of course, any further (more precise?) answer is welcome!

  7. #6
    Linux Guru reed9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Boston, MA
    It doesn't look like metacity can do this, so you will need to use devil's pie.

    There is a GUI frontend for it, which is nice since hand editing all the configurations isn't always fun. It's called gdevilspie.

    You can find more info on window properties using xprop.

    So if you want to create a rule in devilspie that matches a role (say web browser) and action (keep below), you can find that window property with
    xprop WM_WINDOW_ROLE
    and then click on an open firefox window. My output is
    [reed@reed-laptop ~]$ xprop WM_WINDOW_ROLE
    WM_WINDOW_ROLE(STRING) = "browser"
    In gdevilspie, it looks like you can just click on window_role under the matching tab, and fill in browser, then create an action that will be something like layer below. I didn't see a screenshot of the action tab, so I don't know what their syntax looks like.

  8. #7
    This is very interesting!
    I didn't know a thing about window matching and its lack in Metacity. Thanks a lot for the explanation and links, I'll be trying this during the week-end.
    Gratefully, Nico.

  9. #8
    Linux Guru reed9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Boston, MA
    I hate to throw in another complication, but it occurred to me that if you're using GNOME, you may well be using compiz-fusion. I don't think you mentioned which distro you're using, but I know, for example, that Ubuntu turns on special effects (compiz) by default if your hardware supports it. I've seen mention that devilspie and compiz don't play nice together, but compiz has it's own window matching capabilities.

    WindowMatching - Compiz Wiki

    If you are using compiz-fusion and want to set window matching using it, make sure you have the CompizConfig Settings Manager installed. It's probably the easiest way to configure things.

  10. #9
    Good hint about compiz... However, I don't think I will be using it, it's really too much stuff I do neither need nor want .
    By the way, I'm running under Fedora.
    I'm currently trying gdevilspie...

  11. #10
    Having tried gdevilspie, I can not figure out how to do what I want. For example, the rule :

    ( if 
    ( and 
    ( is ( window_role ) "browser" )
    ( begin 
    ( below )
    ( println "match" )
    makes firefox stay below all other windows. This is not wanted.

    Actually, what would be liked is to "not-focus" or maybe "unfocus" firefox, so that it lets the focus to the current window when executed (if I'm not clear about something, please tell me).

    Unfortunately, I'm not sure that this is possible with devilspie, as the actions only include the "focus" action for this purpose...

    I'm going on investigating.

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