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`unclutter` causes focus to not always travel to the selected window. #3506

xPMo opened this Issue Nov 6, 2018 · 7 comments


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xPMo commented Nov 6, 2018

[x] Bug
[ ] Feature Request
[ ] Documentation Request
[ ] Other (Please describe in detail)

Current Behavior

When focusing a different window, the border changes as normal, but sometimes focus doesn't actually change to the other window.

Expected Behavior

Focus travels between selected windows as normal.

Reproduction Instructions

Install unclutter, run unclutter, and change focus with while the pointer is hidden.


Output of i3 --moreversion 2>&-:

Binary i3 version:  4.16 (2018-11-04) © 2009 Michael Stapelberg and contributors
(Getting version from running i3, press ctrl-c to abort…)
Running i3 version: 4.16 (2018-11-04) (pid 843)
Loaded i3 config: /home/pmo/.config/i3/config (Last modified: 2018-11-06T09:09:33 CST, 24 seconds ago)

The i3 binary you just called: /usr/bin/i3
The i3 binary you are running: i3

- Linux Distribution & Version: Arch Linux
- Compositor: N/A


Use xclutter-xfixes instead, it does not cause these issues. Consider asking your distribution to package this instead.

@i3bot i3bot added the bug label Nov 6, 2018


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i3bot commented Nov 6, 2018

I don’t see a link to Did you follow (In case you actually provided a link to a logfile, please ignore me.)


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xPMo commented Nov 6, 2018

This is opened more so to document this as a known issue (unclutter is known to cause issues), I leave this up to the maintainers whether to close with WONTFIX.


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Airblader commented Nov 6, 2018

I would cough of course also recommend using unclutter-xfixes cough.

Apart from that if it messes up i3's state we should still keep this open and investigate what's happening.


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xPMo commented Nov 6, 2018

log file. I ran i3 with default config, opened a few terminals, launched unclutter, and moved around.

The issue appears to occur when focus is supposed to wrap.


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antoyo commented Nov 8, 2018

I have the same issue and I confirm that killing unclutter seems to fix the problem.


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xPMo commented Nov 10, 2018

Result of a bisect session, run with -c /etc/i3/config and Xephyr:

69eec7e5b2743770a502188d15e66ffc7a7067aa is the first bad commit
commit 69eec7e5b2743770a502188d15e66ffc7a7067aa
Author: Ingo Bürk <>
Date:   Sat Mar 10 19:18:44 2018 +0100

    Refocus focused window for FOCUS_IN events on the root window. (#3097)
    This deals with (admittedly somewhat misbehaving) clients which
    use XSetInputFocus to take focus, but then don't properly restore
    focus. This has been observed with TK apps, but also, e.g., Steam.
    fixes #2722
    fixes #3096

:040000 040000 1ef068e055ae0604e9ca212663515537c605173b 60e7f690e5fcac6e6154a08a9fdf78f0d3a410b1 M	include
:040000 040000 ff7d4971e455dedddd7b400002b375a1e99260ce d9cd728fefb6b9479c67258b9fa7ffc1d946db8f M	src


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xPMo commented Nov 10, 2018

Admittedly, with the previous commit I marked good, there was a weird corner case when unclutter removed the cursor that was on a border. (It would continually send focus back to that window).

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