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I've been using Gnome Shell with Ubuntu for few days now and have experienced really annoying behaviour with new windows.

Sometimes when I use another window and press e.g. Alt + Ctrl + T to open new terminal window, the new window is not brought to the front. Instead I get a "New terminal window is ready to use" notification.

A similar problem occurs with the with Pidgin being integrated with Gnome Shell (via extension). When I get a new message, a notification pops up, but the window does not show. I need to either Alt Tab it or click the notification to see the new message.

Is there any way to have new windows being always brought to front, and remove those annoying "Window is ready" notifications?

EDIT: gconftool-2 --search-key focus_new_windows (as requested by severin):

 /schemas/apps/metacity/general/focus_new_windows = Schema (type: `string' list_type: '*invalid*' car_type: '*invalid*' cdr_type: '*invalid*' locale: `C')
 /apps/metacity/general/focus_new_windows = smart
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You can try setting focus_new_windows from smart to strict. You can either use gconf-editor and go to /apps/metacity/general and change the value of focus_new_windows from smart to strict, like here:enter image description here

Or you can use the command line:

gconftool-2 --set /apps/metacity/general/focus_new_windows --type string strict

If that still doesn't help, you can also change auto_raise_delay from 1000 to 0 in aforementioned gconf-editor (see screenshot).

See also here.

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But the long description given for focus_new_windows key says "This option provides additional control over how newly created windows get focus. It has two possible values; "smart" applies the user's normal focus mode, and "strict" results in windows started from a terminal not being given focus." But we want the opposite . Isnt it ? We want to give focus for newly launched applications. How to do that? – mac Dec 22 '11 at 9:39
Running that command-line had no effect for me – Robin Winslow Aug 8 '13 at 17:24
Also had no effect for me (I have it set both to strict and the auto_raise_delay to 0). – Jakub Kotowski Jul 18 '14 at 15:19

There is an extension for Gnome3

"steal my focus"

it solves the exact problem you're having.

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doesn't work for me. I noticed that I'm having this problem only on my external monitor. On the laptop display the window comes in front. – Jakub Kotowski Jul 18 '14 at 15:38
A great extension! – qed Sep 29 '14 at 0:01
This worked for me, Gnome 3.14. – Rasmus Feb 10 '15 at 8:10
This worked for me GNOME Ubuntu 15.04 - Gnome 3.14 – meanbunny Jul 1 '15 at 15:09

I dont think there is a setting to do this. I have been using gnome shell for a while now. You can install the "advanced settings extension" for gnome 3 which provides you with a few more settings. However, you cannot get the function you are looking for. I will search the net and come back to you.

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Nope, as far as I'm concerned there is no way to do autofocussing a new window nor is there a way to remove the notifications. – Hannes Nov 20 '11 at 12:59
there is an extension for gnome which does that exact thing you're saying isn't possible. Have a look at my answer :) – Schweinsteiger Aug 17 '12 at 12:42
  1. Go to System > Preferences > CompizConfig Settings Manager > General Options (under General) > Focus & Raise Behaviour,
  2. Clear Focus Prevention Windows field.

References: Compiz General Options, Compiz Window Matching.

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You can modify this type of stuff with devilspie, which has a nice GUI frontend gdevilspie, which is in the repos.

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