I use Ubuntu 18.04 and I want to switch between two terminals.

Since it is impossible to switch between two terminals with ALT-TAB , I use ALT-ESC.

This works. But once per day the window manager seems to hang.

I can't get a focus to the windows again.

I can only restart the PC and things work again.

Is this a bug or a feature?

  • To what does "Is this a bug or feature" refer? – Justice for Monica Feb 8 at 12:51
  • @DKBose "Is this a bug or feature" refers to the window manager hanging and not responding. – guettli Feb 8 at 14:18
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    I very much doubt that Alt+Tab not working or that the window manager seeming to hang once per day would be a feature. Do you have access to another machine? If yes, and you don't see the same issues, you'd be able to get some clarity. – Justice for Monica Feb 8 at 14:23
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    Also what do actually you mean by "Since ALT-TAB does not work..."? Does it do absolutely nothing? Or fails occasionally? Or just doesn't do what you want it to do? Solving that issue first sounds like a good idea. – pomsky Feb 8 at 14:29
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    @guettli "impossible" is a bit of an overstatement, I would have chosen something like "not possible by default": askubuntu.com/q/747541/480481 – pomsky Feb 14 at 8:38

This is a Gnome oddity that I dislike as well. I think it's considered a "feature" which I'll call application stacking. Hitting Alt-TAB brings up the terminal showing both terminals and you have to click the one you want to get to it. Quite annoying (at least for me). I got around this in 18.04 by installing Unity which defaults to the behaviour you and I seem to expect/desire.

This process is very easy.

  1. Enable the Universe repository
  2. Install Unity sudo apt install unity
  3. Select Unity from the Gear Icon prior to login. (You can always go back to gnome via the same icon if desired)

Note that installing unity will install a rather large number of packages (~59)required to support it. However if having the system work as you desire is worth the space (~30MB) it takes for you it's well worth it.

Another alternative possibility is the use of extensions shuch as Coverflow or AlternateTab However I have not tested those as of this writing.

You could also customize the keybindings as discussed here.

As far as the display manager hanging you might find this Q&A useful.

  • Has Unity a future? AFAIK ubuntu switched to gnome. – guettli Feb 14 at 8:27
  • Switching to Unity just for this is kinda overkill imo, AlternativeTab extension can easily provide the feature. In fact it's possible even without using any extensions: askubuntu.com/a/1107542/480481 – pomsky Feb 14 at 8:43
  • @guettli If I could tell the future I'd be rich beyond my wildest dreams. Unity is still available though. – Elder Geek Feb 14 at 20:59
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    @pomsky Thank you for sharing! I wasn't aware of AlternateTab. – Elder Geek Feb 14 at 21:01

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