I tried to set up Ubuntu 13.10, but there are massive focus problems which make it unusable. It don't seems to have something to do with Unity where I found something about focus problems in the web.

While the installation process the first problems happened: sometimes I was not able to press a button with the mouse. In this case I took the keyboard.

But when the window manager is started, Ubuntu gets unusable for me. Sometimes the focus seems to stick in a window. When this is the case, I can move the mouse over an other window, but I am not able to set the focus in it - it stays in the other window. Also if I use "alt-tab". Sometimes it even happens that focus of keyboard sticks in one window and focus of mouse in an other.

The strange thing is that this happens in 8/10 boots. So not every time, but most of the time.

I already tried to use Gnome desktop because I thought it might have something to do with unity, but it was the same there. MS Windows works without problems on this hardware.

I found a very similar question here with Ubuntu 12.04. I also use Chrome so it might be related to it. But for me it happens with all windows if the problems start: Mouse and keyboard focus problem

Have you some ideas? Did you already hear of such problems? What logs might be interesting?


  • Hello, I've been having a similar problem (described here askubuntu.com/questions/595870/… ). For me the problem was solved by swapping to a different mouse (!). The problems only appeared when using a Rat5 mouse, and went away when i changed (back) to a Mionix Saiph 3200.
    – CalMo
    May 26, 2015 at 5:52

2 Answers 2


I've encountered the exact same behavior over multiple installs on my current hardware. What consistently solved it for me was killing and restarting the x server. A system restart was never sufficient, the glitch persisted after a vanilla reboot.

The method I employed was to first enable ctrl+alt+backspace to kill and restart the x server: http://www.humans-enabled.com/2013/10/ubuntu-1310-enable-controlaltbackspace.html

1.) Hit Control+Alt+t to launch the terminal

2.) Type or paste in the command below into the terminal, hit enter, then authenticate with your user password necessary (below is a one liner):

sudo dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration

3.) Hit enter 5 times, or as necessary, to accept the already-set values for the keyboard settings and arrive at the screen to change the behavior for "Control+Alt+Backspace" (see picture above).

4.) At the screen that says, "Use Control+Alt+Backspace to terminate the X server?", hit the left arrow key to select yes, then hit Enter to save the setting and complete the kbd configuration.

Once done, fire off ctrl+alt+backspace and cross your fingers!

  • Please don't just add a link. Quote something (at least) from this link (especially if the link is external and maybe in future doesn't exist at all).
    – NickTux
    Feb 15, 2014 at 16:43
  • I dont believe this. Was searching for a solution for days. Thank you Is there already a permanent solution ??
    – user266751
    Apr 8, 2014 at 16:30

Installing gnome classic shell worked for me and fixed these issues very effectively; I couldn't use Ubuntu prior to it.

sudo apt-get install gnome-shell

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