I found multiple answers on askUbuntu about this topic. But none of them suites to Ubuntu 17.10. So I need to ask again:

How do I set focus follows mouse in Ubuntu 17.10?

  • related: bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/gnome-shell/+bug/1726195 (for me, seems broken specifically when switching from unity to gnome, and/or to 17.10 and wayland): I'm used to using "sloppy" focus following mouse, but I still expect alt-tab to set focus to the selected window, but in 17.10, it's necessary to actually move the mouse to the window (and let it stop, then keep it there) – michael Feb 26 '18 at 2:49

You may use (GNOME) Tweaks to achieve your goal. If it's not installed, first install it by running

sudo apt install gnome-tweak-tool

Launch Tweaks and go to the Windows section. Select "Sloppy" or "Secondary-Click" under Window Focus.

enter image description here

Alternatively you may run the following command

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences focus-mode 'sloppy'


  • 3
    Is there a way to set it to change focus as soon as the mouse enters the window, rather than when the mouse stops moving? – Dominick Pastore Jan 21 '18 at 19:01
  • 1
    What a sloppy UI! Looks like checkboxes, and looks disabled to boot! Is actually radio-button-like. Click on the one you want, ignore your instinctive urge to untick the ticked one. – Phil May 2 '18 at 23:15
  • 2
    I've confirmed that gnome-tweaks work on Ubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish). Choose "Secondary Click" and it will work. – leo4jc Nov 15 '18 at 23:26
  • The joy of Linux: change the OSs behaviour by a simple switch. Customize it as you please. – Dohn Joe Oct 15 '19 at 12:15
  • Is it also 18.04 safe? :-) – matanster Nov 13 '19 at 13:08

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.