Posted over 3 years ago. Visible to the public.

How to fix: RubyMine / IntelliJ "find file" dialog losing focus on awesome wm

Many of our developers love to use the "awesome" window manager on Linux. However, RubyMine dialogs occasionally defocus while typing.

Here is a fix for that, tested on awesome 3.4, 3.5 and 4.0 (Ubuntu 14.04 and 16.04).


Consider the following:

  1. Press Ctrl+Shift+N
  2. "Find file" dialog opens
  3. Type to search, file list appears
  4. Type more, file list is being replaced

If your mouse pointer hovers the file list, the main window is focused when the list is being replaced (or simply when it shrinks and your mouse pointer is then outside of the result list).
When focusing the main window, the "find file" dialog closes.

That would usually be fine, but we don't want to focus the main window in the first place.

The problem appears for all dialogs such as "find file", "find class", "find action", etc.

Solution A

First, try setting a registry flag in IntelliJ.

  1. Open "Find Action" (Ctrl+Shift+A)
  2. Search for "Registry…" and open that
  3. Set the "focus.follows.mouse.workarounds" flag
  4. Restart IntelliJ

This reportedly works for some users. If it does not, see solution B.

Solution B

Looking into your rc.lua (usually inside ~/.config/awesome/), you will find a section like this:

-- Enable sloppy focus c:connect_signal("mouse::enter", function(c) if awful.layout.get(c.screen) ~= awful.layout.suit.magnifier and awful.client.focus.filter(c) then client.focus = c end end)

Note that connect_signal was add_signal in earlier versions of awesome (e.g. on Ubuntu 14.04).

Replace it with the following (i.e. paste the 8 lines starting from local focused = client.focus).

-- Enable sloppy focus (without defocusing IntelliJ dialogs) c:connect_signal("mouse::enter", function(c) local focused = client.focus if focused and focused.class == c.class and focused.instance == "sun-awt-X11-XDialogPeer" and c.instance == "sun-awt-X11-XFramePeer" then return end if awful.layout.get(c.screen) ~= awful.layout.suit.magnifier and awful.client.focus.filter(c) then client.focus = c end end)

Restart your awesome afterwards.

If this solution helps, but still does not work all the time, try combining A and B. We've received reports that this does the trick.

Explanation of Solution B

When entering a window (a "client" in awesome-speak), we check the following:

  • Is the new window the same application as the currently focused one? (by comparing X window classes)
  • Are we currently focusing a Java Dialog?
  • Are we entering a Java Frame?

If that's the case, abort.

If not, run the "default" code that decides if a window should be entered (we did not change that one).

Known issues

  • This will not affect "find anything" as IntelliJ uses a sun-awt-X11-XFramePeer for it. There are no properties which allow distinguishing the "find anything" window from the main window.
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Owner of this card:

Arne Hartherz
Last edit:
over 2 years ago
by Arne Hartherz
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