Ubuntu – ALT-ESC to switch between windows –> window manager is hanging


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

Since it is impossible to switch between two terminals with ALTTAB , I use ALTESC.

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?

Best Answer

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.