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  • Alt+TAB and fullscreen games

    Okay, so I've always had this problem where it's impossible to alt+TAB out of fullscreen applications. Most applications that are native to Linux use SDL, which overrides it anyway, but Wine doesn't for example, so let's look at that.

    If I alt+TAB, all that happens is that the screen flickers a little bit, the game still overlays the screen but if I click anywhere, the OS behaves as if the window I wanted in front is in front, so clearly only a display issue.

    I had pretty much accepted this problem. It would never go away I thought.

    But then, today, magically, it went away.

    2 hours later, it came back.

    So now I want to ask what the hell I did. Maybe someone knows exactly how to make it work, persistantly? That would be great.

    Reason why I'm posting here?
    I use FGLRX, and I do not have this issue with the MESA-drivers. (They, however, just perform terrible. )

  • #2
    If window you alt+tab to isnt maximised, everything works as expected. Im using it with Heroes of Newerth all the time

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    • #3
      In this case it was with World of Warcraft. The setting was "Windowed (Fullscreen)" which, on Windows, allows you to alt+tab and even have the game behaving exactly like a window, but with no border and filling up the entire desktop area. Panels and other windows can go on top, and other windows can be behind.

      Yesterday I had this working as well on Linux. Gnome-Panel and the windows I wanted overlayed the game itself. (Unless I was tabbed into the game, then the game overlayed everything) The game could be minimized and tabbed between and so on and it was great. Then I had to restart the game (because Wine's performance slowly degrades for some odd reason) and I got the bug again.

      The bug is that any attempt to bring the game out of focus will actually do so, but visually the game is still in focus, and the animations that result from attempting to alt+tab only result in flickering and may even crash the program.

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      • #4
        You misunderstood me i guess.. Just run HoN in fullscreen then do alt + tab switch.. Screen flickers, youre switched to desktop. Hold alt, left click and drag somewhere. Window would get unmaximized and you should see desktop just until another maximized window got focus.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Schmaker View Post
          You misunderstood me i guess.. Just run HoN in fullscreen then do alt + tab switch.. Screen flickers, youre switched to desktop. Hold alt, left click and drag somewhere. Window would get unmaximized and you should see desktop just until another maximized window got focus.
          Yeah, that's how it's supposed to work.

          It doesn't.

          That's why I made this thread.

          I haven't misunderstood you at all. You've misunderstood me.

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          • #6
            Stupid edit time-limit!

            Plus alt+tab doesn't even do anything at all in HoN. SDL-application. It blocks everything, including desktop shortcuts and everything on the fn-key - annoyingly enough. I dunno how you got it to work. I can't. Ubuntu 10.10.

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            • #7
              I game on windows, and only would like to add, that most games crash when I try to alt tab.

              From my experience most games dont like alt tab on windows either.

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              • #8
                All games I play on Windows work correctly with Alt+Tab. They get minimized. And it was like that since the Windows 95 days. On Linux, it's always problematic. And always has been. And I've no idea why this problem exists or can't get fixed. As soon as you Alt+Tab from a fullscreen game, everything can happen; from your desktop getting fucked up, to a total crash.

                But that's OK; I don't intend to play games on Linux.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Gps4l View Post
                  I game on windows, and only would like to add, that most games crash when I try to alt tab.

                  From my experience most games dont like alt tab on windows either.
                  Some games do.

                  Most games don't.

                  On Linux, all games do. Recall also that Windowed (Maximized) is essentially supposed to work like a windowed application without borders.

                  Originally posted by RealNC View Post
                  All games I play on Windows work correctly with Alt+Tab. They get minimized. And it was like that since the Windows 95 days. On Linux, it's always problematic. And always has been. And I've no idea why this problem exists or can't get fixed. As soon as you Alt+Tab from a fullscreen game, everything can happen; from your desktop getting fucked up, to a total crash.

                  But that's OK; I don't intend to play games on Linux.
                  While I agree with the first part if this post, I question your presence on a Linux gaming forum given your second paragraph.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ishayu View Post
                    While I agree with the first part if this post, I question your presence on a Linux gaming forum given your second paragraph.
                    This is not a Linux gaming forum.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RealNC View Post
                      This is not a Linux gaming forum.
                      No, you're right.

                      It's a forum dedicated to Linux/FreeBSD/GNU benchmarking and 3D-applications.

                      This subforum is only used for Linux/FreeBSD/GNU 3D-applications using a specific set of hardware and software that's specifically designed for gaming or rendering other forms of home entertainment.

                      Unless you're talking about the workstation stuff but almost nobody does here, so effectively it is a gaming forum.

                      Not in the direct sense. This isn't a forum about discussing games, but rather discussing how to make them work.

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                      • #12
                        So why questioning my presence then?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by RealNC View Post
                          So why questioning my presence then?

                          "But that's OK; I don't intend to play games on Linux."

                          What other program than a game uses fullscreen 3D-rendering that in any way might require alt+tabbing?

                          Yeah, I thought so.
                          And even if there were, this question would be relevant to those as well.
                          So even if you have a reason to be on the forum other than trolling, you DEFINITELY had no reason to be in this thread other than trolling.

                          You can quit trolling me now anyway as I'll be going. I've got my answer. Someone else on these forums were having practically a monologue with himself because everyone else were so unhelpful. He asked the question and 3 days and no replies later he comes back with the answer. Turns out it was the same question but it had been rolled off to page 7 and he replied to himself just after I made this thread.

                          The source of the problem is thoroughly shameful for AMD and their driver team, but then again that's really nothing new:
                          The game must run as root.

                          I'm outta here.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ishayu View Post
                            "But that's OK; I don't intend to play games on Linux."

                            What other program than a game uses fullscreen 3D-rendering that in any way might require alt+tabbing?

                            Yeah, I thought so.
                            And even if there were, this question would be relevant to those as well.
                            So even if you have a reason to be on the forum other than trolling, you DEFINITELY had no reason to be in this thread other than trolling.

                            You can quit trolling me now anyway as I'll be going. I've got my answer. Someone else on these forums were having practically a monologue with himself because everyone else were so unhelpful. He asked the question and 3 days and no replies later he comes back with the answer. Turns out it was the same question but it had been rolled off to page 7 and he replied to himself just after I made this thread.

                            The source of the problem is thoroughly shameful for AMD and their driver team, but then again that's really nothing new:
                            The game must run as root.

                            I'm outta here.
                            It has nothing to do with ati drivers in this case. I have nvidia and have the same problem playing some or maybe all wine games. For example playing starcraft it is not possible to use alt + tab to minimize the window out of the fullscreen mode. The most good programmed native games like altitude do not have this problem.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by NiBu View Post
                              It has nothing to do with ati drivers in this case. I have nvidia and have the same problem playing some or maybe all wine games. For example playing starcraft it is not possible to use alt + tab to minimize the window out of the fullscreen mode. The most good programmed native games like altitude do not have this problem.
                              I just wanted to come back and confirm a bit.

                              I do not have this problem with the NVIDIA drivers on my NVIDIA computer, so I am fairly sure it is related to FGLRX in some way. Especially since it happens on ALL Linux games, also on things like HoN, Minecraft, Altitude etc.

                              Maybe there are two overlapping bugs - one with X.org permissions and Wine, and one with the FGLRX stack. It can get pretty jumbled like that.

                              I am not very keen on running my programs as root. Especially not Wine. It can cause permission problems. Wine actually says ".wine is not owned by you" so I have to change its permission. And then the drivers start displaying artefacts instead. Change it back to my own user, and the artefact goes away, and the alt+tab probelm reappears.

                              What was so funny is that I really had it working for no apparent reason at all. All of a sudden I was running World of Warcraft in full screen, I could alt+tab, and it wasn't in admin mode. That's why I made this thread - incase someone knew.

                              I think it's safe to say they didn't. :P

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