Ubuntu: Gnome Shell: Move windows to front on launch (No more “… is ready to use” notifications)


I've been using Gnome Shell with Ubuntu for few days now and have experienced really annoying behaviour with new windows.

Sometimes when I use another window and press e.g. Alt + Ctrl + T to open new terminal window, the new window is not brought to the front. Instead I get a "New terminal window is ready to use" notification.

A similar problem occurs with the with Pidgin being integrated with Gnome Shell (via extension). When I get a new message, a notification pops up, but the window does not show. I need to either Alt Tab it or click the notification to see the new message.

Is there any way to have new windows being always brought to front, and remove those annoying "Window is ready" notifications?

EDIT: gconftool-2 --search-key focus_new_windows (as requested by severin):

 /schemas/apps/metacity/general/focus_new_windows = Schema (type: `string' list_type: '*invalid*' car_type: '*invalid*' cdr_type: '*invalid*' locale: `C')   /apps/metacity/general/focus_new_windows = smart  


You can try setting focus_new_windows from smart to strict. You can either use gconf-editor and go to /apps/metacity/general and change the value of focus_new_windows from smart to strict, like here:enter image description here

Or you can use the command line:

gconftool-2 --set /apps/metacity/general/focus_new_windows --type string strict  

If that still doesn't help, you can also change auto_raise_delay from 1000 to 0 in aforementioned gconf-editor (see screenshot).

See also here.


There is an extension for Gnome3

"steal my focus"


it solves the exact problem you're having.


  1. Go to System > Preferences > CompizConfig Settings Manager > General Options (under General) > Focus & Raise Behaviour,
  2. Clear Focus Prevention Windows field.

References: Compiz General Options, Compiz Window Matching.


I dont think there is a setting to do this. I have been using gnome shell for a while now. You can install the "advanced settings extension" for gnome 3 which provides you with a few more settings. However, you cannot get the function you are looking for. I will search the net and come back to you.


You can modify this type of stuff with devilspie, which has a nice GUI frontend gdevilspie, which is in the repos.


Create a custom shortcut under your keyboard settings and use command:
xterm -e < terminalname >
uxterm -e < terminalname >

Also if you get problems with "failed to execute session" you can always go a step further.

< terminalname > -e xterm -e < terminalname >

In my case:
xfce4-terminal -e xterm -e xfce4-terminal

This i kinda funny because in this way you use a native terminal to start the newer one.
And since the older don't have the preference to start in background
it will start the newer on top.

Clean and no need to install extensions.

Note:If u also have question or solution just comment us below or mail us on toontricks1994@gmail.com
Next Post »