Get VirtualBox Seamless Mode to play nicely with Compiz Fuzion.

Posted 12 June 2011 by


just love Compiz with my Gnome workspace, but I’ve never been able to get VirtualBox to work well with Compiz. If I move to the virtual desktop that has VB running, I can then no longer use my assigned keys to switch to another application as, as soon as the virtualbox window gains focus, the my Alt-Tab and Super-Tab keys no longer function.

I’ve set under the Compiz/Place Windows/Fixed Window Placement area some rules to open particular application in specific workspaces (virtual desktops). For instance, Firefox opens in virtual desktop 1, Thunderbird in virtual desktop 2, gPodder 3, Virtualbox in 5 and so on. I have assigned the Super-Tab and Super-Shift-Tab keys to move between applications on the currently selected workspace and I’ve assigned the Alt-Tab and Alt-Shift-Tab keys to shift between applications in between ALL workspaces. The key assignments were done in the Shift Switcher/Key Bindings tab.

I’ve discovered that taking focus away from the virtualbox window solves this problem.

Go into CompizConfig Settings Mangaer. Choose Windows Rules and the first tab should be Matches. Place the following in the Below No Focus box: “class=VirtualBox” omitting the quotes and then put a check in Enable Window Rules. Go Back and Close and enjoy the freedom of being able to use your Alt-Tab and Super-Tab keys at will.

Bad Kiwi.

Image of Bad Kiwi

* Compiz picture shamelessly borrowed from Irrelevancy.Net

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