In a standard gnome-shell setup,
mouse focus and
sloppy focus behave identically. The reason is simple: there is no
mouse focus method, particularly, needs a
DESKTOP in order to work properly but there is no such thing in gnome-shell, in its standard incarnation.
Unfortunately, this is only documented in mutter docs.
dconf-editor still has the old key/values description from Gnome2 metacity times and
gnome-tweak-tool doesn't even provide a description let alone toggle the
DESKTOP on once you switch to
Here is an excerpt from mutter-3.**/doc/how-to-get-focus-right.txt:
Focus method Behavior
click When a user clicks on a window, focus it
sloppy When an EnterNotify is received, focus the window
mouse Same as sloppy, but also defocus when mouse enters DESKTOP window
Note that these choices (along with the choice that clicking on a window raises it for the click focus method) introduces the following invariants for focus from mouse activity:
Focus method Invariant
click The window on top is focused
sloppy If the mouse is in a window, then it is focused; if the mouse is not in a window, then the most recently used window is focused.
mouse If the mouse is in a non-DESKTOP window, then it is focused; otherwise, the designated "no_focus_window" is focused
However, there are a number of cases where the current focus window becomes invalid and another should be chosen. Some examples are when a focused window is closed or minimized, or when the user changes workspaces. In these cases, there needs to be a rule consistent with the above about the new window to choose.
Focus method Behavior
click Focus the window on top
sloppy Focus the window containing the pointer if there is such a window, otherwise focus the most recently used window.
mouse Focus the non-DESKTOP window containing the pointer if there is one, otherwise focus the designated "no_focus_window".
Now, back to your problem. You have to "enable" the DESKTOP in order to have
mouse focus working properly. This can be done:
Have file manager handle the desktop >
show-desktop-icons > checked
- in terminal, running:
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background show-desktop-icons true
Restart gnome-shell after applying all your settings.