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I'm using the i3wm. When I run Open Arena I can't force kill it with Mod+Shift+Q like I can with other apps, I can't restart the wm or anything. Open Arena is stealing the keyboard input.

So there's a couple problems: Open Arena is being a pig, stealing what it shouldn't be; I can't do anything about this, or rather don't want to wait. The other problem is that i3 is letting Open Arena steal this input, it should be able to override the application, but it doesn't. This in my eyes hurts usability, and makes me not want to use i3. I hear a number of window managers are like this, which is disappointing to hear. Suggestions?

Concerning the title, for the question I want answered: is there a way to configure i3 so it runs my keyboard shortcut without an application stealing it?

  • Can you kill it with the Ctrl-Alt-Esc crossbones cursor? – PM 2Ring Nov 8 '14 at 5:57
  • @PM2Ring I'm not familiar with what you're talking about. On the console that just causes characters to be passed to the terminal. I'm assuming this is something that has to be configured in i3? I don't think it's in the default config. – leetNightshade Nov 8 '14 at 18:52
  • Sorry. On the systems I've used that key combination is bound to xkill Xkill is a utility for forcing the X server to close connections to clients. This program is very dangerous, but is useful for aborting programs that have displayed undesired windows on a user's screen. If no resource identifier is given with -id, xkill will display a special cursor as a prompt for the user to select a window to be killed. If a pointer button is pressed over a non-root window, the server will close its connection to the client that created the window. – PM 2Ring Nov 9 '14 at 1:30
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It's not the answer I'm looking for (which is why I'm not going to accept it as the answer), but it works.

I was trying Alt+F1 to get to the tty, but it turns out in my configuration (Debian+i3wm) I had to use Ctrl+Alt+F1 to get to tty1. Solution found here. This is relevant to at least Debian/Ubuntu.


  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+F1 to get to tty1.
  2. Login.
  3. Use the following command.

    ps aux | grep fullscreenAppNameHere
    
  4. You might see output like the following:

    1000 3721 94.1 5.8 253400 30016 pts/1 R+ 11:56 0:20 [blah blah]fullscreenAppNameHere[blah blah]
    
  5. Use the following command to kill it:

    kill -9 3721
    
  6. Press Ctrl+Alt+F8 (or Ctrl+Alt+F7) to return to your pts.

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    That's pretty much the only way. The fact that any app can steal the keyboard input is one of the many deficiencies of the old X11 protocol and so one of the reasons for the push to abandon it and switch to wayland. – psusi Nov 9 '14 at 0:04
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    Just as a side note: instead of ps aux | grep, you might want to use pgrep <part of fullscreen app> or even pkill <part of fullscreen app>. The former will list the PID of the app you want to kill, the latter kills it immediately. So in this case pkill --signal 9 fullscreenAppName would suffice. – Stefan van den Akker Jul 19 '17 at 10:46

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