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I was installing a lot of packages attempting to get a USB 3.0 HDMI video card working, but at some point during the process, I lost the ability to grab window borders, or use the minimize, maximize, close buttons. When hovering over the title bar, the mouse goes form a the default pointer to a the text select cursor. Clicking links and writing text within my browser still works, but is slow and inconsistent.

Troubleshooting:

I tried removing the modules of the new graphics card, and also tried rebooting, neither work. However upon log-in there's some screen tearing before the mouse pointer comes up.

Temporary Fixes

I googled around and found a suggestion that kwin might not be installed and sure enough it wasn't. After installing with apt install kwin and then running kwin. This fixed things for a few hrs.

I started having the same problem again, this time it coincided with my pushing f12 to launch yakuake. Yakuake failed to appear, and I was no longer able to grab title bars or click to close or min/maximize my windows. pkill yakuake fixed the problem.

Strange behavior of F12

I relaunched yakuake and after playing around a bit, I noticed that despite the fact that yakuake wasn't appearing, the problem would go away if I pressed F12 again. It's almost as if a ghost window of of Yakuake was appearing. So I ran an apt purge yakuake in attempt to fix this. Yet before I was able to reinstall I noticed the problem regarding pressing F12 persisted on my main display. Rebooting with yakuake did not change this.

What is happening? How do I fix it?

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It's a composting issue.

I came across this thread of OpenSUSE users experiencing a very similar issue that also seemed to point toward yakuake. However some of my .xsession-errors pointed to composting issues. When I googled "KDE F12" I discovered the the following sequence will turn on and off composting:

Ctrl Shift F12

Executing this, solved all issues.

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