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While I'm running some program in Terminal (or iTerm2), when the program forks the process, the OS X desktop switches focus from the current application to the forked process. When this happens, the forked process name shows in OS X menu bar.

This is especially annoying while using full screen mode as it causes the workspace to change when the forked process receives focus.

How can I stop this focus switch from happening? These terminal programs are interrupting the work I'm doing in other applications while they run.

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Which programs are you calling from Terminal? –  patrix Aug 26 '13 at 16:27
Maven. The Maven Surefire plugin for running Java Unit tests uses this ForkedBooter class which always takes focus away from the terminal –  jdgilday Aug 27 '13 at 17:43
It's not just Maven but this is one of my concrete examples –  jdgilday Aug 27 '13 at 17:44
Could it be that it only happens with Java applications? –  patrix Aug 27 '13 at 17:57
Perhaps. If I find a counter-example I'll post –  jdgilday Aug 27 '13 at 18:09
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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

As @patrix has suggested, it seems I'm only having this problem with Java processes.

This answer over at StackOverflow seems to solve the problem

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Can you run your terminal program in the background? I believe this will keep it from coming in focus on the desktop as well. Just add '&' to the end of the terminal command to run a process in the background.

So if your terminal command were:

sh someprocess.sh

change it to:

sh someprocess.sh &

To bring a background process to the foreground in terminal use the command:


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