Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a very annoying issue with the X11 app on OS X when using it to run things remotely over SSH. Every now and then (it's pretty regular, I'd say about each 1-2 minutes), the app I'm in loses focus, and the keyboard doesn't get sent to it anymore. However, X11 is still the foreground app.

Any ideas on what could be causing this and/or how to debug this?

share|improve this question
What X11 app are you running? If you're using a window manager or desktop manager (ie. GNOME or KDE), do you have 'focus follows mouse' enabled? – EmmEff Mar 1 '13 at 23:58
@EmmEff: I am just running a bunch of gnome-terminal windows without any desktop managers. – houbysoft Mar 2 '13 at 0:27
@emmeff. This user is on OS X. There is no focus follows mouse feature. I use Terminal and have seen no such issues. Do these things you're doing require the X11 framework on OS X or can you get away with another terminal client? – bispymusic Mar 2 '13 at 2:48
@bispymusic: it's much more convenient doing it this way, because I can just ssh in once and then launch multiple terminals on the machine. To use for this I'd have to open multiple ssh connections – houbysoft Mar 2 '13 at 3:07
@bispymusic If you need focus follows mouse feature you can configure in XQuartz preferences. There's no default X11 in OS X 10.8 – Eir Nym Mar 9 '13 at 23:22

Potential relationship

I didn't find any evidence that this XQuartz loss of focus is related to ssh.

On the other hand I found a heavy relationship between this XQuartz loss of focus and the launch of:

Google Software Update (


2 tools help during this investigation:

  1. watch activations Python script

    2014-07-22 17:06:04.622 Python[95279:1307] activated Google Software Update (
    2014-07-22 17:06:08.410 Python[95279:1307] activated loginwindow (
  2. lastcomm | head -10 immediatly after the event →

    diskmanage -S      root     __         0.00 secs Tue Jul 22 17:06 (0:00:18.03)
    GoogleSoft -S      root     __         0.11 secs Tue Jul 22 17:06 (0:00:30.03)
share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.