[Bug 198027] [NEW] Strange mouse/keyboard behavior in Firefox and GNOME

Lindsay Murphy murphyl at earthlink.net
Mon Mar 3 14:56:32 UTC 2008

Public bug reported:

Binary package hint: firefox

Every so often, and with no apparent respect to what other applications
are running, my Firefox window will begin acting very strangely in
response to clicking. Instead of a left-click activating a link or
highlighting text and a right-click bringing up the Firefox context
menu, a left click anywhere on-screen moves the Firefox window (brings
up the "hand" pointer under vanilla GNOME; same pointer and window
jiggles with Compiz running) and a right-click brings up the desktop
context menu (move, minimize/maximize, resize, move to workspace, etc).
Clicking other programs on the task bar has no effect, nor do any of the
task bar menus or buttons work.  At the same time, the keyboard controls
stop responding completely - I can't scroll, navigate or refresh in
Firefox, and I can't switch or close windows in GNOME.

The only way to get out of this error mode is to use Alt-F2 --> xkill
and kill both Firefox and the GNOME task bar. (Note that killing Firefox
alone doesn't fix the problem!) Once that's done, the task bar restarts
itself and everything works fine for some non-trivial interval (5-10
min), but then it'll do the same thing again. Likewise, Ctrl-Alt-
Bksp'ing out of my session only resolves the problem for the same
limited interval. Shutting down and restarting resolves the problem
until Firefox is started, at which point the problem may recur at any
time. Initially I thought that the problem lay with GNOME alone, but
since it never happens unless Firefox is running and on top of the
screen, I have to suspect that the two are somehow destabilizing each

This problem has been occurring more or less continuously under both
7.04 and 7.10, and with all versions of Firefox from to 3.0 b2.
My system is a Toshiba Satellite M55, with a Pentium M 1.73 GHz
processor, 1.5 GB of RAM and a 80 GB HDD (44 GB remaining), and I'm
running Firefox under Ubuntu 7.10 with all updates. Frankly,
I'm at a loss as to what's causing this error or how to fix it. Any

** Affects: firefox (Ubuntu)
     Importance: Undecided
         Status: New

Strange mouse/keyboard behavior in Firefox and GNOME
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