Is there a way to maintain focus when new VM windows open?

I start (and shut down) VMs often, so windows pop up left and right while snatching focus from my current window. Is there a way to make it so new VM-windows don’t automatically steal the limelight?

If I remember correctly, someone said it’s possible to assign certain VMs to certain workspaces, so all their windows are sent to that particular workspace–this is an alternative solution, but isn’t as elegant and thorough.

Many problems that people have in Qubes are actually not Qubes specific.
This is one of those.

You can find many guides online to disabling focus on new windows.
The only Qubes specific part is that you have to do this in dom0.

If you use Xfce, “Window Manager” → Focus
Disable “Automatically give focus to newly created windows”

For KDE, “System Settings” → “Window Behaviour” → Focus
Set “Focus stealing prevention” Level


Thank you.

Since default Qubes relies heavily on Linux, it might be helpful if mods/team members created a thread detailing what is considered Qubes-specific and Linux-specific (maybe even pinned). Even as a long-time user, the line between the two seem blurry at times.

Basically, any code that the Qubes team writes is Qubes-specific, and any code written by a different entity is not. So, for example, most of Xen, the Linux kernel, Fedora, Debian, and Xfce were not written by the Qubes team. Rather, they were written by their respective teams, communities, and creators. In general, every entity is mainly responsible for its own code.

However, what mainly matters from a user’s perspective – and this is unman’s point – is that you can find answers for non-Qubes-specific things from non-Qubes sources. For example, Xfce is used in a great many different distros. It’s also used in Qubes. This means that you can find many Xfce solutions in non-Qubes places, such as the Xfce documentation, other Linux or distro forums, etc. Same goes for everything else that isn’t specific to Qubes.

Further reading:

I think that would be unworkable tbh, exactly because the line is

There are some things that are straightforward, and the Qubes element small:
How do I install libreoffice? The Qubes part here is do it in the template

There are some things that are all Qubes:
How do I move files between qubes?
How do I get rid of the prompt when copying files between qubes?
How do I install programs in dom0?

Then there’s the rest, where the Qubes element may (or may not) be large.
Lets’ take an example:
How do I get WiFi working with a Realtek 8852AE?
Here, you have to build and install drivers from source: complicated
enough, and needs kernel headers. The Qubes part here is quite large
because you will have to understand templates, load (and use) a native
kernel, or consider using a standalone.

See? In that last case you can find instructions for the build, but you
need Qubes knowledge to understand where to best build the modules,
how to use a native kernel, and so on.
The complexity of that is determined by the specific WiFi card. If it
were an AR5BHB116, it would be category 1.

In many cases I see people posting questions where the answer is
either RTFM or STFW. In many cases, the Qubes element is small.
Why is this? I think at least part of the answer is that there is a
perception that Qubes is complicated, and difficult, and so users (even
“Linux savvy IT_sec professionals”) start with that expectation, and
think finding a solution will be beyond them. (That, and laziness.)
In my experience, if users are trained not to think that Qubes is
, they don’t find it hard. It helps if they know their limits, and
have support they can call on.

Need I say, that this is my opinion, and I don’t speak for Qubes?
(And @fiftyfourthparallel, nothing here is aimed at you.)

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I would add: Qubes OS is somewhat unique in that it includes much more upstream software than most OSes. For example, Qubes basically includes everything that most Linux distros include plus several entire Linux distros. This drastically increases the amount of third-party software users encounter when using Qubes. Since many users are blissfully unaware that what they’re using is Distro X inside of Qubes, we end up getting a lot of questions that apply equally to baremetal Fedora, for example.

Unfortunately, a lot of people seem to enjoy saying that Qubes is hard, and some (e.g., the Qubes subreddit) even seem to take pride in it and actively discourage people who are new to Linux from using Qubes. (“Start with a different Linux distro first” is probably the most common reply to newbies over there.)