So… you wanna Alt+Drag inside VirtualBox? Ideas and laments

tl;dr:  let your  window manager’s developers make an option to disable alt+drag for certain windows (hint: like VirtualBox).

You download a brand new Linux image to try out, you even  use a torrent to help save your lover’s bandwidth, the excitement grows. VirtualBox fires up (because you’re too poor to use real solutions and VBox is actually decent) and you spin up a new machine…

Actually you don’t spin up anything coz spinning up is a cool word saved for cloud computing.

The new machine is booting with the glorious iso and all installs perfectly and you got yourself a brand new Ubuntu GNOME Linux guest under your old Xubuntu that was installed on your old laptop and you’re not sure it was a good choice for your laptoppy.


So, as you should probably know. There are two most important things to check for on a brand new Linux distro or Desktop environment or whatever. This is like looking at a pretty girl and asking her how much is 3 + 8. If she answers 11,  you know it’s going to be a great relationship. But if she says “I PREFER FEDORA” you kick her in the nuts and discover she is a man.

I Love Everyone.

ok, So the two most important thing are:

Hit Ctrl+Alt+T. Does the terminal open? Yes? Great. No? hmm… too bad. Try Win+T? working? ok, this means the devs are at least sane. If nothing is mapped to open a new terminal, you can kick your distro in the nuts and discover it’s a man.

I think, IIRC*  it happened to me with Debian, which is weird, because Debian is supreme. I might have forgotten what exactly happened.

Raccoon on a tree, or something

* Impossible Indication of Raccoon Carburetors

I am vageluy-cheerful today.

The second most important thing happens when you got your terminal opened. Hold Alt over the window, clicky click on the left mouse button, and drag. Does it MOVE? Is is ALIVE? Woohoo!!
Is it dead? :/
Try Win+Drag?

So if you managed to drag it around somehow, you have to check if the right mouse button does the same with resizing the window. It would most likley work if the moving does. Oh, and if it’s Win, it should be somewhere in the settings or tweak settings to fix it for normal thumb wielding people.

Ubuntu GNOME (should be a decent distro)

Should be is nice, but it doesn’t work!!! Move the damned window! Resize it for jesus’s sake.

I once was about to purchase the domain but I got to my senses rather quickly. I hope someone else got it by now.

The past calls and says: “Hear me child, I have witnessed such terrible things with the use of a VirtualBox host and Linux guests. Hear, child, as the salvations nears and you will solve all the problems in the world with your adopted monkey.”

You don’t.

The window manager of my Xfce just don’t pass along Alt to the VM guest, and it’s a problem known for many years.

I tried changing/disabling the ‘drag’ in my host Xfce and guess what. Now Alt+Drag works on the GNOME guest. Also you should guess, that not only do xfwm4 (the Xfce window manager) does bugim but others as well.

Following this revelation I entered a secret chamber in the realm of the adopted monkies and spoke the words of the warriors prayer:

“Why don’t we make the Window Manager, any window manager, to filter out some Windows from being Alt+Dragged? Maybe stupidly by title regex or maybe something sick like some window class which I think is only a Windows (the OS!@#) thing.  I dunno.”

And the masses answered the response, of the warriors prayer:

“Gods of Window Managers I call you. A solution is by my side. I seek a life of pitiful development that no one cares about. In the X server! But there are other displays there, and go ahead, make their teams enter your stupid filtering feature. It should be implemented much down the chain of prayers.”

The praying continues…

“We shall form an alliance, calling all window manager projects, big and small, tall and endemol, to apply such awesome filtering features, in order to excel at the quest of not fucking being stupid when trying to move guest system alt+drag shit.”

“We hereby grant the world, the sacred feature of context-menus with an option to disable Alt+Drag/Resize for certain windows, individually or per-title-regex-class-whateverly, and offer the world redemption from extinction for at least 4 more years, until the next LTS version of SemVer’sioning is introduced.”

The world again, is at peace.

Closing words

I have not met many cats today. The wind is blowing. The bunnies are wrestling.

No one on the internet will ever find  this post and I’m too shy to publish it, especially because my ideas or solutions are burried deep within loads of word crap that I like to barf.

Not being sure at all if stuff like letting users make options for individual windows only to solve some stupid bug no one cares about, I would like to hear what you have to say. Maybe you can even convince me to join you trying to hack around one those WMs as a test.

And remember, the waters of the world are full of dangers.