Users of multiple monitors on GNU/Linux usually stumble upon the issue that Adobe Flash will leave full-screen when another window receives keyboard or mouse input. This behavior, which seems to be deliberate, is specifically disappointing when you want to work on one monitor and watch a flash video on the other.

The workaround

The "workaround" here is to break this behavior in Adobe Flash on purpose. Internally, Flash uses the _NET_ACTIVE_WINDOW property. This read-only property is set by the window manager and is made up of the window ID of the currently active window or None if no window has the focus.

First, we need to figure out where the plugin was installed to:

$ find /usr/lib -name ''

Second, we simply rename the property _NET_ACTIVE_WINDOW in to _XET_ACTIVE_WINDOW. On Debian, the command would be:

$ perl -pi -e "s/_NET_ACTIVE_WINDOW/_XET_ACTIVE_WINDOW/" /usr/lib/flashplugin-nonfree/

Of course, this can be done in one command also:

$ find /usr/lib -name '' -exec perl -pi -e "s/_NET_ACTIVE_WINDOW/_XET_ACTIVE_WINDOW/" {} \;

Please note that if you happen to use Google Chrome/Chromium, you'll need to disable chrome's internal flash plugin.


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