How to move the Close, Maximize and Minimize button location in Ubuntu

Although I liked a lot of things about the design used in this release of Ubuntu (10.04, Lucid Lynx) I found one thing a bit annoying. The window controls (the maximize, minimize and close buttons) have been moved to the left side of each window bar – in a Mac-like manner, rather than in the top right corner as we’re used to in Ubuntu-GNOME. It’s probably one of those things that you just get used to, but I preferred the functionality the way I’m used to, so I decided to move the buttons back to the top right corner of the windows. Here’s how I went about doing it.

  1. The first step will involve enabling the Configuration Editor To do this right click on the Ubuntu menu at the top left of your screen and click on option Edit Menus.
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  3. In the window that opens navigate to Applications -> System Tools. Now check the box next to Configuration Editor to enable it. Hit Close to save the changes and exit the Menu Editor.
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  5. Now let’s launch the Configuration Editor. Navigate to Applications -> System Tools -> Configuration Editor in the Ubuntu menu. Voila, you should now see the Configuration Editor pop up. Before proceeding, note that you can break your system settings if you’re not careful while using the Configuration editor. So please do not use this tool carelessly, or on a production machine.

    With all that out of the way, time to make the change we’re here for. In the Configuration Editor navigate through to Apps -> Metacity -> General -> Button Layout.

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  7. Here comes the magic. The value for button_layout field will be close,minimize,maximize:. All you have to do is to change move the colon from the end of the line to the beginning. It should look like this – :close,minimize,maximize.
  8. There you go. The navigation will move to the right as soon as you hit the Return key after changing the value of button_layout. Simple, wasn’t it?
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4 thoughts on “How to move the Close, Maximize and Minimize button location in Ubuntu”

  1. If you want, you can make it more Windows-y by changing it to :minimize,maximize,close (though I’m not sure how that looks with the new theme).

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