[HOWTO] Move the Minimize, Maximize, Close buttons to the Right in Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

[ad#ad-1]I am using Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx in my PC. The Ubuntu Design Team has decided to move the Minimize, Maximize and Close buttons to the left of the title bar. Not exactly like Mac OS X, which looks like the following:

Close, Maximize, Minimize in Mac OS X
Close, Maximize, Minimize in Mac OS X

while Ubuntu button layout is as follows:

Maximize, Minimize, Close in Ubuntu Lucid
Maximize, Minimize, Close in Ubuntu Lucid

The difference is the order in which they appear.

UPDATE April 2: The button order in Lucid will now follow Mac OS X style.

The head of Ubuntu Design Team does not give out any particular reasons for that and Mark Shuttleworth says he wants to use the right part for something else, probably in the 10.10 release.

I agree that moving that to the right might have some benefits as it takes less mouse movement to get there rather than the right side, but I am always looking for one of those on the right side, because of my habit. So, I decided to move it to the right for now, but I may consider switching to the left to see how it works for me.

To move it back to the right, you will need to launch Configuration Editor (Alt+F2 and type in gconf-editor) and then navigate to apps>metacity>general. Look for button_layout on the right hand pane and double click on it to edit it. You should change it from




. This should do it.

Alternately, this can also be done by executing the following command from the terminal or from the Run Application Dialog (Alt+F2):

gconftool-2 --set /apps/metacity/general/button_layout --type string menu:minimize,maximize,close

Thanks to Jack H. for posting this in the comments below.

Please share your views about the new button layout.

  • Rob Beard

    Thanks ever so much for that!

    I’m trying Lucid at the moment and don’t get me wrong, I’m loving it but it’s just too much of a change for me (having used Windows since 3.1 and then Ubuntu since 5.04).



    • Sadj

      here it is my thanks too

  • SkipF

    Me, TOO!!!
    Since ‘Breezy

  • This was the absolute first thing that I wanted to change once I got the beta. Loving it so far, but the new button arrangement was driving me crazy.

  • For the lazy (smart?) folk, here’s a one liner to fix it in terminal:

    gconftool-2 –set /apps/metacity/general/button_layout –type string :minimize,maximize,close

  • Oh, also, if you want to get the little mini-menu button back on the left hand side, use this command instead:

    gconftool-2 –set /apps/metacity/general/button_layout –type string menu:minimize,maximize,close

  • admin

    Hi Jack H., Thanks for the shortcut. But due to replacement of characters by wordpress, the command does not work as intended. I have however included this tip in the original post by placing the correct code that works.

  • If dissatisfied with the button layout (like most of us it seems), please attach yourself to the following bug in order to be counted and help get the default back to normal prior to Lucid releasing.

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  • Ron

    Post 564

    Thank you to everybody who has participated in this discussion.

    The final decision on window controls for 10.04 LTS is as follows:

    – the window controls will remain on the left, however
    – the order will change to be (from left) close, minimize, maximise

    The decision is based on the view that putting the close button in the corner will be most familiar to many users, even if the particular choice of corner is not.

    For the avoidance of doubt, this is not a comment dependent on the date 🙂

    Our intent is to encourage innovation, discussion, and design with the right of the window title bar. We have some ideas, and others are already springing up in the community. We welcome participation on the Ayatana list, where those can play out. This will be a fruitful topic for the design track at UDS in Brussels in May.

    This bug is now marked wontfix. Please focus ongoing participation on the opportunities for innovation that this opens up. The decision as to the window controls location and order itself is now final, and as they say in the old newspapers, no further correspondence will be entered into.

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  • jo

    Wow, controls on the left was way more annoying than I expected.. Good it was easy to change

  • Yes !!!
    God bless you, I thought I’ll kill myself when I saw my buttons on the left side for the first time.

    After me, Mac OSX is damn annoying and nonsense, why the hell ubuntu would use their design principles ?
    They forgot that we already have the File – > Quit button on the left side in almost all linux applications with a gui, so why the hell we should have 2 quit buttons on one side ?

    Some people are nuts, and I mean it.
    Atleast we can change it with just a command.

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  • sdoolman

    Thanks you so much, I was right on the edge of becoming insane!
    Saved my life :]

  • James

    This was a stupid move! I HATE the controls on the left, its hardly usable there. Why is Ubuntu trying to be be like crappy OSX!?

  • Mike

    Thanks for this snippet! Not a fan of the OSX style, glad to have the buttons on the right.

  • Geary

    Wicked sick.

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  • Paul G. Brandon

    Thank you. Thank you.

  • eric

    i like changes … keeps me fresh but this one is nice to have back on the right … thanks

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  • BadSector


  • Robin69sandy

    ahhh, that’s better

  • Eric

    Thank you very much! Was very mad at this new thing, it’s like re-learning something that you’ve been used to do for decades. Thanks again!

  • Thanks!