How to put the window buttons back to the right on Ubuntu 10.04

Ubuntu 10.04 introduces a change on the default placement of the close, minimize, and maximize buttons on windows.  This is a clone of where the Mac folks have had them over recent years, and a design that I remember originally back in Beos days.

I can understand that Mark wanted a more Mac like experience with 10.04, as Ubuntu seems looking past MS Windows parity and towards Mac OS parity at this point.  However, for those of us that are straight up Linux nuts through and through, and could give a damn about what The Steve thinks about close buttons, it’s actually quite easy to put the buttons back on the right side of the window.

First, get to a terminal and run gconf-editor.

Next, navigate to /apps/metacity/general/button_layout.  You just need to change this key to be “:function1,function2,function3”.  If you are using the Human or Humanity themes the correct order would be “:minimize,maximize,close”.  If you’d like to use the new Ambiance theme “:maximize,minimize,close” will look better, because the beveling is actually just a trick of the images, it’s not intrinsic to the button area.

See, it wasn’t that hard, so now people can get back to real work instead of flipping out that their buttons are in the wrong places. 🙂

2 thoughts on “How to put the window buttons back to the right on Ubuntu 10.04”

  1. Thanks Sean! The new button placement, like most of the new and mostly illogical UI changes across all operating systems these days – was driving me crazy!

    Another little goodie I found while poking around in the “/apps/metacity/general” section – action_double_click_titlebar can be set to “toggle_shade” which is indeed a feature I’d been looking to enable for ages! One of the better things left over from the older MacOS ages where you could shrink a window up into its own title bar and then back.


  2. Oh! And another goodie for those who are running a Second Life client on the new Ubuntu. Pressing ctrl alt T while in the client – which normally highlights transparent objects will now instead pop up a terminal window.

    Under the configuration manager – in the /apps/metacity/global_keybindings/ tree look for the “run_command_terminal” key, which is now bound to ctrl alt T. Change this to “disabled” and you’ll no longer get a terminal instead of your transparent prims! 🙂


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