Move Window Buttons Back to the Right : Ubuntu 10.04

By | 2010/06/08

I wasn’t going to write this post. I was going to get used to the idea of my window buttons being on the left, instead of the right where I’m used to them. I was really going to try and use the Ubuntu “standard”. Well, after a little more than a month, I give up. If you’re the same and you’d like your window buttons back “where they belong”, this post will outline how to move window buttons back to the right.

For those in a hurry,  I’ve outlined the quickest way known to man to move the window buttons back to the right. Open a terminal (Applications > Accessories > Terminal), and paste in the following command:

gconftool -s /apps/metacity/general/button_layout -t string menu:minimize,maximize,close

Magically your window buttons will be back to the “right” place.

For those that are afraid of the terminal and their copy-paste functionality, you can follow these steps:

  1. Press ALT-F2 to open the application launcher.
  2. Enter ‘gconf-editor’
  3. Navigate to Apps > Metacity > General > Button Layout
  4. Change the string value to ‘menu:minimize,maximize,close’
  5. Exit gconf-editor

Those steps aren’t too bad either. I prefer the first, of course, but perhaps it has a little too much “magic” to it.

In conclusion I think the move is still controversial. I would have expected some of these controversial changes in a development release, but not an LTS (Long Term Support) release. In any case, I’m not here to make decisions.

13 thoughts on “Move Window Buttons Back to the Right : Ubuntu 10.04

  1. Ianp

    The easiest way for gui users is:-
    Run up ‘main menu’ and select ‘system tools’ (left pane) and then put a tick against ‘configuration editor’. The select system tools from the menu and the congif editor, scroll down for ‘metacity’ and edit the string in the right pane and edit the string as above.

    While in the config editor, you can also edit ‘nautilus’ to get fid of those crap buttons and enable the address bar permanently.

  2. Dahu

    I’ve looked for this tip as soon as I began using Lucid (and found it elsewhere)
    I personnalized this property by using :menu,minimize,maximize,close
    this way the menu is near the other buttons. I saw it as a way for canonical to make us learn the tweaking possibility of gnome :p

  3. chicoharv

    Thank you; no problem using terminal either,just cut and paste.

  4. FewClues

    OR you could simply select any theme except the default (ugly black). None of the other themes have the buttons screwed up.

  5. Jemma

    Oh thank you, this was annoying me to no end!

  6. iolinux333

    just brilliant putting the close window button where i normally have the “back” button on my browser.

    I don’t want a mac! That’s why I use linux. Please stop trying to be a mac.

  7. SickBoy

    Thank you SO much for this! The left side buttons drove me nuts.

  8. John

    It’s dizzying when the window buttons are on the left, and regardless of the reason ergonomically I keep all my controls on the right side and content on the left. Thanks.

  9. Lance

    Worked like a charm and super easy to do. Thanks!!

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