Tweaking Ubuntu‎ > ‎

Move Windowbuttons to left or right in Unity 2d and 3d

While updating an excisting Ubuntu 10.04 LTS installation to 12.04 something strange happened. The window buttons stay at the right side of the windowborder and don't move to the new place at left. If a window is made full-screen though, they move to the left and change following order.

Here is how to tweak that:

The window button locations are dictated by a configuration file. We’ll use the graphical program gconf-editor to change this configuration file.

Press Alt+F2 to bring up the Run Application dialog box, enter “gconf-editor” in the text field, and click on Run.

The Configuration Editor should pop up. If not, install it with sudo apt-get install gconf-editor from a terminal and start it when it is installed.

The key that we want to edit is in apps/metacity/general.


Click on the + button next to the “apps” folder, then beside “metacity” in the list of folders expanded for apps, and then click on the “general” folder.

The button layout can be changed by changing the “button_layout” key. Double-click button_layout to edit it.

Change the text in the Value text field to:

close,minimize,maximize:   for placing the buttons at the left side

:close,minimize,maximize   for placing the buttons at the right side

Other possibilities are the word menu

For example: close,minimize,maximize:menu   for buttons at the left and a menu item at the right. Everything left from the : appears left and right from : appears right.

Click OK and the change will occur immediately, changing the location of the window buttons in the Configuration Editor.