Ubuntu 17.10 Tip: Move Window Buttons ‘min, max, close’ to Left

Ubuntu 17.10 replaces Unity with Gnome 3 as its default desktop environment. The application window buttons (minimize, maximize, and close) are now in the right side of the title bar.

Fortunately, the button layout is configurable in Gnome Desktop. For those who are accustomed to have the window buttons in the left do following steps.

ubuntu 17.10 button layout

Move “minimize, maximize, close” buttons via gsettings command:

The easiest way to do the configuration is using a command line tool called gsettings.

Open terminal either via Ctrl+Alt+T or by searching for “terminal” from app launcher. When it opens, simply run command:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences button-layout 'close,maximize,minimize:'

To revert the buttons back to right side, run command:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences button-layout ':close,maximize,minimize'
Tip: you can rearrange the value ‘close,maximize,minimize:’ to customize button layout. Parameters before colon will be placed to left side, and others to the right.

Move “minimize, maximize, close” buttons via Graphical Tool:

For those hate Linux commands, use dconf-editor to configure Gnome Desktop button-layout:

1. Open Ubuntu Software app, search for and install dconf editor:

install-dconf-editor

2. Then launch the tool from application launcher, and navigate to org/gnome/desktop/wm/preferences:

button-layout

3. Click the line says ‘button-layout’ to edit it. And close default value and set its value to: close,maximize,minimize:

button-left

To revert back, simply re-enable the default value in the settings.

About ml

ml is a part time stay-at-home dad who've been using Ubuntu Desktop for a few years. He writes in the free time and wishes to share some useful tips with Ubuntu beginners and lovers.

8 comments

  1. If I switch to the left, the buttons, how do the apps like google crome ??? The system gets the close, maximize, on the left and the browser are left with the close button on the right ??? that’s not cool!!! Please kindly clarify this to me !!!

    • What?

      • He’s complaining that the minimize, maximize, and close buttons remain on the right-hand side in Google Chrome/Chromium (the web browser), even after you do as you suggested above.

        You’d probably just have to turn back on “Use system title bar and borders” in the browser’s settings.

    • wired explanation. I can’t understand what you are talking about..

    • I know what you probably mean. For chrome the position of the buttons is fixed to be on the right, as it has a layout that is managed by its producer, Google, from top to bottom (as opposed to most other apps where the top bar is managed by the OS and therefore costumisable). I don’t know of any way you can change this, it’s quite annoying. If it’s of for you to switch to another browser, use Vivaldi. This one has the option to move the buttons to the left.

  2. I believe it should be ‘close,minimize,maximize:’ if we want to keep it as it was prior to 17.10:

    gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences button-layout ‘close,minimize,maximize:’

  3. Thanks! I used
    [code] gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences button-layout ‘close,maximize,minimize:’ [/code]
    Worked great.

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