Move Ubuntu Window Control Buttons From Left To Right Side

When Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Lucid Lynx) was released in April 2010, you may have noticed the Maximize, Minimize & Close buttons have been moved from right to left corner in the default Desktop Theme. This Ubuntu How-To will guide you though switching position, order and alignment of these buttons back to the right hand-side.

Mark Shuttleworth, founder of the Ubuntu Project explains the change as: "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." Many people disagree with this and prefer traditional positioning. See the examples bellow.

New awkward Ubuntu default (from left) close, minimize, maximize

Traditional (from right) minimize, maximize, close


Before getting started, we suggest you Learn Linux Basics and follow these precautions.

Steps to follow

Right Side

Move Ubuntu desktop window control buttons to the right:
gconftool-2 --set "/apps/metacity/general/button_layout" --type string "menu:minimize,maximize,close"

Left Side

Switch back to desktop window control buttons to the left:
gconftool-2 --set "/apps/metacity/general/button_layout" --type string "close,minimize,maximize:"

Note: You may arrange minimize, maximize, close buttons by changing their order in these commands.