HowTo: Swap the window gadgets back to the right side of the window in Ubuntu Lucid.

The release of Ubuntu’s brand new look in Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx Alpha 3 brought mixed reactions, but probably none more so than the decision to move the window minimise, maximise and close gadgets from their traditional placement on the upper-right corner of the window to the upper-left side ala Apple Mac.

Gadgets on the left side

Many people, myself included, do not like this. To fix it and make it look like this:

Gadgets on the right side

…is very easy to do. Read on.

Simply open up a terminal and type in the following at the $ prompt:

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

Viola! Instant fix! But how does it work?

Gnome is highly customisable. One of its configuration options tells Metacity where and in what order to render elements on a window. In this case, the string “:maximize,minimize,close” means to render the “maximise”, “minimise” and “close” gadgets in that order, and the colon at the start means to render them on the right side of the window. If you change the colon to be on the far right, your window gadgets will appear on the left of the window.

Don’t like how the Ubuntu team have also changed the maximise and minimise button order around? Be a rebel! Change it back by replacing the configuration string above with “:minimize,maximize,close”.

Play around with it and enjoy. Smilie: :)