Ubuntu 10.4: How to place the window close button on the right again

Ubuntu 10.4 is live. I’ve been using Ubuntu for around 4 to 5 years, and I am a pretty happy user.

From my point of view, the big problem I found on this release (which I just installed 5 minutes ago) is that they changed the window buttons from the right to the left side of the window. I think 95% of the users are used to the buttons on the right side, and I don’t see the point on moving them to the left.

Anyway, I don’t like it, so I searched around, and I’ve found a quick and easy solution.

Press Alt+F2, then type gconf-editor and press enter. That’s for opening the configuration editor.

Once on this editor, in the item tree at the left, you have to look for this path  app -> metacity -> general and you doubleclick on the field named  button_layout.

Then, you have only to change the value field and put this:


You save the changes, and voila!! all the windows reconfigured again!

Now all the windows show the minimize, maximize and close buttons on the right again 😉

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  1. sarmatis
    14/12/2010 at 11:11 pm Permalink

    The problem is still present in version 10.10. Thanks for quick fix that give me peace again.

  2. Gunwant Singh
    22/12/2010 at 10:05 am Permalink

    Thanks, that was helpful.

  3. Subash
    23/12/2010 at 11:28 pm Permalink

    That was clean solution to my problem. Thank you !

  4. Ajith
    06/01/2011 at 11:16 pm Permalink

    Great, Thanks

  5. harichirayil
    15/02/2011 at 12:21 pm Permalink

    thanks dear…………..

  6. bobSaget
    19/02/2011 at 8:31 pm Permalink

    Thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU!!!!

  7. Only the Right is Right
    26/02/2011 at 3:52 pm Permalink

    Thanks, never too late to make everyone change to the Right!

  8. VLad
    09/03/2011 at 12:34 am Permalink

    Thanx, man. Really quick and efficient fix, just what I was looking for.

  9. stranger from a strange land
    10/03/2011 at 6:11 pm Permalink

    Thank you! I’m a first time Ubuntu user. Had been using Windows and MacOSX before. I always hated the button placement on the left as in MacOSX. It’s much more difficult and exhaustive for the wrist when you’re right-handed.

  10. Stella
    25/03/2011 at 8:08 am Permalink

    Thanks for this. Much appreciated.

  11. Leandro
    31/03/2011 at 5:49 pm Permalink

    Thank you.

  12. write
    27/04/2011 at 1:30 pm Permalink

    this is work… thanks…

  13. twincamspit
    14/05/2011 at 2:37 am Permalink

    Also works in 11.04. You’d think that they’d put the option in the Window preferences though ffs… Which also should be available from a right-click on a window titlebar IMHO to make it user-friendly. Ubuntu is supposed to be easy to use, I can see them losing potential Windows converts due to such thoughtlessness; or maybe there’s a copyright problem, as Microsoft loves copyrighting things that don’t belong to them, but c’mon, an easy option for GUI users to set this preference would make sense surely?

  14. skpendurti
    22/05/2011 at 6:14 pm Permalink

    Thanks that worked like a charm. Besides, I’ve set it to default.

  15. effah
    07/07/2011 at 11:21 pm Permalink

    this is incredible. am really satisfied with your solution. many thanks

  16. raptorak
    13/07/2011 at 6:56 am Permalink

    You sir, are a god

  17. arbit
    12/08/2011 at 10:24 am Permalink

    thanks 😀

  18. Roberto
    06/11/2011 at 3:11 am Permalink

    Thanks again a lot,
    used this info in 10.04 and now I have used this again in 11.10
    Hope I had not to use it anymore on next release…..

  19. Ravi
    10/12/2011 at 9:47 am Permalink


    Thanks a lot, my first day of ubuntu usage,

    really helping a lot, to open & close 100s of windows


  20. zendba
    29/01/2012 at 11:17 am Permalink

    Awesome tech tip…thank you….Windows has tons of dumb stuff…but close on the RHS is not one of them….thank you !!

  21. sonoloulou
    08/10/2013 at 2:53 am Permalink

    Hey guys, don’t know if you’re still there because it’s been a while since the first person posted.
    I haven’t read all the replies because I just discovered a way to do this. Yes, you do type in gconf-editor, to go megacity and then buttons, but instead of leaving the word “menu” there followed by a colon, you simply delete them, et voilà!
    Now my pages look more like they did on my Mac before it was stolen. So I’m happy. For people wanting to get back to the PC feel, well, just do the opposite.
    Have a happy day 🙂

  22. dumbass
    07/11/2013 at 10:50 am Permalink

    I can see gears icon after doing alt-f2 and ‘gconf-editor’ but when I click on it or double click on it, nothing happens.

    Those at coding centres do realize from all discussions that people dont like buttons on left but too arrogant to shift it on right again ? Hope they find something equally irritating placed on their vehicles. Buncha Bas***s