Rearranging Gnome titlebar buttons


Given my MacBook Pro's sudden loss of a screen I've had to rely on my ThinkPad X40 with Debian to be my mobile workhorse not just a netbook while I get it fixed. As such I've decided to start a small series of posts on how to make the Gnome desktop more Mac like. Riveting stuff!

If you're used to Mac OS X, the title bar buttons all seem to be in the wrong places in Unix like desktop environments. In KDE and Xfce it's easy to modify their positioning, but in Gnome you have to use the Configuration Editor.

Fire up the Configuration Editor from the Applications > System Tools menu, then expand out the apps folder, then the metacity, then click general. The eighth item down is titled button_label and by default has the following:


You can emulate the layout of Mac OS X by changing it to:


Note the American spelling, a few times I wrote that line and couldn't figure out why it wasn't working, turns out I was spelling the words with s not z!

These steps are current as of Gnome 2.26.1.

Author bio and support


Ruben Schade is a technical writer and IaaS engineer in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person in bios. Wait, not BIOS… my brain should be EFI by now.

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