Friday, May 14, 2010

Today's Ubuntu Annoyance: The Buttons are on the Left

In 10.04 using the Gnome desktop, the buttons to minimize, maximize, and close a window moved from the right side of the screen to the left. Being right-handed, it feels unnatural to have the buttons on the left, so I want to move them back. Trevor has the solution:

  1. Open gconf-editor, either from the command line or by pressing Alt-F2 and typing it in the box.
  2. Click on the + sign next to Apps.
  3. Scroll down on the left-hand-side until you find metacity. Click on the + beside it.
  4. Click on the folder labeled general.
  5. On the right-hand-side, find the label button_layout. Double-click it.
  6. In the box that appears, type :minimize,maximize,close. Order is important. The colon divides the left-hand side from the right. So if you wanted the close button on the right and the rest on the left, you'd type minimize,maximize:close.
  7. Click OK and you're done.

If you want to edit things by hand, it looks as though the appropriate place is the file $HOME/.gconf/apps/metacity/general/%gconf.xml, which should look something like this:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
 <entry name="button_layout" mtime="1273837457" type="string">

Although there may be other entries between the gconf lines.