How to move the close, maximize and minimize buttons to the left in Ubuntu 19.04

move buttons in Ubuntu If I remember correctly, and if I am wrong, correct me, years ago Ubuntu had the close, maximize and minimize buttons on the left. Otherwise, I think I would not have gotten used to having them in the opposite part to which they appear now. That is why since they returned to the right (always if I'm not mistaken) I do whatever it takes to return them to the left. It can be achieved in several ways, among which I recommend using the terminal to move buttons left.

The change is totally safe. One option is to use gnome-tweak-tool, which once installed in Spanish appears as "Retouching" in the different application menus. Although it is something that we will explain later, and as I have already mentioned, I I recommend doing it with the terminal. Why? Well, because once the command has been learned / written down or a script, we will only have to run it once and we will not install packages that will not be needed in the future.

Command to move the buttons to the left.

With the above explained, the command to move the buttons to the left is as follows:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences button-layout 'close,maximize,minimize:'

It is not necessary to know anything about the above, but explaining how things work does not hurt. It means:

  • gsettings: the command that tells you to play settings in GNOME.
  • set: you are going to apply a value.
  • org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences: the file that we are going to modify.
  • button-layout: the position of the buttons.
  • close, maximize, minimize: the button layout.
  • All two points (:): we could say that is where the center of the window is. If they are on the right, we will put the buttons on the left.

Knowing all this, we can play with how to put it. For example, if we put 'close, close, close' we will have three close buttons. I can not imagine what this can be used for other than as a curious fact. If we have any buttons left over, we can delete some of the words. For example, although I don't want to delete it, I never use the maximize window. To do it I floor drag the windows and push them to the top center. For this case, we could remove the word "maximize" and leave it as 'close, minimize'.

Move them with GNOME Tweaks

I have already commented that I do not recommend using this method if we do not plan to make more changes than the protagonists of this post. We are going to install extra software and it doesn't make much sense if we just want to move the buttons from one side to the other. But the truth is that it can help us if we do not remember the command. To move them to the left with a software with GUI just follow these steps:

  1. We open a terminal.
  2. We write the command:
sudo apt install gnome-tweak-tool
  • Alternatively, we can go to the software center and search for "Tweaks". This will not be valid if we do not have the operating system in Spanish. If we have it in another language we can try to search for "tweak" or "tweaks".
  1. We open Retouching.
  2. Let's go to "Window title bars".
  3. In the "Placement" section we click on "Left" or "Right".

Gnome-tweak-tool or Tweaks

What method do you prefer to move the mentioned buttons? Although perhaps there is another question to ask before: on which side do you prefer to have them?


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  1.   Dave said

    Thanks, I always missed the buttons there but until now I was born to move them again, by terminal it is simple and fast.

  2.   John said

    I personally get a bug when I try to use gnome-tweaks the graphical way. So I prefer to use the command line as you suggest!

    I prefer to have a single close button to the left, no maximize (Super + Up does it already), no minimize (Super + H). I don't use the close button much anyway (Alt + F4) but I leave it there anyway for other people to use it, and for me to know that a window can be closed (some windows don't have a close button because they shouldn't be closed).

    ´gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences button-layout 'close:' ´