Thursday, May 23, 2013

Move the window controls to the left in Chrome on Ubuntu

I regularly switch between using Mac's and Linux machines at home and at work and as such I like to keep my window controls consistent across machines.

My home machine is a Mac running OSX 10.08 and my work Laptop runs Ubuntu Linux 13.04 with Gnome Shell. Both of these desktops have their window controls on the left in the same order:

OSX 10.8

Ubuntu 13.04 + Gnome Shell

This is all nice and harmonious until I install my preferred browser, Google Chrome, on Ubuntu. Chrome places its window controls on the right as per the MS Windows layout. 

Google Chrome + Ubuntu 13.04 + Gnome Shell (Default)

To resolve this you can change the default configuration exposed by Chrome by entering the following command at the terminal:

$ gconftool-2 --set /apps/metacity/general/button_layout --type string "close,minimize,maximize:"

To re-load the configuration you'll need to start a new desktop session (log out or restart). Once this is done your chrome window controls will fit in with the rest of your system.

Google Chrome + Ubuntu 13.04 + Gnome Shell (Modified)

I know I'll want to do this again some time and am writing this here for my own reference, hopefully someone else finds it useful also.