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.


Matrix0027 said...

Thank you for this! It worked perfectly on Zorin-OS 7 (based on Ubuntu 13.04). I was going nuts trying to fix this.

actionless said...

doesn't helped in openbox :(

Jonas Groß said...


shantanu said...

It works.. thanks

Unknown said...

Good one :)

Matthew Faulconer said...


András Rácz said...

great! didn’t even need to restart anything! (Ubuntu 14.04LTS, Unity)

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