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Linux tips and tweaks

Change the window title bar button positions

There are lots of different themes for the Gnome desktop in Linux. Several are supplied and there are more online. They customise the look of the user interface and they change the colour scheme and graphics used for buttons like the close, minimise and maximise in the title bar of windows. Some themes have the close, minimise and maximise buttons on the left and some have them on the right. Which do you prefer? Maybe you have selected your favourite theme, but the buttons are on the wrong side, well, not exactly the wrong side, but not the side you would prefer. How do you change them? It's actually quite easy when you know how.

Open a Terminal window (to do this in Ubuntu you click Applications, Accessories, Terminal). At the Terminal prompt you just type gconf-editor and the Gnome Configuration Editor will open. Expand the Apps section on the left, then metacity and select general. In the list of values on the right, double click button_layout.

The position of the colon in the button_layout value determines whether the close, minimise and maximise buttons are on the left or the right. Put it at the start (:close,minimize,maximize) to have the buttons on the right or put it at the end (close,minimize,maximize:) to have the buttons on the left.

Quit the editor and close the Terminal. The buttons are now in your preferred position.

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