Move Window Buttons to Right in Ubuntu 12.10 & 12.04

Ubuntu keeps window buttons (the minimize, maximize, and close buttons) in the left corner of window’s tile bar. For some users, they expect the window control buttons to be moved to the right, and this simple tutorial is going to show you how to do it in Ubuntu 12.10 and 12.04.

For Ubuntu 12.10

For ubuntu 12.10, gconf-editor won’t work any more. Please use this command instead to move window buttons to right.

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

Or, install Dconf Editor using Ubuntu Software Center. Open dconf-editor, navigate to org/gnome/desktop/wm/preferences, change the value of button layout to :minimize,maximize,close

For Ubuntu 12.04:
If you have already installed Ubuntu configuration tool Ubuntu-Tweak, you can easily use it to switch window buttons to right under Tweaks -> Window.

Or you can use gconf-editor, which not only works on Ubuntu, it also works on any OS which is using GNOME. For Ubuntu, press Ctrl+Alt+T, copy and paste this command into terminal to install gconf-editor:

sudo apt-get install gconf-editor

Then launch it within terminal command:


Navigate to apps -> metacity -> general. Double click on “button_layout” key and change its value from close,minimize,maximize: to :minimize,maximize,close. It takes effect immediately.

That’s it, enjoy!


  1. Desh says:

    It cannot be done in Ubuntu 12.10 Beta 2

    • HandyTutorial says:

      I’m downloading Ubuntu 12.10 Beta2, I’ll update this post later. If you have solved the problem, please let me know. Thanks!

      • HandyTutorial says:

        Sounds like a Unity 6.6.0′s bug on Ubuntu 12.10. Use this command in terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) to move windows buttons to right:

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

    Thanks for this guide however, i think you missed the ‘menu:’ part of what needs to be entered. The full syntax should be ‘menu:minimize,maximize,close’

  3. Jason says:

    Hey, so this worked fine. for everything except chromium web browser. it still has the close, min, maximise on the left hand side. Any idea how to fix it?

    • HandyTutorial says:

      For Google Chrome and Chromium browser, go to settings -> check “use system titlebar and borders” under Appearence.

  4. Silvio says:

    Thank you dude!

  5. Tim Black says:

    As is usually the case with Linux and any shareware forums the information is incorrect – the dconf description as given above does not work but the gsettings line does – please ammend to improve accuracy and why not actually try your tutorial steps on a real machine. If you log out and log back in again the setting reverts to the previous value.
    I am assuming this app has to be run as sudo or something but nonetheless the information is still incorrect.

  6. albert says:

    I am a new user of Ubuntu, more is Linux, and I felt uncomfortable with left button style. But your information changes my life, it works. Great man! Thank you very much…

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