Allow the user to move window controls to the right

Bug #1622043 reported by Dan Dascalescu on 2016-09-09
This bug affects 34 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
unity (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

A very large number of users want to have the window control buttons (minimize, maximize, close) to the right. Reasons include consistency with other desktop environments, consistency with Chrome, being left-handed, living in a right-to-left locale etc.


In absence of an option in Unity to control the placement of window close/minimize/maximize buttons, users have turned to Unity Tweak Tool. When Unity decided to ignore that setting, a slew of bugs were filed (see bug 1309942).

IMO, this is not a setting that should require a 3rd party tool to enforce. Linux is all about choice. Please allow users to choose the location of the window controls.

Stephen M. Webb (bregma) wrote :

Thank you for trying to make Ubuntu better.

The window controls in Unity are on the left. It is not a setting, it's where the designers chose to place them. This will not change.

Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: New → Won't Fix
Yashgm (yashubuntu) wrote :

Although I understand that the window controls are on the left (as Stephen writes), there are many of us who dual-boot using Windows as well, for certain specific tasks/ document formatting etc. Under these circumstances it becomes extremely frustrating to have to switch between the two positions.

I don't know if it is so difficult to make the setting optional, or at least permit a switch. I had managed to do this in 12.04, but since it became impossible to do this with later versions, I had no option but to switch over - I am now a happy user of Mint!! (the Unity interface was also a contributory factor, but I believe this is addressed in 16.04)

Please let us have the option of moving the window controls to the right as well.


> It is not a setting, it's where the designers chose to place them.

We know. We ask for it to become a setting. The few Canonical designers and the millions of Unity users may very well have different preferences. Do designers *really* not want to allow users to change the location of these controls? Or do they actually want to impart a coherent aesthetic across different form factors and window states, which suggests (note, not "dictates") that the controls be placed in the upper left corner *by default* (note, not "in any possible circumstance an actual user may encounter in the wild")?

Steven Verner (verner-steven) wrote :

This needs to be changed from "Won't Fix" to "Ubuntu is no longer FOSS". Taking away ANY choice is NEVER ok.

philippe (pmespace-subs) wrote :

Because you don't know what users want does not prevent you from doing what they ask.
They want controls on the right because it is the way it is on all other platforms. Your "WON'T FIX" is simply a lack of respect of your own customers, who will, as I will, change platform and distribution.

Another reason to enable controls on the right: compatibility with Chrome's native look.

You'll reply that Chrome can be customized to adopt the OS theme. That's true, and it shows that the Chrome team respects their users.

K. Tibor (ha3flt) wrote :

I had been working for a while in a place where half of the large glass windows of a very large room were painted to black (!) causing constant twilight, because the city's chief architect designer, or whoever it was, wrote a rule, how the given facades of our and some neighbour buildings should look, and the others had smaller windows. This is real.

I've read through the advantages of placing the menus on top, but honestly, I don't care. I already tweaked Unity to put the menu back to its place (...), and some other settings not to be disturbed when I'm trying to use it. :-) When a person or organization - and mainly a designer :-) - caught by the fever of changing goes so far against the common sense by ignorance, lack of empathy, etc. to the status quo, to people who wants to continue using software without damages caused by forced re-learn curves and so on, then its luck will change soon. Tell me, how much faster a today's computer without displaying some more fields and texts... Unity is not for the smallest systems.

So, this "bug" is a real pain to me, since I just moved to Linux as the main OS after 25 years of Windows system and UI programming exactly to have choices in how I use and connect applications, against the abrupt and similarly numb, inevitable but fundamental, violent changes, the cut-settings-to-the-minimum trend, and, to be fair, against the ever increasing, large scale spying conducted by more and more companies as well, to keep my computer mine.

So, thanks. And not. :-)

K. Tibor (ha3flt) wrote :

Oh, I forgot to mention: this revolutionary top menu cuts down even more choices, it's not only about the re-learning; I cannot use "Sloppy" focus mode + "Raise on click" with it, what I need badly. I used a utility on Windows for this behaviour, too. Hopefully you guys will not remove them in the next build...

Tom Adelstein (tom-adelstein) wrote :

I don't understand why designers should dictate every potential option of my user interphase.

I'm not sure of the status of this issue. I have moved users to Ubuntu Desktop from Windows. They had the choice of upgrading their Windows desktops from earlier versions of the OS to Windows 10. Windows 10 allows older hardware to run faster. Running faster on old hardware has always been a staple of Linux.

I have to switch from Ubuntu to Windows 10 for work. That's necessary to use Adobe's Photographic Cloud suite. Changing back to Unity on my laptop does cause inconveniences. I cannot find justification that suggests designers should dictate my user interphase. Even Adobe gives me more choices. I can work on Windows and, or Mac using the hotkey options.

Ole Martin Sørli (superole) wrote :

> It is not a setting, it's where the designers chose to place them.

Then you should consider replacing your designers with someone who understands the term "user experience". A bit harsh, I know, but so is your statement "This will not change".

I have used 16.04LTS with unity now for some weeks, thinking that the placement of these buttons was only a matter of habit, and that I would get used to it after a while. However it turns out that I am not getting used to it, it only gets more frustrating and painful over time.

Salvin Francis (salvin18) wrote :

"It is not a setting, it's where the designers chose to place them."

Many users switching to linux are used to using Microsoft Windows. This is so common that we even have linux distributions to match this switch. I am a right handed person, and I feel that the experience to move my mouse all the way to the left hand corner seems counter-intuitive.

I don't think this Bug is about why the buttons are to the left, I think this Bug is about why there is no setting to move it back to the right.

Paul Steed (ethelred) wrote :

Just as I was starting to get used to buttons being on the left (I would still prefer them on the right) I had a look at the System Log and it has its buttons on the right. Why should that be?

Nikolai Trapp (n.trapp) wrote :

I'm using Linux Mint 18.3. I cannot move the control buttons to left for applications "Calculator" and "Disks". With other applications it's working fine.

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