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Each time I open any application, it zooms to fill-up the entire desktop and so I am always forced to use "Unmaximize" using Alt+Space menu.

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There is no lightdm window manager. (lightdm drives the login screen). Do you perhaps mean Compiz or Metacity? When you log in to GNOME Classic, do you choose just "GNOME Classic" or "GNOME Classic (no effects)"? – Dylan McCall Jun 21 '12 at 23:28

For Gnome 3.8, it's

gsettings set org.gnome.mutter auto-maximize false

You can also set this by dconf-editor.

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If you are talking about Metacity (GNOME Classic with no effects), it's possible that the maximize_windows option was enabled for some reason. To make sure it is disabled, open Terminal from the applications menu and enter this command:

gconftool --set --type=bool /apps/metacity/general/auto_maximize_windows False
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You can set the /apps/compiz-1/plugins/unityshell/screen0/options/automaximize_value key in gconf to 100:

gconftool-2 -s /apps/compiz-1/plugins/unityshell/screen0/options/automaximize_value -t int 100

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I found a annoyingly stubborn application called "maximus".
It started via
...and via

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Welcome to AU! Please explain how this is related to the question and how it would solve the explained problem. – David Foerster Oct 19 '14 at 0:49

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