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I use to use always-on-top windows frequently and make them such by setting the option in windows' right click menu. Can I get this option closer, right in windows' titlebar alongside with minimize/maximize/close buttons?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

You can add such a button to your titlebar, however there is a very strong limitation on it. The issue is that the theme you are using must have an image for it.

In gconf-editor (Alt+F2 and enter gconf-editor), go to /apps/metacity/general and add the value above where ever you like it. eg:


Now you'll probably not see a whole lot of change, since according to this blog post from the metacity developers only a few themes support it. An example of such a theme would be Crux.

Adding that button to the theme yourself will, at first glance, require you to delve into your theme's settings; more precisely its metacity-1 folder. It looks like there you would be have to edit the xml file as well as dropping some image files in the folder.

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You can map a key-binding for this. You can do that by hitting Alt+F2 (to get the run dialog) and running gconf-editor. In gconf-editor, browse to /apps/metacity/window_keybindings and set a key-binding for toggle_above.

I'd expect this key-binding to be changable from System -> Preferences -> Keyboard shorcuts too, but either I'm blind or it's not there for some reason.

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To my knowledge this is not possible on metacity, but it is possible if you use compiz (with emerald), kwin, or icewm (AFAIK). If you don't mind running compiz, you could install emerald and emerald theme manager, and edit the theme (or install another) to use this button.

Another option would be to use ubuntu-tweak (NB: NOT SUPPORTED) and edit your metacity theme to have the menu button (saves a right click :P).

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Unfortunately Compiz is unusable with my graphics card and Metacity is the most stable WM I used with it (even XFWM has issues). As for Ubuntu Tweak - I used it to move the window buttons to the right, but couldn't find an option to add always-on-top button there. – Ivan Jan 15 '11 at 3:17
I said the "menu" button because there is no always on top button. The menu button just saves you a right click :) – RolandiXor Jan 15 '11 at 3:21

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