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Cramming window controls and window title into the top panel, doesn't really appeal to me, since it looks like it's a permanent fixture, I'm wondering if there is a way to disable this behavior.

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I'm feeling the same pain. I've opened a bug report here, hoping it will get addressed in 11.10 : – stevecomrie May 2 '11 at 6:09

I'm afraid it's not really possible.

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While using Unity, I'm afraid it is not possible at the moment, at least not via any configuration options. Uninstalling some packages might work, but could result in numerous problems.

If you are fond ot the old style Ubuntu with Gnome-panel 2, you could always opt to boot into Ubuntu Classic.

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and then run unity-2d-shell to get the launcher back. best of both worlds. – Mateo May 4 '12 at 3:18

I suppose you could uninstall indicator-appmenu but I've not tried that and removing it is not really a supported configuration in 11.04.

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But that would remove the application's menu bar, OP just want to remove the window controls (maximize, minimize, close) – tutuca Apr 28 '11 at 16:37

If you add window decoration in Compiz you can get your old window behavior back (min/max/close at the top right of the window). You'll still have trouble with maximized windows (see Can the Close / Minimize / Maximize buttons be pulled out of the Global App Menu when a window is maximized?) but you'll be a lot closer to what you want.

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