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(Gnome-Shell, 13.04, upgraded, Gnome 3.8)

Recently, I upgraded Ubuntu to 13.04. the default desktop is gnome-shell.

Except Nautilus, other software border doesn't disappear when I make them to be maximized. I checked the problem for these software:

  • LibreOffice
  • Firefox
  • Rhythmbox
  • thunderbird
  • Gnome-Terminal

On the other hand there are three bars on maximized mode:

  1. Gnome-shell panel
  2. Title-bar for software which contains -+x buttons.
  3. Software menu-bar enter image description here

Number "2" is extra. Is a package missing?


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Have you installed any gnome shell extension ? Because installing maximus gnome shell extension hides the title bar. – mac May 3 '13 at 10:42
Hover over the top-most bar and send the screenshot for the same. It must show menus while hovering... – Kalpesh Panchal May 3 '13 at 12:57
@mac, maximus doesn't work on Gnome 3.8; I've used the following repository to promote the gnome version after upgrading to 13.04: ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3 – mini May 4 '13 at 9:03
Can you explain more of what the actual problem is? Do you want to remove the title-bar on all applications? Or stop them from hiding? – l300lvl May 11 '13 at 5:33
@l300lvl, I want it to be disappeared when the window is maximized! Nautilus does it well (img), but the other software don't! (firefox). – mini May 11 '13 at 5:59
up vote 20 down vote accepted

There's a much easier way than editing config files - simply add this extension to get rid of the title bar and reclaim your screen space.

It has the added benefit that you still get maximise/minimise buttons but these are now stowed away in the top panel.

I previously used Maximus but this seemed to break with gnome 3.8 - Maximus also use to give me issues with pop-up calendars for my bank but this extension play nicely with that too.

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To make Maximus work on Gnome 3.8. Edit ~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions/‌​data.json Add "3.8" in "shell-version". Save file. Restart Gnome, Alt-F2, r. – Pierre Thibault Apr 7 '14 at 4:16
pixel-saver does not work under ubuntu 14.04 – Superbiji May 3 '14 at 1:44
@Superbiji I got it working from source - seems the gnome extensions page has an outdated version. – artfulrobot May 7 '14 at 15:27
working in 3.10 (after updating shell-version in metadata) – mikakun May 16 '14 at 14:50
There is also this extension on which PixelSaver is based... The buttons it has can be moved and can have the theme changed easily :-) – Wilf Jun 18 '14 at 14:28

A quick and simple fix for this can be found on webupd8

To test this quickly without much work, just launch:

gnomesu gedit /usr/share/themes/Adwaita/metacity-1/metacity-theme-3.xml

Now find this next line, Ctrl+f to search, you want to be sure it is the line that reads name=max:

frame_geometry name="max"

change that so it looks like this:

frame_geometry name="max" has_title="false"

Now restart the shell to view the changes, Alt+F2, type r, and Enter/Return

To further customize this you should examine the above webupd8 article and make your changes carefully, or paste the entire contents of the frame_geometry style including everything between:

<frame_geometry name="max" ... </frame_geometry>

As you will see with the above edit, the entire title bar isn't gone, a small portion remains. But I did not make the other changes and the contents of that stylesheet differ between shell versions, read below for another change I tested. I am also running 3.8 though, so I went ahead and did some testing and I made one more change under frame_geometry=max I changed the following value from 8 to 0:

<distance name="title_vertical_pad" value="0"/>

You'll notice the difference now, and there's still a bit of a shadow left over, but it actually looks pretty good to me.

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Wow, thanks; If you change top & bottom for name="title_border" and name="button_border" to zero, the bar will be disappeared fully :D – mini May 11 '13 at 19:57
Sweet. I'm gonna do that to now that I'm actually using this. I looked for duplicated as well but yours is the only post asking for a method to remove them entirely, other people don't like the feature much and wanted the reverse effect. After seeing your post and getting it working again in 3.8, I'm thankful because I actually missed this feature! – l300lvl May 11 '13 at 20:59
I sometimes lose my settings whiyin metacity-theme-3.xml file after updating system. It occurred over by over :( – mini Jun 26 '13 at 20:09
@deroot You loose those changes because the whole file is being replaced. I don't think it can be helped as it's rather hard to distinguish between your changes and those introduced by the new version so the update process can't really "cut out" your modifications and "paste them back" after update. If I were you I would keep a backup and run a diff -u against the new version to see what changed exactly and to make corrections if necessary. – Cyprian Guerra Sep 15 '13 at 7:39
button_height="0" seemed to help to. – Brady Trainor Feb 16 '14 at 17:28

Even though it sounds tempting to use a GNOME extension for this purpose, it seems to me like this is not the most elegant way. After all, it's a change to the window decorations, hence it should be covered by the window theme.

However, changing the global Adwaita theme in /usr/share/themes isn't any better, because your package manager will overwrite changes with every update. Because of that, I used to have a copy of the Adwaita metacity theme with the necessary changes described in the above answers. Whenever there was an update to gnome-themes-standard I used to update my custom theme by applying a patch file ( to the Adwaita metacity theme.

But patch would soon complain about changed line numbers (due to the updates by the GNOME devs). So I decided to write down the necessary changes in an XSLT script that would be almost completely resistant to future changes by the GNOME devs:

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Just for update: current solution would be to install maximus extension. It's author already fixed it for Gnome 3.8 - there's a mini how-to in franz91's comment.

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kind of dead project now... – mikakun May 16 '14 at 13:11
Well, it is an old answer to an old question. Currently applications handle redrawing the title bar themselves and those which don't have plug-ins available (like HTitle for Firefox and Thunderbird). – Cyprian Guerra May 16 '14 at 14:57
wahoo, thanks i had no idea – mikakun May 16 '14 at 15:30

For gnome shell <= 3.8 You can use Maximus, but it doesn't work on newer versions. For new gnome versions there's Maximus 2 right from the gnome extensions directory.

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