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Is it possible to add the close/minimize/maximize bar to the top GNOME bar like in Unity so it takes up less space? I'm running Gnome 3.x in Ubuntu.

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Did you check the gnome3 plugin site?

In gnome 3.10 the new behavior is that maximized apps lost the titlebar in a similar way to unity if that helps. For now only the core applications behave like this and neither have a tittlebar since the close button is in the toolbar.

Hopefully Ubuntu 14.04 will get gnome 3.10.

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