I've installed Ubuntu 16.04 on my laptop and I'm using gnome-shell 3.18.4. When I'm trying to move the window buttons to the right by using dconf-edit How to switch window controls to the left (Gnome Shell)? I'm unable to move the window buttons to the right.
What can I do to move the buttons to the right?

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    One way is to use Gnome 3 or other windows manager that puts buttons on the right, but I think you are not asking for that kind of answer. – nobody May 3 '16 at 11:37
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    Reformulate your question as "How to do this or that" instead – userDepth May 4 '16 at 1:10
  • Not possible with unity desktop. Get used to it! – Sagar Panchal May 5 '16 at 17:30
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    Ubuntu MATE 16.04 has the windows buttons on the right, additionally there's a Munity - a Unity look alike – pfeiffep May 6 '16 at 16:25
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    Canonical refused to implement any option for this in 16.04, see this bug: "The window controls in Unity are on the left. It is not a setting, it's where the designers chose to place them. This will not change.". I personally find this incredibly obtuse, but, you get what you pay for. – Dan Dascalescu Sep 20 '16 at 23:06

If I understand you correctly and you are on (Vanilla) Ubuntu 16.04 with GNOME Shell installed (version 3.18.4) the following command should move the buttons to the right:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences button-layout ':minimize,maximize,close'

To set them back, the command is:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences button-layout 'close,maximize,minimize:'
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    This worked for me on Ubuntu 16.04 with Gnome-Shell. Big Thanks – dufte May 19 '16 at 7:45
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    This works, and i have used a modified version to show the contextual menu en the left side: gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences button-layout 'menu:minimize,maximize,close' – Ftaveras Jul 30 '16 at 16:37
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    @DanDascalescu: This question and answer are talking about Ubuntu 16.04 with GNOME Shell, not with Unity. – matthias Sep 24 '16 at 16:27
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    Nice! In Unity, this will never work: "The window controls in Unity are on the left. It is not a setting, it's where the designers chose to place them. This will not change.". I personally find this incredibly obtuse. – Dan Dascalescu Sep 24 '16 at 22:43
  • Well it looks like I'm switching to GNOME instead of Unity then. – Charles Clayton May 22 '17 at 17:27

At the moment there is not much that can be done to shift the window buttons to the right in a standard installation of Ubuntu Xenial Xerus. Since Trusty Tahr the handling of window decorations is no longer accessible from org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences and is now handled by Unity itself. Alterations with tools such as the Tweak Tool or Dconf Editor in this area are no longer respected and will exasperatingly and silently be ignored.

So until someone can produce a suitable patch for the Unity source code, and I would personally welcome such a patch, we are stuck with buttons to the left.


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    This is an explanation not an answer. Put it in a comment instead. – userDepth May 4 '16 at 1:10
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    This is an unusual case in that there is no answer at the moment, thus the explanation is the only answer.... – andrew.46 May 4 '16 at 1:14
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    Are you trying to imply that this is not a question ? It is, and deserves an answer despite it being clear or not. – userDepth May 4 '16 at 1:19
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    No that is not my implication at all and I find the question perfectly clear. I would dearly like to see an answer that provides movement of the buttons. Feel free to provide a better answer btw :) – andrew.46 May 4 '16 at 1:21
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    I know the situation, but my reasons are that a question deserves an answer instead of an explanation. If you have an explanation the put it in a comment is my suggestion. Fluffy Llamas – userDepth May 4 '16 at 2:01

Hmmm... Interesting. I was thinking... I'm on 16.04. I'm also on gnome-shell 3.18. But my window buttons are on the right.

Lightbulb, when reading the comments: Oh, I'm on Ubuntu GNOME, rather than Ubuntu vanilla.

If you wanted to use Ubuntu as distro and Gnome Shell as the DE (as I also prefer), you'll have a better Gnome experience by installing the Ubuntu GNOME flavor instead. So why not give it a try? The base distribution will just be the same anyways.

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