How can I disable the alt+click combination from moving windows in Ubuntu 11.10 (unity-2d)?

1 Answer 1


With Unity-2D, this is controlled using the /apps/metacity/general/mouse_button_modifier GConf key. To disable Alt+Click dragging, run

gconftool-2 --set /apps/metacity/general/mouse_button_modifier --type string disabled

To re-enable it, run

gconftool-2 --set /apps/metacity/general/mouse_button_modifier --type string '<Alt>'

Note that this GConf key controls several mouse shortcuts:

  • Alt+Click: Move windows
  • Alt+Middle Click: Resize windows
  • Alt+Right Click: Open a generic window menu

N.B: Disabling the modifier in this way can lead to the Alt+Drag behavior when no modifier keys are pressed (Every drag behaves like Alt+drag) Setting the modifier to '<SUPER>' makes the Super/Windows key the modifier. Alt+Drag can then be used by applications, and Super+Drag to move the window.

gconftool-2 --set /apps/metacity/general/mouse_button_modifier --type string '<SUPER>'

for Unity 3D

  • 2
    Note: If you're like me, you thought this applies to the "Gnome-classic (no effects)" session as well (since it uses metacity too). But no. Even though it uses metacity, you need to disable it in compiz as described here. Then it's disabled both in "Gnome-classic" (Compiz) and "Gnome-classic (no effects) (metacity) sessions. Dec 2, 2012 at 16:28

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