First, this is not a duplicate of How can I always show the close, minimise & maximise buttons into their own windows? - I would like to preserve global menus.

Is there a way to only always show the close, minimise and maximise buttons on every application?

The use case is as follows: I have a maximized application in the background, over it is a not-maximized application that has got focus. I want to close the maximized application. I move the pointer to upper left corner. The buttons do not show, since the background application does not have focus. I have to go back, click on it and then go back to the corner to close it. I do that several times a day :-( .

  • Not sure what's to be gained, to close the maxed window you still have to click on file > close, not much different than click on to focus, then close thru button. I know one way to do globally rather then thru each app individually though it will not work if you use a transparent unity panel. If no other decent answer arises will post how – doug Nov 21 '11 at 5:05
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    I do not understand. If there is a close button on the maximized window, I could use that to close the window. I wouldn't need to use file>close. – sup Nov 21 '11 at 8:56
  • @doug In case it's still not clear, I think he's asking how to keep the global menu in the panel, but bring the window buttons back to the windows themselves, even the maximized ones. (If I'm not mistaken, this is the behavior Mac OS X has.) However, the current design mandates that maximized windows have their titlebars be replaced by the panel, so I'm not sure how this could be implemented. – Christopher Kyle Horton Nov 23 '11 at 6:16
  • WarriorIng64: not quite. If you mean this: solidstateraam.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/… - the close, minimize & maximize buttons are under the menu, I would like them to be next to to menu (i.e. left to the apple icon in the screenshot, or where the dash icon was in 11.04. before moving to the launcher). But actually your suggestion woul work as well. – sup Nov 24 '11 at 13:48

Turns out this bothers many people and there were six separate bugs already filled in launchpad, this is the master bug

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  • As only one window can be maximised and visible at same time, one virtual solution would be this: if user hovers near left up corner of screen, some tiny control window to appear letting user choice of manipulation. I'll maybe try to graphically describe letter in case it's not easy to comprehend – zetah Nov 24 '11 at 16:14
  • Here is screen-shot of what I'm talking about: i.imgur.com/eZ3zh.png - Nautilus is maximised in background and Gnumeric is in front. If user hovers in upper left region (let's say 300x300 px region, which does not include global menu or launcher panel) or maybe at any edge region, then this tiny control to appear with program or window name letting user action – zetah Nov 25 '11 at 8:50
  • Well, I personally would not like this design very much, but hey, that is only my two cents - try to add that to the bug I linked report, I doubt people who decide will see it here. – sup Nov 25 '11 at 13:52
  • Done, and I like the idea of embedding window controls in launcher quicklist better ;) – zetah Nov 25 '11 at 14:33

I tried to solve same problem for myself and found following unacceptable workaround, which I'm posting for informative purposes, not as a real solution:

In Control Center > Windows dialog, tick on "Select windows when mouse moves over them" and leave empty box for "Raise selected window...".
What it does it focuses window you hover with mouse without raising it and makes this problem easily solvable, but also introduces other problem: For application that aren't maximised (or touching top of Unity panel) only way to access it menu is through keyboard shortcut: F10

Then I thought if it's possible to trigger this "focus on hover without raising" feature only if special keyboard shortcut is pressed, but been unable to find how

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  • Hm, throwing the baby with the washwater, but thanks anyway! – sup Nov 24 '11 at 13:48

You could try this, if it doesn't work out as intended or there are some undesirable results just remove the line.

As I mentioned before do not do this with a transparent panel, (unless you're disabling "Have file manager handle the desktop"

gedit ~/.profile

Put this on a new line at bottom of file, save & log out/in


Not really that keen on this method but should work for all but browsers & email in unity

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  • This does not seem to do anything. – sup Nov 24 '11 at 13:42
  • Actually, it makes menus show both in global menu and in application menu - that is not what I wanted (it does not do anything for buttons). – sup Nov 25 '11 at 15:55

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