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Window buttons on top GNOME Shell bar

I'm using a netbook these days and by default, GNOME Shell isn't great for screen real estate, so to get more vertical screen space I'm using GNOME Shell Window Buttons extension and Maximus (along with GNOME Shell Global Menu).

Window Buttons is a GNOME Shell extension that tries to replicate the Window Applets (or Unity) behavior for GNOME Shell: it adds the minimize, maximize and close buttons on the top GNOME Shell panel.

The window buttons can be customized: you can select from 5 built-in themes (or create your own theme), place them on left or right or change the buttons order.

The extension is about 3 weeks old, but I didn't write about it until now because of a bug that caused GNOME Shell to crash when used in combination with Maximus (which has been fixed).

Maximus is a tool to automatically remove maximized windows tiltebar.

Install GNOME Shell Window Buttons extension

To install GNOME Shell Window Buttons in Ubuntu 11.10, use the commands below:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/gnome3
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gnome-shell-extension-window-buttons

Once installed, restart GNOME Shell (or log out and log back in) and enable the extension using GNOME Tweak Tool.

To also install Maximus, see: How To Remove Maximized Windows Titlebar In GNOME Shell.

For other Linux distributions you can find installation instructions on the GNOME Shell Window Buttons extension GitHub page.

Configure GNOME Shell Window Buttons

GNOME Shell Window Buttons doesn't come with a configuration tool, but you can customize various aspects of the extension using Dconf Editor. To install Dconf Editor in Ubuntu, use the command below:
sudo apt-get install dconf-tools

You'll find all the Window Buttons extension settings in Dconf Editor under org > gnome > shell > extensions > window-buttons.

By default, the extension tries to use a theme to match your current Mutter/Metacity theme, but you can specify other themes such as Ambiance, Radiance, Zukitwo or Zukitwo-Dark. To be able to specify one of these themes, make sure you uncheck the "dogtk" box.

You can easily create your own themes too - check out the existing themes under /usr/share/gnome-shell/extensions/window_buttons@biox.github.com/themes to see how to create a theme! You can submit new themes @ Window Buttons Github page.

Also, the extension displays the same button arrangement as Mutter so for instance if you only have a close button on the windows, the extension will only display a close button too. The same goes for the button placement: if the button are placed on the left on the windows, they will also show up on the left on the top GNOME Shell bar. But this can be changed (you can change the both the buttons order and placement: left/right) in Dconf Editor, by modifying the "pinch" value: changing it to "Metacity", the buttons placement and order will follow that of Metacity; if you select "Custom", you can manually specify the buttons order and placement under "order".

In Dconf-Editor you can also specify to only show the buttons for maximized windows or to only control maximized windows.

After changing some of the settings (like the Window Buttons theme), you must restart GNOME Shell.