Trying things out the Gnome Way

Greetings lovely community,

One of the first things I’ve always done when using a fresh install of Gnome is adding window titlebar buttons for maximize and minimize. Gnome’s default only shows the close button in the titlebar and I always found this counter intuitive; not necessarily by a design point, but by a practical and functional point. I’ve always scoffed at the idea of using just a close button, it seemed like a regressive paradigm. But I’ll admit from a design point, I have always liked the clean look and minimal clutter.

I got to wondering recently, could I be as productive if I tried the Gnome approach? Could I say goodbye to two buttons that I’ve been so familiar and intimate with for many years?

Well, I did an experiment for the last two weeks or so and I can safely say I’ve been able to adapt my workflow (with minimal effort!) to Gnome’s minimal titlebar button approach. If you’re curious to try as well, at the very least I’d say it’s worth a try. It does feel weird the first hour/day, but after that it feels like second nature and I’m just as productive as before. If you’re curious how my experiment went and what to do, I’ll do a quick breakdown below.

What you’ll need:
Gnome Tweaks tool
And an open mind, that’s it!

Maybe you’ve already been using just the close button, but this is for anyone curious to try it out that was like me and never really gave it a chance.

Open up Gnome Tweaks, under the Window Titlebars tab, adjust the settings to look like what’s displayed below:

I turned off the Maximize and Minimize buttons, and for myself I changed the minimize function to middle mouse click. This feels weird at first when I started using it, but it does allow me to minimize a window with less mouse travel, because I can click anywhere on the titlebar to minimize it, which is a great little benefit. Doubling clicking the titlebar maximizes the window, but usually my windows are in a windowed mode or already full screen, so I don’t use the maximize function often.

It mostly came down to a bit of overcoming some muscle memory I’ve been programmed to minimize by dragging my mouse all the way to the top right. But by dragging my mouse (depending on the application of course), to anywhere on the titlebar, it feels every so slightly more efficient and intuitive to me now.

Now I’m left with a more “traditional” (some might say vanilla!) approach to my Gnome desktop and I gotta say I couldn’t be happier. I’m going to be sticking with this approach from now on as it feels a bit more productive and looks cleaner overall.

If you ever feel like giving the experiment a try and doing something "the Gnome way’ feel free to share your experience!


Why stop at that? Get rid of the close button, too. :slight_smile: And while you’re at it, you really don’t need window borders.


I don’t know? I’m just not feeling it! I like having minimize & maximize plus a way to close the window. I keep trying Gnome but i just cant walk away from Plasma. The Plasma Kid Does Everything!
(Plasma KDE)


Just wanna add my 2 cents about min/max/close buttons. I’ve only close button shown because I made a keybind for middle mouse button on titlebar to minimize the window.

And maximize window happens on double click titlebar anyway. + keybinds for snapping windows to the edge and min/max/close them.

I never felt like I need to have these buttons at all. So I think the GNOME approach to it makes sense.


@Kresimir I was merely attempting what is part of the default vanilla Gnome setup. What you’re suggesting goes far beyond that into a whole other realm that’s more akin to a WM environment. That approach relies more on keyboard use than the mouse, and this was strictly an experiment related to mouse use. Basically, I just wanted to test out using Gnome how the devs intended :wink:

@ricklinux You like what you like, nothing wrong with that. I’m not a fan of maple syrup on everything, but to each their own! In all seriousness though, like I mentioned this was more an experiment involving mouse use. Gnome is built with focus and intent on using it as a keyboard-centric desktop, so for any keyboard shortcuts user, this would be a fruitless adventure to say the least :sweat_smile:

@nodq Looks like you’ve already been doing what I just started doing! I’m just coming around to the Gnome approach, but it’s good to see you have found it productive as well for your workflow.


You don’t like maple syrup, pancakes and sausage or bacon? :pancakes: :astonished:

Edit: I don’t know what the Gnome intent is? I never thought about it.


Well since I got rid of the Max and Min buttons, I’ll have to get rid of two of those too. I think I’ll keep the bacon :wink:

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And what’s the point of windows at all? This is not Windows …

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The minimize maximize buttons are not the issue here. The big issue is they are on the wrong side of the screen! The right?? The whole experience is just unusable with the button or buttons on the right.

I’m really liking the Gnome 42 approach so far, so I will try your approach and see what happens to my my productivity.

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i try your challenge/experiment can no handle that bar :face_with_symbols_over_mouth: ugly ,pointless in original state . True i cheat little " Dash to panel " that only extension now , it show time + tray only on auto hide ( :pray: if cheat ) every thing else can i deal .


I have ignored Gnome since 3.0 came along. I see no reason to start back up now. :rofl:

Not entirely true. I did try to appease some Gnome fans by building a Gnome desktop Arch spin, But I always hated doing it.


I don’t really miss the minimise tbh, I just use workspaces


I want my workspaces to be populated with each application every time I boot. Any ideas how t automate it?

This extension allows you to allocate apps to different workspaces