Add a minimize button to elementary (beta 1)

Note: this script is only for elementary beta 1 users: users of subsequent daily builds only need to run the gsettings command below to get the minimize icon to appear, since it is now included.

The default theme in elementary OS beta1 doesn’t have a minimize icon (by design).

Here is a script (alternative download option here) that will give you a working minimize button in elementary OS.

The file should be unzipped and then executed from within the extracted folder. The script will copy the new minimize icons into the appropriate directory, and the necessary xml file to modify the theme, and finally will implement your choice of gsettings command to add the minimize feature to your window.

After running the script, if you change your mind about the location of the button, you need to provide the appropriate gsettings command to change the gala button layout e.g.
gsettings set org.pantheon.desktop.gala.appearance \
button-layout 'close:minimize,maximize'

Thanks go to Valpskott for providing the script and better minimize icons.

This entry was posted in elementary, Linux, tweaks. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Add a minimize button to elementary (beta 1)

  1. Johan "Valpskott" Lindgren says:

    Hi Oimon!

    I had some trouble with your instructions, then I found that the some minuses was not acctual minuses (probably some text formatting issues in your blog).

    Anyway, for people’s convenience I made a script that will take care of all the steps (feel free to share it, you are credited in the script).

    Just unpack the zip, then run the script from a terminal by typing:
    from the directory where you unpacked the script file.

  2. Johan Lindgren says:


    I saw your changes to the script, nice! ๐Ÿ™‚
    One thing I wondered about is, what is the point in downloading metacity-theme-3.xml? Have you made any changes to the original?

    About the hover action. There is one file missing (minimize-pressed.svg), and it uses the hover button as the pressed one. Hope that info is helpful in any way ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Johan "Valpskott" Lindgren says:

    Hello again Oimon!

    I just did some more work on this. I remade all the minimize graphics to be more congruent with the other icons. I also fixed the errors in the xml file (hover wasn\t showing). It’s looking gooood! ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Stijn Verwaaijen says:

    It’s just perfect, thnx! (I guess DanRabbit can’t stop us from having our way ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Stijn Verwaaijen says:

    Actually, after logging out and back in it shows some prehistoric window borders. I can’t change to elementary or any other window border theme but Adwaita. Any thoughts?

    • oimon says:

      Strange. Did you install elementary from their iso, or installed elementary-desktop on top of Ubuntu/other distro? You might need to change some stuff using the gnome3 advanced settings GUI tool (or install dconf-utils and have a nose around in dconf-editor). I’d probably start by creating a fresh user account to see if it’s the user account or the system that is causing this.

      • Stijn Verwaaijen says:

        Hi. Thanks for your reply. It’s a daily build eOS install. It tried changing the theming with gnome-tweak-tool and dconf-editor but it’s no go. Let’s create a new user account and see what happens.

      • Stijn Verwaaijen says:

        Tried another user, tried completely removing elementary-theme. It just won’t work. By the way, once I applied the script I can’t set window borders to any other theme but elementary or Adwaita. Not even in dconf-settings.

    • oimon says:

      i’ve been using the elementary beta. i’ll try a newer daily build to see if i get a similar problem. to rollback the script to the original state, copy the over the metacity-theme-3.xml found in the /usr/share/themes/elementary/metacity-1/ directory.

      • Stijn Verwaaijen says:

        Cool. My gf’s netbook is running the beta as well and that one’s functioning normally. Also, the “hack” does work, as long as I don’t log out. The minimize button immediately appears.

      • Stijn Verwaaijen says:

        So I didn’t give up. I rolled back the theme to the original state but then I manually set the buttons in dconf-editor and guess what? They stick! Even after logging out. I’m completely baffled by all this…

    • oimon says:

      Using the 20121231 daily build from , i realised that a minimize icon is now included, and the xml file comes with the changes already made!
      So, for newer builds, all you need to do is run the gsettings command to add the minimize option. Let me know how you get on.
      Thanks for your feedback, I’ve added a note to the main post to avoid issues for daily builds users.

      • Stijn Verwaaijen says:


        You’re right! Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

        Btw, I linked the main post to G+. Hope you don’t mind.

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  7. lucas says:

    It really worked like a charm! Thank you!

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