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I'm losing a lot of precious vertical screen real estate to the fat border at the top of each window. is there anything I can do to make it go away or get it down to 2 pixels?

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Out of curiosity, how do you do your window management without title bars? – Ryan Thompson Nov 5 '09 at 7:48
Alt-Click to move, alt-RClick to resize, set a few winManagement shortcuts, and you'll never miss it. – Phoshi Nov 10 '09 at 0:28
up vote 1 down vote accepted

There is a new package now, developed for the upcoming Unity project. It's called maximus, and it's available in the repositories by that same name.

It's very simple and works seamlessly. It just ensures that every window opens up maximized, and that every maximized window has no titlebar. Though the (un)maximize and close buttons are gone with the title bar, you can still un-maximize your windows normally using other methods. Any window you un-maximize will get it's titlebar back, and if you maximize it again the titlebar goes away again. It's also smart enough not to force pidgin's buddy list to open maximized, and the same goes for dialog boxes and stuff.

To use it:

sudo apt-get install maximus

Easy as that. Any window opened from now on will be under the effects described.

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In Ubuntu, this is controlled by your theme. If you are running the ubuntu default, then this is metacity / Human. You can find this theme in /usr/share/themes/Human/metacity-1/.

The actual theme is defined in the metacity-theme-1.xml file.

You can copy this theme to ~/.themes/Human/metacity-1/ and edit the xml file. By editing the normal geometry heights & changing the font, you can cut a lot off, but not down to 2 pixels. Alternatively, If you don't mind changing themes, there is a metacity theme that eliminates the title bars for maximized windows.

If you care to install compiz, you can follow the instructions below to completely remove the title bar according to a rule you define (the link explains how to do it when a window is maximized).

Instructions from google's cache of this site:

You can add a rule to Com­piz to hide the title­bar on max­i­mized win­dows. Here’s how:

Open the com­piz con­fig panel (it’s called ccsm; install it if you don’t have it already (sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager). Go to “Win­dow Decorations”.

The next to last line is “Dec­o­ra­tion Win­dows”. The default is “any”, which means that any win­dow gets decoration.

We want to turn off dec­o­ra­tion for max­i­mized win­dows. So we’re going to replace any with !state=maxvert.

This removes win­dow dec­o­ra­tions for win­dows that are max­i­mized ver­ti­cally (nor­mal max­i­miza­tion is actu­ally ver­ti­cal max­i­miza­tion (“maxvert”) and hor­i­zon­tal max­i­miza­tion (“maxhorz”)).

There you have it–your max­i­mized win­dows don’t have any title­bars. If you need to do any­thing with them (min­i­mize, close, etc), you can use Alt+space and then hit the hotkey for what­ever you want: n=minimize; x=unmaximize; c=close; etc.

There is similar advice on the compiz forum.

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Wonderfull! now windows use the whole screen when maximized! – Arthur Ulfeldt Nov 4 '09 at 17:23
the "these instructions" link seems to be down – Arthur Ulfeldt Nov 9 '09 at 20:04
Arthur. Retrieved from the Google cache. Added it to this answer just in case the bog entry has been deleted. – DaveParillo Nov 10 '09 at 0:19

You could always try Ubuntu Netbook Remix. When you maximze a window under UNR, it actually merges the title bar into the top task bar. And you can probably auto-hide the top bar.

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You can try 'window-picker-applet' (and eventually 'maximus') to save a lot of you precious vertical screen real estate.

Honestly I did not liked it very much but if you are using a netbook with limited screen size than some thing has to be done. For example I am using an asus eee with wmii and vimperator. A very minimalistic approach but also very powerful.

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what do they do? – Arthur Ulfeldt Nov 5 '09 at 18:53
well, it's a long story. First, before you consider using wmii and or vimperator you should be comfortable with touch-typing and with the vim keybindings. They try to make browsing and managing a desktop environment completely mouseless. This means, besides many other things, that you just need a barely minimal user interface (no buttons, menus, toolbars etc.) because you will control everything with the keyboard. Eliminating UI elements will free precious screen space and by using only the keyboard you will become a more productive superuser! – mrucci Nov 7 '09 at 11:40

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