I use MATE on CentOS 7 and Ubuntu 15.04 and with both I have trouble resizing windows. It seems like I have to click on a 1px size line to change and that's a bit difficult with touchpad sometimes.

Is there any way that I can increase this area without graphically changing the thickness of the borders? If not, how can I change the thickness of the window borders?

Would be nice to know for both CentOS and Ubuntu but if I know one I'll be able to figure out the other one :)

Thanks in advance

I know I can change sensitivity for my touchpad but I prefer not to do that.

3 Answers 3


Answer taken from AskUbuntu question:

  1. This is a really old bug, still not fixed for metacity.
  2. One workaround is to use great combo Alt + "Hold Right Mouse Button" and resize window according to nearest border
  3. Another is to manually change theme border size. Default theme configuration file path: /usr/share/themes/Ambiant-MATE/metacity-1/metacity-theme-1.xml.

    Following parameters change borders width:
    <distance name="left_width" value="1"/>
    <distance name="right_width" value="1"/>
    <distance name="bottom_height" value="1"/>


What's New in Mate 1.24 (https://mate-desktop.org/blog/) mentions:

Finally added invisible resize borders. No more struggling to find a border to grab with your mouse!

Unfortunately I can find no documentation about how you use this new feature. It's not in mate-tweak-ui as far as I can see.

  • 1
    Haha! Only 4.5 years later they fix the issue? Thanks for the update but in the meanwhile I'm not longer using MATE and I'm probably not the only one ;)
    – Jakke
    Jun 22, 2020 at 8:44

The experience of struggling to grab window edges is a Linux desktop classic. I have tried the above 'hack', altering the distance entries in the theme, without success.

I did, however, find it was a problem only with certain themes. For example, TraditionalGreen, included among basic default themes in many MATE implementations, has no trouble. The Windows-Server-2019-1.0 theme on gnome-look is also find, as are the Simply-Circles themes.

  • To say this issue is a Linux desktop classic and referring to anything Windows is a bit naughty. I have been working with Gnome, KDE and Unity for over 2 decades and it's really no problem in most common desktop environments for Linux/GNU.
    – Jakke
    Jul 27, 2022 at 8:17

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