Fix the unusable window resize border in Gnome Flashback Metacity on Ubuntu

On Ubuntu I mostly use Gnome Flashback with Metacity, along with the brilliant Synapse app starter / file finder. I do this in spite of having a beefy NVIDIA GPU in this Core i7 workstation, because the OpenGL compositing on this 2560×1440 display makes video conferencing really slow, and because I do OpenGL development and need to have maximum performance for the app I’m working on.

However, it irritated me to no end that the window borders were so thin that I was not able to grab them for a resize. Adding insult to injury, there were only the four standard themes in Settings | Appearance, namely Adwaita, Ambiance, Radiance and High Contrast, none of which has usable borders.

The solution is to use the Gnome Tweak Tool (package gnome-tweak-tool) to change the Window theme to something with better borders. I used Watercolor (from the metacity-themes package), and set the rest up as follows on the appearance tab:

tweak-tool-theme

Once this is done, your window borders should look like this:

watercolor-window-borders

Now you can resize your windows again, AND you can enjoy the snappiness of Gnome Flashback with Metacity!

One thought on “Fix the unusable window resize border in Gnome Flashback Metacity on Ubuntu”

  1. Hi! I am using Ubuntu 16.04 and Gnome Flashback with Metacity.
    In the screenshot in the article (on the appearance tab), you have a choice of Theme-> Window. In my case, this item is missing. Any ideas what I’m doing wrong?

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