Saving my screen estate on Xfce (Linux, Firefox)

For me, the most annoying thing in Xfce, my desktop environment of choice on Ubuntu, is that they don’t have a global menu. You know, when you maximize an app in Unity, its title bar would merge with the panel. It really saves some screen space.
And this is what happened when you open Firefox on Xfce. The top part of my screen looks crowded:
I haven’t found any way to add global menu to Xfce (UPDATE 5/7/15: there’s one global menu applet called TopMenu), but I found a way to put a window’s title and buttons to the panel and hide an app’s title bar when it is maximized, using Windowck plugins (a package containing two plugins, for the title and the window buttons) and change xfwm4 settings from Xfce’s Settings Editor.

Settings Editor

To save screen space, we need to hide a window’s title bar when it’s maximized. Don’t worry, the window title and buttons will be handled by Windowck later.

Head to Settings Editor, xfwm4 channel, and tick both boxes on borderless_maximize and titleless_maximize.

P.S: This doesn’t work for apps with Client-Side Decorations.


Windowck is a set of plugins for Xfce that would show a window’s title and buttons on the panel.
To install Windowck, you need Xfce 4.10 and higher. If you use (X)Ubuntu 14.04 or 14.10, you can install the plugins from a deb package (grab it here), but if you use previous versions of (X)Ubuntu, you would need to install some dependencies:

sudo apt-get install autotools-dev pkg-config intltool dh-autoreconf libgtk2.0-dev xfce4-dev-tools xfce4-panel-dev libxfce4util-dev libxfconf-0-dev libxfce4ui-1-dev libwnck-dev wget

And compile the plugins from source, which could be found on Github.
After you’re done, you could find the plugins from the plugins list (right-click on the panel, move to Panel and click ‘Add to Panel’. They’re listed under ‘Window Header – Buttons’ and ‘Window Header – Title’.
You can place them wherever you want, but I prefer to place the title between Whisker Menu and app indicators, and the window buttons on the rightmost of the panel. The plugins are hidden when an app is minimized, or not in maximized state.
You can also alter the behavior and appearance of the title and window button plugins.

Getting them together

Here’s Firefox in maximized mode, after changing xfwm4 settings and setting up Windowck:

If you want to save more screen space on Firefox, you can install The Fox, Only Better plugin, which auto-hides the navigation bar.

Thanks to Andrew on WebUpd8 for his coverage on Windowck.

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