Newbie Customization Question

I’m thinking seriously about making Budgie my daily driver (currently using xubuntu). I absolutely love its beauty and elegance!!! But I have one really nitpicky thing that is driving my OCD absolutely bonkers keeping me from taking the plunge. Thats resizing the top toolbar and application toolbars. They need to be smaller. Theyre just way too big taking up too much desktop space for gaming. The top toolbar I might be able to live with but the one for tilix shown in the link (and all other programs) just seems excessively big especially compared to the razor thin size in xubuntu. I know you can shrink the top main toolbar (though I forgot) but the application toolbar I cant find anything on.

If anyone has any suggestions or a solution please let me know! :slight_smile:

Hi there and welcome.

Think this is a theme issue. Suggest use a slim theme such as pocillo-slim … i.e. open menu budgie desktop settings and change the style from the list of available themes.

Hi Marissa

This is possible (in Ubuntu-budgie 18.04 LTS). Go to Budgie Desktop settings > Left Panel > Settings > Size then increase or decrease.

If in case, you can’t find the Budgie Desktop Settings, click on the super key and search for it.
Please reply if it helped

Thank you for your reply but I have no idea what your talking about for a settngs area on the left side panel.

Think you are referring to the “plank dock” - have a look at Menu - Plank Preferences. You can change the position, size etc.

Im not looking to change that. Im looking to change the size of the application titlebar. From what ive read this a gtk3 thing and cant really be adjusted which is unfortunate.

As I mentioned previously - the application titlebar is influenced by the theme you are using.

Some themes shrink the titlebar - but there is a finite size on applications that use these “Client Side Decorations” - i.e. in GNOME based apps, the apps draw the title bar to provide capabilities such as buttons.

In desktops such as xfce the titlebar is more or less useless - it provides basically the title of the app and window controls. More space is then taken by the subsequent menu.

Its a different kind of philosophy I suppose - the space to provide all the app capabilties without needing to resort to menus compared to the space to-do window decorations + application menus.

Thanks again for the quick reply but until the titlebars can be shrunk to my liking my OCD will not allow me to use budgie as a daily driver. :frowning:

Hi, @Marissa.

Maybe this helps: here is a direct comparison of using different GTK3-themes. On the left, I use the Pocilllo-Slim theme, on the right, the Vimix theme. You can see that the title bar is considerably slimmer, something like 25%.

Maybe you can find the perfect theme in Gnome Looks


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Thanks again! :slight_smile:

Until they can be smashed down the size in the picture below its just a total no go unfortunately

ah well - beauty and practicality is in the eye of the beholder …

That is in my view down right ugly. Prefer to take pleasure in the desktop.

Anyway - would be interesting to-do a side by side comparison with the titlebar + menu of thunar vs (say) pocillo slim with nautilus.

Did that with Vimix-Laptop theme. Interesting to see how different applications deal with the same theme … left ist Nemo, right is Nautilus.


On KDE, you make adjustments to the titlebar’s height, would this be viable in UB? I have no idea of the hussle involved.

Its incredibly ugly Foss! That I agree! :slight_smile: But… I dont want to give up pixel space to titlebars! My OCD isnt so bad that I have to use xmonad. I still like having a centralized menu in place but… grr!

This is what you need to click on:

Next up there will be another tab called Settings.

That shrinks the top panel which is excellent but does nothing for app titlebars.

for a fairer comparison remember to press Alt to display the menu - it does look like titlebar + menu for nemo is larger than the CSD of nautilus.

Hence the beauty of Locally Integrated Menu ( in Unity ) + Global Menu : a smart way of using empty space of top panel and title bar, while keeping a classically worded menu in user’s language and giving the whole window to app’.

@Marissa it seems you make use of a top panel, pixel saver applet and ( centered ) global menu applet may provide a workaround to save some vertical space - but these applets won’t have any effect for CSD app’s ( see here how it works ).

Changing the title bar size can be accomplished by tweaking the theme css if you if you have some knowledge GTK 3. Another option is to install a theme with a compact bar. Adapta colors theme pack offers a compact variant.

Sometimes I find myself in the (fruitless) quest for the perfect theme/ style, when noone’s work will actually reflect the ideal of your imagination.

But, what’s good with open source is that you can adjust almost anything to your liking.

I have “duckduckgoed” a bit and found this simple solution, a css snippet :

 headerbar entry,
 headerbar spinbutton,
 headerbar button, 
 headerbar separator {
     margin-top: 0px; /* same as headerbar side padding for nicer proportions */
     margin-bottom: 0px;

 headerbar {
     min-height: 0px;
     padding-left: 2px; /* same as childrens vertical margins for nicer proportions */
     padding-right: 2px;
     margin: 0px; /* same as headerbar side padding for nicer proportions */
    padding: 0px;

Opening the file ./themes/vimix/gtk-3.0/gtk.css and putting the snippet almost at the end, results in a 25% change in the height of the title bar (beauty is in the eye of the beholder; I wasn’t so fond of the small title bars, but I might actually stick with it) :


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