7 Nov 2011

Borderless Chrome windows in Linux

Chrome on Linux lets you use Gnome or KDE’s default window borders if you don’t like Chrome’s minimalistic window borders.

I prefer to use KDE’s window borders for two reasons:
  • I have customised my window title bar to add an “Always on top” button to it.  It’s handy once in a while.
  • When using system window border, I can see the full title of the current tab.  This particularly useful when there is a nontrivial number of tabs open—which is like always.
What’s annoying is if you toggle this option from ‘don’t use system borders’ to ‘use system borders’, KDE would render all existing Chrome windows without any border, like this:

Chrome windows that are opened after the change, however, are rendered correctly with border, title, minimise/maximise/close buttons, etc.  If you are stuck with a few ‘naked’ windows like this, you can force KDE to draw borders by closing and recreating those windows.  To avoid losing state in the process, use Chrome’s “undo close tab” feature.

Press Alt+F4 and close a whole window—close all tabs in that window at one go.  (You cannot close that window otherwise because it doesn’t have a close button.)  Now, from a different Chrome window press Ctrl+Shift+T for Undo Close Tab.  This will restore the window you just closed with all tabs that were present in it.  Since it’s a newly created window, KDE would paint all borders correctly.


  1. Thanks for this information. Do you know if it is possible to switch like that within firefox?

  2. I don't know if that's possible. It may be worth searching Firefox extension gallery for some extension to do that.