I am a long time Windows user and I cannot for the life of me understand the rational behind not having a minimize button. What is the reasoning for this decision?
Is there a way to get a minimize window control button?
Apps designed for elementary OS save their state and open and close instantly. In this way, there is functionally little difference between close and minimize. You can read more about the rationale on the elementary blog. There is also a follow up post.
What can I do instead of minimizing?
There is still a way to minimize an application in elementary OS. You can click on the app's icon in the dock and it will minimize.
Consider simply closing the app. It's [current year] and computers are fast.
Use the multitasking view. You can use the shortcut in the dock, keyboard shortcuts, or hotcorners to easily access this view. In this way, you can keep vital applications open while maintaining a clean workspace.
I really want to minimize. How can I get the button?
You can use the Terminal command
gsettings to get under the hood and change the
button-layout settings key. You can play with this command to get lots of different kinds of layouts, but here are the common ones:
For a Windows-like layout:
gsettings set org.pantheon.desktop.gala.appearance button-layout :minimize,maximize,close
For something like Mac OS X:
gsettings set org.pantheon.desktop.gala.appearance button-layout close,minimize,maximize
To revert to the standard layout:
gsettings set org.pantheon.desktop.gala.appearance button-layout close:maximize
You can get the minimize button with elementary-tweaks. Follow the following steps.
Step 1: Install elementary-tweaks (For Elementary Freya)
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mpstark/elementary-tweaks-daily sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install elementary-tweaks
System Settings >
Appearance section you can change the windows control according to your likings.
In the elementary-tweaks you can find more options to tweak you Elementary OS