A recent update to the Telegram desktop client for Linux introduces a “new” non-native window frame by default.

The new window decorations look flat, narrow, and a bit Windows 10-y. Which is to say: it’s not exactly a subtle fit on a modern GTK-based Linux desktop like Ubuntu MATE:

Ubuntu MATE with the Telegram Desktop Client

I don’t know why Telegram changed its (perfectly-adequate) window frame to a design that sticks out like a well hammered thumb, but I am glad to report that you can disable it if you want to.

And let’s be honest: you’re going to want to.

To make the Telegram Linux app use the same system window decorations as the rest of your desktop apps, you can enable it like so:

  • Open Telegram
  • Go to menu > Settings > Advanced
  • Scroll down to ‘System Integration’
  • Check ‘Use System Window Frame’ option

Telegram will apply the change in window dressing instantly, meaning you don’t need to quit and reopen the app for it to kick in:

Ubuntu MATE with the Telegram Desktop Client

Much better.

Aside from giving this messaging app some semblance of nativeness the “system window frame” option also has a major usability benefit too: it tells you how many unread messages you have (if you have any)!

As you can see in the screenshot above, I have 79 unread messages waiting to be …ignored some more.