Apparently this problem has been around for years, and one bug report has been closed "won't fix". The issue has been reopened with Bug 11808 - Xfwm: Increase the resize border of window.
The width of the grab area is controlled by the theme. Another circumvention is to try different themes until you find one you can live with. One developer has commented:
That is coded in the theme itself AFAIK, at least that's what we found out during MX-15 development. If you are using greybird (or bluebird) and a Debian-based distro, then you can take a look at our mx-greybird-themes package, where we expanded the border to 3 pixels after much tester feedback about how annoying it was to try to grab it. (We are about to update that BTW to include a Stretch version that fixes other appearance problems.)
Here is a blog entry about how themes set up the boarders.
Another post suggests something to change in the theme definition (and actually this file is not part of a definition, but the window manager),
GtkWindow::resize-grip-height = 4
GtkWindow::resize-grip-width = 4
class "GtkWidget" style "default-style"
gives me a smaller grip area. Increasing that number should give you a larger grip area.
You will need to reload the theme for the setting to take effect.
I personally haven't tried altering the theme definition, but this looks like a good starting point.
Edited to add:
Another approach involves installing and configuring Compiz (the base package may already be present in recent distributions). I repeat it as it's part of a bug report and may get deleted as not "relevant" by the bug manager.
tm.selsingen 2017-02-11 19:40:45 CET
This may be a rough solution not suited for those needing xfwm4 because
of limited system resources. But you can change the default window
manager to compiz. This solved the issue for me and I can now enjoy the
xcfe simplicity combined with generous grabbing areas.
Enter in terminal:
"sudo apt-get install compiz compiz-gnome compiz-plugins-extra"
"sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager"
In CCSM you need to enable OpenGL, Composite, GNOME Compatibility in
'General' Tab. Within the 'General Options' menu, you can set the focus
steal prevention to zero, so that new windows are placed always on top,
and choose your workplaces
In 'Effects', enable Fading Windows, Window decorations, and if you like
In 'Other', you can enable Window previews (may need png)
In Tools enable Compiz Library Toolbox, D-Bus, Mousepolling (gets
activated if you choose Window previews), Session Management and
Now in 'Window Management', you need to choose Application Switcher,
Move Windows, Place Windows, Scale Windows Put and Window Rules.
Ring, Static & Shift Switcher are more advanced Application Switchers
you can configure as you like.
In the CCSM Settings you need to enable Gsettings Configuration Backend.
Now Compiz is configured, make a Backup of
"xfconf-query -c xfce4-session -p /sessions/Failsafe/Client0_Command -t
string -sa compiz"
in terminal to configure xcfe to use compiz as the default window
To spare you from needing GNOME Tweak to set your theme now, you can use
"gsettings set org.gnome.metacity theme insertyourthemehere" to change
the window decoration theme
and the default xcfe theme settings to change the rest of the UI.
I experienced that my minimize/maximize Buttons were gone after that.
you can use "gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences
button-layout ':minimize,maximize,close,'" to restore them.
And that's it.
Comment 15 tm.selsingen 2017-02-12 09:11:22 CET
I don't know how to edit posts, but I realized the desktop icon texts
get displaced if you follow the steps. This is the fix:
xfconf-query -c xfce4-desktop -p /desktop-icons/center-text -n -t bool