Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have removed the overlay scrollbars.

How can I configure GTK3 scrollbar clicking behavior?

GTK3 applications scrollbars behave strangely under Ubuntu 12.10 and 13.04. This also happens with Fedora 17 and 18.

When I left-click anywhere above or below the thumb, it jumps to that position and starts dragging from there. The expected behavior is to scroll one page up or down.

When I right-click anywhere above or below the thumb, it scrolls one page up or down. That is the behavior I expect from left-clicking, the same way it works on GTK2 and QT applications.

Horizontal scrollbars have the same problem.

This is very bad for consistency.

share|improve this question
You could try setting the scrollbar behaviour back to GTK2 with the following environment variable: LIBOVERLAY_SCROLLBAR=0. – Glutanimate May 16 '13 at 0:54
Thanks, this has been driving me insane ever since Firefox switched to gtk3. – sarnold Jul 21 at 18:51

Found the answer here:

Edit (or create) the file:


And add the following:

gtk-primary-button-warps-slider = false
share|improve this answer
Thank you, this was very helpful. I only use 2 or 3 gtk based applications, and having scrollbar behave differently in those than in all other applications was driving me nuts. – Jan Hlavacek Jun 6 '13 at 2:04
Doesn't work for GTK apps in KDE for me. Setting the property in /etc/gtk-3.0/settings.ini works for some applications but not all. – musiKk Apr 7 '15 at 8:21
Works, this will fix GTK3 applications like gedit. It's sad that those config hacks are necessary to stop one of the most basic gui features (which have worked perfectly for decades) from misbehaving. – basic6 Jan 8 at 12:49
What genius thought up this "feature?" Middle-click already skips to the point clicked, and was broken by this. fix_broken_scroll_bar=true – Gringo Suave May 1 at 4:10
I'd like to implement the solution but I don't know how and where to edit (or create) the file ~/.config/gtk-3.0/settings.ini. Can you tell me what I have to do? – Thierry Msika May 17 at 12:46

For GTK2 applications, I also noticed the scrollbar-warp behavior happens with the Adwaita theme (but not with the Greybird theme). I fixed it for GTK2 by removing the line

gtk-primary-button-warps-slider = 1

from /usr/share/themes/Adwaita/gtk-2.0/gtkrc

share|improve this answer

In order to change this back, you would need to change the gtk3 code and recompile it. If you know programming, you can use apt-get source to grab the packages source and fix the feature the way you need it and make the deb and install it. don't forget to use apt-get build-dep to get the compile right.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.