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It looks like Ubuntu 11.04 will come with overlay scrollbars by default. I do like them, but I don't like the current mix of scrollbar types as many applications don't yet use those overlay scrollbars.

Is there a way to disable overlay scrollbars (without removing the overlay-scrollbar package)?

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9 Answers

up vote 58 down vote accepted

You can disable the scrollbars either

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10  
Just one user: echo export LIBOVERLAY_SCROLLBAR=0 >> ~/.xprofile (note that the double '>>' is important, it means "append"). To add for all users: echo export LIBOVERLAY_SCROLLBAR=0 | sudo tee -a /etc/X11/Xsession.d/99disable-overlay-scrollbars –  sladen Jun 23 '11 at 12:17
    
While this seems to have no effect for me (Ubuntu 12.04 with LXDE -- and yes, X was restarted after that change), Erigami's variant worked excellent. Just as a hint to try the other if one doesn't work :) –  Izzy Jun 25 '13 at 6:14
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You can remove the scrollbars completely by typing

sudo apt-get remove overlay-scrollbar liboverlay-scrollbar
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This is a merged in answer to deal with people who are happy with deleting the packages. It may well be a simpler fix. –  Oli Jun 7 '11 at 11:49
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Try the following:

echo "export LIBOVERLAY_SCROLLBAR=0" > /etc/X11/Xsession.d/80overlayscrollbars

You'll probably need to log off once.

More information / ideas can be found here.

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pavlos G. beat me to it. The info is also confirmed here and here –  nitstorm Jun 7 '11 at 11:38
    
Thanks for this, guys. As I absolutely despise the overlay scrollbars, I'll accept the answer that removes the packages, but I'm sure this info will be useful to others. –  Josh Glover Jun 7 '11 at 11:44
    
Careful with the single >, it will cause the file to be overwritten if it already exists (and thus destroy all previous changes). Better use >> instead to append the new setting. –  Izzy Jun 25 '13 at 6:21
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When you try to uninstall liboverlay-scrollbar doesn't find it! To get rid of the transparent bars was easily fixed. I use leafpad.

Open a terminal :

  1. gksudo leafpad /etc/X11/Xsession.d/99disable-overlay-scrollbars
  2. Put your password in.
  3. Type export LIBOVERLAY_SCROLLBAR=0
  4. Save, Exit and reboot.

No more overlay slidebars or transparent slidebars.

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Just disabling or removing the overlay-scrollbars as described by the other answers will get you back the scroll bars, but they will be missing the stepper buttons at the end of the bars because they have been disabled in the Ambiance theme. To re-enable them, put the following in the ~/.gtkrc-2.0 file:

style "default" {
  engine "murrine" {
    stepperstyle = 0
  }
}

and the following into the file ~/.config/gtk-3.0/gtk.css:

.scrollbar {
  -GtkScrollbar-has-backward-stepper: 1;
  -GtkScrollbar-has-forward-stepper: 1;
}

Usually, restarting the applications is enough for the changes to apply.

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To make the stepper buttons better-looking, add this to .scrollbar: -GtkRange-slider-width: 16; -GtkRange-stepper-size: 17; –  Håkon A. Hjortland Aug 21 '12 at 7:56
    
Thanks, this restores the steppers for me, but is there an easy way to fix the contrast on the scrollbars so they're not a totally unusable black on black? –  Joseph Garvin Sep 22 '12 at 14:34
    
That worked for me. I'm just surprised by the "murrine". Wondering whether that really applies to me. I thought I had metacity, or is metacity yet something else than the "engine"? –  Alexis Wilke Oct 14 '12 at 2:27
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Maybe you're talking about ayatana scrollbar!

in the case that you want to have the old scrollbar style you only need to use the next command:

sudo apt-get remove overlay-scrollbar liboverlay-scrollbar liboverlay-scrollbar3

See the image to notice the ayatana srollbar.

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In Ubuntu 12.04 you can just install Ubuntu Tweak and the option to disable the vertical overlay scrollbar is in Tweaks -> Miscellaneous. You'll need to log-off or reboot for the changes to take effect.

If you want the overlay scrollbar back at some point, you just go and enable it back again in the app. In addition you get a large number of tweaks at your disposition. I'd say this is the easiest way to achieve this.

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This is what I did., using the instructions supplied in an answer to another question. –  Reinier Post Sep 4 '13 at 9:51
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In 12.04 LTS there's a slightly cleaner way to do it. Just run

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface ubuntu-overlay-scrollbars false

in a terminal. Apps opened afterwards will have the non-ayatana scrollbar.

To get the default behavior back, run

gsettings reset org.gnome.desktop.interface ubuntu-overlay-scrollbars

If you are using 12.10 or later, run

gsettings set com.canonical.desktop.interface scrollbar-mode normal

And to return to the default, run

gsettings reset com.canonical.desktop.interface scrollbar-mode
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Simply use utility dconf-editor or gconf-editor. If it is not already present you can install this from Ubuntu Software Center.

This utility is like Windows registry-editor where you can tweak system settings. From entry org > gnome > Desktop > Applications.you find an item named ubuntu-overlay-scrollbars. Toggle the item off, logout/login and you're ready.

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