12.04 has smooth scrolling enabled for touchpads with GTK. I was wondering if it could be enabled for mouse wheels too? If yes, how? If not, why not? Thanks.

  • have a look at this anwer which I have posted. With this you can scroll smoothly in most apps. askubuntu.com/a/1281430/1067851. I know this sounds like spamming, but this is a new discovery which will benefit many many poeple. Oct 9, 2020 at 15:24

4 Answers 4


While true smooth per-pixel scrolling would not work that well with a mouse scroll wheel, having a smooth animation rather than a sudden jump of three lines would be nice.

I don't know of any way to do that globally but in Firefox it is an option under Preferences->Advanced.

For Chromium/Chrome it is currently enabled via a flag by going to chrome://flags.

  • 5
    Many computer mice use smooth mouse wheels (without clicks). For example, just about any Logitech mouse over $40 has a "frictionless" scroll wheel. The complete possibilities are usually not realized in software, but the hardware is certainly capable — at least in terms of mechanics. Logitech has driver software that handles smooth scrolling on Windows, but I'm not sure how well it works or if it works for every model. These could still have limitations in what information they send to the computer. It would be interesting to know for sure :) Jun 18, 2012 at 1:34

I wish smooth scrolling could be enabled EVERYWHERE, sadly smooth scrolling can not be enabled for mouse wheels because they have "jumps" whereas the scroll input from a touchpad is precise enough to register pixel-for-pixel motion.

To test this out, fire up a terminal and run


Then place the cursor in the window and scroll up and down. You will notice that the key (button 4 and 5) registers output continually as long as you move your fingers. Now scroll with the click-wheel. It will only register once per mouse-wheel click.

Some mouse-wheels do not have distinct "jumps" when rolling but I'll bet that the hardware reads the distance travelled by the roller, and sends jumps just like other mice to insure hardware compatibility.

  • 1
    you will never detect "smooth scrolling" events with xev. xev is outdated in case of XInput 2 events. what x is doing if it detects "smooth" XI2 scroll events is translating them to the "old" 4/5 Button presses to be consistent with "old" software. cuz of that the "old" xev will only detect 4/5 button presses even in cases of synaptic touchpad "smooth" XI2 events.
    – dustin.b
    Dec 28, 2014 at 11:42
  • "...sadly smooth scrolling can not be enabled for mouse wheels because they have "jumps" whereas the scroll input from a touchpad is precise enough to register pixel-for-pixel motion..." This seems odd to me, I remember having smooth scrolling in Firefox with a discrete scroll wheel.
    – Jan M.
    Jun 1, 2016 at 10:39
  • @PatronBernard You're right; I use a smooth scroll plug-in with the Chrome browser! While it's probably possible, it doesn't look like it's in the plans at the moment: askubuntu.com/questions/39435/…
    – Gruzzles
    Jun 2, 2016 at 14:53
  • 1
    ...that makes no sense - why can I have it on macOS and on Firefox, but not on GTK+?
    – Xerz
    Jul 14, 2017 at 22:33

Whether or not it's a hardware issue depends on the hardware itself... Logitech provides Windows drivers with smooth scrolling for mice with a "free scrolling wheel" (no jumps, just a wheel scrolling event for every pixel).

It'd be really awesome if I could use my M500 to it's full potential, but xev shows the typical jumps after a certain distance, so it's probably a driver issue. Not sure whom to bother and where to fix that.


Well I have found a hack to scroll smoothly, I have tested it in multiple apps such as document viewer, gedit, nautilus file manager, etc.

This is not a prank or a scam. This is legit.

Move your mouse cursor to the right edge so that it is above the scroll bar, which is on the right edge of any window (hover anywhere on the right edge where the scroll bar is present), and then just scroll.

For some reason this just works and scrolls smoothly. But I think if this can be made to work, it is also possible to enable it in the other apps without much change.

Sometimes this doesn't work so good when the scroll list is too big in nautilus file manager.

I request you to please share this and make people more aware about this smooth scrolling, so that finally smooth scrolling comes to Ubuntu. Everyone is tired of not being able to scroll smoothly.

  • I thumbed up you. It works in brave but not firefox for some reason.
    – gcr
    Dec 21, 2021 at 1:00
  • @gcr firefox has smooth scrolling as an inbuilt feature. Check in settings Dec 22, 2021 at 8:19

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