I have ubuntu 13.04 and kde 4.11.1 My problem is that firefox scrolling is slow and laggy.

I'll give you some more information:

  • Firefox 23.0
  • my video card is an ATI HD6870 and I have the FGLRX drivers 13.4 installed
  • it's not related to flash because it happens even on web pages where there is not flash
  • it's not related to ads because I use plugins to block ads
  • it also happens with unity so it's not a desktop environment related problem
  • it's not about the number of addons I have installed because I have done a fresh firefox installation and it happens the same and I have the same number of addons on firefox on windows and it works better on windows
  • I have tried both these addons for smooth scrolling https://addons.mozilla.org/it/firefox/addon/yet-another-smooth-scrolling/ and https://addons.mozilla.org/it/firefox/addon/smoothwheel/ and the scrolling is worse with them
  • I have activated "no tearing desktop" in catalyst control center because I need it when playing mkv movies and "catalyst A.I"
  • I have also installed chromium and it's much smoother and faster and I have no scrolling problems with it so
  • I also have a notebook with ubuntu 13.04, kde and same firefox version with same addons, it has a nvidia video card and scrolling is much smoother and faster in firefox rather than on my computer with the ati video card

Any advice to solve it? Thanks

4 Answers 4


ATI's proprietary drivers are notorious for their bad 2D performance. Unfortunately there is not much you can do about this for now. However, Ubuntu 13.10 will ship with Linux >3.11 which comes with significant performance and power management improvements to the open source radeon drivers, which have always been better at 2D rendering.

I woul advise you to try upgrading to 13.10 when it's released in October. Until then, I fear, you will have to deal with the performance issues surrounding FGLRX.

  • ok thanks, I wish I could find a solution for that.
    – Frank
    Sep 9, 2013 at 15:51
  • Still quite slow (sometimes), in 13.10 and 3.11.0-14-generic x86_64, with default opensource drivers.
    – kolen
    Dec 2, 2013 at 14:44
  • @kolen what graphics card are you using, if I may ask? More recent AMD chips (HD7xxx+) are run with radeonSI, which is still quite far away from standard radeon performance. Dec 2, 2013 at 17:22
  • @Glutanimate sorry, I don't know exactly, lspci says "[AMD/ATI] RV710/M92 [Mobility Radeon HD 4530/4570/545v]", this is on Lenovo Thinkpad L412. I'm not even sure if it is really ATI, not Intel (specs for L412 don't list ATI).
    – kolen
    Dec 3, 2013 at 7:07
  • Also, Chromium doesn't have problems with scrolling on this machine. And most of time scroll in Firefox is also quite smooth, but sometimes starts to become slow.
    – kolen
    Dec 3, 2013 at 7:09

Try setting these options I also have the fglrx drivers. I'm using an older version but firfox scrolling was much slower than chromes.

I changed some options on firefox's preferences. In the general tab, un-check the "Use hardware acceleration when available" and check "Use autoscrolling" and "Use smooth scrolling".

It's a simple change but removing the hardware acceleration seemed to have improved my scrolling and button performance a bit more where I no longer feel like tearing my hair out. Good luck.


These settings worked for me with Elementary OS Luna, 'X.Org X Server 1.11.3' (From 'X -version' in terminal) and legacy 13.1 drivers from ppa:makson96/fglrx on a ATI Mobility Radeon 4570 graphics card.

In Firefox, type "about:config" in address bar and set:

  • gfx.xrender.enabled = false
  • layers.acceleration.force-enabled = true

In Firefox preferences -> General tab, check:

  • use autoscrolling
  • use smooth scrolling
  • use hardware acceleration when available

Now type "sudo aticonfig --initial" (if you haven't generated a xorg.conf file already) and then "sudo amdcccle" to launch Catalyst Control Center and do the following:

  • Disable tear free desktop in display options
  • Set "wait for vertical refresh" to "always on" in 3d->more settings


My other settings in Catalyst Control Center are as follows. (I am not a heavy gamer and though I don't think they'll help you with the laggy firefox scrolling, I am still listing them below):

  • "Override application settings" unchecked in 3D-> Anti-aliasing, Adaptive anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering.
  • 3D -> MipMap detail set to high quality
  • Catalyst A.I. -> Enabled -> Set to advanced
  • layers.acceleration.force-enabled = true made Firefox almost unusable for me, but gfx.xrender.enabled = false seems to have a small positive impact, thanks for the hint!
    – Photon
    Nov 9, 2015 at 19:14

After installing amd-driver-installer-15.302-x86.x86_64 (AMD Crimson proprietary driver) on my PC (Debian Wheezy 7.9 - Radeon HD 7750), I also experienced those slowing effects during scrolling, refreshing Firefox, Chromium or Gnome3 icons panel.

I thought that installing the mesa acceleration package was messing the acceleration capability of AMD proprietary driver. So, I fixed that issue by simply removing that installed mesa acceleration package like this:

aptitude remove libgl1-mesa-dri

I don't know why it had worked but it fixed that issue without to change Firefox's settings.

Any explanation for validating that newbie's trick will be welcome.

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