I have recently upgraded to Ubuntu 11.10 with GNOME Shell. Everything is okay except the scroll bar, especially in Firefox. It's very, very tiny, especially in long pages!

Also, I don't know why there is a very small gap between scroll bar and border of screen so I can't click on scroll bar without seeing it .


User's screenshot of issue

  • It looks like this problem will arise whenever the Unity overlay scrollbars are not being used. They have not been ported to whatever Firefox is using yet for its UI, though there have been calls for this to occur. – Christopher Kyle Horton Nov 13 '11 at 20:25
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    As I said to Mike , the problem is everywhere nautilus/gedit/geany/firefox & .. I tried to change gnome theme but no difference ... I removed overlay scrollbar bcoz I don't like it :( – user26863 Nov 14 '11 at 4:13

One can tweak the scrollbars of Firefox assuming that the overlay scrollbars aren't being used. Unfortunately,if I understand correctly, scrollbars (in Firefox) are "anonymous content". That means one can't tweak them using userChrome.css or userContent.css. To tweak scrollbars, I use the Stylish extension for Firefox.

After you've installed it, you'll be able to style your scrollbars: Here's my very simplistic version:

@namespace xul url(http://www.mozilla.org/keymaster/gatekeeper/there.is.only.xul);   
scrollbar { -moz-appearance: none !important; background: #777 !important}
scrollbar[orient="vertical"] { width: 7px !important}
scrollbar[orient="horizontal"] { height: 7px !important}
scrollbar thumb {
-moz-appearance: none !important; 
-moz-border-radius: 4px !important;
background: maroon !important;
min-width: 8px !important;
max-width: 8px !important;
border: 1px !important;

If you go over to the forum for that extension and look around, you'll find more parameters to tweak.

As already pointed out, the length of the vertical scrollbar is usually a function of the length of the web page. There maybe a way to set a minimum length but I haven't looked for that.

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I think the problem is not with the scrollbar, but rather with with the web page itself. Regardless, I was hoping that you might be able to change the min size of the scroll bar by using a custom userChrome.css file, but apparently not. After some reading, it appears that the only way to deal with the problem might be to use a different theme.


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  • yes I tried userChrome.css before posting the question but no success ... what you mean by saying theme ? firefox theme ? gnome theme ? because as I said in the question , everything is using the same scrollbar like nautilus/gedit/geany & ... – user26863 Nov 14 '11 at 4:08
  • @user26863 I think he means the GTK theme GNOME uses. Try choosing a different one with a larger scrollbar. I've noticed that you're using a non-standard theme for GTK and your Shell, as well as a variety of extensions. Or are you using GNOME Classic? – Christopher Kyle Horton Nov 14 '11 at 4:43
  • I tried all of GTK Themes that I have ( about 15 themes ) but in all of them scrollbars are tiny , there is very small changes between them ... I am using Gnome Shell 3.2 – user26863 Nov 14 '11 at 15:11

I use ubuntu 11.10 in a tablet and I had the same problem with the scrollbar. I don't have a perfect solution, because it depends on the theme (If you're not sure what theme are you usnig install ubuntu tweak to serch it; mine is Ambiance) and the programs that you're using, but I follow those steps and it's OK for me now:

1- Remove overlay-scrollbars (for unity)

2- Edit /usr/share/themes/Ambiance/gtk-2.0/gtkrc and increase those values


3- Edit /usr/share/themes/Ambiance/gtk-3.0/gtk-widgets and increase

GtkRange-slider-width (there are several items, look for the one inside .scrollbar)

I've increase length to 51 and width to 23 and I'm happy with those values in my tablet (11.6" - 1366x768 pixels). You need to modify both files because gtk2.0 controls for example firefox and thunderbird, and gtk-3.0 controls for example nautilus and gedit. There are lots of tweaks that you can make in both files, I've added

GtkScrollbar::has-backward-stepper = 0 GtkScrollbar::has-forward-stepper = 0

to /usr/share/themes/Ambiance/gtk-2.0/gtkrc to remove the ugly arrows in firefox and thunderbird.

You can see some pictures, all of them with my minimum scrollbar width and length:



Good luck!

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