Disable the overlay scrollbars in Ubuntu 11.04

By | May 8, 2011

With the new Ubuntu 11.04, the scrollbars in almost all applications and windows look radically different than those we grew accustomed with. Here’s how to revert them to the old looks:

sudo apt-get remove overlay-scrollbar
sudo su
echo "export LIBOVERLAY_SCROLLBAR=0" > /etc/X11/Xsession.d/80overlayscrollbars

10 thoughts on “Disable the overlay scrollbars in Ubuntu 11.04

  1. sleepless

    Thanks very much! Have been looking for this for a long time.

  2. Frank Rizzo

    Thanks, great tip. Although you can accomplish the same without actually removing the packages. You can just perform the last command and it will work.

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

  3. Mark

    I had to remove this additional package;

    sudo apt-get remove liboverlay-scrollbar-0.1-0

    @Frank Rizzo: I tried your tip, but it didn’t work on my Mint 11 system (which is based on Ubuntu 11.04). I had to remove both overlay packages too.

  4. Michael Mann

    Awesome tip. Those new scrollbars were driving me nuts. Glad to have the old one back 🙂

  5. msh

    This is great, but how would you reverse this (get the overlay scrollbars back after doing this?) I don’t want any permanent changes that would require me to delete my account or anything of the sort.

  6. Nuri Jawad

    Re-installing the packages with ‘apt-get install [package]’ will reverse it. If the file /etc/X11/Xsession.d/80overlayscrollbars was edited (which should not be necessary btw), you might have to remove the added line.
    The new scrollbars are terrible to use and some functionality is also missing: you cannot click into the bar to skip one page up/down with them.

  7. viv

    Thanks SO MUCH for this tip! Just installed Mint 11 (didn’t want to go w/12 yet, figured 11 is pretty stable). I’m kind of a linux noob, all I ever did before was boot Puppy linux from USB on my near-dead Thinkpad to breathe new life into it. So far, I’m LOVING Mint! But I just absolutely DESPISE the default scrollbars, they were almost a deal breaker for me because they were so productivity-reducing! I was constantly missing the scroll thingy and then accidentally clicking into other windows or the desktop by accident. I’m going to try these commands, although using Terminal makes me nervous… but I’m just so damn sick of Windows and damn Apple, too. I already use almost everything else open-source, e.g. OpenOffice for Win and only free apps on my Android phone, so Linux Mint seemed like the next logical step towards freedom from corporate software overlords, yay

  8. viv

    omg, this worked perfectly… thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for this tip! bye-bye Windows… for good I hope!


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