Ayatana Scroll Bar Working Space

This area is a workspace for the scroll bars. For more information see the Canonical Design Blog for more information.

Where to Get It?

We provide packages for Natty:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ayatana-scrollbar-team/release; sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install liboverlay-scrollbar-0.1-0

Daily builds are now also available in the Unity PPA:

The project is hosted at:

The source code is available as a simple bazaar branch: bzr branch lp:ayatana-scrollbar

How to Test

To test the overlay scrollbars, prefix each application invocation with:


for example


Debugging Procedures

In case you find bugs, please report them at:

In particular, mention the version of the overlay library tested, and of the application that exposes the problem. If the application crashed, apport should have captured a crash file which can help narrow down the issue more quickly.

Test guidelines

You have to have an account in our tracking system. We are going to use it to generate data (it will be publicly available).

  • Go to our Desktop Tracker

  • Click on “Log In” and “Create New Account”
  • You’re all set!

For each GTK-based application that uses scrollbars for its interface, here are the individual tests to conduct:

  1. verify that the overlay scrollbar(s) appear in lieu of the classic GTK scrollbars; both horizontal or vertical scrollbars
  2. verify that scrolling the content pane works with keyboard shortcuts as they do normally; verify that the scrollbars do reflect the position of the content pane in the overlay content area
  3. verify that scrollbar “thumbs” do appear when approaching the scrollbars: the position of the thumbs should be outside, on the right, of the window containing the content pane, except when the window is close to the screen border, in which case it should be appear inside the content pane
  4. verify that the scrollbar thumbs can scroll the content pane either up/down or left/right depending on their orientation
  5. verify that scrollbar thumbs do disappear when the cursor is not in close proximity with the scrollbars anymore

Report the results of the tests on the Desktop Tracker. In the comment area of the report result, indicate which application you have tested.

Report bugs against only the scrollbar project for now, as we don't want to spam other projects bug list with a feature that is ubuntu and even Ayatana specific.

In particular report:

  • any kind of crashers, like when the application starts and tries to display the window(s) containing scrollbars
  • slowdowns in using scrollable areas; measurements can help judge how much the scrollbar really impacts the application, or whether the application is just slow due to other circumstances
  • any other kind of anomaly obviously due to the scrollbars that impacts the user experience

Bug on the radar:

Application Compatibility

As of the Ubuntu 11.04 release, most GTK applications are known to work with the feature. However, only applications using the gtk_scrolled_window type are fully compatible with the new scrollbar.

Other applications will display the old scrollbars instead. This is the case for applications like gnome-terminal which programs interactions with scrollbars directly.

Applications known to have issues with the ayatana-scrollbar


Description of the problem

Bug #


XUL not supported


XUL not supported


SWT not tested

wxWidgets apps

pager not active


In most cases, those applications are not really GTK+ applications, as they use only parts of the toolkits, in a way that is quite different from native GTK+ applications.


This list documents the applications which have been blacklisted as of the Ubuntu 11.04 release. Either for incompatibility reasons, or to avoid breaking the software update mechanisms in Ubuntu.

  • apport-gtk
  • Banshee
  • codeblocks
  • codelite
  • eclipse
  • gnucash
  • meld
  • pgadmin3
  • synaptic
  • update-manager
  • vinagre
  • vmplayer
  • vmware

The official list is maintained directly in the code of the module, and is visible at:

Ayatana/ScrollBars (last edited 2012-11-30 09:37:06 by mitya57)