How to uninstall the overlay-scrollbar in Pear Linux 6 and Ubuntu 12.10

Pear Linux is a desktop distribution based on Ubuntu Desktop. The latest edition of both distributions – Ubuntu 12.10 and Pear Linux 6, were released about two weeks ago. While they both come with new and exciting features, especially Pear Linux 6, they also feature one of the most annoying features available on any desktop distribution.

I am, of course, referring to the overlay or Ayatana scrollbar. It is one of those “innovation” that nobody that I know want on their desktops, but which Mark Shuttleworth keeps trying to push. According to the project’s official page on, the overlay scrollbar:

is designed to improve the users ability to focus on content and applications. We are minimising the screen space that is devoted to “chrome”, structural features which are not specific to the content at hand. We are aiming to retain the semantic or symbolic value of scrollbars – telling the user where they are in a document, or signalling that there is additional content, while reducing the waste of space and distracting clutter that a traditional scrollbar entails.

The traditional scrollbar is a “waste of space” and a “distracting clutter.” That is pure nonsense. If you have no idea what the overlay scrollbar is, take a look at this screen shot. It was taken from a test installation of Pear Linux 6.
Overlay Scollbar

Here is another screen shot of it. It is the same on Ubuntu 12.10.
Overlay Scollbar

Want to remove this annoying “innovation” and get back the traditional scrollbar? Follow this simple steps. In Pear Linux 6, use the Appstore to search for “overlay” and uninstall liboverlay-scrollbar-0.2-0 and liboverlay-scrollbar3-0.2-0.
Overlay Scrollbar Remove

In Ubuntu 12.10, I could not find it from the Software Center, so I had to uninstall it from the command line. So start a shell terminal and type the following command: sudo apt-get remove overlay-scrollbar. That command will remove overlay-scrollbar, overlay-scrollbar-gtk2, and overlay-scrollbar-gtk3. Keep in mind that you may have to logout and back in before you can lose the overlay-scrollbar in Nautilus, the file manager.

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  1. Cheers, this feature is incredibly annoying

  2. Pingback: Links 4/11/2012: KDE Brazil, Android Tablets | Techrights

  3. The only real problem I have with Pear is that it doesn’t work well with my vertically stacked monitors. That is probably due to the use of the GNOME 3 top panel.

    As for overlay scroll bar, it’s the first thing to go on any Ubuntu based distro I happen to work with.

  4. On Pear Linux 6 it simply can disabled in Pear Linux Tweak under Miscellaneous options.

  5. You can toggle the overlay scrollbars on and off in both Ubuntu Tweak and Unsettings. Unsettings also lets you toggle Ubuntu’s global menu (and probably the HUD along with it) on and off.

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