Ubuntu 11.04 continues with the surprises as Mark Shuttleworth and the Ubuntu design team unveil ‘Overlay scrollbar’s’.

When is a scrollbar not a scrollbar? When it’s in Ubuntu 11.04, it seems.

New overlay scrollbar -s minimal scrollbars with scrubbers that only appear on mouse-over – are set to land in Ubuntu 11.04, although Mark does state he’s not sure just how ‘heavily’ the feature will be used by default.

Users will be able to ‘turn off’ the new scrollbars should they wish.

Below is a video from Ubuntu Desktop Experience team Andrea “Cimi” Cimitan whose hard work has turned the feature from mock-up to GTK+ implementation.

[Video since deleted]

“We took inspiration from mobile devices, and started exploring the idea of making scrollbars be more symbolic, and less physical.”

Head over to Mark Shuttleworth’s blog for more background on the feature and a further video from Ubuntu’s Christian Giordano.


As with most things in development Natty users can already try the scrollbars out using the ~ayatana-scrollbar-team PPA.