How to Fix Thin Scrollbars in Gnome 3

If your scrollbars are too thin in Gnome 3, this is worth a try.

1  Open a terminal.
2  Go to ~/.config/gtk-3.0/
3  Open the gtk.css file for editing. Create this file if it doesn’t exist.
4  Add the following text to the gtk.css file:

.scrollbar.vertical slider,
scrollbar.vertical slider {
min-width: 15px;

5  Save the  gtk.css file and log out and back in to Gnome.
6  When you log back in, you should see the scrollbars on apps like the Firefox browser and terminals changed to the value you entered in the gtk.css file.

You may have to tinker with the min-width to get the scrollbar thickness you want but hopefully this resolves your problem. Thanks to the folks on this ubuntuforums thread for the answer.

My environment is CentOS 7 and Gnome Shell 3.25.4, but this problem seems to be more generally related to Gnome 3.

If you want to know your Gnome Shell version, the easiest way to find it is to open a terminal and type gnome-shell –version.

If this doesn’t resolve your issue, I’d like to hear about your situation. I understand if registering to comment is too much work though … 🙂


How to Fix Firefox Scrolling in Gnome 3

If you’re having slow and jerky scrolling in Firefox with Gnome 3, this is worth a try, especially if your Chrome scrolling is fine.

1  Open firefox.
2  Type about:config in the Firefox address bar and hit Enter.
3  Type mousewheel.min_line_scroll_amount into the search bar.
4  Double click the row that shows up, enter a higher number (I use 30) and press Enter.

You may have to tinker with the mousewheel.min_line_scroll_amount to get the behavior you want but hopefully this resolves your problem. Thanks to the folks on this reddit thread for the answer.

My environment is CentOS 7 and Firefox 60, but this problem seems to be generally related to recent (e.g. ~2018) Firefox on recent Gnome.

Why you need https for your whole website

This is a good primer on why you need https for your whole website. This bank batted away a security expert’s friendly attempt to help them and ended up looking like idiots. Not a good look for a bank. Twitter’s CISO sent out a PSA tweet telling companies it’s worth their time to look into any security issues Troy Hunt contacts them about.


Edward Tufte on Information Design

I’m a software and systems engineer and a student and practitioner of information design. Information Design is a field of central importance to designing systems that are usable by their intended user base, yet it’s not covered in any depth in the software engineering college curricula I’m familiar with.

The foremost living master of information design is Edward Tufte. He’s well worth studying. In addition to his books and the many resources at, he gives one day courses at various US locations and I strongly recommend this course. I learned a great deal when I attended 7 or so years ago. The cost of attendance includes hardcopy versions of all 4 of Tufte’s books on information design.

Even if you can’t attend his live course, it’s worth reading up on Tufte to gain insight into how one master thinks about the world of information design. His site is below. It’s worth poking around there to see if you find anything that interests you.

Here’s a quick read on interface design and a short video by Tufte on the now very familiar iPhone interface. He covered this when I attended the one day course, when the iPhone was still rather new –

Here’s a good read on PowerPoint and its suitability for technical presentation and reporting. Those who’ve worked with me (and John Henris) will remember our occasional rants against PowerPoint as a tool for conveying information. We still use it, because we’re often required to, but understanding the deficiencies of PowerPoint and the human tendencies when working with PowerPoint will enable you to be a better presenter and to choose a superior tool for technical reports and presentations when the situation allows.

PowerPoint Does Rocket Science–and Better Techniques for Technical Reports –

I know it will seem like I’m picking on PowerPoint (I am), but here’s another short read on Steve Ballmer’s revelation that traditional presentations are not the best way to transfer information – Microsoft’s CEO wants ET method of presentation, not PowerPoint –

Finally, here is an excellent collection of facts, tips, and examples on spotting and avoiding corruption in evidence collection, presentation and analysis. It’s worthwhile reading for every person in science or engineering – Corrupt Techniques in Evidence Presentations – – Much of this comes from Tufte’s Beautiful Evidence book, which I’ll let you borrow if you promise to take good care of it.

Note: Tufte tends to present himself, in his writing and in his talks, as a god of technology, on the same level as Einstein and da Vinci. I mention this so you can be aware of the need to remain objective. He’s a brilliant man, but one whose ideas you should evaluate as if he was just another source of information.

As always, if you have any questions, please leave a comment and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.