Is there a way to disable scrolling through command history for the Xfce terminal? I don't wish to rely on palm rejection, I'd just like it disabled when I'm using the terminal. Specifically I'm talking about not cycling through previous commands at the prompt when scrolling with mouse/touchpad.

3 Answers 3


You are describing the feature of VTE (used in XFCE Terminal) which translates wheel-mouse scrolling into up/down cursor-keys when using the alternate-screen. That happens if you are running screen in something like xterm. You can avoid that by preventing screen from using the terminal's alternate screen feature.

For example (see How to disable alternate buffer in GNU screen itself but not for vim, less inside it?), tell screen that the feature does not exist (by putting this in .screenrc):

termcapinfo xterm ti@:te@

A similar workaround is used for tmux (see Properly disable terminal capabilities for alternate screen in tmux), putting this in .tmux.conf:

set -ga terminal-overrides ',xterm*:smcup@:rmcup@'

This translation of scrolling behavior does not appear to be configurable in VTE-based terminals. It is configurable in xterm, e.g., alternateScroll (patch #282).

Further reading:

  • I use TMUX, does that command work with it too?
    – oblitum
    Apr 24, 2016 at 15:48
  • It's the same problem - different details for solution (will see...) Apr 24, 2016 at 15:49
  • I'm using ArchLinux, I find it strange that I didn't find termcapinfo with pacman/yaourt, will take a look whether it's part of other named package or a related tool.
    – oblitum
    Apr 24, 2016 at 15:51
  • It is the name of a setting in .screenrc (configuration for screen). Apr 24, 2016 at 15:55
  • 1
    I wouldn't call it a 'feature' of VTE. I'd call it a bug. hard-coding 8 up or down arrows in response to scroll-wheel events is a bug.
    – cas
    Apr 25, 2016 at 23:41

In the Edit > Preferences menu of xfce4-terminal you can disable the scrollbar.

If you set the scrollback value to 1, it will disable scrolling back using the scroll wheel on your mouse.

I'm using xfce4-terminal 0.6.3, the default version for Ubuntu 14.04.

  • 1
    My particular issue isn't scrolling the window, but cycling through previous commands, I don't wish this to happen through mouse/touchpad, when I scroll, it's not the window that scrolls, but instead, cycling commands at the prompt.
    – oblitum
    Apr 24, 2016 at 15:24
  • After applying the accepted answer, I also need this one to avoid scrooling now. Thanks.
    – oblitum
    Apr 24, 2016 at 16:02

I was just having this same problem using iTerm on my Mac. Whenever I would use the screen feature I was unable to scroll up/down, super annoying.

To disable the command line history on-scroll, do the following:

  1. Open Preferences and click on Advanced tab

  2. Scroll down to the Mouse section, or search for "scroll"

  3. Locate option Scroll wheel sends arrow keys when in alternate screen mode and select No from the dropdown

And you're all set!

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