There are many cursor themes available besides the default black pointer. This guide will instruct you on where to get them, installing them, and configuring them.
Getting Mouse Cursor Themes
First, check which themes you already have installed:
Search for directories with the cursors subdirectory.
find /usr/share/icons -type d -iname "*cursors*"
Also, check the official Arch repositories for cursor themes: search "xcursor-".
Some themes available through AUR.
Here are links to where else you may download cursor:
Installing Mouse Cursor Themes
This manual installation method is only required if you are not using pacman to install themes like described above.
Extract the cursor theme package:
$ tar -zxvf foobar-cursor-theme-package-foo.tar.gz
$ tar -jxvf foobar-cursor-theme-package-foo.tar.bz2
Make a directory for the cursor theme:
$ mkdir -p ~/.icons/foobar/cursors
# mkdir -p /usr/share/icons/foobar/cursors
Copy cursor files into the appropriate directory:
$ cp -a FooBar-AweSoMe-Cursors-v2.98beta/cursors/* ~/.icons/foobar/cursors/
# cp -a FooBar-AweSoMe-Cursors-v2.98beta/cursors/* /usr/share/icons/foobar/cursors/
If the package includes index.theme file check if there is an "Inherits" line inside. If yes, check whether the inherited theme also exists under this name in your system (rename if needed).
Copy index.theme file into the appropriate directory:
$ cp -a FooBar-AweSoMe-Cursors-v2.98beta/index.theme ~/.icons/foobar/index.theme
# cp -a FooBar-AweSoMe-Cursors-v2.98beta/index.theme /usr/share/icons/foobar/index.theme
If the package does not have index.theme or if it does not include an "Inherits" line, you do not have to copy this file.
Create links to missing cursors:
Applications may keep using the default cursors when a theme lacks some cursors. If you experience this, it can be corrected by adding links to the missing cursors. For example:
$ cd ~/.icons/foobar/cursors/ $ ln -s right_ptr arrow $ ln -s cross crosshair $ ln -s right_ptr draft_large $ ln -s right_ptr draft_small $ ln -s cross plus $ ln -s left_ptr top_left_arrow $ ln -s cross tcross $ ln -s hand hand1 $ ln -s hand hand2 $ ln -s left_side left_tee $ ln -s left_ptr ul_angle $ ln -s left_ptr ur_angle $ ln -s left_ptr_watch 08e8e1c95fe2fc01f976f1e063a24ccd
If the above links do not resolve the problem, look in
/usr/share/icons/whiteglass/cursors for additional cursors your theme may be missing, and create links for them as well.
Note on Cursor Themes not Working with Awesome Window Manager
Xcursor does not work correctly with Awesome Window Manager. You may notice all of the themed cursors work except the default cursor.
For more information see this link http://awesome.naquadah.org/wiki/FAQ#How_to_change_the_cursor_theme.3F
Choosing and Configuring Cursor Themes
If you use some desktop environment like Gnome, you can use its GUIs to choose cursor themes.
Using the XDG Icon Theme Specification
You can create a symlink "default" in
~/.icons, which points to your installed cursor theme:
$ ln -s /usr/share/icons/foobar/ ~/.icons/default
If you rather want to change the cursor globally (e.g. used by graphical login managers like kdm, gdm, ...), or if you experience problems with above method (for example in Firefox), create the
/usr/share/icons/default/ directory (only if needed):
# mkdir -p /usr/share/icons/default (only if needed)
Edit or create the
/usr/share/icons/default/index.theme file and add the following:
[icon theme] Inherits=foobar
Or if you have/want your cursor themes in
~/.icons only. Create the
$ mkdir -p ~/.icons/default
And create the
~/.icons/default/index.theme file with the same contents as above
Using X resources
To locally name a cursor theme, add to your
To have the cursor theme properly loaded it will need to be called by your window manager. If it does not, you can force it to load prior your window manager by putting the following command in
~/.xinitrc or .xprofile (depending on your setup):
xrdb ~/.Xresources &
You can optionally add this line to
~/.Xresources if your cursor theme supports multiple sizes:
Xcursor.size: 16 ! 32, 48 or 64 may also be good values
If you do not know about supported cursor sizes just start X without this setting and let it choose the cursor size automatically.
Refer to your window manager documentation for details.
For more information about cursors in X (supported directories, formats, compatibility, etc.) refer to the man page:
$ man Xcursor