Cursor themes

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There are many cursor themes available for the X11 Windowing System besides the default black pointer. This guide will instruct you on where to get them, installing them, and configuring them.

Getting Mouse Cursor Themes
Here are links to where you may download cursor themes:

*KDE Look |
*Theme Depot |
* |

Installing Mouse Cursor Themes

  • 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:

Example: ~FooBar-~AweSoMe-Cursors-v2.98beta

Per-user installation:

mkdir -p ~/.icons/foobar/cursors

System-wide installation:

mkdir -p /usr/share/icons/foobar/cursors

Be sure to simplify the name of the theme ('foobar' instead of '~FooBar-~AweSoMe-Cursors-v2.98beta')

  • Copy cursor files into the appropriate directory:
cp -R 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).
Note that X already comes with the 'redglass' and 'whiteglass' themes in /usr/X11R6/lib/icons.

  • Copy index.theme file into diretory:
cp -R FooBar-AweSoMe-Cursors-v2.98beta/index.theme /usr/share/icons/foobar/index.theme

If the package doesn't have index.theme or if it doesn't include an \"Inherits\" line you don't have to copy this file.

Configuring Cursor Themes
To use a cursor theme, add this line to your ~~/.Xdefaults:

Xcursor.theme: foobar

Make sure the file ~~/.Xdefaults is called by your window manager.
You can force loading it to get loaded by running xrdb ~~/.Xdefaults before loading your window manager (for example from .xinitrc if you use startx).
Refer to your window manager documentation for details.

You can optionally add this line if your cursor theme supports multiple sizes:

Xcursor.size:  32       #  32, 48 or 64 are probably good values

If you don't know about supported cursor sizes just start X without this setting and let it choose the cursor size automatically.

More information
For more information about cursors in X (supported directories, formats, compatibility, etc.) refer to the man page:

man Xcursor


WikiMigration--dlanor 13:33, 23 Jul 2005 (EDT)