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Cursor Themes

First you must install the cursor theme you want. These are some good animated ones.

Code: Installing Animated cursors
emerge -av blueglass-xcursors golden-xcursors silver-xcursors

Ximian-artwork package also contains some cool cursors. And the redhat-artwork contains some nice large cursors.

Code: Install some other cursors
emerge -av ximian-artwork redhat-artwork

Changing the Cursor

Theres a couple ways you can change the cursors, either manually or use the mouse control panel to install a cursor theme.


The manual way is a little harder and but in some cases the control panel doesn't work (one example is amd64 fluxbox). In this case you can set the cursor theme manually. You can either choose to install a cursor theme system wide in /usr/share/cursors/xorg-x11/ or local, say in your home folder (e.g. make a directory called .cursors).

Then edit ~/.Xdefaults file or create it if it doesn't exist. Then set Xcursor.theme to specify your desired theme name and location. The example uses the gentoo-silver theme:

File: ~/.Xdefaults

Mouse Control Panel

The simplest way is to put the cursor folder in /usr/share/cursors/xorg-x11/ and the Mouse Control Panel will recognize it.


To access the gnome mouse control panel go to System --> Appearance --> Theme --> Customize --> Pointer.

At this screen you will be able to select different cursors located in /usr/share/cursors/xorg-x11/


Warning: Gcursor hasn't been updated since 2005

One way to select a new cursor is with gcursor a graphical interface that previews the cursors and lets you select them. You may have to log out or restart X to get the see the change

Code: Emerge a graphical cursor manager
emerge gcursor


  • If you aren't able to select the buttons in the gcursor control panel, run gcursor from the command line and try again. If you see a warning like this:
    (gcursor:10690): libglade-WARNING **: could not find signal handler 'extract_theme'.
    You'll need to emerge to emerge gcurser with different LDFLAGS:
    LDFLAGS="-Wl,--export-dynamic" emerge gcursor

System Cursor Themes under Enlightenment

Enlightenment window manager themes have their own cursor images and settings. If you wish to use the system-wide cursor themes such as the Gentoo ones which are standard with the xorg-x11 emerge, the following should work:

Remove the cursor components from your Enlightenment theme. If you are using one of the four standard themes that come with Enlightenment, you may wish to copy the theme into your personal theme directory (~/.enlightenment/themes/) to customise it.

cd .enlightenment/themes/YOUR_THEME_DIRECTORY
mv cursors/ ~/
mv cursors.cfg ~/

This directory and config file may be deleted if it all works, but moving them to your home directory first allows you to move them back if things don't work as you plan.

Then change the cursor as before and restart the X server, and you should have pretty new animated themes!

See Also

Last modified: Fri, 01 Aug 2008 13:52:00 +0000 Hits: 35,011