Disappearing Mouse Cursor

2009-10-01 10:23 - Linux

For a little while now, I've had my mouse cursor sporadically appear and disappear. Before long, I noticed it was happening when I would have expected an "hourglass" cursor. A series of searches (eventually, "ubuntu hourglass cursor disappear") led me to an Ubuntu Forums post: Re: Gutsy Gibbon (xubuntu): Mouse cursor disappears!!. I'm actually running Ubuntu Hardy, but the issue was the same:

The problem with animated mouse cursors disappearing (like the loading cursor in Firefox) is described here [beryl-project.org]. Apparently the 'Scale the mouse pointer' and 'Hide original mouse pointer' options of the Enhanced Zoom plugin from Compz Fusion work by changing the size of the cursor to 1x1. After zooming out the static cursors are restored, but the animated are not. This is also why the bug appears so random. It only occurs after the first usage of the zoom function.

The solution is to disable the options mentioned above, and probably use the 'Sync Mouse' option, log out and log back in. The size of the cursor will now always stay the same, but it will also not disappear anymore.

The various pieces of Linux/Ubuntu/Gnome/Compiz apparently don't work together so well. Disabling those options, then logging out and back in, fixed my busy cursors. But the whole zoom plugin failed to work properly anymore, so I've just disabled it completely.


Enhanced Zoom is great, please try it again!
2010-02-25 06:28 - draft5

I can't acknowledge that you have to log out when changing any options, or that compiz fusion gets unstable, please try it again! Every option I have changed so far was enabled or disabled immediately, without logging out or rebooting. Regarding enhanced zoom, I would not recommend to enable "Sync Mouse". While it does get rid of the disappearing and re-appearing mouse cursor problem to check this option and uncheck the other two options mentioned above, it will hold your mouse always in the center of the screen, that means, the screen will always move when you move your mouse, which is rather irritating. Of course you could lock the screen area if you enable that option, but since the locking option can only be bound to a keyboard key and not a mouse key, you would have to grab your keyboard each time you want to work in a zoomed area, wherein the zoom in and zoom out functions can be easily assigned to mouse buttons (dropping functions of lesser importance).

While I'm still looking for a solution to the problem, I've come to use the following work-around: for applications where the mouse cursor is likely to disappear or reappear more often because they become busy for longer periods, like Seamonkey for example, you can simply zoom in just a little bit to make the cursor re-appear. Move the cursor also out of the application and back into the application window if it is necessary, but than it should become stable again, even while the application stays busy.

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