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I have recently created an Ubuntu 12.04 partition on my Windows 7 laptop. When installing it, I switched to "high contrast" mode, which has rather large cursors (by large I mean about twice as large and thick as they should normally are).

Now I have successfully installed the partition, the large cursors have stuck around even after exiting this high contrast mode, but only when I am hovering over stuff e.g. hovering over text inputs, links, and when resizing windows. All of these cursors are too large. They cursor is only normally sized when the computer should be displaying the normal mouse pointer.

Does anyone know how I might go about fixing this?

share|improve this question then follow these steps. – user43349 Jan 24 '12 at 11:24
up vote 46 down vote accepted

I would suggest you update your cursor theme and cursor size.

First in a terminal type:

sudo update-alternatives --config x-cursor-theme

enter image description here

Choose the number of the theme you want - e.g. 0 for DMZ-White

Changing the value here requires a reboot - a logout and login will not suffice.

Secondly, using dconf-editor (install using sudo apt-get install dconf-tools)

enter image description here

navigate to org.gnome.desktop.interface

change the cursor size to 24 and cursor theme to DMZ-White

share|improve this answer
Thank you very much! That would have driven me to insanity after a couple more hours. – tom Apr 27 '12 at 23:21
The location has changed in 14.04 (I used CTRL-F to find \cursor-size) but I find the value is reset after a reboot? – LeeGee Apr 2 '15 at 8:03
Weird that these kind of mouse settings don't come up in System Settings->Mouse and Touchpad! – neuronet Jul 11 at 12:43

it's very clunky, but do-able.

  1. Download your favorite cursor theme from Gnome Look or other sources, and untar it in the folder you downloaded.
    enter image description here
  2. Next, open a terminal and type sudo nautilus and a Root Nautilus will launch. BE VERY CAREFUL DELETING AND MOVING FILES IN IT enter image description here
  3. Now, go to your downloads folder (from the Root Nautilus you just opened) and copy the folder of the downloaded cursor theme (not the .tar archive)
  4. After doing so, go to /usr/share/icons and paste the folder of the cursors. but don't close it just yet. enter image description here
  5. Within the 'icons' folder you'll see a 'default' folder - open it - and open the 'index.theme' file (in gedit, in-case it doesn't open automatically), and change the theme name to the name of the cursor folder you copied (for example: 'neutral'). save and close the file. enter image description here enter image description here
  6. Almost done. Now install Gnome/Unity Tweak Tool and change the cursor theme within them. enter image description here In the Gnome Tweak Tool it look like this: enter image description here
  7. Log out and log back in and you're set.

Truly Canonical and the Ubuntu community need to do some work for this in terms of End-User customization, but bottom line is that this works.

share|improve this answer

Try change the setting in gconf-editor (Alt F2, gconf-editor). It is either under



share|improve this answer
doesn't work for me. Are there another solutions? – TheDarktonik Oct 14 '11 at 15:07
Thanks, but this didn't work for me. – alberge Dec 4 '11 at 8:58

Check your mouse theme using the dconf-editor:

  1. Install the package dconf-tools Install dconf-tools
  2. Run dconf-editor

  3. Navigate to org.gnome.desktop.interface and check the mouse cursor settings:

enter image description here

DMZ-White should be set as the theme. Then log out and back in and see if you still have the problem.


share|improve this answer
Thanks, but this didn't work for me. – alberge Dec 4 '11 at 8:59
On my Linux 3.0.0-14, Ubuntu 11.10, metacity 2.34.1 system, using dconf-tools to change the cursor-size number changes the cursor size in several kinds of windows, such as in firefox, gnome-terminal, pan, thunderbird, but does not change its size in emacs, dconf-editor, tool bar, et al – jwpat7 Dec 18 '11 at 2:01
The application of cursor theme isn't consistently handled in 11.10. Changes as above indeed don't impact the normal cursor pointer but do take effect in some cases like when hovering over a link or within a text entry field both the cursor size and theme set in dconf are used not for the cursor displayed while moving around the screen. – fragos Jan 6 '12 at 2:45

For a command-line / automated way of doing it, try:

dconf write /org/gnome/desktop/interface/cursor-size 48

Works for me on Ubuntu 16.04.

share|improve this answer

protected by Community Mar 20 '13 at 18:56

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