I installed Ubuntu today and since the first start up I have a problem with the mouse cursor.

It starts randomly disappearing and flickering a lot.

I have searched for a solution on Google and here but didn't find anything.

  • Welcome! How is your mouse connected (USB maybe)? Try with another mouse device and see what happens. Also you may try plugging into another port
    – Lucio
    Oct 17, 2013 at 19:04
  • Its happening in 14.04 as well and this trick saved my time. Apr 13, 2014 at 3:33
  • if you are having flickering in chrome only , try this answer, adding one section to the 20-intel.conf file fixed my issues with flicker in chrome. askubuntu.com/questions/766725/… May 18, 2018 at 15:19

5 Answers 5


I had the same problem. You can fix it manually.

Open System Settings > Displays.

In the Displays window, you will see an Unknown monitor.

Click it and disable it.

  • 2
    And to remove that screen you can follow this: askubuntu.com/a/365017/34385
    – Jeggy
    Oct 25, 2013 at 8:23
  • 8
    Great! How did you figure out??
    – sobi3ch
    Oct 28, 2013 at 11:43
  • 2
    There is no unknown display for me. But I can see 2 built in display in red and green color. I tried disabling one of those alternatively but that also didn't solved my issue. Please help Nov 22, 2013 at 5:16
  • 1
    Ho sorry... Disabling the green built in display solved the issue. Thanks Nov 22, 2013 at 5:24
  • This didn't work in my case (I had no "Unknown Monitor"). I have posted a question here but given that the OP is a superset of my question I think this answer should provide other possible solutions (or at least avenues to investigate).
    – quant
    Nov 23, 2014 at 21:09

Possible cause 1:

Screen settings: resolution and refresh rate. Can be checked (On KDE) under systemsettings5 then display and monitor

Possible cause 2:

Screen compositor: it could be caused by the sale-method/rendering-backend/tearing-prevention those settings can be changed (On KDE) under systemsettings5, display and monitor then compositor... apply new settings and compare

Possible cause 3:

Display server mis-configuration: you can regenerate the display server config file with X -configure or similar but first make a copy of /etc/X11

Possible cause 4:

System failure, crash, reboot: on system failure especially for systems equipped with SSD you may loose important files; Files under directories like /home/user/, /etc/ or /usr/ can cause serious damages, as these directories contain important settings/packages files for different aspect of the desktop. usually when a file is lost after a crash, the file may be completely deleted or zeroed, you can then search for file with zero size and check out if important file are corrupted with the command find /etc -size 0 -print (this is for /etc) you can also check packages integrity for missing/modified file, on rpm based system it's done with the command rpm -Va you would then reinstall the broken package.

A common situation in this case is loosing the file /etc/X11/xorg.conf or one of the config file under /etc/X11/ responsible for the display server; If recovering the file is not possible the config can be regenerated with X -configure or similar command

Possible cause 5:

Mis-configuration of user files under /home/user... you can verify this by login with an other user... to fix it eventually delete and recreate the user (after backup)

Possible cause 7:

Graphic drivers, you need to check if you are using the proper graphic driver and or try a different version of the used driver, usually this often happen with nvidia graphical cards.


The listed situations are not the only possibilities of failure.

Source: Linuxhacks.org
Disclosure: I am the owner of Linuxhacks.org


I ran, from within 16.04, the command:

  sudo apt-get upgrade

and it seems to have appeased the pointer, so far. I had instability, especially over the Chrome browser tabs.


2020 - Ubuntu 18.04

The problem here was because of I have Dell's laptop and Dells's Monitor, there isn't any "unknown display".

The Ubuntu wasn't recognizing the laptop as "built in".

After setup everything and restart the laptop, all works fine.

  • "After setup everything" What does this mean? Can you share more context to what you set up? Tried rebooting several times, does not fix the issue.
    – Dave
    Mar 26, 2022 at 2:29

I was able to fix the issue by changing my monitor setup using randr. It turned out that my second screen had a rather large offset to the first one (instead of being directly adjacent). My best guess is that this creates a large mostly unused framebuffer that also covers the area between the screens, which may be problematic?

You can either use a tool like arandr to place the screens without a gap in a GUI or run xrandr on the command line like so

xrandr --output HDMI-1 --left-of DP-1 (replace your respective monitor outputs, you can find out their name by running xrandr without arguments)

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