I'm planning to record some tutorial videos. How do I make a mouse pointer/cursor with yellow circle around it on Ubuntu 16.04, so my students could see where I am?


4 Answers 4


There is no large, colored, or animated mouse cursor by default.

To show the mouse position there is a gsetting key to allow showing the cursor position with orange circles upon pressing and releasing the Ctrl key:

![enter image description here

The key is located in org.gnome.desktop.interface locate-pointer accessible through dconf-editor as shown above or in a terminal with

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface locate-pointer true
  • 1
    It may be helpful to know gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.peripherals.mouse locate-pointer true appears to be persistent across reboots and you don't need to add it to /etc/rc.local or any other startup areas. Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 19:03
  • It does not work very well. If you use nautilus to rename a file (f2) and then try to copy the file using control+c then the 'locate-pointer' func interfer and you cannot copy the file name into the clipboard (16.04 LTS). I had to disable it. Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 15:04
  • 1
    It works fine, but it requires pressing Ctrl each time. I'd like to configure it like: enable it when I press some keys + disable it when I press some keys. Sometimes I want it to be there for more seconds / minutes. Commented Oct 20, 2019 at 21:36
  • @ROMANIA_engineer: this most likely is hardcoded and can't be changed.
    – Takkat
    Commented Oct 20, 2019 at 21:48
  • @ROMANIA_engineer on my 4K screen with two other screens this isn't as good for me as it used to be. I was thinking of changing code to five to ten times bigger with black and white colors instead of washed out orange. You could try searching for the source code too. Commented Oct 20, 2019 at 22:23

Highlight Pointer Using Cursor Themes

I recently wanted to do this as well. I ended up at this answer which had some broken links and left me still in search of themes that someone else had surely created. I found one I liked. Here's an animated GIF of what I ended up with and how I got it working.

The end result image.gif

Finding a cursor theme

When I realized that this could be accomplished with a cursor theme (duh!), I went in search of some themes. I eventually ended up here, and after looking through a number of pages of different cursors, I settled on this one. To download, click the files tab and then download the .tar.gz file for the cursor theme.

Installing and enabling the cursor for screencasting

With the cursor theme downloaded, I got to work on installing it.

  • The file I downloaded contains multiple themes (each a different color halo) so I first extracted the contents to a temp folder

    tar -xzf /path/to/download/160115-bDMZT.tar.gz -C /tmp/
  • Then I copied the cyan theme to the proper directory, renaming it screencast

    sudo cp -r /tmp/bDMZT/abDMZ/ /usr/share/icons/screencast/
  • Before enabling the new cursor theme, I made note of the current theme.

    OLD_THEME=$(gsettings get org.gnome.desktop.interface cursor-theme) && echo $OLD_THEME
  • At this point, all that was left to do was to enable the theme.

    gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface cursor-theme screencast

If the new theme is active for some applications but not others or if it does not appear to be active at all, you may need to completely terminate all instances of the applications for which it is not active or log off entirely and log back in.

Changing back to the default cursor

Once you're finished your screencast, you may want to switch back to your previous theme (the system default is DMZ-White). To do this, run:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface cursor-theme "$OLD_THEME"

Extra 2-cents

There are also programs available to show mouse clicks and key presses which can be really helpful in screencasts.

  • To the future explorers: key-mon (from the link in the "Extra 2-conts" is all you need! :) (you can add a circle to the mouse pointer in the settings) Commented May 8, 2020 at 7:54
  • thanks,but it change back to original theme when moved on chrome browser,any fix? Commented Nov 4, 2020 at 5:59
  • @JobayerShajal, you ran into the issue I described where all instances of the application for which it does not appear to be working need to be terminated. Close all instances of Chrome and reopen Chrome, and you should see the current theme in Chrome as well.
    – b_laoshi
    Commented Nov 8, 2020 at 3:14
  • xie xie,@b_lasohi Commented Nov 8, 2020 at 11:46
  • @b_laoshi I quit all chrome tab and instances,then reopen. still the mouse return back to default Yaru theme on chrome.Logged out and logged in back,still same issue Commented Nov 24, 2020 at 8:29

Yellow circle can be done by installing any one of the following software:

  1. Cam studio: Is an open source windows software. Install it using wine then go to cursor settings. There is a cursor highlight.
  2. RealWorld Cursor Editor: Also for Windows. Using this, you can directly edit your mouse properties.
  3. vokoscreen: To install sudo apt-get install vokoscreen

  4. cairo-dock there is a add on to highlight the mouse pointer.

  5. Use gnome-tweak-tool.


I have not tested this, but I think it's the right answer.

  • Open compiz config: sudo apt install compizconfig-settings-manager && ccsm
  • Look for plugin Show mouse, under Accessibility - ENABLE it..
  • Play with it, to see if that's okay :)

You'll need compiz-plugins package to have this option.


  • 1
    The "Show mouse" plugin has no effect for me on Ubuntu 16.04 with Gnome 3.18. Commented Feb 7, 2018 at 18:19
  • 2
    Couldn't find "Show mouse" plugin on Ubuntu 18.04 with Gnome 3.28.2 after installing compiz-config-settings-manager. There is only "Mouse poll interval" setting under accessibility options. Commented Aug 15, 2019 at 9:40
  • if you need to install compiz-plugins for Ubuntu12 and above: sudo apt-get install compiz-plugins
    – Mariam
    Commented Jan 14, 2021 at 20:45

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