Invisible mouse cursor

Invisible mouse cursor
 
 

Introduction

Somewhere back in 2016-01 mouse cursor has started to disapper (become invisible) in various DEs. It disappears either immediately upon the system boot or after the computer is waked up from sleep or lock state. Cursor remains still active and works - clicking in various screen areas produces the expected effect. But the cursor itself is not visible.

 

Permanent solution

The permanent solution to make the mouse cursor always visible is:

  1. Create the file

    /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/90-cursoron.conf

  2. Put in it the following content

    #--turns mouse cursor on
    #--(makes it always visible)
    Section "Device"
        Identifier "Device0"
    Driver "intel"
        Option "AccelMethod" "uxa"
        Option "SWCursor" "on"
    EndSection
    The keyword is uxa acceleration method here.

  3. Log out and back in. A full reboot is not needed.

 

In more details the issue was discussed in Antergos forum here: Invisible mouse cursor after sleep/lock .

 

Alternative solutions

In very rare cases creating the 90-cursoron.conf file may have negative collateral effects. See Collateral effects section below. If creating 90-cursoron.conf is not acceptable, the cursor may be turned back on by:

  • - substituning the default Antergos LightDM display manager with GDM

    It sometimes works, sometimes not. If it works, it is another permanent solution.

  • - switching by hand from virtual terminal (console) VT7, where X server runs by default, to VT1..VT6 and turning back to VT7

    To switch to any VT use the standard Ctrl+Alt+F1..6 keys combinations. Press Ctrl+Alt+F7 to turn back to VT7 with running desktop environment (GUI).  Mouse cursor should re-appear now.

    Obviously, it is a one-time solution only.

 

Collateral effects

The idea behind the 90-cursoron.conf fix consists in substituting the default sna acceleration method with uxa. In rare cases, on some hardware and software combinations, it may produce undesired collateral effects.

For example, it may cause a screen tearing. In more details this collision is discussed in Antergos forum here: How to remove conflict between 90-cursoron.conf and 20-intel.conf .

Actually, the conflict is not solved. In this example the user has preferred to eliminate the screen tearing (with sna) over a stable mouse cursor (with uxa). The cursor is turned on by switching to VT1 and back to VT7.

 

May 2016

 

 

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